It’s of­fi­cially Christ­mas in Nor­folk

Tillsonburg News - - OPINION - Monte Son­nen­berg

The weather out­side was fright­ful, but the mood in Welling­ton Park was “de-light­ful.”

De­spite near freez­ing tem­per­a­tures and steady rain, hun­dreds came out Satur­day evening for the of­fi­cial light-up of Sim­coe’s Christ­mas Panorama.

This kick-off was spe­cial as it marked the 60th an­niver­sary of the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas lights. Many com­mu­ni­ties make a point of light­ing up their towns to­day but Sim­coe was among the first when the tra­di­tion be­gan in 1958.

When the floor was opened this fall to sug­ges­tions for who should have the hon­our of flip­ping the switch, or­ga­niz­ers were in­un­dated with calls to give the job to Olivia Hazen of Sim­coe, a young girl who is bat­tling can­cer.

“It’s of­fi­cially Christ­mas in Sim­coe,” said co­host Gerry Hamill, a spokesper­son for Nor­folk Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal who has manned the mi­cro­phone at the open­ing for 20 years. “Thank you very much ev­ery­one. En­joy Panorama in the park.”

Hamill took time to fo­cus on the huge vol­un­teer ef­fort that goes into mak­ing Panorama hap­pen. He thanked the in­di­vid­u­als who make time to light up the park at sun­set (5:30 p.m.) and then come back late at night (11 p.m.) to shut it down. Panorama vol­un­teers will keep up this rou­tine un­til Jan. 6.

Olivia and her young brother Ja­cob lit up the park around 7 p.m. Satur­day af­ter pre­sen­ta­tions from the Sim­coe Fire­fight­ers As­so­ci­a­tion - a ma­jor spon­sor of Panorama - and a per­for­mance of three Christ­mas songs by coun­try mu­sic band Small Town Girls of Lang­ton - win­ners of the 2018 Nor­folk Has Tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion.

“I think this event show­cases the best the re­gion has to of­fer,” Nor­folk Mayor Kristal Chopp told the as­sem­bled throng in her first of­fi­cial ap­pear­ance in that ca­pac­ity.

The 60th an­niver­sary pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to look back at the long his­tory of the event. There at the be­gin­ning were Joan and Don Da­ley of Sim­coe.

Don Da­ley told the crowd how the event be­gan mod­estly with the place­ment of floats from the town’s Santa Claus pa­rade and a few lit dis­plays on an is­land in Lake Ge­orge. Da­ley said Panorama was con­fined to this area at the out­set be­cause that’s where elec­tric­ity was avail­able.

“They asked `What are you go­ing to call it?’” Da­ley said. “And Joan said `Panorama of Lights.’ And the name stuck.” mson­nen­[email protected]­

Avon­dale United Church

On De­cem­ber 2, the con­gre­ga­tion at Avon­dale met for wor­ship at 10:30 a.m. with Su­san barker-James as Lay Preacher, bar­rie Harper run­ning the pro­jec­tor and bruce Flem­ing on key­board. Dur­ing the an­nounce­ments Jean Cur­rier told us that Church Coun­cil had ac­cepted with re­gret a let­ter of res­ig­na­tion from rev. Kevin Tay­lor.

The Ad­vent Can­dle was lit by Su­san and Hope is a Star and Come, Thou Long-Ex­pected Je­sus were sung. The of­fer­ing was taken up by Dan Fisher and ros­alie Wil­laert. The scrip­tures read were taken from Isa­iah 60 The Glory of Zion and Luke 12 Watch­ful­ness. Su­san sang “When a Star is Shin­ing ” and ac­com­pa­nied her­self on gui­tar.

The mes­sage for adults was Wait­ing for Je­sus. Many of us are im­pa­tient but there is a blessed­ness of wait­ing. We can learn to wait and see a vi­sion for things to hap­pen. We can then look for­ward to some­thing won­der­ful to hap­pen. Je­sus too is wait­ing to be a quiet guest in us. Are we ready for Je­sus to visit? Je­sus is God’s gift to us but he needs help. He lives in the form of peo­ple all around us. Let us be as ser­vants and pre­pare our hearts for joy, hope and love.

The choir’s an­them was “Was He Quiet or Did He Cry? / Away In a Manger.”

Su­san then sang the Prayer of St. Fran­cis and this was fol­lowed by silent prayers. Our wor­ship closed with the bene­dic­tion and singing of “I See a New Heaven” and “Will you Come and See the Light.”

you are wel­come to join us Sun­day at 10:30 a.m. when the Kids Con­nec­tion chil­dren will be in charge of our wor­ship. Fol­low­ing our ser­vice we will have a pot luck lunch.

Our Christ­mas Eve ser­vice will be­gin at 7 p.m. and our Christ­mas Din­ner for those oth­er­wise alone will be at noon on De­cem­ber 25.

