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In Memorium

The Cross Project

2010 Cross Project

         This year was the 50th anniversary of the Monetville Reunion campgrounds. To the right is a picture of the actual cross which was constructed by Darryl Withrow and Peter Williams throughout the week. We will be placing pictures below of the week-long project.

On Friday evening we celebrated our closing service with the entry of the cross for people to see for the first time. What a thrill it was to see the cross, which was made from pieces of wood from all over the continent and from the people in attendance. To see the construction,  from the pile of wood pieces at the front of the chapel on the first Saturday evening, to the beautiful completed structure was a sight and expereince we will never forget.

Darryl shared with us on Friday evening his reason’s for constructing such a wonderful piece of art. Here is his talk....


“If you ever listen to any of my talks from the pulpit you will get a recurring theme running through each one. It doesn’t really matter what the theme for the day is, I tend to always come back to the same idea - that idea being.... we are unique in this society,...we are unique because we have each other... Basically we are never alone !!

If one of us suffers we know that there are prayers and concerns and actions on the part of our church family that will help us. We support each other in all areas of our lives. Whether it is a health concern in our lives or simply a play that our children are in, we are supported by others.

That makes us unique !

That makes us strong !

So many people in the world give up hope and end up living a life that is full of misery and pain because they have no-one with whom to talk, they have no one with whom to share, they have no one with whom to love.

Some end up in nowhere jobs, in nowhere places, in nowhere lives.

And that is a concept that is foreign to those of us who have been raised in this church... who have experienced these events.

When I was growing up I jut assumed that everyone had patience for everybody else. I just assumed that mistakes would be forgiven and people would assume the best from others before they assume the worst.

And there were some painful lessons that I had to learn because I assumed that the world would work just like my church.

We are unique ! and ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, don’t ever take for granted the strength and the love you receive from your church family. It has, and is, a huge part of who you are and what you have or will become. People will see the difference in you because of the way you are treated in this church family and they will see the difference in you because of the way you treat others because of this church family.

Here is a list of some of the pieces of wood we received to construct this special cross.....

Piece of blessed pine from Joseph Smith’s homestead in Nauvoo - this wood was also used as a piece of the Temple cross and the remainder is  being sent to us.

Canoe paddle that was Willis Hopkins'

First Canoe paddle bought by Jim and Pat Long

Piece of Cherry that was harvested from Fred Bachelors bush

Piece of Spruce from the workshop at the Temple

Piece of Oak from Soho Branch Pew.  

Piece of Birdseye Maple from Cameron Branch Pulpit

Piece of Pine from an antique sewing table from Darryl and Chris' first apartment

Piece of Maple from the former grounds of Woodbridge Church

One of the Sudbury Pews will be sacrificed when we arrive at reunion.

Piece of pine from a jewelry box 

Piece of driftwood picked up by Emily Whitworth while crossing the Mississippi near Nauvoo

Jack MacGregor's paddle used to instruct canoe classes and lead canoe trips from the time that Earl & Gwen Mitchell donated the Canoe Camp property near Spanish

Rick LeFeuvre has a split log with the signatures of all the folks, along with him, who attended the first canoe camp at what was called Camp Kenobagoonze

Violin bows that were used by our children, Dana & Jamie, for several years as they practiced & performed. Don & Brenda Arrowsmith

We are unique but unfortunately we are not the norm.

That is the basis of this cross.

As I said at the beginning of the week, this needed to be a symbol for us, and the only way that would happen was if it contained pieces of us.

We are who we are because of our history. It is the people in our lives who have shaped the person that we have overcome. So the individual boards represent where we have come from.

We have a representation on that cross that reaches far and wide. We have pieces from the temple carpentry shop. We have pieces from the Smith homestead in Nauvoo. We have pieces from previous guest ministry who have affected us and in turn have been affected by us. We have pieces from the north that have served as buildings for our grandparents and pieces that have been recovered from the depths of rivers. We have pieces that have come from our history in other branches and pieces that have come fro our own backyards. We have pieces that come from special camp grounds where we meet our extended church family and pieces that come from individuals within our immediate family.

And together...... together they make up who we are today.

They are in no particular order or position of importance. The only thing that governed their position was the type of wood. The hard wood runs down the middle of the arms and the softwoods are on the outside.

They are surrounded by a common wood as God surrounds us.

They are bound in the middle with a criss-cross of that same love... as Christ’s own cross was once bound.

The ends are open to represent our openness and our ability to open our church and our society to others. To show that even if you have not shared in our past history, you are allowed to join in.

If you look at the hands and feet, you will finds holes where 3” spikes marred and stained the wood during that piece of furniture’s original construction.

There is a book that shows the positions of each of the donations. It is a work in progress. Feel free to write on it, correct any mistakes or omissions and add any thoughts of your own.

The front of the book has a scripture reading which is the foundation of the cross. It reads...

But God has combined the members of the body

and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it,

so that there should be no division in the body,

but that its parts would have equal concern for each other.

If one part suffers,

every part suffers with it;

If one part is honoured,

every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ,

and each one of you is a part of it.

                                                ....... 1 Corinthians 12: 24 - 27”

Click the image here to download a pdf copy

of Darryls closing comments