Sunday, August 29, 2010

St. James Anglican Church, Vancouver, Aug. 29,2010

A doctor colleague sang the praises of St. James Anglican last week. She and her husband so enjoyed the Anglo-Catholic traditions. I've always enjoyed St. James. I love that Street Outreach done by Father Mathew Johnson in this neighbourhood where I work. Laura, baptized Catholic, says it reminds her of her childhood attending church with her mother and sister. "My mother always ensured that we arrived early. We were told not to squirm. I think that taught me patience." she said. "Today I love the incense and the music."

Laura put on her new t shirt from House of James, Abbotsford. It says, "God's as sweet as chocolate chip cookies. Psalm 34.8." So I put on my new t shirt that says "They will know we are Christians by our t-shirts." We had to dress Gilbert in his new leather harness. He's chewed through three already but this looks like he won't be able to outsmart it. With the harness I can tie him into the motorcycle box.

The sun was breaking from the clouds as we rode to church playing the new Outsiders Christian rock cd on the HD Electroglyde's Stereo. Parking the bike in front of the police station I figured it would be safe.

Then much to our surprise, though arriving at church late as usual, we were actually in time for communion. I'm sorry we missed Rev. Mark Greenaway-Robbins sermon because in the past they've left me much food for thought. Indeed one sermon might have been the inspiration for the lyrics of the latest Outsider songs. He kindly gave us bulletins being at the back of the church while his colleagues lead prayers. I said, "Sorry, we're late." and he said typically, "God understands."

Alice welcomed Gilbert which always makes us feel better since he can be a trial. Pews to a puppy aren't for sitting on but rather for chewing. The binding of books from my office experience with Gilbert are also tasty to a puppy. Everyone who greets him must want , to his puppy mind, to experience high fives with his sharp nailed paws too. At least he didn't bark in church this time. He accompanied me to communion and didn't go for the wafers but sat nicely beside me thanks to the understanding girl kneeling next to me. She sandwiched him between us with a knowing smile. I love dog people. There's hope as each day at church he gets more used to the routines. I'm not expecting genuflection on cue but really do see peace of mind as possible.

I loved the closing hymn, "Oh God, our help in ages past." Then elderly Father Michael welcomed us to St. James writing down our names and emails so that we could receive the St. James news. I like the email bulletins because there are so many events going on during the week in the modern church it's the best way of knowing what's actually happening. One of my favorite evenings was attending a recital at St. James.

The Postlude fugue in E flat major by J.S. Bach played on the St. James organ lingered in my mind as Laura and I walked Gilbert back to the motorcycle to begin another week.

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