White Rock, BC- In the midst of one of 'tropical' BC's worst snowstorms with up to 30 centimetres of non-stop snow, Canon Doc Loomis visited from Ohio. The heavy snowfall forced airflight delays and cancellations, snarled traffic, and knocked out electricity and heat throughout the Lower Mainland. But nothing could stop Canon Doc Loomis the Giant Killer.
Greater Vancouver, the home of the coming 2010 Olympics, is the 'deep south' of Canada with the most temperate climate in the 'Great White North' of Canada. When Prairiites, Ontarians, and Quebecers are digging out from the latest snowfall, BC residents love to remind them about our BC daffodils appearing as early as February. Easterners occasionally dismiss BC as 'lotus land', the home of 'fruits and nuts'. Birthed in 1858 by San Francisco goldminers coming north, BC is 'California North', Canada's 'wacky west coast'. Because we have it so good in beautiful BC, a heavy snowfall (ie business as usual in the rest of Canada) can throw us into a blind panic. But not even blind panic could stop Doc the Giant Killer.
In the midst of TV and newspaper interviews, Doc visited the strategic Surrey Pastors Network which is fuelling the Hope Vancouver initiative to welcome the world to Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics. Surrey pastors are tougher than the rest of us, with 30 of them unexpectedly fighting their way through a blizzard to Cedar Grove Baptist, a burgeoning church led by Pastor Kevin Kavanaugh.
Doc's dynamic presentation left no one sleeping. He shared of a vision that God gave him from Luke Chapter 5 that 'this is a time for nets and for net-working'. Without Christians working together, the harvest of new believers in our very secularized culture will be lost. Doc's key life verse is Luke 5:6-7 "they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink." Doc's heart cry to other christians is 'come and help us bring in the fish'.
Born in Ohio, Doc's whole life has revolved around fishing and lakes. Twice he has been rescued by God from drowning. When Doc starts talking about fishing, his eyes light up. Doc describes the Anglican/Episcopal Church throughout Canada and the USA as 'a dead fish'. He shared with us a rather unpleasant vision he received of a huge dead fish from which vomit was coming forth. In the midst of the vomit was coming new life. Doc sensed that this vision is a metaphor for the new life that God is birthing in the midst of the North American Anglican/Episcopal meltdown. What, asked Doc, is this new movement with the Anglican Mission in the Americas/ACiC and the new Province of the Anglican Church in North America? We, said Doc, are Kingdom vomit; new life coming out of death; a faithful remnant in an age of faithlessness even in the church.
So much looks like death and decline for the North American Church, said Doc, but 'just below the surface of the water is the harvest of fish'. Doc encouraged the 30 pastors representing many different denominations to join together in mission outreach: 'many hands, one net for the sake of the harvest.'
After the Surrey Pastors' presentation, another five hours of nonstop snow continued to blanket Greater Vancouver. But the hardy new All Saints Community Church in White Rock BC still braved the storm that night to come out to hear Doc in person. The entire night was a challenge to invest one's life and resources in eternity. The Rev Peter Klenner, Rector/Senior Priest of All Saints, commented that night: "there are only two things that last for ever: the souls of people and the Word of God, the Bible. When we invest in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, we are investing in eternity."
Doc Loomis, in speaking to All Saints, said that revival will come but first will come persecution, particularly to our children and grandchildren. We are living in a North American culture that is becoming less and less tolerant towards Judeo-christian values. Doc predicted that even the jobs of our children and grandchildren will be put at risk down the road if they stand by their christian convictions.
"God has done an amazing thing", said Doc. "He has brought the gospel back to North America" This has been done throughout the generous mission outreach of our African and South American brothers and sisters, especially in Rwanda. 150 years ago, said Doc, we shared the gospel with Africa, and now they are returning the favour.
Doc used the metaphor of a kidney dialysis machine to describe how God is cleansing the toxicity from the North American Anglican Church. "This is a hard gospel." Doc spoke of when he was commissioned by the Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini as a Canon Missioner to go around North America and 'stir the pot.' While being given a Red Stole, Doc Loomis was asked by Archbishop Kolini: "Do you know why this stole is red...This stole is red because it has been dipped in the blood of the martyrs." In realizing the tremendous persecution that faithful Rwandans have experienced, Doc realized that we too need to show such faithfulness in North America. "Will you come and stand in the blood of the martyrs?", he asked us. "Today I would be willing to die for Jesus Christ, for you, for the Church. Jesus is saying: "Will you give me your life?" The Good News that we have received, said Doc, is worth dying for and worth living for.
If you missed hearing Doc Loomis in the midst of this 'tropical' BC blizzard, the good news is that Doc will be returning in just three months to Greater Vancouver. Along with his co-labourer, the Rev William Beasley the AMiA Network Leader in Chicago, Doc Loomis will be leading our 22nd Annual Renewal Mission on March 20th-22nd 2009. The location for the Friday evening and Saturday will be Lions Gate Christian Academy, 420 Seymour River Place, in North Vancouver, by the 2nd Narrows Bridge. The theme, appropriately enough, will be Luke 5: 'Catching Fish in the 21st Century'. You are encouraged to mark these dates down today in your day-timer and guard them religiously! You will not want to miss Doc Loomis and William Beasley, God's Giant Killers.
On the Sunday night of March 22nd, Doc Loomis+ and William Beasley+ will be speaking at a 6:30pm Interdenominational Celebration Service at Harvest City Church in Vancouver. This event is co-sponsored by the Anglican Coalition in Canada, and is open to Christians and seekers from all backgrounds. Please keep this upcoming time in your prayers, as many believe that God will use this moment to help us prepare spiritually for the coming Harvest during the 2010 Olympics. As Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38:"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
The Reverend Ed Hird+
ACiC Communications Director