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The first offering of the Neighbours of the Wilderness Lenten series presented by the North Vancouver Deanery/Region took place on Saturday, February, 21st, with a session titled Land.  Approximately 25 people were present at St. John’s in North Vancouver on this beautifully sunny afternoon were treated to a wonderful array of information and activities.

The first speaker was Cheyenne Hood, Community Services Coordinator for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation who welcomed us to the unceded territory of the Salish nation.   Cheyenne, the great granddaughter of the late Chief Dan & Amy George, granddaughter of Robert & Kathleen George, daughter of Debra George and Don Hood talked about her family’s deep and lengthy connections in the Dollarton region of North Vancouver and their age-old links to the land and the inlet.

As this session was about the Land, the group then needed to get into the dirt – literally - and Alecia Greenfield from St. Clement’s led a planting exercise. Everyone got into the act of making simple paper plant holders and planting parsley seeds to grow and nurture and enjoy at home.

Other speakers included Allan McMordie, long-time member of the North Shore Rescue team and Kevin Bell, Naturalist.  Allan and Kevin talked about hiking in the local hills and mountains – how to be prepared - how not to get lost – what to do if we get lost – and favourite trails. He also provided a briefing on the wildlife that co-exist with us in this wonderful place we call home.

The afternoon event concluded with the planting a new hawthorn tree by the City of North Vancouver on the south side of St. John’s.  Jonathan Budgell from the City and his colleague Craig Bench had kindly prepared the site and brought the tree to the location. A number of people who were present at the event unwrapped the root ball and helped plant and secure the tree in its new home. With the following words, the newly planted tree was blessed by the Venerable Lynne McNaughton, Archdeacon of Capilano and rector of St. Clement’s, Lynn Valley:


Sacred Tree, rooted in the Earth

Be for us a symbol of our commitment to renew the Earth

Creator of the Cosmos, re-initiate us in Awe

May we take time to breathe in Beauty.

Stop us in our tracks at the wonder of it all;

Blue sky and sunshine,

The dank smell of humus in the forest,

The faithfulness of seasonal changes,

The miracle of seeds,

The intricacy of root systems,

The glory of branches,

The marvel of trees.



  • The Venerable Lynne McNaughton and Cheyenne Hood
  • Alecia Greenfield
  • Allan McMordie
  • Kevin Bell
  • Planting the tree
  • The tree is in its new home



The next sessions in this series:

ENERGY – 7 March 2015 1-3:30 pm at St. Catherine’s, North Vancouver

WATER – 21 March 2015 1-3:30 pm at St. Agnes, North Vancouver

FOOD – 11 April 2015 1-3:30 pm at St. Clement’s, North Vancouver


Article and Photos by Alison Watt