By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
Life is messy. Family is messy. Marriage is messy. Church is messy. How do we navigate through the complexities of daily life? A key to healthy sailing through life’s storms is gratitude.
The St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver community was birthed in 1945 seventy years ago in the Deep Cove Fire Hall. Many churches in the Seymour/Deep Cove area no longer exist. One of the keys to St. Simon’s ongoing vitality is the gift of gratitude. God has taught us that all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord. He has taught us that what was sometimes meant for evil, God means for good, even for the saving and helping of many other people.
On Harvest Thanksgiving Oct 11th 2015, the St. Simon’s NV community celebrated its seventy anniversary with a joint 10am service, followed by a complimentary barbeque. Here are some of the things that we are grateful for. We are thankful for our faithfully serving ACW Women’s Group that has served so many over the years in outreach and hospitality. Many of you will have attended an ACW Holly Tea or Garage Sale over the years. We are grateful for those women and men who have served others over the years at Lions Manor, Kiwanis Care Centre, Lions Gate Hospital, and the new Cedarsprings residence.
We are thankful for those who invested so much in working with our youth and young adults and in the local schools and rec centres, especially thinking of the Rev. Ken Bell, the Rev. Josh Wilton, Rebecca Bailey, Jill Cardwell, Tyler Gibson, and Mark Hird. St. Simon’s Church NV originally started as a Sunday school. We are grateful for the countless number of Sunday School teachers and co-ordinators who have invested in serving the children of Seymour/Deep Cove decade after decade.
We are grateful for the many home groups that people have led and hosted over the past decades, bringing a deep sense of fellowship and learning. We are grateful for our music ministry which was led by Janice Hird with many choirs and worship bands over the years. We are grateful for the faithful contribution of the late Charlotte Liberty who served as organist for twenty years. Music is one of the best ways to express our gratitude. We are grateful for those who are involved in our two Coffee Hours, for our faithful sidespeople, for our Flower Guild helpers, for our Sunday readers and Lay Administrators, for our Altar Guild ladies, for our St. Simon’s Prayer Chain, for our Church Council leadership, and for our Set-Up and Take-down teams. Many hands truly make light work.
We are grateful for the various clergy that have served at St. Simon’s NV in the past seventy years, especially remembering the late Rev. John Lombard, and the Rev. Bill Ferris who served as my predecessor. I often give thanks for Bill Ferris+ who laid such solid foundations that I was able to build on. We are also most grateful for the support and encouragement of other clergy and churches involved in the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship. We are grateful for our St Simon’s NV missionaries who serve locally and around the world.
And last but not least, we are grateful for Bruce Coney and the Deep Cove Crier, for the great support they have shown to the Seymour/Deep Cove community over the years. Gratitude is the key to everything healthy in our lives. What are you grateful for on this Harvest Thanksgiving weekend? Happy 70th!
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article for the October 2015 Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News
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-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
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