Monday, August 20, 2007

Greetings from Saskatchewan
Greetings from Saskatchewan
an article for the September 2007 Deep Cove Crier

My wife, three sons and I piled into our minivan this summer and drove thousands of kilometers to Manitou Beach in Watrous. Saskatchewan is known as the land of the living skies. While I love the North Shore mountains and seashore, there is something unforgettable about a prairie sky that seems to roll on forever.

The magnet for this long trek to Saskatchewan was the rare opportunity to meet with 240 of my wife’s relatives. All six of the brothers, many of them in their eighties, made it from six different parts of Canada. Three of the six brothers are actually ordained clergy. There were so many relatives that we had to wear colour-coded name tag just to figure out who was who. I jokingly say that my side of the family could hold a family reunion in a telephone booth.

Manitou Beach, with its high mineral content, is famous because you can float on it, almost like the Dead Sea in Israel. While at Manitou Beach, we were able to have family dancing at the historic Manitou Beach Dance Hall, and then go to an old-fashioned Drive-in Theatre to see the hilarious Noah take-off movie ‘Evan Almighty’.

It was fun to visit the historic family farm on the rocky roads, but not fun to replace the windshield after it was smashed by rocks on the prairie road. It is amazing how good can come of difficulty (Romans 8:28). The smashed window gave me a chance to connect with a North Bay trucker, an Anglican Edmontonian, and an Los Angeles actor repairing Canadian windshields We were able to pray together and one of them even obtained a copy of my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’.

While in Regina, I had the chance to meet with two of our sister ACiC churches. If food is the language of love, I felt very loved while visiting in Regina. One of our congregations in Regina is full of Nigerian and Sudanese new Canadians and recent immigrants who fed us delicious African food. We were also treated to African dancing and singing by a Regina priest’s lively children.

Regina has deep significant to my family roots. Due to the Canadian Pacific Railway, my great-grandfather Oliver Allen was shipped with the Toronto Militia to quickly defeat Louis Riel at Batoche.

While conquering Riel, my great-grandfather Oliver met my great-grandmother Mary Mclean a Regina Leader news-reporter sympathetic to Louis Riel. Right before Riel’s hanging, my great-grandmother, who was fluent in French, disguised herself as a Catholic priest in order to interview Riel. Her newspaper editor had told her: “An interview must be had with Riel if you have to outwit the whole police force of the North-west.” Riel said to my great-grandmother on Nov 19th 1885: “When I first saw you at the trial, I loved you.” Shortly after, my great-grandparents Oliver and Mary married and relocated to start life anew in BC.

It interested me to discover that many Albertans and BCers are moving to Saskatchewan to take advantage of the cheaper housing prices and the country lifestyle. The Saskatchewan government is promoting this with large billboards in Alberta showing a husband, wife and two kids with the backdrop of a single-family home and a bike. The Saskatchewan billboard says in large letters: “More Life, Less Stress”. Some Saskatchewan residents that I met are worried about the Albertan/BC invasion because of the way that it is making housing prices unaffordable.

What a vast and wonderful nation that we live in as Canadians. What a wonderful treat to be able to take family members to explore the richest of this amazing gift called Canada. I thank God as a loyal BCer that all of Canada belongs to all of us.

The Reverend Ed Hird
Rector, St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, BC
Anglican Coalition in Canada

Friday, August 10, 2007

Updates from the recent trip to our ACiC Churches in Saskatchewan

Updates from the recent trip to our ACiC Churches in Saskatchewan

The ACiC in Regina, Saskatchewan[Photo]

[Photo]Dear friends in Christ,I had the privilege on August 5th of preaching at our two ACiC Churches in Saskatchewan, the Church of our Redeemer in Regina and St Jude's Apostolic Church in Indian Head.

[Photo] Here I am with the Rector of the Church of our Redeemer, The Rev Olukayode Adebogun and his new assistant priest, Ayorinde+

[Photo] Here is a picture of the three priests with their families. All three of my boys were able to join me for this trip. Andrew, who served this past year as a PAIS worker in Gateshead, UK, gave a witness about his PAIS outreach work in the schools, both in the UK and in North Vancouver. Mark our middle son read the gospel at St Jude's.

[Photo] Here is a picture of the Rev Tom Needham, Rector of St. Jude's in Indian Head. Tom+ and Rosemary are a very dedicated couple who have stood for God's truth and healing for many years.

[Photo] Apart from having to replace a windshield, our Chevy Venture minivan performed well as we travelled thousands of miles across Canada, waving the Alpha flag. Tens of thousands of Alpha flags are currently flying across Canada in our 2007 National Alpha Invitation to the Nation. You will notice the billboards, bus shelter ads, and bus ads with the Alpha theme: 'Is there More to Life than This?'

Blessings in Christ Jesus,Ed Hird+