bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 710 Week 08 Vol 14

February 15, 2023


Issue 710 Week 08 Vol 14
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The countdown is now on for Bayfield Reads! This tradition corresponds with CBC’s Canada Reads. Just as they will do on the National level, Bayfield will choose their winner for this annual event determining the results with the help of a slate of local defenders.

And for the first time since prior to the pandemic, Bayfield Reads will be live and in person. People are invited to attend the event to be held at the Bayfield Town Hall on Sunday, March 26 starting at 2 p.m.

This year’s defenders are: Dave MacLaren, Judy Whittaker, Tina Bax, Kristin Strang and Tyler Hessel. In the weeks leading up to Bayfield Reads, these defenders and the books they are defending will be profiled in the Bayfield Breeze starting with Dave MacLaren.

MacLaren is a retired IT executive who found his way to Bayfield through sailing. He has lived in a wonderful Bayfield heritage property for the past 25 years. MacLaren has read most of his life. He belongs to a Squash Club and joins other squash players in a book club. They have read every type of book and remarkably are now on their 89th.  MacLaren will be defending “Ducks” by Kate Beaton.

Ducks is an autobiographical graphic novel that recounts author Kate Beaton’s time spent working in the Alberta oil sands. With the goal of paying off her student loans. Beaton leaves her tight-knit seaside Nova Scotia community and heads west, where she encounters harsh realities, including the everyday trauma that no one discusses.

Tickets to Bayfield Reads will be $5 at the door and refreshments are included.


cat 3

Roberta Stemp, a partner in Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines, 24/7 volunteer and respected cat whisperer will be one of the guest presenters at March’s Virtual Saturdays at the Library. (Submitted photo)

The Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) and Huron County Library are pleased to co-sponsor another speaker event in the 2023 Virtual Saturdays at the Library program.

All are welcome to join the ZOOM meeting on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m. The February topic will be “Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines” (BFF) with guest speakers: Deb Penhale, well-known Bayfield resident, real estate broker and founder of BFF; and Roberta Stemp, a partner in BFF, 24/7 volunteer and respected cat whisperer.

Participants will learn how the organization started with a litter of tiny motherless kittens housed in Penhale’s office and what it takes to shelter, foster, and find “fur-ever” homes for hundreds of abandoned, stray and feral cats in the community each year.

Anyone wishing to participate in the ZOOM meeting is asked to pre-register by clicking on the link provided on the FOBL website:


The Bayfield River Valley Trails Association (BRVTA) will be hosting two hikes in March inspired by International Women’s Day as well as species at risk.

On Saturday, March 4, the fourth annual International Women’s Day Hike will take place on the Woodland Trail beginning at 10 a.m. Along the route, the stories of inspirational women will be highlighted! Hikers are asked to meet at the David St. trailhead.

Then on Saturday, March 18, Denise Iszczuk, the conservation educator from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will be leading a “Species at Risk” hike. Join the hike and learn about species at risk and actions that can be taken to protect these species. Hikers are asked to park and meet at the Pavilion at 71042 Morrison Line, Exeter. Those interested in carpooling to Exeter (as driver or rider) are asked to please meet at the Clan Gregor Square Gazebo at 9:15 a.m.

Both hikes are free and open to the public without pre-registration. The schedule is subject to change, so always check for updates in the Bayfield Breeze, the BRVTA Facebook page, and the Municipality of Bluewater events calendar, or contact hike coordinator Ralph Blasting by calling 519 525-3205 or emailing

From now through Feb. 25, Guided Winter Walks will be offered every Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Varna Nature Trails. Participants are asked to meet at the Varna Community Centre, 1 km west of Varna, to hike the Taylor Trail and Mavis’ Trail.  These walks will be between 1 km and 3.5 km and last an hour or less, depending on the group and the weather.



Gina (Submitted photo)

BFF has so many wonderful cats and kittens looking for their forever families right now.

