Happy Holidays

Rachel Garber

By Rachel Garber

The Devil and his Nephew were hanging out together, watching people walk down the street. One passerby stopped, bent down and picked up something off the sidewalk. He looked at it carefully, dusted it off, and put it in his pocket.

“What was that he just picked up?” Nephew asked.

“Oh,” Devil shrugged. “That was just the Truth.”

Nephew was alarmed. “We can’t let him have the Truth! What are we going to do?”

“Don’t worry.” Devil said. “We’ll help him organize it.”

I love this little parable that I have paraphrased from many truth tellers down through the century. Many people fear being disorganized. But the greater danger could lie in becoming too organized, to the point of getting locked into a structure that obliterates the spark of life or truth that first set our heart on fire. We create rules and regulations and social norms that sometimes take us far away from the original understanding that first grasped our imagination. I could point to religions as a possible example. Or democracy. Or holidays – even, dare I say it, Christmas?

And now my sermon is over. Just to say, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!


A purple poinsettia, or blue or orange, could make your Christmas décor very luscious this year. All the while helping support La Maison Aube-Lumière, that lovely little hospice beside the CHUS-Fleurimont that offers palliative care to persons with cancer who are nearing the end of life. Each year, La Maison must raise about half of its operating costs, so it can care for patients free of charge. The annual Poinsettia campaign has been a key fundraising strategy for the past 25 years.

And yes, La Maison offers red poinsettias, too. The prices range from $22 to $42, depending on size and colour. To find out more or to buy them online, visit You can also pick up yours at the Fleurs Déco Yves Gosselin, 115 Principale E., Cookshire (819-875-3600) or Douce Folie en Fleurs, 192 St-Pierre, East Angus (819-832-2002). The two poinsettia partners also sell them. They are La Maison Aube-Lumière, 3071 12th Avenue N., Sherbrooke, and the Serres St-Élie, 4675 blvd Industriel, Sherbrooke. The sale closes December 23.


At the Ramana Hotel, the Six Shooters Band plays Saturday December 17, 8 p.m. A New Year’s Party is on December 31 at 6 p.m., and the Dave Bessant concerts resume Saturday January 14 at 8 p.m. All are welcome. Info: Jean-Sébastien Bachand, 819-889-2967.

Also, here’s a heads up for Amateur Night at the Ramana on Saturday, February 18. “This will be a closing activity for the Plaisirs d’hiver,” writes Jennifer McMullin. “Attention, musicians! Get out of your garages! All types of music, solo or in group. You only have to bring your musical instruments for one, two or three tunes.” To find out more, see “Loisirs Sawyerville” on Facebook.


The Sawyerville Bingo evenings are going out with a bang this Thursday at 7 p.m. with a Christmas special at the Sawyerville Community Centre, courtesy of Loisirs Sawyerville. Bingo comes back again on Thursday, January 12.


Loisirs Sawyerville is also offering some nifty 2017 calendars with photos of old-time Sawyerville. Interested? Call Danielle 819-553-8655 or Martine 819-553-8500.


The Caregiver Network is offering a teleconference – yes, by phone from your own home – that will share ways to spend quality time together with a family member or friend who has Alzheimer’s dementia. Alzheimer’s causes changes in persons living with the disease, affecting their tastes, interests and capabilities. The stimulation activities suggested could help make visits or at-home time more enjoyable over the holidays. Marie-Pier Foucault is the presenter, and will answer questions. The session is planned for Monday, December 12, at 11 a.m. to 12 noon. To register or for info:


The bilingual Viactive exercise groups for people age 50-plus are pausing for the holiday season, and coming back mid-January. In Bury and Sawyerville, the first session is January 11. In Newport and Cookshire, the first session is January 18. And note that the Cookshire Viactive group will be changing its time. It will begin at 9:45 a.m. and finish at 10:45 a.m.


Baptist: December 18 and January 8 Sunday services are in Sawyerville at 9 a.m. in French and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. On Saturday, December 24, at 7 p.m. is a Christmas Eve service. On Sunday, December 25, at 10 a.m. is a Christmas service. On Sunday, January 1st, at 10 a.m. is a New Year’s Day service. All these services are bilingual. Info: 819-239-8818.

United: December 18 and January 8 Sunday services are in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m. and in Sawyerville at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, December 20, is a Blue Christmas service in Sawyerville at 7 p.m. On Saturday, December 24, is a Christmas Eve service in Cookshire at 2 p.m., including Holy Communion. No services on Christmas or New Year’s days. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).

Anglican: December 18 and January 8 Sunday services are in Bury at 9:30 a.m. and in Cookshire at 11 a.m., with Holy Eucharist with The Ven. Dr. Edward Simonton. On Saturday, December 24, are Christmas Eve services in Bury at 2 p.m., Holy Eucharist with The Ven. Dr. Edward Simonton, and in Cookshire at 4 p.m., Holy Eucharist with Coadjutor Bishop Bruce Myers. No services on Christmas or New Year’s days. Info: 819-887-6802.

Messy Church: Intergenerational community time at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Bury on Tuesday, January 10, at 5:15 pm. Story, crafts, and a meal. No fee. All are welcome. To make sure there’s food for everyone, please contact Tami Spires (United Church Minister) if you would like to attend: 819-884-1203 or

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by January 2 for publication January 11 or by January 16 for January 25.

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