Posts tagged St. James Anglican Church
On the Way Home: Films for Lent

Submitted by Sylvia Keesmaat

As the days get longer and our thoughts turn towards spring, St. James Anglican Church is once again offering a film series during the five weeks leading up to Easter. This year’s theme, “On the Way Home,” features five films that explore the themes of leaving home, returning home and making home together.

Each evening begins with a screening of a film and then a very short discussion with the audience of the film’s themes. The discussion will be facilitated by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat, who have chosen a mix of old films and new, and a variety of genres. Join us for as many films as you like. There is no charge. Refreshments will be served. All films begin at 7pm.

March 13: The Wizard of Oz (US, 1939 - Musical)

There’s no place like home. The classic story of Dorothy who thinks she has lost her home, only to learn that home will never leave her abandoned.

March 20: Brooklyn (Ireland, 2015 - Romantic Drama)

A story of immigration, love and home.

March 27: Where do we go Now? (Lebanon, 2011 - Comedic Musical)

The women of an isolated Lebanese town go to extreme (and hilarious) lengths to maintain peace and a sense of home between Christian and Muslim neighbours.

April 3: Pride (UK, 2015 - Comedy, Drama)

What happens when the LGBTQ community decides to support the miners in the Welsh mine strike of 1984? Whom do we welcome into our homes?

April 10: Won’t you be my neighbor? (US, 2018 - Documentary)

A documentary on the homemaking life of Mr. Rogers.

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ABLE: Families Helping Each Other

Submitted by Diane Engelstad

You may not know me but I’m famous in town: I’m Jeremy’s Mom.

Anywhere I go with Jeremy within a surprisingly wide radius of Fenelon Falls, I’m struck by all the people who greet him or ask him how things are going. I think Jeremy has a way of bringing out the best in people, and a knack for facilitating a good moment in their day. But I also know how lucky we are to be residents in a welcoming and inclusive corner of the world. I tell people all the time that our move to Fenelon Falls ten years ago has been great for Jeremy and our family, because of the way Jeremy is respected for who he is, and included in all Fenelon has to offer him.

Which is why it became important, as Jeremy left high school and joined the adult world, to find others in the area who are also grappling with what full citizenship looks like for their family members with intellectual disabilities.

Families tend to bear the lion’s share of support, and with this in mind, a few of us formed a new local group. ABLE, which stands for “Access to Better Living Experiences,” brings families and community allies together to consider what needs to be done to assist each person with intellectual disabilities in our area to live their best life.

Most adults would not be happy with a life organized for them strictly around supervision. As adults, we expect to take care of our needs, follow our interests, hone our abilities, participate in community life, and develop friendships on our own terms. I know that’s what Jeremy would like too, but he will need the right support in order to achieve his own level of independence and satisfaction. There is no cookie-cutter solution or government “program” that can make this happen. Everyone is unique.

It turns out that “Family Support Networks” are springing up elsewhere in the province too for similar reasons, and ABLE was able to access a little funding to help our group get off the ground. (We hope to have a website soon.) ABLE, still a small group, meets once a month in the parish hall of St. James Anglican Church to talk about employment or volunteer opportunities, resources, and strategies around specific, individual needs. It sure is nice to connect with others familiar with the challenges of everyday life.

If you are supporting a family member or friend and would like to join us, we would be delighted! For information about upcoming meetings, please call me at 705-887-7169, or Jim Armstrong at 705-887-9755, or send us an email at ablefenelon@gmail.com.