Gina is the Adopt a BFF cat of the week.

This lovely Dilute Calico came to the Rescue with five adorable newborn babies.

Deb Penhale, representing BFF explained, “She was found with her litter shortly after giving birth. The kind person who found her had to untangle the babies from their birthing sack as two had become entangled and her quick actions saved them. She then contacted us immediately.”

Gina was brought in with her adorable litter. She proved to be an excellent mother.

“She was proud to show off her crew and allowed us to handle the babies but was a bit nervous about being touched herself,” said Penhale. “Once she became more comfortable in her surroundings she warmed up and is now happy to have attention lavished upon her.”

According to Penhale, Gina likes to be up high and watches what is going on during the kittens’ naptime. She loves ear scratches and chin rubs and will offer up her tummy with those she feels comfortable with. She is also a great conversationalist and will respond when spoken to.

To learn more about adopting Gina please contact BFF via email at for more information. The adoption fee is now $200. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered. Not able to adopt but still want to help? Donations are always gratefully accepted and can be e-transferred to the email above.


A Trinity St. James Anglican Church tradition is returning albeit with a twist! Drawing on the success of their Chicken Take Out Dinner held in September of 2022 the congregation will be hosting their annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper  as a take-out only meal on Feb. 21!

Pancakes and sausages with Maple syrup will be prepared for take-out and served from 5-6:30 p.m. at the church. No reservations required. Just pay what you are able when you pick up the meal from the Parish Hall.

Trinity St. James Anglican church is located at 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.

The imposition of ashes marking Ash Wednesday will be observed at Trinity St. James during their regular Wednesday morning service on Feb. 22. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and all are welcome to attend.

The congregation of Trinity St. James is currently hosting an Online Pampered Chef Party with the Pampered Chef Consultant donating 20 per cent of sales to be shared equally with Trinity St. James and the Bayfield Area Food Bank.

Items purchased will be shipped directly to the purchaser so people who live outside the community can participate as well. Not a big online shopper? No worries – Rev. Mary Farmer has catalogues available for people to browse through as well. Please email her at for more information.

Culinary enthusiasts and those who shop for them can find the link to the sale here: Pampered Chef Party. The last date for placing an order is Feb. 17.


Candle Memorial Photo

Weather permitting on Apr. 1 along the Taylor Trail in Varna, volunteers will place hundreds of candle-lit lanterns, lighting the pine forest path for the Second Annual Candlelight Memorial Walk. (Submitted photo)

Members of the community are encouraged to keep the evening of  Saturday, Apr. 1 open on their calendars so they might participate in the Second Annual Candlelight Memorial Walk on the Taylor Trail in Varna.

This event is being organized by volunteers from Huron Hospice and the Bayfield River Valley Trails Association to raise funds for the hospice. The walk will begin at 7 p.m. A rain date has been set for Apr. 2.

To learn more visit: Huron Hospice events. 


The office of the Municipality of Bluewater Council has submitted the following to the Bayfield Breeze as highlights of their regular meeting of council held on Feb. 6.

  • Adopted Commemorative Tree and Bench Policy and Procedure.
  • Adopted the Bayfield Secondary Plan and directed staff to begin implementing it through an official plan and zoning by-law amendment.
  • Awarded the tender for Bayfield elevated water tower recoating and upgrade work to Landmark Municipal Services for a total contract price of $499,100 excluding HST.
  • Awarded the tender for roadside grass cutting for 2023-2025 to Ducharme Farms Ltd. in the amount of $83,250 plus HST for the 2023 base bid.


The Bayfield Arena Community Partners Association (BACPA) will be hosting their Annual General Meeting on Saturday, March 4.

All are invited to attend to learn about the ongoing efforts of the BACPA. The meeting will begin  at 10 a.m. at the Bayfield Community Centre.

The Bayfield Community Centre and Arena is located at 4 Jane Street in the village.


