A lovely gathering of the Sydney Martha Associates was held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the Bethel Presbyterian Church Hall.  Everyone was welcomed and we began the night with a round the circle of “How do you come”. All were glad to be together for our evening.

The gathering continued with Associate Co-ordinator, Mike Finigan leading us in the opening prayer. Mike provided the group with a print out of selected verses from Chapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel. We each took turns to read various sections. It was beautiful to hear each of our voices proclaim parts of the Resurrection story! Mike then invited us to pray together……The Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to God. Finally, Mike sang a beautiful Hymn:  “ Because He Lives”.

After the opening prayer, just a few items of business. Mass for Shut Ins taping on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:00. Also a little update on our Retreat day in September.

Then Mike continued with the gathering. Mike shared some of his own personal story with us about his journey in becoming Catholic. Mike was confirmed a Catholic in 1992. Since he is very musical, the first thing Mike wanted to do was to join the choir!! While waiting to join St. Theresa’s Church Choir in Halifax in September of 1992, the Parish Priest discovered that Mike could play the guitar and sing, so he persuaded Mike to play at Mass during the summer months. Mike was happy to oblige with only one small problem……..he did not know any of the hymns!!! And of course, there was no internet or You tube in 1992! And so, with the help of Mike’s Step Mom who happened to be Catholic, Mike was able to learn 4 or 5 hymns that he played at Mass all summer! A great introduction to the Choir, except he did this all on his own!! That is dedication! The first hymns he learned to play and sing were: “Though the Mountains May Fall” and “Here I am Lord”. Mike then proceeded to sing them for us.

As our evening progressed, we were blessed to share in Mike’s special gift of music as he continued to sing and play for us, some gospel (“I’ll Fly Away), some blues, (Wayfaring Stranger), some traditional, (Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”). Followed by: “How can I Keep from Singing”, “When God Dips His Love In My Heart”, and “How Great Thou Art”. We were truly blessed to be part of this special evening. God was so very present to us in the music and in the fellowship of our Associate Group!

Thank You Mike for a wonderfully inspiring and prayerful evening!

Julia Townsend for the Sydney Martha Associates