The following was printed on the inside front page of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Holy Baptism and Eucharist Order of Service publication:
Today St. Mary’s celebrates its 100th Anniversary
100 years ago on this site a group of people met in a tent to offer their thanks to God. Today we again meet in a tent to celebrate the 100 years of grace since that moment. We celebrate the life that God has given us and the love that we have shared with one another and with our community. We pray that today is the beginning of another 100 years of grace. May our lives continue to reflect God in the future and may we continue to offer God’s love to everyone we meet.
Happy Birthday St. Mary’s! And congratulations to everyone who has worked so tirelessly to put on this day of celebration.
The Clergy and Staff of St. Mary’s Kerrisdale
As I walked north on Larch Street toward West 37th Avenue in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kerrisdale on the morning of August 14th, my view was suddenly filled with the sight of a large white pavilion tent.
The 120x30 foot tent had been erected on the street directly parallel to the St. Mary’s buildings during a five hour session the day before, followed by the setting up of 350 chairs.
By 9:45am seating in the tent was becoming scarce for the 10am worship and by 9:55 the tent was full to capacity. The sanctuary of St. Mary’s was open as well, with clergy present and a projector and large screen set-up at the entrance to the chancel for those who preferred the church building surroundings to the tent or had not arrived in time to secure seating in the tent. A camera positioned near the worship area in the tent transmitted the service by close circuit broadcast to the sanctuary.
The morning of August 14th was cloudy and cool but right on cue the sun appeared and bathed the tent with light and warmth just as the bells in the tower began their music, calling worshippers to prayer and the Eucharist.
The service began with the Rev. Kelly Duncan instructing the congregation to turn to the person next to them and say, “Happy Birthday!”
The Celebration of Holy Baptism and Eucharist (five Baptisms were scheduled) on the church’s Festival Day, The Celebration of St. Mary the Virgin was an excellent example of the broad and diverse Anglican worship tradition, blending the liturgy from the Book of Alternative Services with more than a dozen, introits, hymns, canticles and anthems. Much of the music in worship was congregational, led by the St. Mary’s Choir under the direction of Brigid Coult and the keyboard accompaniment of Susan Ohannesian.
The Guest Preacher was the former Associate Priest of St. Mary’s Kerrisdale and current Incumbent of All Saints, Ladner, the Rev. Elizabeth Northcott. Elizabeth greeted the community with these words “What a joy it is to return to St. Mary’s and worship with you.”
She then extended greetings from her parish and pointed out that All Saints, Ladner is celebrating 130 years in 2011.
Elizabeth emphasized that the centennial celebration is important but equally important that morning was the welcome of the baptismal candidates into the family of Christ.
Following the Eucharist a large percentage of the 500 present at worship began to line-up for brunch in the gym. On the menu was the seasonal favourite from the Best of Bridge Canadian Cookbooks, Christmas Morning Wife Saver,
fresh fruit, breakfast pastries, juices and hot drinks. In the afternoon the tent was turned into a variety stage where a number of the music groups who use the St. Mary’s Kerrisdale facilities as a rehearsal and performance venue showcased their talents to entertain the community.
There were games for the children, bake tables, prizes and a large inflatable slide.
At 4pm the community gathered again in the tent to cut the Centennial Cake and sing Happy Birthday and together give thanks for 100 Years of Grace.
Images: Top left, the tent as seen from the corner of Larch and 37th. Upper middle left, the congregation worshipping in the sanctuary. Middle right, the Eucharist. Lower left, Brunch is served. Below 1, Margaret serves the Wifesaver. Below 2, the crew prepares to inflate the inflatable slide on 37th Avenue.