People often ask if they can add an engraved brick to the path around the Splash Pad in Clan Gregor Square and members of the Optimist Club of Bayfield are pleased to announce that there is further opportunity to have a name added to the circle in 2023.

The engraved pavers in Clan Gregor Square are a reminder of how great area residents and visitors are when it comes to supporting such projects as the Playground and the Splash Pad.

“In Memoriam” stones for loved ones as well as “just because” stones can be ordered with the work being done on site later in 2022 using the same two brick sizes that are already installed around the Splash Pad. The cost of these engraved bricks will be medium, $90; and large, $120. The plan is to have the bricks engraved in late May just prior to opening the Splash Pad.

Anyone with an interest in adding a brick can contact Mike Dixon via email at or by calling 519 955-5254 for further information.


“Sun, Sand and Skates” is the theme of the Bayfield Skating Club’s Skating Carnival and Showcase to be held on Sunday, March 5 at the Bayfield Arena and Community Centre.

This year’s carnival is being organized to showcase the many talented skaters that belong to the club and will also serve as a reminder that winter won’t last forever!

The skaters will take to the ice at 2 p.m. providing attendees with an hour and a half of great entertainment.

Admission is $5 per person with kids five and under admitted for free.

The Bayfield Arena and Community Centre is located at 4 Jane Street in the village.


The Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centre is now hosting the Bayfield Playgroup at the Bayfield Arena and Community Centre, 4 Jane Street, on Thursday mornings.

The sessions are held from 10-11:30 a.m. and are free to all families/caregivers with infants to children aged six years.

The Playgroup offers indoor, outdoor and virtual program options as well as telephone and email support for parents and caregivers. In addition to the program being welcoming, fun and interactive, they provide parents with ideas of activities to do at home to enhance their child’s development.

Pre-registration is recommended by emailing or calling 519 482-8505. To learn more visit or follow them on Instagram and Facebook at @HuronEarlyON.


AI Lecture Series 1

Participants in the 21st Virtual Lecture Series hosted by Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health were clockwise from top left: Leslie Walker, Jay McFarlan, Geneva Neal and Stefan Salcher. (Submitted photo)

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) hosted their 21st Virtual Lecture Series discussing “Societal Implications of Artificial Intelligence”.

The lecture was moderated by Gateway Chair Dan Stringer and hosted by keynote speaker Leslie Walker. She is a Research Associate at Gateway, as well as a Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and a Doctorate of Social and Economic Sciences Student at the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria.

Additionally, the event featured panelists: Sr. Data Analyst with Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto, Geneva Neal; CEO of Druckster and Founder of Young Entrepreneurs of Vienna, Austria, Stefan Salcher; and Gateway Research Chair of Rural Nutrition and Exercise, Jay McFarlan.

Walker shared a quote from her study:

“The greatest challenge facing societies and firms would be utilizing the benefits of availing artificial intelligence technologies, providing vast opportunities for both new products/services and immense productivity improvements while avoiding the dangers and disadvantages in terms of increased unemployment and greater wealth inequalities.”

Walker presented her studies related to her current research as a Doctoral Student which focuses on policies to reduce the inequality associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. As such, she spoke to her research conclusions being highly relevant to rural regions such as Huron County.

Within Walker’s presentation she states five key benefits of AI in healthcare being: reduced patient wait times, more efficient healthcare practices, improved accuracy of diagnoses, improved communication and coordination, and substantial cost savings. Within these findings, Walker’s goal was to carry out a case study rationalization approach in hopes of utilizing the benefits of AI while avoiding the disadvantages.

Walker then led the conversation with a panel discussion, giving each an opportunity to comment on the presentation.

Neal raised the point being that there is plenty of opportunity to utilize AI however there is also plenty of infrastructure that needs to be done to fully take advantage of these opportunities.

