There is something about the fall that has people reassessing the present and projecting into the future. Perhaps it is the “back to school” feeling that we have all experienced that we bring to our lives and to our relationship to our church. Motivated by this stimulation, the members of the Parish of St. Stephen’s, West Vancouver under the leadership of rector, the Reverend Kenneth Vinal have embarked on the creation of a Ministry Plan. This process involved the entire congregation in discussions leading to the setting up of themed meetings under the headings of:
Parish Council held several open parish meetings, initiated many smaller meetings, and via Zoom to reach those housebound. A Parish Vision was developed: “We are a thriving, multicultural community of fellowship, spirituality and support in the Christian tradition for all ages.” The Parish Mission statement is as follows:
“Led by the Holy Spirit, we welcome everyone to join in our journey to follow Jesus. We serve people in Christ’s name. We respond to the needs of the community through social engagement and serve with joy from the abundance which God provides us.”
Parish Values: Loving God, Serving others, Supporting lives, Open and affirming.
A draft Ministry Plan following these aspirations was presented by chair, Dr. Heather Gilley to the congregation on Sunday, November 19. Members were encouraged to ask questions and make comments. Email addresses of members of the committee were listed. There was a general feeling at the end of the meeting of satisfaction in a job well done.
On November 12 at the principal Celebration of the Eucharist, the parish honoured Remembrance Day with a moving service led by the Reverend Vinal and guest from Squamish, Canon Donald Lawton. The service was enhanced by trumpeter Paul Dubnik and piper Mike Chisholm augmenting the music leadership of organist and Minister of Music, Dr. Annabelle Paetsch. At the conclusion of worship, the Rev. Vinal directed the attention of the congregation to the War Memorial Plaque on the wall of the sanctuary. There he read the names of all the members of St.Stephen’s who had died in the two world wars. He quoted the well-known “At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.” Trumpeter, Paul Dubnik played the “Last Post”, paused for two minutes of silence, then played “Reveille”. The rector recited the Prayer of Commemoration for the Fallen and ended the service with all verses of “O, Canada” followed by “God Save the King”. As the Postlude, the piper, Mike Chisholm, performed “Highland Cathedral” a thrilling finale to a nostalgic service of honour and remembrance.
On Sunday November 26, the congregation was delighted to greet the Rt. Reverend John Stephens as he visited his parish of St. Stephen, West Vancouver (the oldest parish in West Van). The congregation was also happy to welcome, deacon, the Reverend Christine Magrega, recently retired from full time diaconal ministry at St. Augustine, Marpole. The music in worship at the Celebration of Holy Eucharist for the Feast of the Reign of Christ was enhanced by trumpeter Paul Dubnik and soprano Catherine Crouch.
Photos: John Ruddick