Dear Editor and area Lakes Region community:
Our 2018 election cycle is essentially over. Some are happy, some are sad, some are angry and some don’t care. We are all hopeful for a change in attitude from partisan politics, deep polarization and division amongst most of us, including family and friends. I invite you to join us at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church this Advent and Christmas for a bit of peace and hope.
Recently, a gunman walked into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed multiple unsuspecting worshipers. The motive was described as a hate crime and blatant Antisemitism. Yet again, a young man descended upon a nightclub in Thousand Oaks, CA and opened fire on a crowded bar of revelers. More dead and no motive realized, the shooter took his own life after his rampage. I invite you to our church this Advent and Christmas to pray for the victims and their families and experience some peace and hope.
Wildfires continue to rage out of control in California with a growing list of victims and property damage. Unbelievable scenes of carnage and wreckage flood the media. We ask ourselves is this the beginning of the end-times? I invite you to Church to immerse yourselves in peace and hope.
Our world is filled with division, hatred, pain and suffering. Our Church can be for you and your family a place of peace, joy, fellowship and love. I invite you to join us for worship at either 8 a.m. or 10 a.m., on the four Sundays of Advent beginning December 1, and for any of our three Christmas Eve services at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Perhaps you’ve been away from the Church for a while, maybe you never consider going to any church, or maybe you are new to the area. Advent is a time of “new beginnings” and maybe the timing is right for you to make your way to us this December. I know it can be difficult to enter through the double red doors when it hasn’t been a habit lately, or ever. But I assure you that you will find a warm welcome, unconditional acceptance, and a loving community just happy to see you.
May God bless you and keep you safe.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Tim Higgins, Rector
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church
PS: Please call or send an email anytime at 892-8447 or .
Thank you to the Windham Eagle and Walter Lunt for the wonderful article on Doctor Sidney Branson. The article inspired me to write a short piece about Doc Branson and the ways that he impacted my life.
Doctor Sidney Branson delivered me into this world. Throughout my life, Sidney Branson was much more than our family doctor. As a boy, I remember Cub Scout meetings in the basement of his home in South Windham. His wife, Nora, was one of our leaders. I, like all the other scouts, was fascinated by Dr. Branson’s extensive model train display in the basement of that home. Dr. Branson’s son, John, and I were good friends. I remember marching in Memorial Day parades. I was wearing my Cub Scout uniform and Doc Branson was marching in his military uniform. I looked up to him and the other service members as heroes.
As an adult, I would drive a classic car in the parade and Dr. Branson was still marching. The first year that he could no longer walk in the parade and had to ride was a watershed moment for me. This was the moment that I first realized that members of America’s “Greatest Generation” were getting older.
In my years on the Windham Town Council, Dr. Branson was very supportive. I vividly remember a proposed ordinance to restrict movies that could be shown at the newly planned movie theater in Windham. It was a very controversial issue and in the end, I voted against the proposal. This was not the way “popular opinion” seemed to indicate, but it was the way I knew that I had to vote. In the hours and days that that followed, I had second thoughts about my vote. Later that week, I received a note from Sid Branson thanking me for defending free speech and our “first amendment rights”. At that point, I knew I had made the correct decision.
While planning for the 250th anniversary celebration of Windham, in 1987, we needed a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. We wanted someone who could speak about the way Windham was throughout the years. In my mind, Dr. Branson was the logical choice. He agreed to speak and did an excellent job.
During my years on earth, I have known many great people. I will always remember Sidney Branson as one of the greatest.