At 9:30am on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, as the snow fell in large, wet, heavy flakes outside the Synod Offices at 1410 Nanton Avenue in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood, the Synod staff of the Diocese of New Westminster gathered for a Celebration of the Eucharist. Tuesday at 9:30am is the default time for the weekly liturgy, but this week worship began with the Dedication and Consecration of the Synod Office Chapel – The Chapel of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Skelton gathered Synod staff members in the reception area and after Opening Prayers led the group to the north side office block where she made the sign of the Cross with her crozier over the chapel's threshold and said “Peace be to this house, and to all who enter here: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son , and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.” The staff members then processed in reading Psalm 122, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” Prior to the Liturgy of the Word, Archdeacon Fenton led the following prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ, make this a temple of your presence and a house of prayer. Be always near us when we seek you in this place. Draw us to you, when we come alone and when we come with others, to find comfort and wisdom, to be supported and strengthened, to rejoice and give thanks. May it be here, Lord Christ, that we are made one with you and with one another, so that our lives are sustained and sanctified for your service.”
Archbishop Skelton concluded the Dedication and Consecration saying, “Now, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sanctify this place;” the people responded, “For everything in heaven and on earth is yours.” The Archbishop leading the prayer said “Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;” and the people said, “And you are exalted as head over all.”
The Reverend Dr. Tellison Glover proclaimed the Gospel for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 2:22-40. The scriptural passage which contains the Nunc dimittis, "The Song of Simeon" was also the topic of a discussion and reflection by those gathered at the Eucharist.
Following worship, there was a reception with hot drinks, fruit and pastries, organized by Administrative Assistant/Reception; Screening in Faith Facilitator Lauren Odile Pinkney.
Behind the altar (which was re-dedicated by Archbishop Skelton at the liturgy) is a beautiful woodcut/sculpture of the Presentation of our Lord. The piece was originally part of the liturgical decorations at the church that housed the former Parish of St. Mark, Kitsilano. The piece was created by Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook, CM, O.Ont (November 7, 1913 – February 23, 2009) a Canadian portrait sculptor, medal designer and liturgical artist. Although well-travelled and internationally acclaimed she spent most of her life in her birthplace of Hamilton, Ontario. She co-founded the Canadian Portrait Academy and the Canadian Group of Art Medalists.