Monday, July 24, 2017

As a season's pass holder, I've been enjoying music at the Butchart Gardens this summer. It's a wonderful way to spend an evening, and a great chance to hear groups I wouldn't normally subscribe to.   So far, I've sampled jazz, classical, dixieland, blues, Celtic, folk, a boys choir, and country and western.  Still to come is the Victoria Symphony and a ballet company.  
In addition to the music, I enjoy the people --and dog-- watching. Little children love to run on the grass as darkness falls.  The dogs put their heads down and wait quietly.  I wonder sometimes if the music hurts their ears.  Everyone has extra coats and blankets, which they'll share with strangers.  When it rains, the Gardens hands out umbrellas. 
Rev. Irwin often reminds us that church should be a foretaste of heaven.  My evenings at the Butcharts remind me that God has blessed us in this world as well as giving us the promise of the world to come.

At church we're being treated to variety as well.  While Rev. Irwin is on holiday we're having four different guests fill the pulpit, each with his unique perspective on the gospel and the church.  
Last week it was Rev. Harold McNabb, a retired Presbyterian minister who has served in various communities in British Columbia, including West Shore Presbyterian and the Victoria Chinese Presbyterian Church.  He preached on hope.  At a time when mainline churches face declining membership, he reminded us that the church is the "Bride of Christ."  It cannot fail.  It may evolve, but it can not fail.

This Sunday, we heard from Pastor George Hodgson.  He served for many years at Friendship Community Church.  When he retired, he liked to say his job didn't change much, he just stopped being paid.  It's nice to know, as pulpit supply, he'll be getting a pay cheque.  Pastor George also led the service at SPH in the afternoon, since it was our turn, once again, to minister in that venue.

Next Sunday, we'll hear from Alan Taylor, a long-time elder at Saanichton Bible Fellowship.  I spoke with him about his background and learned he has always given of his time and talent to the church.  He earns a living as a painter.

Finally, on the last Sunday of Rev. Irwin's vacation, we'll have Rev. Noel Kinnon in the pulpit.  Rev. Kinnon is a former minister at SPPC and is frequently called upon to fill out pulpit.  We'll see him as an old friend.

The adage is, "a change is as good as a rest."  So, while our minister enjoys his well-earned rest, the congregation gets "a change."

Happy summer.

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