October brought tentative optimism to the Parish of St. Stephen’s, West Vancouver with relaxed COVID-19 gathering restrictions, (six feet apart, masked and hopefully vaccinated). The re-constituted choir (also masked, six feet apart and definitely vaccinated as checked by conductor, Dr. Annabelle Paetsch) led the congregation enthusiastically into the first onsite eucharist in 18 months. There was a sense of 'coming home.' The hymns were all popular celebratory ones such as Worship the King, Lord of all Hopefulness, All Creatures of our God and King and a special Offertory Hymn in Latin that was introspective in tone: Laudate, Omnes Gentes.
An adjunct to the spirit of hopefulness was the presentation of the first Jazz Vespers service since the onset of COVID-19. Students from the Capilano University Jazz Studies Program were introduced by St. Stephens’ rector, the Rev. Ken Vinal and led off with an old favorite, Bye Bye Blackbird. Jazz Vespers occurs once a month at 4pm on the first Sunday. Minister of Music, Dr.Annabelle Paetsch commented,
“Jazz Vespers has always been an outreach program of St. Stephen’s and the previous rector, Canon Jonathan LLoyd and I had been working toward a vision of expanding the outreach to involve the youth of our local community, i.e., The Capilano University Jazz Studies Program. The current rector shares this vision and was delighted to welcome Jordan Manderioli (piano), Nicole Yang (bass), Tristan Young (trumpet), and Jordan McIntosh (drums) to initiate the return to Jazz Vespers.”
Other jazz standards interspersed with readings, psalms and prayers included Embraceable You, You Must Believe in Spring, Just Friends and A Child is Born.
Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10 arrived with an unusual anticipation: the opportunity to purchase dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. A parish fundraising initiative to assist the town of Lytton, destroyed by fire, June 30, 2021, saw members of the parish preparing a dessert that could be sold after the service to raise funds for the now widely displaced residents of this devastated community. The initial plan was to gather supplies and donate them, but after conversation with the Rev. Angus Muir of St. Barnabas’ Anglican Church in Lytton it was obvious that money was the most useful gift to offer people without current housing or storage. By the end of the coffee hour, the sale had raised $725.00.
Photos John Ruddick