We praise you, O Lord, for the remembrance of your goodness to us as a parish; for all who served this church of St. Mary’s la Prairie through the years and for its worship and witness today. Accept our thanksgiving and take our lives as we dedicate them to your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St.Mary’s celebrated 160 years as a parish in 2013. An Anniversary Committee was formed in October of 2012 under the leadership of Agnes Morgan. Events included everyone – children, adults and seniors, and we welcomed home past parishioners.
The Reverend John Dolloff prepared an Anniversary Prayer that was used at all Sunday services throughout 2013: “We praise you, O Lord, for the remembrance of your goodness to us as a parish; for all who served this church of St. Mary’s la Prairie through the years and for its worship and witness today. Accept our thanksgiving and take our lives as we dedicate them to your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Local artist Sandy Storen designed the logo for use on bulletins, prayer cards, notices and invitations.
The year’s celebrations started with the Cookie / Bake Walk on January 26.
A pancake supper was held February 12, Shrove Tuesday. February 16 we held a Bridal / Prom fashion show featuring some of our teenage girls as models with assistance from the local high school. Lenten concerts were held Wednesdays at noon during March showcasing local musicians and vocalists followed by a lunch of soup, sandwiches and dessert.
There was an Easter morning breakfast March 31, and April 6 we held a Victorian High Tea featuring scones with jelly and tea and coffee served in fine china cups. The annual fundraiser, the Scott Woods concert at the Glesby Centre, took place May 13. Special “potluck” lunches were held to honour Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in May and June.
The homecoming weekend included a special Sunday Service June 30 and a banquet June 29 with entertainment by the Campbell Family musicians, Metis Steppers, Ukrainian Dancers and an Aboriginal dance group.
The Children’s Church birthday party was held September 14 with a local magician in attendance. The children prepared items to be placed in a time capsule that was buried on the church grounds. It is to be opened during the 175th anniversary.
September 28 we held a “Conference to Enhance our Faith”. The full-day event began with an opening session in the church and a soloist to lead the singing. Henry Neufeld from British Columbia, a former Portage resident, was conference leader.
A Harvest Tea was held October 27. November 11, we held a roast beef dinner to honour our seniors aged 80-plus. The seniors were provided with rides to the dinner; flowers decorated each table that the guests were asked to take home.
Part of our Christmas celebration included a Parish Pictorial, with individual and group photos and a history book edition of our Parish Newsletter “The Window”; both of these were offered for sale at the Homecoming Weekend.
A parishioner is currently completing a scrapbook to capture all the year’s events. A parish photo was taken after the Sunday Service on May 5 and now the large framed photo hangs in the Parish Hall.
It was a wonderful year filled with many celebrations and good fellowship.