The Reverend Scott Gould, Rector of St. Helen’s, welcomed the capacity congregation on Sunday morning, September 16th by declaring it a “festive and historic occasion, 100 years of faithful worship and ministry in Point Grey.” He went on to say that he was looking forward to moving together into the next century sharing Christ’s Ministry.
Bishop Michael Ingham was present as preacher and presider at this milestone-marking Celebration of the Eucharist with Baptisms. At the beginning of the liturgy, Bishop Michael blessed a number of church fixtures and elements. First was the blessing of the New Font Bowl, followed by Thanksgiving over the Water. Second on the list was the Blessing and the Naming of the historic church bell. In Blessing and Naming the bell Bishop Michael spoke these words, “O God accept our offering of this bell, which we consecrate today and to which we give the name THE SPIRIT BELL.
Grant that in this generation and in those that are to come, its voice may continually call your people to praise and worship; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The last items to be blessed were the New Chancel Floor and Communion Kneelers. Replacing the carpet in the St. Helen’s chancel with oak has greatly brightened the acoustics of the room which has already been a blessing as St. Helen’s is very much a community that celebrates music in worship.
During Children’s Time
Bishop Michael spoke primarily to the children and youth of the parish about the recent pilgrimage to Taize undertaken by the rector, his family and four youth of the parish. He described what Taize is like and what it means to be a pilgrim. To further illustrate his words he asked that the four youth pilgrims (all present at worship that day) come forward and share one event that they had that defined their Taize experience:
• Working with people just doing manual labour
• Getting a plate of food and sitting down with a complete stranger, speaking to them and sharing
• Meeting people from all over the world that are my age
• Joining together with people from all over, worshipping together and everyone sings the same songs and everyone knows the songs.
In his sermon Bishop Michael congratulated St. Helen’s on their centennial and congratulated them on remaining a faithful community through many years of change. At the conclusion of his sermon he said t “Our one supreme and abiding standard is Love. Anglicans are people of compassion who recognize Christ in the stranger.” Here in 2012, those who attend church and are committed to their faith communities are “swimming against the current” and doing this has “made our churches more intentional and although smaller, we are stronger.”
Following the sermon there were two baptisms. The congregation warmly welcomed two infants, Arthur Richard and Kylie Lucy into the Family of Christ.
After the Eucharist, the children of the parish presented Bishop Michael with a card they had made that morning during Sunday School. And prior to dismissal, Vicki Potter of Anglicans of West Point Grey Neighbourhood Ministries stood up and reported to the congregation that the official opening of the 16th and Dunbar residence earlier in the week was a great event. 26 men who were on the street now have places to live and there is room for 12 more in the 4th and Fir facility. The increase in housing for homeless in the area is largely due to the work of Neghbourhood Ministries. Vicki went on to say that it is amazing to think that although the church community is 100 years old, Neighbourhood Ministries is only five years old and has had tremendous results. She asked the congregation to think about the possibilities for the next century and the goal of making sure that there will someday soon be a roof over the head of every homeless person encountered by those who participate in this street outreach ministry on Vancouver’s Westside. Please click the link and download the Neighbourhood Ministries INFORMATION AND DONATION
Following worship there was a luncheon in the Parish Hall. The Centennial Festivities continue with a Centennial Dinner on September 22nd. Stay tuned for more coverage of the St. Helen’s Centennial in the November issue of Topic the monthly print publication of the Diocese of New Westminster.
Images: Top and homepage, the four Taize youth pilgrims. Upper right, Bishop Michael blesses and names the SPIRIT BELL. Middle left, Bishop Michael speaks about Taize and being a pilgrim. Centre, Bishop Michael and Reverend Scott at the Eucharistic prayer. Below, St. Helen's Centennial Committee with the Bishop, Rector and Deacon.
left to right: Joan Stewart (Rector's Warden), Bishop Michael, Rev. Scott Gould (Rector), Rev. Pitman Potter (Deacon), Graham Jenkins, Liz Hodgson, Dwayne Poliquin, Shannon McRae, Leslie Jones (Chair of the Centennial Committee), David Harrison, Bob Carl, NOT SHOWN, Alf Lam