On Sunday, March 5, the faith community of St. Paul's, Vancouver gathered for the Lent I Eucharist. It was also a celebration of 40 years of Our House (Our House West Coast Society), a sober living facility that was begun, nurtured and maintained by Norm Sharkey, ODNW.
The liturgy began with the community singing a rousing rendition of "Let there Be Peace On Earth" the well-known standard written in 1955 by Jill and Sy Miller for International Children's Day, followed by gathering, greeting and opening prayers. At St. Paul's each Sunday in Lent is begun with Asperges, the sprinkling of Holy Water. The Reverend Jessica Schaap used cedar branches to distribute the water as the community sang, "Have Mercy, Lord, On Us."
In the place of a sermon members of Our House came up to the lectern and shared their "Good News" stories about Our House, Norm lead the Prayers of the People and incumbent House Manager Gerry Oake during the sermon sharing segment offered an inspirational and heartfelt testimony of his recovery journey and his current role in servant leadership at Our House.
The Reverend Jessica Schaap with the entire St Paul's community are committed to and supportive of this shared ministry that although sometimes difficult to maintain due to revenue shortfalls and other challenges is a blessing to so many. Your support of Our House West Coast Society would be much appreciate. Click the link to find out more.