Vancouver’s Best Kept Secret

Waking up early on a Monday to do lecture prep for my Ethics course.

I found this image on Facebook.  For me, it’s not only cute, it’s also a little nostalgic.  My pastor in Vancouver, Rev. Dr. Sylvia Cleland at West Point Grey Presbyterian Church, used to have this photo up on her office door.

That was the last church I attended where I was not either the pastor or the pastor’s spouse.

I often call it “Vancouver’s Best Kept Secret” for several reasons:

  • It’s the only Presbyterian church I knew of where Koreans and Anglos worshiped together (they have separate presbyteries and usually keep apart).

  • It’s the only church I knew of where students from Regent College and Vancouver School of Theology would worship and serve their internships together.  In spite of the fact that they are only two blocks away from each other, these two seminaries usually keep separate.  The Regent folks generally assume that the VST folks are godless heretics while the VST folks assume that the Regent folks are fundamentalist fanatics.  They’re both wrong.

  • The church’s small size made it possible for ministerial interns to actually do real ministry, like preaching, pastoral care, and education.  At the bigger, more popular churches in town, student interns would end up answering phones and making coffee.  We actually got to find out what being a pastor was really like.

So, if you’re thinking of going to seminary in Vancouver, BC (at Regent College or Vancouver School of Theology), check out West Point Grey Presbyterian Church at the corner of 11th & Trimble.  Thank me later.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Vancouver’s Best Kept Secret

  1. First of all, as a PCUSA music director, I am of course tickled to see this. Secondly, as a Canadian (I grew up in Calgary) living in the US (Yakima, WA) who was enrolled twice at Regent (but never went) and friends at VST (who I now cannot find), I am doubly tickled. Keep ’em coming.

  2. I feel mischievously inclined to add a statement to the second to last paragraph:
    “At the bigger, more popular churches in town, student interns would end up answering phones and making coffee. We actually got to find out what being a pastor was really like…”

    With the benefit of four years of experience in ordained ministry, I can now say:
    As it turns out, being a pastor actually involves a lot of making coffee and answering phones!

  3. … and officiate at weddings and funerals, moderate Session meetings, participate in baptisms (SC was so sick at her granddaughter’s I had to read her sermon), teach six weeks of Church School, and participate every week in worship! The best possible field placement. I never once made coffee, although I brought many meals to the International Dinners. Those fabulous folks have my deepest gratitude. I miss all of you…

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