We had a delightful 10 days before Christmas, visiting the two REC parishes in Canada west of the Rockies. (We had previously visited St. George’s in Ontario.)
Our first stop was Holy Trinity in Colwood, BC, which is pastored by Bishop Dorrington. If anyone asks, “How is there a bishop for a diocese with two churches?”, the answer is that there are 18 other parishes in Cuba that are also under Bishop Dorrington’s missionary oversight. If you want encouragement and inspiration, read the story of how these Cuban churches came under the Bishop’s oversight, and how they are growing and thriving. It is a story full of God’s amazing providence and grace.
Bp. Dorrington was one of the clergy who baptized Sora some 14 years ago. (The other was Rev. Rod Ellis of the Church of Our Lord, whom we will see this Sunday.)
(Matt with Bishop Dorrington and Deacon Barry Lavine)
That same week, on Thursday, we went across the Georgia Strait to Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast to visit Pastor Theo Hoekstra and his family. Their church, Grace Covenant (CREC) was a home for us during our year on Texada Island in 2006-2007. Because we were “sore let and hindered” by BC Ferries, which canceled all its sailings on Wednesday due to gale-force winds, Grace Covenant kindly moved its Bible study to Thursday night, and gave us the whole time to present.
(View from the ferry on the way home from Gibsons. Click for larger version.)
The next Sunday, we drove over the Malahat to Courtenay, BC, to visit Living Word REC, pastored by the Rev. Bill Klock, who is a scholar and a gentleman. I knew Fr. Bill from Facebook, but we had never met in person. He graciously let me use his pulpit (sermon in text and audio may be found here) and gave us time to present our missionary plans to the congregation. After the service Fr. Bill and his wife Veronica invited us over to their house and fed us a delicious lunch.
(Fr. Klock with Matt and Hosanna)
We were also greatly blessed to stay overnight on Saturday at the house of two friends of Sora’s parents, Glenn and Denise. They are also Anglicans, as it turns out. More importantly, they are wonderful people, full of grace and love, who know how to exercise gifts of hospitality toward kids. The girls had a great time with a trunk full of dress-up clothes:
Just three days now! It is rather amazing to us just how many churches God has managed to send us to visit. Deputation is almost over, and it has been a joy. Just one parish left, and then off we go!