Life Around Tobermory United… From The Desk Of The Lazy Theologian The Old Folks and The New Arrivals

Submitted by Brad Inglis

Honoring our old people and celebrating the new arrivals. I have a picture in my mind of Captain George Adams looking around to see who I’m talking about and saying, “Old people? Where?” (George will always be young at heart). Our reality is, time moves on, waits for no one, evolves every second of the day and like a blink of an eye, babies move from strollers to bikes, first jobs, careers, having families, retirement and all of a sudden – they/we become the old people. 

Currently we have a real boom going on! Covid has been good for the population of Tobermory and babies have arrived and some patient and frightened parents (and grandparents) are still waiting for their new arrival. 

Baptism has long been an important part of the church. Celebrating new births, making a vow to raise children knowing the ways of Jesus and as a community of faith, making a commitment to support the entire family in their journey. For me, that has always been the key. Making a commitment to supporting the entire family as they make their journey through life. As they grow together as a family, open themselves to the Spirit and understanding faith in not only a Christian context, but understanding the faiths of the world. Having the faith to take risks, be vulnerable, challenge ourselves and others, stand up for what we believe in. Faith to not be afraid of what is different – people from away, people of colour, different sexualities, traditions, and understanding that diversity is critical and something to be honoured; really understanding that we are all just human in the end, different, but the same and trying to do the best we can.

Tobermory and the peninsula as a whole, is full of diversity. Not just those who visit, but the faces and characters of those who live here too. The long-timers, the new-comers, those who come to find themselves, reinvent themselves, retire here and those who work to carve out a living. Just like time, there is a continual evolution on the peninsula. New ideas, attempts to hold onto what was and a continual circle of hellos and good-byes. 

In the end, all we can do is celebrate – our old people and new people – especially the babies. In the fall we often have a “blessing of the pets Sunday”. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a “blessing of the people service”? Welcoming the new babies, remembering those who have passed on and blessing those souls who continue in their own unique ways to make this a special place to live? 

As my time winds down here, that’s all I have to offer. A blessing for those who have given a piece of their heart to this wonderfully, amazing, rough and rugged place that remains with us no matter where we go. I have attached a picture of Bunny Burr (Bunny Adams) taken at the rest home where she now lives in Sarnia. Her memory is a little foggy but her heart is very much aware of what Tobermory has meant to her. It has meant “people”. The people who come in and out of our lives, leaving an impression. The blessing is, that once you have been here, it is always a part of you. It might not always be pretty, but it is rich in diversity, compassion, opinions and a coming togetherness that trumps everything else. We are blessed. 

Brad Inglis is the minister at Tobermory United Church. He can be reached at