The Second Annual North Vancouver Deanery Service took place at St. John the Evangelist Church on West 13th Avenue, Sunday, July 4th at 10:30am.
The other 5 churches in the deanery closed their doors for Sunday worship and met together at the bright worship space in the mid-Lonsdale neighbourhood.
The church was filled to capacity and the atmosphere was joyful.
St. John’s MAP (Ministry Assessment Process, please click the link for details) leader Donna Lawrence welcomed the congregation and asked all the MAP leaders to stand and be acknowledged.
The Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton, Priest-in-charge of St. Clement’s delighted young and old by narrating a pantomime based on that morning’s Old Testament reading, 2 Kings 5:1-14. Various priests and deacons were assigned characters in the passage both by headgear and by signs hung around their necks. Priest-in-charge of St. John’s the Rev. Gary Hamblin was resplendent as Naaman the General wearing a foil covered bicycle helmet.

The guest preacher was the Rev. Paul Borthistle, Director for Parish Support Ministries for the Diocese of New Westminster, the Senior Synod Staff member responsible for MAP.
He took his text from the Gospel reading, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20. Ironically (or coincidentally) this is the same text used by Dr. Alan Roxburgh at this year’s major diocesan conference, Moving Back into the Neighbourhood held this past April 17th.
Alan advises those who are interested in missional church and community ministry to explore the Benedictine process called “Dwelling in the Word” in regards to this text.
Early in his sermon Paul acknowledged Alan who was present in church that morning and admitted that he was somewhat anxious about preaching “Alan’s sermon” with him in the congregation.
Paul pointed out that Luke’s message has not changed since it was written around 70 or 80 CE.

  • Don’t expect things to stay the same.
  • Nothing went wrong, things change.
  • We can’t bring about change by staying in one place.
  • We are the hands and feet of Christ in our neighbourhoods.
  • It is not about filling churches it ‘s about bringing the light of Christ into everyday situations.
  • Leave your baggage at home.
  • Extend God’s Peace to your neighbours, remembering that we don’t own God’s Peace, we share it.
  • God has a plan, a plan for a welcoming kingdom of radical hospitality.
The worship continued with an eclectic blend of music, prayers and of course the Eucharist and concluded with heartfelt thanks directed to the churches of the North Vancouver Deanery by two families of Karen refugees. These two families have been aided and supported by the deanery since their arrival in Vancouver last July and they are a tremendous success. Both men are working in a Surrey recycling factory during the day and attending ESL schools in the evening with their wives. They have made wonderful progress and their friends in the North Van deanery are delighted that they can now speak with both women on the phone and most the time understand each other.
As a gift to their sponsors and friends the Karen families stood at the front of the church and sang two Christian Praise songs in their mother tongue in two and three part harmony. The congregation was truly moved by this genuine display of gratitude and the positive expression of hope that their new lives in Canada will continue on this positive path.
After the Karen songs the worship teams and parish banners processed out and the congregation stood and sang O Canada in recognition of Canada’s 143 Birthday celebrated July 1st.
Eh Moo Si and her son Ethanay have some quiet time outside while the congregation sings O Canada