Generosity after theft of St. Barnabas offering `amazing'

The Rev. Elizabeth Beale of St. Barnabas described as "amazing" community response to a front-page story December 7 in the Province newspaper. The report told of how New Westminster's "little church with a big heart" lost $1,600 after a thief broke into a van in downtown Vancouver and stole a Sunday collection that hadn't yet been deposited in the bank.

"One person phoned up and asked, `How much did you lose? I'll cover it,' and couriered over a cheque," she said. A nearby vocational college ran a coin drive for the church's benefit. Others have contributed to support the church's emergency food cupboard and community meals. "People are ready to be generous." she said, adding that the incident showed the parish how much support there is for St. Barnabas' outreach ministry.

Philip Wright of St. Christopher, West Vancouver, has written his autobiography, The Hardcore Dancer - from Autism to Manic Depression and Back. At the book launch, special guests included his psychologist who spoke of how he and his family dealt with his condition from very early in his life. The title is connected with Wright's love of dancing and his travels. This book is a resource for people who are dealing with autism - the autistic person, family members, friends, teachers, and counsellors.

It's no wonder that the people of St. Michael, Vancouver have a heart for refugees. On a recent Sunday morning, during Morning Prayer, someone passed a kitten to the Rev. Emilie Smith and left. Without skipping a beat, she tucked the wee animal under her sweater and carried on reciting the Venite. Once again, safe haven for one of God's creatures - for which the Jubilee Cluster priest soon found a home.

Nefarious souls afoot: The Rev. Michael Batten, Priest in charge for St. Francis in the Wood, circulated a memo a few weeks ago to churches on the North Shore warning of recent thefts of cash both from his wallet (during a service) and another from a parishioner's. He wrote, "This might be a good opportunity to remind your people (and yourselves) that although we live in the land of gentle breeding and good manners, there are nefarious souls abroad who may find the temptation of unguarded cash too difficult to resist."

Parishioner Barbara Anderson of St. John's, Burnaby, has created a database for use by Anglican churches small to large that generates parish lists, tracks donations and produces receipts, merges letters, labels and envelopes, tracks pastoral care, parish vendors, calendar events, inventory, and so on. For information , phone her at 604 314-2606.

The parish of St. John's, North Vancouver, anticipates that in March they will send a small team to Belize to support the Rev. Tess Meadows in her two-year mission there. (See December's TOPIC for a story about Tess). This visit will be an opportunity to develop relationships between churches. For information contact Camilla Amundsen at St. John's 604 986-1151. St. John's is grateful for the continued support by other parishes as Tess continues her mission.

Ashleigh Androsoff, a parishioner of St. Oswold, Port Kells, has won a $20,000 scholarship in a national contest. She wrote an essay on the topic of what she would do if she became Prime Minister