March 18 – Episcopal Visitation
In the early spring of 2018, Holy Cross marked three celebrations on three different Sundays. The first was March 18 when we were joined by Bishop Melissa at her parish of Holy Cross. In her sermon she spoke about the hazards of “falling” and the importance of not being defeated but getting up and starting over. She said that we shouldn't simply accept or forget when our lives have fallen apart or when we have lost someone or something, but instead ask ourselves how we as Christian people can respond to the many experiences of falling that our lives contain? The Bishop concluded her sermon by saying
"What is God's invitation to us at this moment, a moment informed by many, many experiences of falling? What is God's invitation to us here? What is God's invitation to us now?"
Following the Eucharist, we had a special pot-luck lunch. Several people had prepared the necessary ingredients for "TEMAKI SUSHI" which is when you make your own hand rolled Sushi.
Over the last few months we have had several meetings and workshops to discuss the future ministry at Holy Cross, and at a Special Vestry meeting in October 2017, the decision was made to go from full-time pastoral ministry to half-time pastoral ministry beginning July 2018. Parishioners have had a lot to think about and have many questions, anxieties, and but also, hopes for the future of our church. After lunch, we had a good round table discussion with church committee members and other parishioners during which the Bishop encouraged people to share their concerns. She listened and emphasized that Holy Cross has her full support. We very much appreciated and enjoyed Bishop Melissa’s day with us at Holy Cross.
April 1 – Easter Sunday
Easter is always a joyful time and at Holy Cross we try to share this with our neighbours. After the Good Friday service, several members stayed to help decorate Easter Eggs. These were then blessed at the Easter Eucharist given out to the Easter Sunday congregation. After lunch there was an Easter Egg hunt with members of the parish and the Easter Sunday congregation delivering the decorated eggs to our neighbours who live in homes near the church. We have been doing this since 2013, and we have found that there are many people who stay at home and are pleased to receive an Easter Egg.
April 8 – Beizhu, a milestone birthday for Gwen
In the Japanese tradition an 88th birthday is very special and is called Beizhu. It symbolizes thanksgiving for a long life and gives a blessing to the person. Church members honoured Gwen Lamacraft, ODNW on April 8, her special day. Fr. John Shozawa shared how Gwen served at St. Peter's until it closed in 1989 and she became a member of Holy Cross. She has continued her support at Holy Cross. Greg Tatchell, ODNW shared the value of Gwen's contribution to the nine member committee of the Japanese Canadian/ Vancouver Consultative Council (JC/VCC) in researching the history of the treatment of the Japanese Canadian Anglican Churches in the Diocese of New Westminster. Others spoke and shared stories of Gwen’s love and support of Holy Cross as how she continues to be an example of someone who lives their life committed to stewardship of her church.
ARTICLE SUBMITTED BY GWEN LAMACRAFT AND DAEBIN IM