From a serial entrepreneur’s perspective, Salcher spoke about startups incorporating AI in many of the tasks that they do. Additionally, he spoke to the question: is AI going to take people’s jobs? He stated that he actually believes the opposite will happen – AI failing in some cases due to lack of human interaction.

Lastly, Jay McFarlan weighed in with his perspective as a technology hobbyist by pointing out the use of AI within Microsoft Teams as an example of automatically generating meeting minutes which reduces stress of an employee having to take them and finalize them during or after the fact.

Walker wrapped up the conversation by expressing that AI is similar to a sliding scale in regards to opportunity and risk; however it can be highly beneficial, if used correctly.

People are invited to watch the full virtual version of this lecture by visiting the: Gateway YouTube Channel.

All are invited to attend the next Gateway Rural Health Lecture on Tuesday, March 7 at noon. People can join by going to: Gateway Rural Health Lecture Series Registration.  The next lecture will feature speaker Scott Brown. He will be speaking to the theme, “Gateway: At the Intersection of Organization and Place”.

Gateway recognizes their generous donors for their support of this lecture series.


In January, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction released Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health. The guidance replaces the 2011 Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. It is based on the latest research into alcohol as a risk factor for injuries, violence, and several chronic diseases (including cancer, heart disease and stroke). Data show that alcohol consumption causes nearly 7,000 deaths from cancer each year in Canada.

“The more drinks you have weekly, the greater the risk of alcohol-related harms,” said Lindsay O’Donnell, Public Health promoter at Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH). “The best way to reduce your risk is to lower your alcohol use. No matter how much alcohol you currently consume, drinking less is better for your health.”

The updated advice supports people to make informed decisions about the amount of alcohol they consume. It outlines a continuum of risk associated with weekly alcohol use:

  • Zero drinks per week, zero health risk. (Not drinking has many health benefits, including better sleep.)
  • One to two standard drinks per week is considered low risk.
  • Three to six standard drinks per week is a moderate risk. (Risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer, increases.)
  • Seven or more standard drinks per week is an increasingly high risk. (Risk of heart disease or stroke increases.)
  • With every additional drink, the risk of alcohol-related consequences, including injuries and violence, increases.
  • When pregnant or trying to get pregnant, there is no known safe amount of alcohol. When breastfeeding, having no alcohol is safest.

Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2015-2020) shows that 26 per cent of Huron Perth residents aged 19 and older self-report consuming alcohol at a high risk level for alcohol-related consequences. This is more than the Ontario average of 21 per cent. Seventeen percent of local residents report having three to six drinks per week, while 38 per cent report having zero drinks in the past week. Compared to Ontario, fewer Huron Perth residents consume alcohol at a zero, low or moderate risk level.

Lower consumption means a lower risk of alcohol-related harm. No matter where a person places on the continuum, less alcohol is better. Anyone thinking about how they can reduce their risk should take stock of how many standard drinks they have in a week. In Canada, a standard drink is:

  •  Beer (12 oz., 341 ml, 5% alcohol)
  •  Cider or cooler (12 oz., 341 ml, 5% alcohol)
  • Wine (5 oz., 142 ml, 12% alcohol)
  • Spirits (1.5 oz., 43 ml, 40% alcohol)

Anyone who is looking for support to reduce alcohol consumption can talk to their health care provider; Call 2-1-1 or visit for social services, programs and community support; visit HPPH Community Services for addiction support services and other resources.


HPPH is changing how it displays local COVID-19 information for Huron-Perth. Up until this point, they have been updating their own dashboards on COVID-19 testing, cases and vaccination; now, similar weekly information for Huron Perth region is also available through Public Health Ontario’s: COVID-19 and Influenza Activity dashboard.

While HPPH prepares a new way to display local information on respiratory illness that will be the most helpful to residents, the previous Tableau dashboards will not be updated.

Public Health Ontario’s dashboard includes a wide range of COVID-19 data about Huron Perth, including case counts by hospitalizations and deaths, vaccine uptake by age, sex and public health unit, outbreaks, and more.


