one hundred and seventy-five years… and counting

At first glance, 1840 doesn’t stand out in people’s minds the way 1815 or 1776 or 1867 may. Nevertheless, it ushered in changes large and small across the globe:

The Washington Temperance Society was formed; the frigate Belle-Poule, transporting the remains of Napoléon Bonaparte, arrived in France; Queen Victoria married Albert; and New Zealand was ‘discovered’ and absorbed into the Empire.

In Canada, the British North America Act fused Upper and Lower Canada together as The Province of Canada.

And in Paris, Ontario a church was born. A Wesleyan Methodist congregation was established in the town, forming a foundation of faith from which today’s St. Paul’s United Church would grow and flourish.

Much could be written about the history of our church and its members; about the history of our parish and the people that made it home. Future posts will delve into many of those stories.

For now, let’s highlight a few of the things we are celebrating in the here and now as we live out our 175th Anniversary Year.

In 2013 St. Paul’s partnered with The GO Project of Islington United Church to bring the first adult intentional community to Paris. Since May 2013 we have welcomed more than a dozen adults in varying streams of membership and served more than 1300 meals at our Wednesday Night Community Suppers, many incorporating the produce we have grown in our “Secret Garden.”

The Faith Formations (formerly Christian Education) Committee began an exciting new ministry in 2014. Friday Family Fun Nights bring young families from across the community together for activities, communal supper, and a child-focused worship service in the sanctuary.

At St. Paul’s we celebrate the diversity of creation and humanity and believe every person of every race, age, creed, gender identity, sexuality, and ethnicity is a cherished and beloved child of God.

The mission of St. Paul’s is simple:

Being God’s People we strive to BE Christ’s hands, feet and voice, by worshiping caring and growing in our changing Church, Community and World

This is a mission we live each and every day as a community and as individuals. We have come to see it as a mandate for action consider it as the key part of any decision at St. Paul’s: “How would this further our mission?” 

As we celebrate 175 years of mission and service and look into our future, let’s frame our continuing journey in our mission statement and in this question: What do we want our legacy to be?

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