Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday in Vancouver, St. James Anglican Church, Lyle Thomson, and Commercial Drive

At St. James Anglican Church, The Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ was being celebrated. Catholic Bishop Remi de Roo, ordained Bishop of Victoria (St. Boniface Cathedral) in 1962 and founder of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria gave the sermon today. Three were baptised in the Liturgy of Baptism. As a congregation we joined in recitation, "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth....I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried..He descended to the dead. On the Third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father . He will come again to judge the living and the dead....I believe in God the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the ressurrection of the body and life ever lasting.....the baptism being followed by the Peace. Everyone greets me and then Gilbert of course. Gilbert gets so excited. The Eucharist followed with prayers. Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins in the announcements reminded us that the third week of January, churches across the northern hemisphere observe a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It was fitting then that Bishop Remi de Roo should be preaching a sermon on the eve of the week of Christian Ecumenicism. The service ended with the Angelus.

We stayed for coffee and cake in the Bishop's room. I talked dogs and quail with a lovely gentleman who was taken with Gilbert. Alice and Gilbert had several long lost friend encounters in the space of an hour all the while Gilbert wanted to play with Father Mark's older, wiser and bigger dog, Bear.

We left the church and headed over to the Dug Out where people were having a celebration on behalf of Lyle Thomson.  Lyle was born in Morden Manitoba in 1938. Lyle's film company is Can-opener Productions.  He's been involved in film since the 60's but had no formal education till graduating from the Vancouver Film School in the mid 90's.  Lyle has done tremendous service to the First Nations people especially in the Downtown Eastside. He's a leader in the abstinence movement in the addiction prevention and treatment.    I was glad to be at this celebration.  The First Nations cultural leaders had a drum ceremony with songs. Film industry, Writers, Editors, Addiction Counsellors, Court and government representatives were present along with a whole lot of spiritual leaning people who expressed being touched by Lyle's example and generosity of spirit.  Many including myself shared what an inspiration Lyle has been over many years. . At the end we all ate cake.  I was glad to visit with old friends before headed out with Gilbert for a walk on Commercial street.

Before that I stopped for a shower at the office since the water lines are frozen in the cold.

Now I'm in, an institution on the drive. I used to bicycle here back in the late 80's. They have the best cheese and salami sandwiches with capuchino one could every hope to find. Right now Gilbert is waiting outside in in his new wool sweater which has brought him so many positive comments. We all remember wearing similiar sweaters when we were kids growing up in Canada. Now we just have to get some bread and milk before heading back to the boat to haul water for the coming week. The lines are frozen so I'm thankful for the office shower.

Everyone here is either playing billiards or watching soccer. Soccer is the game of the Drive. Though chilly it's a lovely sunny day. I miss the Alive on the Drive meeting that had many of us congregating here Saturday morning for years. It added to the spirituality that seems part of the Drive experience that has it's own share of profanity as well.  I had so many great after meeting meetings with Suzanne, Bill, George and others talking all the while we were trekking through  ethnic stores, bookstores and eventually stopping for coffee or breakfast at Joes or one of the other delightful Drive cafes. There is so much diversity here with such exquisite shops and markets catering to tastes from around the world. Gilbert loves all the little dogs he meets here too. It's a dog and people friendly community.

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