St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Zurich will be hosting a Pancake Supper on Feb. 21. Potato and flour pancakes will be featured on the menu along with some yummy sausages!

Meal service will be provided from 5-7 p.m. The meals will be provided for a free-will offering with the proceeds being given to the Huron Perth United Way and Huron Homeless.

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is located at 22 Goshen Line in Zurich.


The Livery Film Fest continues with two more films booked to share with movie buffs. They will present “Revival69: The Concert That Rocked The World” on Feb. 16 and “Living” on March 23.

Revival69 is a documentary describing how a Toronto rock concert was languishing until the organizer reached out to John Lennon at the last minute.  He was hoping that Lennon would act as master of ceremonies for the event, but Lennon agreed to come only if he and Yoko Ono could play.  The concert was headlined by the Doors and included Alice Cooper, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.  Lennon brought Eric Clapton and other musicians to fill out the Plastic Ono Band.

The film features interviews with Alice Cooper, Rush’s Geddy Lee,  plus recently discovered archival footage.  Theatre-goers can relive the whirlwind chaos leading up to the festival, and the aftermath where Lennon broke up the Beatles immediately after the show.

“Living” stars Bill Nighy in an Oscar nominated role as a British Civil Servant forced to re-evaluate his life choices after a medical diagnosis.  He tries to cram as much fun as he can into his previously staid life.  In addition to Nighy’s Best Actor nomination, the film is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.  The film has played at both the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, where it has been described as “uplifting” and “deeply moving” and the actors as “pitch-perfect”.

Both films will be shown at the Park Theatre, located at 30 Courthouse Square in Goderich and begin at 7 p.m.

A new opportunity at the Film Fest is a film talk to be held immediately after the shows at Paddy O’Neil’s Restaurant Pub. The pub is located in the Bedford Hotel at 92 Courthouse Square.’

For more information, please email: Livery Film Fest Chair Rob McAuley at


The Alzheimer Society Huron Perth (ASHP) is currently looking for dedicated volunteers to help with their In-Home Recreation Program.

The In-Home Recreation Program allows short-term respite for the care partner, while providing companionship for the person with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

Fully trained volunteers provide 1:1 weekly visits with the person living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia with visits ranging from one to hours. Volunteers will facilitate activities and provide social and cognitive stimulation for the person living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

For more information regarding volunteering please contact Paulina Balch via email at or by calling 519 271-1910.



The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich. But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 6,700 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at

“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.

This week, as an homage to the hearts, flowers and chocolates season we take a closer look at a special piece in the museum’s collection…


This is a cocoa (chocolate) serving set that was once owned by Margaret and Wesley Walker who resided on Colborne Street in Goderich.

Information provided in the archives concentrates on the cocoa (chocolate) pot in this set. The label on the bottom of the cocoa pot has a crown and banner that reads: “AYNSLEY ENGLAND BONE CHINA” ” 602/1″. The body of the pot has raised ridges that go in a diagonal swirl and the spout has a fancy filigree where it attaches to the pot. The spout has gold trim with white interior. There is also gold trim around the opening of the mouth of the pot as well as the handle.

Screen Shot 2023-02-13 at 3.47.28 PM

Cocoa Set

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Cocoa Pot with Lid



Editor’s Note: In  August of 2022, a pristine, white, horse drawn landau handcrafted many years ago at the Bayfield Wagon and Carriage Works by business founder the late Tom Penhale was returned to the village to become an asset for the community. 

Since that time several groups, the Bayfield Lions Club, Bayfield Historical Society, Friends of Bayfield Library, and representatives from the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce have been working together to create a plan for storage and display of the landau. 

They are considering creating a replica of a small traditional “two-cow barn” in the backyard of the Bayfield Archives and Heritage Centre on Main Street. Although the project is still in its infancy, volunteers have been exploring the history behind these unique barns and are pleased to share their findings with our readers this week along with a few photos of the barns that still exist in the area today. 


