News & Notes Vol 13 No. 6

Do not go gently into this night because night never overcomes the light of Jesus (John 1:5)

Dear friends,

The picture that you see is from Trinity Baptist Church at 49thAve and Granville in Vancouver.  They have been placing a phrase, an inspirational thought, on their sign for what seems like decades now.  

I have rarely been more proud of the visible presence of one of our churches than I was 2 days ago when I came across this one.  The intersection where Trinity is located is one of the most travelled routes on the way to the airport.  Hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, see this sign every year.  That is true not only of visible signs from our churches but it is also true of many of you who are reading this letter.  You see the signs of Christ in lives prayerfully lived out to God’s glory.  To be blunt there is something more important in this message.  It isn’t just a popular, culturally-relevant platitude.  That second phrase “our Muslim friends” bears truth in the life of Layne Daggett who is on staff at Trinity who is a former Vancouver Airport chaplain.  He welcomes people of all backgrounds in Christ’s name and actually has Muslim friends.  Would that that be true of more of us.

In the mayhem and chaos of world politics… yes, everywhere… in the lack of public truth telling and in the tragedy of misplaced words and facts (I do mean at home and abroad)… in the place where the levelling of Aleppo was a political football and not the tragedy of dying children… and where looming famine in particular parts of the world are found in places too familiar (as we so well know, familiarity breeds contempt).  In that kind of world I get buoyed up and sing for joy when I drive past signs at Trinity Baptist Church knowing that they believe what they say and speak in the strength of Christ.  I shout out names of good and righteous folk, many of whom are my friends and yours… those who don’t need a microphone placed in front of them to speak God’s truth:

The folks at the Emerson Church who are navigating how to stand up for those who are fleeing their country of origin and the United States at the border in their town.

Catherine Morris from Emmanuel in Victoria who sees the necessity to address human rights in far away places but has the profound integrity to see the need to press those issues in Canada.  Note also she has helped to facilitate discussions on the Doctrine of Discovery.

To the church who will remain nameless for the confidentiality of the child involved, who remade a Sunday School context for an autistic child even to the point of bringing in the child’s community caregiver so that it was done well so the one child who Christ loves could be treated with respect and dignity and be part of a community that received them.

This is not to mention the countless acts of hospitality and welcome practiced by individuals and churches in our midst.  Thank you Lord.  I call out the wonderful multi-cultural ethnicity of our family of churches.  I see Christ’s “choir” as it were singing and sharing, celebrating and coming to faith in the Lord Jesus rather like in Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “Christ shines in ten thousand Places”.  And He does shine.  For if we claim the darkness to be our reality we deny the truth and eternal light of our Lord.  In the words of the Keats Camp house band referring to Jesus, “He told the night it was not the day.”  May we believe that.  May we trust that.  May we celebrate that and look for Jesus shining in ten thousand places.

Here is the full line of the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem from “Kingfishers Catch Fire”:

for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

 Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

Mother Theresa claimed that she could see the face of Christ in those she served.  Might we not see her clarity as the whimsy of an Albanian/Indian nun or as an exception but indeed between Hopkins and Theresa find evidence of that in our own lives and all around us.


In Christ,


Quote of the Week: Under the topic of “alternative facts” and to paraphrase Bill Bryson:

Scientist #1 says, I need to tell God these facts.

Scientist #2 says, Don’t you think he already knows them?

Scientist #1 responds, He knows the facts he just doesn’t know this set of the facts.

News from the Family: Some of our camps have already filled up some sections for their summer program.  Please pray that we don’t just fill up the numbers but we also are praying for the preparation of those who are working towards facilitating the summer camping season and in their selection of counsellors.