The Feast of Candlemas which is also The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple was celebrated at St Stephen's with a visiting preacher from Vancouver School of Theology and Jazz Vespers with our regional archdeacon.
The congregation enjoyed the passion and vigour of Margaret Trim from Vancouver School of Theology (VST). Margaret is the Coordinator of Academic Records and Admissions at VST and also a parishioner at St. Paul's in the West End of Vancouver. Margaret explained that there were 47 churches in the Lower Mainland, Alberta, Hawaii and Washington who invited VST representatives to preach on 'Theology Sunday'. Margaret quoted from Simeon, “ a message of redemption and salvation to both Israel and the Gentiles” and from Anna “praising God and speaking of the child, Jesus, to whom all were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” She emphasised that we could all pray for the assurances of these two, so needed in our present day political uncertainty.
In the afternoon we had the pleasure of hosting the first Jazz Vespers of the new year featuring 'Original Blend'. The service, led by Canon Donald Lawton from Squamish, presented lively jazz beginning with 'One for Oliver' by Mike Tomaro. Canon Lawton used his reading from Micah to lead into a challenging call to walk humbly with God. The band led by drummer the Venerable Stephen Muir, Archdeacon of Capilano and Rector of St. Agnes', North Vancouver finished with a lyrical playing of Moe Koffman’s well known 'Swingin’ Shepherd Blues', all the more impressive in that the solo was taken by the trumpet of Laura Iwan, not the flute.
St. Stephen’s West is looking forward to next month’s band of students from the “Cap It” Jazz Studies program at Capilano University on Sunday March 1 at 4pm. All are warmly invited.