Today was one of those cloudy BC days that are on the verge of rain. The only problem with that was that I had a wedding outdoors in the gardens of Rippington Farm. On the way to the ceremony, I hit a hailstorm serenaded by thunder—my faith was sinking.
But by the time the gorgeous bride walked out of the preparation house, the sun broke through the clouds. Scott and Kristy are a well matched, easy-to-love couple. Their wedding went without a hitch and the gardens were magnificent.
The interesting thing for me was that I had known Scott’s mom, Elaine (among others at the ceremony) all the way through High School. She was one of those very attractive girls I was too shy to talk to, so it was a happy reunion after 42 years. She’s still lovely!
August 20 – First National Board meeting
Today Rebecca and I facilitated our first National Board Meeting. Among the other items on the agenda, the Board selected their candidates for this next term of office which begins after Conference. (In our Foursquare Church, the National Board holds the highest office. They are the men and women who selected me as President—all business and finance is overseen by the Board.)
Our present members are representative of the various Units across Canada. They are: Warren Lauwers (Coquitlam), Dan Howton (Langley), Pastor Val Batulan (Surrey), Shawn Schmidt (Saskatchewan), Pastor Reid Stairs (Halifax) and Pastor Greg Kurjata (Edmonton).
The newly selected members, when they are ratified at our October Conference, are Pastor Jenn Wright (Powell River), Klaus Goetz (Coquitlam) and Pastor Stephen Akinwekomi (Toronto). Rebecca and I will serve perpetually as long as we are in office.
I’m thankful to God for the men and women who have served (Abe Banman, Pastor Craig Millar, Gladys Foster and of course Pastor Tim Peterson) over the past several years. This new term is going to be a very significant season in the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada. We have an awesome team!
August 22 – Kid’s Camp
Susan, Victoria (4) and I drove to Chilliwack today to visit our Foursquare kiddies at Children’s Camp. All 200 of them!
What an awesome group of kids (grades 3-7) we have. They are having a whale of a time. Games, crafts (I loved the Foursquare artwork) and swimming!
The group was super-well organized by Carolyn Crowell who oversaw all the planning. Dairn Peters is doing a captivating job as Camp speaker. It could not be a better, more memorable week for kids and leaders alike.
Our son-in-law Tom, who is counseling in our three grandson’s (Alex, Jacob and Max) cabin did mention on the sly he was ready to go home—only three more days Tom!
Congratulations on the decorating of the cabins! Every year the campers and counselors both work hard to receive recognition as having the best, cleanest and most attractive cabin. I think Vijay and his boys will win hands down.
August 25 – Kristie and TJ’s wedding
We were back to the picturesque gardens of Rippington Farms today. After a sunny Camp week the rains were waiting to fall—thankfully the spray held back until the bride and her attendants walked the long trail to the covered area.
Kristie is the daughter of our long-time friends Paul and Ruth Oorebeek. I’ve watched her mature into a beautiful woman since she was a teenager. It’s always very emotional for me as I watch the bride come down the aisle to her hew husband. It brings back nostalgic memories of walking our daughters Kelly and Kristy down the aisle.
The wedding was perfect! When I met TJ for premarital counseling several months ago, I was so delighted. He, his brother Chad and his mom and dad, Elaine and Bill King were part of our church in 1979. The King family arrived at church on our second Sunday. I remember the day well, June 2, 1979, because we had about fifteen guests that day, who all stayed with us for a few years. Our numbers swelled from 22 to 37. TJ was only three, so he was part of Kelly’s (she was eight) class of preschoolers. It was so good to see how TJ had grown and matured. He now manages his Dad’s Big-O Tire shop in Maple Ridge.
There were six couples at that wedding whom I had married over the past several years .It was good to catch up on their marriage progress, and even hold a couple of their babies. It’s a wonderful gig being a pastor!
August 26 – The Church in Ruskin
Today Susan and I were invited to speak at our Foursquare Church in Maple Ridge. What an honour for us. Pastor Les and Linda Warriner have been friends for at least thirty years, so it was a privilege to stand beside them at the dedication of their newly acquired church building. (Doug and Rebecca Friesen, who gave birth to the Maple Ridge Church about twenty-three years ago, were with us too.)
It’s really quite an amazing story—in April Les and some guys were standing outside of St. Andrews Church where they rent for their services. It was a clear, sunny spring day.
A man drove up beside them, recognized Les as the pastor and introduced himself. “Hi, my name is Jim Poelzer. I’m the pastor of a small church in Ruskin. I’m retiring in a couple of months and I’d like to give you our church building.”
Les didn’t know the man, but recognized his name (Jim had actually pastored our Haney Foursquare Church for eighteen months in 1969). Not knowing if the 68 year old man was joking or not, he responded, “Can I get your name and phone number and call you to meet this week?”
It happened as Jim promised.
Today was the third meeting of the newly merged congregation. What a delight to stand up front and pray with Les and Linda, Doug and Rebecca and Jim as we formalized the transfer of assets and responsibilities! This is the third church building the Foursquare Church has been given in the past few years—thank you Jesus!
August 26 – Cranbrook and Kimberley
After lunch with Les and Linda, Susan and I packed our car and headed east toward Cranbrook to visit our friends who pastor there—Gord and Jacqueline Henry. Because we haven’t had a day off in several weeks, we decided to take the trip more slowly, and stop for a night beside the tranquil water of Osoyoos Lake. I’m finally catching up on my blog while here.
Tonight we’ll arrive at beautiful Cranbrook. We’re looking forward to a barbeque tomorrow with Gordon’s leadership team.
August 28 – Cranbrook
Susan and I spent a very enriching day here with Pastor Gordon and Jacqueline Henry. We were delighted to tour their very large facility first. Several years ago Pastor Pat Kilpatrick was able to lead the church in the purchase of a 1928 brick school building (for $150,000). The 30,000 foot facility would be the dream of any pastor. There is a large classroom of space for every age group plus offices and a spacious gym turned sanctuary.
After our tour of Cranbrook and their church building, Gordon drove us to the quaint Bavarian town of Kimberley, where we saw the Funeral Chapel where Pastor Jason Silver is planting a new Foursquare Church. We loved our visit, especially the authentic apple strudel dessert.
After lunch Pastor Gordon had graciously invited their church leaders to a delicious barbecue at the church. After dinner I had the honour of sitting with several young enthusiastic pastors to share my vision for the Foursquare Church of Canada. The Cranbrook Church has a prolific vision on planting new churches throughout the east Kootenays—and they’ll do it. Then we met with their Church Council.
At about 8:00 Susan and I set out on the five hour drive to Osoyoos, so that we could be on time Wednesday to visit our Youth campers at Cultus Lake. Our drive was fast but fun!