September 29 Day 31
Without little Alex to visit with, we slept in till 7:30 this morning. Both of us would much rather have enjoyed Alex than extra sleep.
After breakfast we visited two very different United Churches here in Kamloops. The short journey to Mount Paul Pastoral Charge required a winding trip down the mountain from the hotel into Kamloops and across the North Thompson River. The mouthwatering aroma of possibly home made soup welcomed me when I opened the door of the church. Straight ahead I could see a small army of Grandma’s, hard at work in the kitchen. Down the hall, I found the thrift store. Three more seniors, busy sorting used clothing greeted me. One said, “This is our bag day. You get to fill a bag with anything you want, except jewelry, for the paltry sum of $2.00.” A second woman lifted up a baby’s cuddly lion’s costume. “Any little ones in your house,” she asked. This church, obviously manned by seniors runs a soup kitchen twice a week, and a thrift shop and the list went on. “Yes we’re busy,” they said. “We even have day care here.”
I thought, Gone are the days when small churches were locked six days a week and opened up on Sunday morning for four hours. The churches in towns and cities across the west that I have visited are beehives of outreach. When I arrived at Kamloops United (my second church of the morning), I found a billboard announcing condominiums for sale with only six left. “Come inside and talk to the sales people,” the sign said, it’s arrow pointing to the door marked church office. Once inside, I asked the administrative secretary, “what’s happening here.”
She grinned and said, “Big changes. We used to have a gym and now there are condo’s under construction. It will be lovely when finished. We’ve already done the renovations to this part.” She pointed out the almost circular sanctuary with chairs instead of pews. Down that hall are Sunday school rooms, and a kitchen. When the apartments are built we’ll have the church office on the ground floor along with our thrift shop. This church right in the center of town is stepping out with new ideas and yet is still caring for the community in traditional ways as well.
Rev. Bruce was there. We had a good conversation. He bought all three books – I’ve started calling it my $40 package deal. (Dipping Your Toes, Fireweed and Spectacular Stella)
After Kamloops UC I walked up the street to St. Paul’s Anglican. I introduced myself to Verna who was sitting on the steps. “The church is locked,” she said.
“Your minister isn’t here?” I questioned.
“We don’t have a minister, only an interim,” Verna answered. “I’m a church warden . Maybe I can help you.”
“Yes, you can,” I declared and sat down on the sidewalk beside her. We had a great conversation. I showed her my books and explained about them.
“I’ll buy ‘Dipping Your Toes’ ,” she said. God must have wanted you to come today. I’d like Fireweed but I can’t afford two books. Have you any information on these that I can bring to the meeting tonight.
Sure do,” I said, and handed her my info package. We talked a bit more and her husband arrived to take her home. Thank you God, I said as I walked back to the car.
Camera Close up showing Glacier
Tom returned from visiting his mother’s cousin who is in hospital in Kamloops. We had crackers and cheese for lunch in the car and headed off east, thinking we might get to Lake Louise. Once again the drive was absolutely breath taking. For me, believing in a loving Creator is easy when we journey among these mountains, some of them so high they are snow-capped. We stopped a few times, once for ice cream at the Sicamous dairy. Wonderful treat but we’re still both Kawartha Dairy fans.
We arrived in Golden at 6:30. The sun was dropping fast. We had gained an hour so we moved our watches to 7:30. “Let’s forget Lake Louise and stay here,” I suggested. Tom immediately agreed. Neither of us want to be driving through the mountains in the dark. Besides the animals that might be wanting to share the road, we’d miss the scenery. We’re settled into the Ramada Inn – the same room we had two weeks ago and the same price. We’ve had another excellent meal at “The Bear’s Den” and enjoyed the hot tub.
It seems that God is a part of every visit I make to a church. Whether or not they buy books, I feel the joy of the Spirit with each encounter. This is truly a blessed journey.