Dr. Murray Bowen once said that longevity has more potential lasting impact than frequency. For the past forty years, the North Shore Pastors have been gathering together in order to better serve our community. Some people mistakenly think that North Shore churches and pastors are competitors. One of the things that troubled me as a new Christian was the infighting between all the different denominations. Why couldn’t the Anglicans, Baptists, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Presbyterians, etc learn to get along and stop competing? One of the wonderful gifts of living on the North Shore is that denominational bickering is at an all-time low. Clergy and pastors speak well of each other’s congregations. There is a generosity among North Shore pastors that allows us to bless each other instead of cursing each other. This hasn’t happened by accident. It is the fruit of forty years of prayer by the North Shore clergy, first at Hillside Church, then at Valley Church, and more recently at Sutherland Church. Because we meet together, share together and pray together, we have become each other’s best friends and advocates. God has used the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship to deepen our love for each other and our conviction that there is really only one Church on the North Shore. While there are many diverse congregations, we believe that our unity in Christ is greater than our individual differences.
Some of the original founders of the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship included Arnie Toews of North Shore Alliance Church, Jim Lucas of Canyon Heights Church, John Hardy of Hillside Baptist, and Bob Allison of St. Andrews & St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church. All these have since either retired or moved to other communities. Those currently attending the fellowship picked up the torch from the pioneers who believed that we could better serve the North Shore in unity rather than apart.
By praying together for an hour, God has been teaching the North Shore pastors how much we need each other. We busy North Shore Clergy have been learning that we are too busy not to pray. By focusing on Jesus Christ, we have been rediscovering that we are on the same team. Denominations are second. Jesus is first.
Pastor Owen Scott of Valley Church commented that being part of the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship has been one of the most helpful things for him, knowing that he is not alone. Rev. Ken Bell of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church says that praying together gives us an opportunity to share with one another and participate with each other on the North Shore. Pastor Scott Anderson of Cap Church said that our gracious embrace of one another is evidence of our experience of God’s gracious embrace.
Every denomination has its own strengths and weaknesses. Instead of putting down another group for their flaws, we are learning to hold them up in prayer that they may become all that they are meant to be. Presbyterians don’t need to become Anglicans, and Anglicans don’t need to become Baptists. Our real calling is to love each other with the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Many churches have formed because someone was hurt. We have been learning over the past thirty-five years that it is time to forgive, time to heal, time to pray. Why fight when we can pray? The North Shore Church are family, God’s forever family. My prayer for those reading this article is that we may rediscover the deep truth that the family that prays together stays together.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-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.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.