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hands-compassion-regBy Cathy Hird

This week, I am telling a traditional story that is, in part, about choosing your leadership style. I will base my version on the way a man we know as Matthew wrote it.

At the height of the Roman Empire, a time of oppression and economic injustice, a man sees the need for a new pattern for his society. He bathes in the Jordan River, washing free of the system that oppresses his people. He rises from the water to seek a new way. As he rises, he has a vision that God has chosen him for the work of societal renewal.

Chinese-ny-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

Grey Roots hosts the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. with a little introduction to the Chinese experience in the region, followed by a unique opportunity to taste the occasion. Special New Year's foods will be on offer, along with traditional activities for good luck and prosperity for the year to come. Demonstrations of the fan dance, traditional Hung Gar martial arts and the beautiful music of the Guzengh will be presented, and hands-on crafts and games will continue until 1 o'clock, when the party moves downtown.

Beginning at 2, the Library will be entertaining children with story-telling, crafts and martial arts demonstrations. And everyone is invited to learn - definitively and without judgement - how to eat with chopsticks.

The Tom Thomson is hosting a film about Chinese New Year celebrations and a special art exhibit that includes local artists' interpretations of the "year of the goat.".

black-history-regBy Blaine Courtney

February is Black History Month. Original known as Negro History Week, in the United States, it has been expanded to ensure sufficient time is available to recognize and celebrate the history of blacks in North America. Our school books contained little on the subjects of slavery, emancipation, the struggle for civil rights and the significant contributions blacks have made to the growth and maturity of our nations. February has been set aside to address this neglect.

Our obvious memories are those associated with sports and music. Almost everyone can name several noted black athletes and entertainers. While the contributions their successes have had in the overall journey towards acceptance and equality in society is significant, they only represent a small portion of the entire story.

cathy-community-regBy Cathy Hird

Do you remember the poem by John Donne, where he reminds us that humanity is a community, that we need each other? The language will feel exclusive to us because it was first published in 1624:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,

cathy-flower-regBy Cathy Hird

The words meaning and purpose often land together as if they are the same. But I am thinking today about the difference between them. To explore this, I am going to talk about waiting.

What happens for you when you end up in a long slow line at the grocery store? What do you think about as you watch the person three ahead of you struggling to get their groceries loaded? What happens to your heart rate when the person two ahead of you has a problem with the price that has come up, or their debit card won't work? How do you feel when the cashier finds a hole in the bag of rice and waits for a service person to bring back another exactly the same?

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