Decision time for St. James congregation

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Great Village, by Patti Sharpe

Members can cease to be a charge, amalgamate or continue on

Ally Strachan and Bethany MacKinnon participate in an illustration workshop hosted by graphic artist, Andre Maillet, at the Literacy Day celebration in Great Village on Jan. 25.

Today brought yet another snowfall and a further school closure. Students in Chignecto Central School Board have had eight school closures due to winter weather in the current school year with seven of them happening in 2014. I'm wondering if this is a record year in that respect. At least the frequent snowfall keeps things looking fresh and clean. Those two robins I mentioned in my last column haven’t been seen in weeks.

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On Jan. 25, CALA hosted another successful Literacy Day celebration at the Great Village School gym. The event was well attended and there were activities for all ages. Representatives from Future Shop had their latest technology available for all to try and contributed some fantastic prizes. The 3D printer from the Colchester East Hants Public Library drew a lot of attention as it created a small resin figurine to the wonderment of those in attendance. A magician awed young and old alike and every child present took home a book of their choice from the large selection available. Funding from the Along the Shore Health Board and the Great Village Masons helped to make the day possible.

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On Mar. 2 the congregation of St. James United will gather following the church service to make a decision regarding its future. The building itself has been for sale since the summer of 2013 and now the time has come to decide a future for the members themselves. They have a number of choices to consider: cease to exist as a charge, amalgamate with a neighbouring charge or continue until their funds are gone.

The first option would mean the building and assets would be forfeited to the Truro Presbytery, which would continue to try to sell it and the Great Village Pastoral Charge would be no more.

Amalgamation is an option if agreement could be reached with a neighbouring charge, but can be a time consuming process and would leave responsibility for the building with the charge.

Continuing to meet and worship at St. James is likely to be a short-term option unless there’s a change in financial circumstances. Coupled with that is the ever-increasing difficulty of securing a part-time minister or individual prepared to provide pulpit supply.

There has been a church and congregation on the site since 1845 (The History of Great Village, Nova Scotia, Great Village Women's Institute, 1960).

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The Great Village Fire Brigade Auxiliary will hold its annual merchandise bingo fundraiser on Mar. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion. This event is always sold out, so get your tickets well in advance. Prizes are numerous and take the form of gift baskets assembled by auxiliary members, as well as gift certificates. A complimentary lunch is part of the evening as well. Tickets cost $10 per person and are available from Betty MacNeil at 668-2314.

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Wheels to Meals continues at the Royal Canadian Legion in March. On Mar. 4, chicken chowder will be served with a dessert, which is undecided at this point. Shepherd's Pie and Key Lime Pie are on the menu for Mar. 18. Don't let the snow keep you inside — come to the legion for a hot meal and good company.

Patti Sharpe is a long-time resident of Great Village and actively involved in various organizations within her community. Send your news to her at sharpep@eastlink.ca.

Organizations: Chignecto Central School Board, Great Village School, Future Shop Colchester East Hants Public Library Shore Health Board Royal Canadian Legion

Geographic location: Great Village, Nova Scotia

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