On Sunday July 18th, we attended the 118th anniversary service of Rock Union Church at the corner of the Sixth Line and Concession 12 in Grey County. This beautiful little church was built on 1898, and has been the cornerstone of the community since that time. It is also quite unique in that some of the descendants of the original builders and trustees are still members of the same local families.
The service itself was wonderful and inspiring, and the speakers were folks who's family history are deeply connected to the church. The prevailing theme was on the importance of community, and we heard many stories of friends and neighbours coming together and supporting each other. From barn raisings to beef rings, there was no shortage of interest in subject matter. A "beef ring" for those not in the know, is a system where on a rotating basis, one family puts forth a cow that is killed, butchered, and the meat shared equally throughout the community. Considering that a cow can weigh anywhere between 800 to 2,000 pounds, there is much meat to go around. In the absence of refrigeration, the meat would be cooked and put into sealers surrounded by fat to preserve it. The sealer would be turned upside down to ensure a proper seal, and if it leaked it would have to be redone so that your prepared meat stayed safe. This was a wonderful way to support each other, and everyone would get a chance to enjoy prime cuts of meat as that selection was also done on a rotational basis. Truly a wonderful way to support the community, especially in difficult times.
We were also quite fortunate to enjoy a performance by a local musical group, "The Shoretones." They blessed us all with some stunning renditions of songs such as, "Ever Faithful", "Trust in the Lord", "Precious Lord Take My Hand" and "Just a Closer walk With Thee." It truly was a beautiful performance and their song of parting capped off and excellent service.
Afterwards, we were all invited to a delicious shared picnic supper hosted by the McKinlay family at their farm across the way. It was delicious, and there were many offerings all cooked by local ladies and generously shared. The dessert selection was incredible, and I had six different types myself, ha ha!
It was a beautiful day enjoyed by all, and many thanks for the graciousness and kindness shown by all of those wonderful folks who put on and hosted this incredible service. Hopefully it will continue to endure for another 118 years.