From the mid 1800s well into the early 1900s, the number of farm animals living in the old village of Bayfield far outnumbered the human inhabitants.

Horses were used for transportation and farm chores; cows, pigs, chickens and ducks were used for milk, eggs, and meat. Most were confined to barns and pens. But cows were allowed to roam freely to graze on “village commons” like Clan Gregor Square and church properties. Pickett fences kept wandering cows out of villagers’ vegetable gardens.

To house these animals, many of the village homes in the early days had what was known colloquially as a “two-cow barn”. There are no exact records but during this era there may have been as many as 30 to 40 of these barns. The earliest barns were post and beam construction with rough board sides and shingled roofs and resting on dirt floors; later versions were built on poured concrete pads; a few even had concrete walls. Many were two stories – large animals below, chicken coops and hay storage above.

Today there are still at least a dozen of these old barns peppered throughout the village on such streets as: Bayfield Terrace, Victoria Place, and Colina, Louisa, Anne, Chiniqui, Main and Keith Crescent.  Possibly the best known is the barn behind The Village Bookshop on Main Street which has been through many transformations – most recently as a summer art gallery and painting venue.

The cohabitation of livestock and people often caused friction in the village.

The newspaper, The Clinton New Era, dated Sept. 6, 1895 reported, “At the last meeting of the Bayfield council a step forward was taken in the history of our village, by the ordering of a plank sidewalk to be laid on Anne Street…By reason of the very quietness of this street cattle etc, congregate [by the Methodist, later Catholic, Church] largely with the result that it is hardly possible to find a clean passage through it on Sunday, and at night many persons have been deterred from attending Church Services.”

Wandering cows continued to be a nuisance. In June 1897, the Clinton News Era reported, “Notices were put up about a week ago stating that after June 1st, persons allowing cattle, horses, etc. to run at large within the corporation, would be prosecuted. On Tuesday, four of our worthy residents were hauled before the Reeve and got off with costs.”

Nevertheless, many villagers continued to fight off the inevitable until the 1920s. In the London Free Press, 1927, columnist Arthur Ford reported the demise of free roaming, “(Even though) it was felt that the summer visitors in their opposition to the roaming cows were interfering with the sacred rights and privileges of the villagers,…modernism in the end however triumphed.”

It was the end of an era!

For a closer look at these images click on any one to open a pop up gallery.

Do you know where these barns are located in the village and surrounding area? Check out our Remember This section next week for the answers! 



Winter Sunset Stroll

Winter Sunset Stroll…By Jane Seifried

Submit Your photo

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or…Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued.


Image of Melody Falconer-Pounder


Melody Falconer-Pounder

Some things are bigger than cancer. Community is one of them.

Screen Shot 2023-02-14 at 2.02.44 PMCorry James, the son of Bayfield residents Jeff and Donna Kish, has been battling cancer for a few years now. Prior to the pandemic he moved to Goderich from Alberta to be closer to his parents. I have had the pleasure of meeting him on two occasions both times while volunteering at the Bayfield Optimist Club’s Breakfast with Santa. Corry has a magnetic personality. He exudes kindness and positivity – terminal illness be damned!

Last week Corry received news from his doctors that no one ever wants to hear – his time is limited. But he’s still fighting. A life-long musician and fan of good old Rock and Roll his motto has always been “Horns On”. His definition being “fighting with all your might”.  He has asked people to send him pictures of themselves posing, making the hand gesture, to not only brighten his day but boost positivity in the world. Very recently his friends in Calgary were on CTV news sharing his story, rallying the community to lift his spirits. To view this video visit: Horns On for Corry.  I invite Bayfield and surrounding residents to strike a pose and send their own pictures to  He is collecting these images in an album on his Facebook page and currently has over 300 but the more the merrier.

Horns On Bayfield! – Melody

Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.