The Ontario Christadelphian Fraternal Picnic held at the Boyd Conservation Area near Toronto Ontario, on Sept 11, 2010 was a special occasion in which all Ontario ecclesias were invited to attend. It had both symbolic and practical implications.
In some respects, it reflected a typical family reunion of natural relatives that most people have experienced at some time, but this was on a much grander scale. It was a unique opportunity for brethren and sisters from fourteen of Ontario’s Christadelphian Ecclesias, and also some from five Illinois Ecclesias to celebrate the recent unification of the spiritual family. Additionally, there were a number of individuals present from other ecclesias, near and far, who have been greatly supportive of the current process and responded to the invitation to attend. Many in attendance had been separated at the Lord’s table for all their lives due to differences of understanding on an important biblical subject. They had great reason to rejoice in that after numerous failed attempts and a long diligent process, this outstanding issue was finally resolved in a mutual statement of understanding.
Although perhaps unofficial, the Unity Picnic was the first combined effort by the two previously separated groups to join together for spiritual and social benefit. It clearly demonstrated that being motivated by the scriptural directive that there is “one body”, brethren can work together to resolve differences, with God’s blessing.
Further practical benefits of the day involved spiritual edification from God’s Word delivered in the form of two talks by brethren from different Christadelphian backgrounds. The harmony was abundantly evident, as the exhortational topics of ‘Signs of the Times’ and ‘Joys of the Kingdom’ were presented.
Perhaps like never before, brethren and sisters had the opportunity to experience the words of Psalm 133 –
“ Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head… as the dew of Herman,…upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
There was also additional reason to rejoice at the picnic, in that five more Ecclesias from the Midwest region of Illinois and one more from the Ontario region had recently joined the UA08, bringing the total number to nineteen.
The occasion of the Ontario Fraternal Picnic has given opportunity for the sponsoring and participating Ecclesias to extend this invitation to the greater North American Christadelphian Communities and Ecclesias :
Please join us, to the honor and glory of the Father and His beloved Son.
Bruce Abel Tom Thorp