Saturday, September 10, 2016

God's Story, Our Story, Your Story: A Letter to Miles and Dominic (Pentecost 17, 11 September 2016)

Dear Miles and Dominic,

         Sixty-nine years ago, long before you were born and six years before I was born, a number of families wanted to start an Anglican church in this part of the city of Vancouver.  They showed courage and vision when they decided to do this.  Just two years before the Parish was started, a horrible war had taken hold of almost all the world.  Many people in Canada lost family members and friends during that war.  Others came home to Canada with wounds, some visible, some invisible.

         Because Vancouver was growing in the years after the war, the Anglican Church realized that more churches were needed, so the Bishop was happy to support the first families of Saint Faith's in their effort.  So a wooden church and church hall was built just across the lane way from the present church.  Some years later this building was completed and became the home of the Parish.

         Why did those first families start this Parish?  They knew what Christians have known for almost two thousand years.  People need a place of help, hope and home.  People need a place where we can hear the story of God's love for us and for whole world.  People need a place where each one of us, young or old, male or female, can play our part to building and sustaining places of help, hope and home like Saint Faith's.  People need a place where we can learn that God's story is our story; each one of us is helping to write a chapter in our own times and our own places.

         Miles and Dominic, today you become a part of the story that God is telling.  When you are baptized, God invites you to be a story-teller, someone who can encourage others to share in this ancient story of love.

         God's story, our story, reminds us that we all need help.  No one grows up without the help of other people.  Even people like me, old enough to be your grandfather, need help to continue to grow up and become better story-tellers of God's strength and wisdom.

         God's story, our story, reminds us that we all need hope.  Hope means believing that God is at work in the world to create a place where all God's children can be free and become who God's wants each one of us to be.  Sometimes hope is hard to keep hold of in our world.  When we baptize you today, we are asking you to be a person who holds on to hope, even in difficult times.

         God's story, our story, reminds us that we all need home.  Having a home means having a place where you are loved for who you are, where you will always find help and where you will always find hope.  Being baptized means that you will try, to the best of your ability, to create places of home, whether in churches like Saint Faith's or in the schools you attend or in your own family home.

         You know, everyone loves a good story, no matter how old we are.  Everyone here today is looking forward to the chapters you are going to write, the stories you will add to all the stories told about how God has helped us, given us hope and found us homes.  So, Miles and Dominic, welcome to God's story, our story, your story.

Always your friend in Christ,


(The Rev'd Dr) Richard Geoffrey Leggett
Rector of Saint Faith's

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