Echo Bay United Church


P.O. Box 447 Echo Bay, On P0S 1C0 (705) 248-2801

United Church of Canada | London Conference

November 2008

Greetings and salutations from Algoma! Hope you and yours are well. J Nov 08

The following story is so special:

I worked as a resident assistant in a dormitory while attending college in the 1980's. One fall afternoon, my roommate and I were interrupted when Janet, a vivacious friend from down the hall, burst into our room. “Come quickly!” she exclaimed. We darted to Janet's room and saw a large grey bird perched peacefully outside on the brick windowsill. “It's an African grey parrot. I've always wanted an African grey,” she cried. “You've got to pull it in for me.” With an athletic sock protecting my hand and arm, I managed to pull the stray bird inside, placing it safely under a laundry basket. “I just can't believe this,” Janet repeated. “I have always wanted an African grey.” It was an uncanny coincidence. Minutes later, a jubilant Janet was off to a pet store to buy seeds and borrow a bird cage. At 2 a.m. the next morning, we awoke to shrieks of grief. We followed the sobbing to Janet's room, where she stood embracing her parents. We learned that Janet's sister had died earlier that day and her parents had come to take Janet home. Through her tears, Janet asked us to take care of her parrot until she returned to school. My roommate and I were substitute caregivers for the African grey for weeks. One morning, after days of silence, the parrot blurted out its first word – a word that validated what we knew to be true. “Angel,” the bird screeched. “Angel!” I believe that the parrot was a divine being, a guardian angel, sent to comfort Janet as she dealt with her sister's death. Or perhaps the angel's assignment was to let her know that her sister had arrived safely in Heaven. I can't be sure of the angel's mission. What I am sure of is that in the fall of 1987, I pulled an African grey from a windowsill and actually touched an angel's wing, and I will forever be honoured to have done so. Amber Lanier Nagle

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

Parrot Trivia: The African Grey is one of the most intelligent of birds. They can live from 40 to 60 years. Some have huge vocabularies. Two famous greys are Alex & Einstein. (check youtube videos)


Being a teenager and getting a tattoo seem to go hand in hand these days. I wasn't surprised when one of my daughter's friends showed me a delicate little Japanese symbol on her hip. “Please don't tell my parents,” she begged. “I won't,” I promised. “By the way, what does that stand for?” “Honesty,” she said.

Actress Audrey Hepburn was asked to share her beauty tips and this was read at her funeral: For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run its fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. OVER à

Here is a new way to look at a deck of cards!!

It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard. The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week. As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk. Just then an army sergeant came in and said, 'Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?' The soldier replied, 'I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord.' The sergeant said, 'Looks to me like you're going to play cards.' The soldier said, 'No, sir. You see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards.' The sergeant asked in disbelief, 'How will you do that?'

'You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me that there is only one God.

The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The Four stands for the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Five is for the five virgins; there were ten but only five of them were glorified.

The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.

The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation.

The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives -- the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth.

The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten, but nine never thanked Him.

The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.

The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.

The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.

The King stands for Jesus, for He is the King of all kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year. There are a total of 52 cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a year. The four suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each suit has thirteen cards -- there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter. So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.' The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, 'Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?'

Please let this be a reminder and take time to pray for all of our soldiers who are being sent away, putting their lives on the line fighting.

A CLOSED MOUTH GATHERS NO FOOT. ( And generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.)

Love and prayers,

Bar River and Echo Bay United Churches


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