~ October 2009 Edition
~ Contributing Editor Peter Craske ~
and Glen Pettinger
Member at Large
In November, General Clive Addy will talk about “Today’s Soldier”. An intriguing subject for everybody, but even more so for the number of “Yesterday’s Soldiers” among our members! Clive Addy served for 35 years in the Canadian Forces. Among his many posts, he was Commander of the Canadian Brigade in Germany, the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) at Central Army Group in Heidelberg, Chief of Staff of Mobile Command, and Commander of Land Forces in Western Canada. Retiring in 1996, he helped draft an audit of Emergency Preparedness for the Province of British Columbia. He then became the National Executive Secretary of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires – the largest security guard provider in Canada. He is the past National Vice Chair of the CDA, and the past National Chair of the Federation of Military and United Services Institutes of Canada. He is the founding Chair of the National Security Group which has been following and monitoring Canadian Security policy since 2003
At our October meeting, Rev. Denis Dwyer gave us a most stimulating, thought provoking, and, at times, humorous talk examining what is considered by many to be a major drift – the continued divergence of direction taking place over the last half century, between the Christian Church and modern society - the Church steadfastly continuing to adhere to age-old teachings and structure while society is rapidly evolving in many different directions that make those factors less relevant.
Rev. Dwyer looked first at the kind of life Canadians lived fifty years ago and the role of the Church at that time; following up with a comparison of to-day’s lifestyles. This was followed by the key question of whether the actual comparison really matters – that society was dynamic and moving rapidly while the Church was still operating with the ancient organizational concepts of the 1950’s and before.
During this period Canadian lifestyles, attitudes and mores have changed radically in many ways: the evolution of a single wage earners and stay-at-home mother to that of two wage earners in the family; the expansion of the participation of women in all aspects of society from secretarial and domestic to career and executive roles; attitudes to divorce, personal responsibility, abortion, patriotism, sex before marriage, Sunday as a day of rest, television, the internet and so many others. While these enormous changes were going on, the Christian Church has made little adjustment to what was going on around it – focusing inwards rather than outwards. Fifty years ago, the Church was the centre and focus of a town or village, mirroring the community, to-day it has been marginalized to the extent that, for instance, attendance at the United Church as dropped by 73%.
In modern day marketing parlance, the Church has lost contact with its customers. Just as General Motors kept making large cars its customers didn’t want; went bankrupt, and is now trying to rebuild itself, so the Church must realign its thinking and reposition itself, not in terms of its own bureaucratic needs and desires, but in terms of what its community needs and wants it to be.
The spiritual needs of the people themselves, despite their outward signs of disinterest in religion, are still the same – people are crying out for some meaning to their lives, some feeling of direction and belonging. People can still live a Christian life without going to Sunday service.
The need is there - and will be there when our Great-Grand children become adults. There can still be a Church, if the Church will recognize the part that it must play.
Unlike the General Motors case, there can be no government bail-out for the Church -the change must come from within!
More Vignettes from the October Meeting
Thirteen members took the Wakefield Steam Train on October 5th – and a good time was had by all. Thanks to Ernie Trischuk for organizing another successful Probus outing.
We welcomed a number of visitors to our October meeting, among them were Allen Churchill, Richard Thomson, ( a prospective new member), Bruce and Irene Waller, and John and Janet Gardiner who, some members may recall, are former members of Probus Perth.
Altho’ our Treasurer was unable to be present, Bruce Gourlay informed us that we had a healthy balance of some $3500 in the bank – and more memberships still to come.
Guests and members of other Probus Clubs are welcome to join our special events. If you have an idea for an activity you think other Probus members might enjoy, please talk to Mary Kilgour or Glen Pettinger, or one of the other members of the Management Team. We are always looking for new and creative ideas, as well as people to take the lead in organizing events.
Self-introduction ~ John Hauraney
As another in our series of personal profiles, John Hauraney humorously filled us in on his eclectic life highlights – from grocery store clerk to steam train engineer to Central Wire, before settling down to a long and rewarding career in insurance and investments with Mutual Life of Canada. What a wealth of diversity we have in our club!
Management Team Notes