Bay­ham United Church

bay­ham united Church had a mu­sic night on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 1 with the The Voices Of broad­way show choir which was well at­tended and deeply en­joyed by ev­ery­one.

bay­ham united Church opened for ser­vice at 10 a.m. on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 2 with Pas­tor Jenn brown lead­ing the ser­vice. Mu­sic was sup­plied by Court­ney Porch. Pas­tor brown opened the ser­vice by hav­ing the con­gre­ga­tion place small items on the Christ­mas Trees in the church.

The first hymn was O Come All ye Faith­ful fol­lowed by a vi­sion state­ment from the pas­tor. Janet Daniel led the con­gre­ga­tion in the con­gre­ga­tional life and work of the church. There was a pe­riod of pass­ing the peace among the con­gre­ga­tion fol­lowed by the light­ing of the Christ Can­dle at the front of the church. The next hymn was Hal­lelu­jah. Pas­tor brown led the con­gre­ga­tion in the call to wor­ship re­sponded to by the con­gre­ga­tion. The next hymn was Hope Is A Star. Pas­tor brown led the con­gre­ga­tion in the open­ing prayer. The choir sang the hymn Come O Come.

Judy rad­datz led the chil­dren in a story to tell and the singing of the Lord’s Prayer. The next hymn was O Holy Night. Pas­tor brown read from the book of La­men­ta­tions, Chap­ter 3 verse 20-26 in which the bible states how the soul con­tin­u­ally thinks of God’s love for peo­ple. Also the book of ro­mans, Chap­ter 13 verse 11-12 which states an ur­gent ap­peal for peo­ple to wake up and speaks about sal­va­tion be­ing nearer to us than when we be­came be­liev­ers, and how we are to live hon­or­ably as in the day.

In her med­i­ta­tion Pas­tor brown noted O Holy Night was writ­ten in the 1800s in France by a lo­cal mer­chant who also hap­pened to be a poet, and the song was spread far and wide. She spoke about what Holy Night would have been like al­most 2,000 years ago and how Mary and Joseph and lit­tle baby Je­sus trav­eled to beth­le­hem and were placed in a stable for the night where Je­sus was born.

The next hymn was Hope Is born this Night from the re­flec­tion video in the church. Pas­tor brown led the con­gre­ga­tion in the prayers of the peo­ple with the con­gre­ga­tion re­peat­ing the words God Of Hope Hear Our Prayer af­ter each para­graph. Pas­tor brown then led the con­gre­ga­tion in the mes­sage of send­ing forth. The con­gre­ga­tion stood for the singing of the fi­nal hymn called May The God Of Hope Go With us as the ser­vice ended.

Next week’s ser­vice will be at 10 a.m. on Sun­day and all are in­vited to at­tend and wor­ship with us.

Lang­ton Bap­tist Church

Al­lan Wil­son opened the Novem­ber 11 “re­mem­brance Day” Church ser­vice at 11 a.m.

His mes­sage was on ‘re­mem­brance Day.’

He showed a video of David roever who was a Vet­eran of the war. He told of his very bad ex­pe­ri­ences/ We’re all about peo­ple. God gave you your life. Let Him bless it. The church saved him.

A mo­ment of of si­lence was ob­served.

The chil­dren’s story was about ‘The poppy.’

Dorothy Hem­stra, sur­vivor of the war in Hol­land, told her story of her ex­pe­ri­ences in Hol­land.

Mary Jean yz­er­man read the names of the men from here who served in the war, and barry yz­er­man rang the church bell as each name was read.

Hymns sung were “O God, our help in ages past;” and “On­ward Chris­tian Sol­diers.”

Prayers of sup­pli­ca­tion and praise were given by Al­lan Wil­son. Of­fer­ing was re­ceived by Tracy Knack and David barnim.


Ted Molyneaux opened the Novem­ber 18 church ser­vice at 11 a.m.

His mes­sage was on ‘The wor­ship of Faith.’

“En­cour­age our walk in faith with God. God will per­form what He has promised. We live in a very per­sua­sive word. Faith is an ac­tive power within us. If we have faith, is that our life? Al­low God’s fears to work in us. When God di­rects us, He is here to help us. We are saved by faith. Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Help us to be the per­son God wants us to be.” Fol­lowed by prayer.

Hymns sung were “All the way my Fa­ther leads me;” “Faith of our Fa­thers;” and “I am thine, O Lord.”

Prayers of sup­pli­ca­tion and praise were given by Ted Molyneaux. Of­fer­ing was re­ceived by David barnim and Kim Fasseel.

Monte Son­nen­berg /Post­media Net­work

Ha­ley Van Maele of Lang­ton, lead singer of coun­try mu­sic band Small Town Girls, the 2018 Nor­folk Has Tal­ent champs, played three Christ­mas clas­sics dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony for the 60th an­nual Christ­mas Panorama in Sim­coe Satur­day.

Monte Son­nen­berg/Post­media Net­work

Jil­lian Van Daalen of Till­son­burg, a mem­ber of the Small Town Girls - win­ners of the 2018 Nor­folk Has Tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion - keeps time on a beat box (ca­jon). The Small Town Girls played a set of Christ­mas clas­sics be­fore the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Sim­coe Panorama dis­play of Christ­mas lights Satur­day night.

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