BEECHEY: Introducing the first Gift, Talents and Ministry Fair

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I had a great idea, I shared it, and it ended up being the Gift, Talents and Ministry Fair.

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I accidentally started this event by asking if I could do my first (and last) big art show at my church. I’ve run out of wall space in my house and have paintings in a closet. A little insecure about doing this and being an idea person, I thought ‘hey, there are talented people in the church, maybe there are others who want to join me.’ Tadaaa!! The whole church is now involved. It was fun helping out and especially learning about my friends’ gifts that I didn’t even know about. Some were involved in various ministries of the church and voilà, the Gift, Talents and Ministry Fair was born – October 1, 10 am to 3 pm at the corner of Ridout and Bidwell streets, Tillsonburg (the orange brick church).

Everyone has a gift or talent. It may take a while to figure it out, but it’s there. Think of all the diversity of gifts/talents on America’s Got Talent, including amazing performances with yo-yos, Rubik’s cubes, illusionists, singing, animals and just about anything else you can imagine. We have any or all of the same talents in Tillsonburg, and more. Being good at sports, fixing, inventing or creating things, whether in the workshop or at home, is a gift/talent. Include every craft you can think of such as woodworking, miniatures, sewing, knitting, quilting, baking, metalwork, poetry, writing, or the visual arts on computers, with crayons or paint… get the picture?

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But there are other very important gifts that are rarely recognized such as listening, organizing, finances, baking, cleaning, fashion sense, gardening, empathy and helping others.

The congregation of St. John to share their own gifts with you and they include some of those listed above.

Those gifts/talents are also used in various ministries (groups) that do work within the church building, and in the community, with God’s purpose in mind, with love and for in His glory.

There are ministries like the Chancel Guild, which takes care of the church sanctuary and chapel, sets up altars for services and much more. The Outreach Ministry reaches out to our community, with groups including the Community Kitchen, Caring Hands that knit, sew, etc., and more.

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Then there is the choir, scouts, and bell ringing ministries. Did you hear the bell 96 times for the Queen last week?

Sidespersons, Away Group and the ACW (Anglican Church Women) are wonderful ministries involved in everything from greeting people, hospitality, fundraising and more. Come and see them. I went to St. John’s and I learned that I didn’t know everything they were doing, nor did I realize how much I had given all the ministries!

What I love most is that even though I don’t have any family left in town I have a family at church that I love and enjoy, that supports me through good times and bad. Just knowing that I can ask for help from any of them, or they from me, is reassuring and comforting.

You should meet our minister, Osita (Oh-see-ta), who is a super, down to earth person. Give him a pat on the back, because he has to face me! Haha!

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You can tour this 122-year-old gothic-style church with beautiful stained glass windows and artistic woodwork, as well as St. Stephen Chapel which now houses the altar, altar rail, credence table, and stained-glass window (from the former St. Stephen’s Church in Culloden).

You can experience performances with our wonderful organ, grand piano and choir in the church between 1 pm and 3 pm A young liturgical dancer will also perform.

There will be a refreshment room at a small cost featuring St. John’s ‘Famous Mincemeat Tarts’! delicious!

I started out painting watercolors, but switched to acrylics, painting anything you didn’t need to frame like sawdust, bricks, wood, fungus, and railroad plates. My subjects are quite eclectic and unusual as I love dragons, castles, wildlife, historic Tillsonburg buildings, lighthouses, and old sailing ships. I can no longer make six-foot saws or woodcutters but hope to still make small ones! I will give my sales to the church. I hope you will join us!

Admission is free. See performance times at or on Facebook or call 519-842-5573.

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