It's been a pleasure receiving from parishes across the diocese the many accounts of events and services they're undertaking this Advent and Christmas Seasons. Some sent a variety of photographs, which are always interesting.
Despite rampant commercialism that by early December is in high gear, this season is a wonderful one. In this most secular of Canadian provinces, there are some who have no idea of what these seasons really are about. So we have a story to tell.
We know these seasons are not just for celebrating amongst ourselves, but also for reaching out into our communities. The events and services that parishes have listed show that Anglicans in the Lower Mainland are indeed reaching out in the many ways: in the "Blue Christmas" services that minister to those who find the season difficult; in the pageants that invite participation by children and parents, and not just church members; in the many concerts and readings for everyone. Especially remarkable is St. Mark Ocean Park's outdoor "Journey of Christmas" which hundreds have visited annually for eight years now. And our beautiful Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass services reach many who are not regular attenders.
Reaching out at Christmas is what we're supposed to do - and we're supposed to do it all year long. Sometimes, when it isn't Christmas, perhaps we don't make quite the effort to reach out as much as we ought. Let's be inspired this Advent and Christmas to continue to be actively involved in our wider communities, all the year through.