September 21 Day 23
As we remain here in Vancouver, the travel items are fewer because of course we’re here to see family. We’ve been enjoying that totally. Problem of course will come when we leave. For the moment it’s wonderful. Yesterday we did have a fun afternoon square dancing with the Century Place squares. As always the square dancers were welcoming and friendly.
We had sort of skipped lunch in order to get to the dancing in time, so afterward Tom enjoyed fruit from the grocery store and walked over to pick up Alex from his child care worker, Markie. I decided that all the dancercise qualified me for an ice cream cone. Finding hard ice cream served in a cone in the downtown core of a city is a challenge. I walked Davie Street searching. After a couple of blocks, I stopped at a corner to ask a group of three young adults for directions. I guess ice cream isn’t in style. They had no advice to offer. A homeless man heard me ask and came over.
“You lookin for ice cream? They just got ice cream in that Mac’s milk across the street,” he said. “They’ve got about seven kinds – chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and…”
I thanked him and then asked him a question about himself. Tonight I can’t remember what that was. He gave me a long story about his life and why he was homeless. I gave him some money and thanked him again before going to Mac’s for ice cream. Mac’s had soft ice cream not hard. My helper followed me into the store to make sure I found the ice cream. When he realized it wasn’t what I wanted he gave me new directions.
“Oh you want an ice cream parlor. That’s about four blocks that way. Just go down to the bottom of the hill.”
When I heard the word hill, I knew I should have settled for soft ice cream. By then I was determined. I found the ice cream parlor about 8 or 9 blocks straight down at the ocean. The cone was expensive and delicious and gave me energy for the climb back up the hill. On the way I passed another hungry man and gave him some money too. I’d say that was the most expensive ice cream cone both in dollars and effort that I have eaten in my life time.
Last night we left Bonnie and Boris’ early. We were both exhausted.
September 22 Day 24
Today, we visited three very interesting churches(ministries) as we promoted my books. The first, West Point Grey United, located in a multicultural area is a busy thriving ministry. Their children and youth minister, Lorna was enjoying her first day on the job. Rev. Valerie, Rev. Lorna and Janis the office administrator all welcomed us. They shared a bit about their ministry and bought books.
Our second stop, University Hill United doesn’t have a building. The search for the Vancouver School of Theology where they have their office took quite a while. The old building has been sold and is being renovated. The new building isn’t yet completed. After asking several people for directions we found the church office, with only the administrator present. We had a great visit with Marjorie who took our information and promised to pass it on to the interested people. She also bought a copy of Fireweed for herself and gave us their Salt of the Earth Calendar. Even though the year is nearly over, we will enjoy the beautiful artwork.
Our last stop for the day was Trinity United. Trinity is a church in transition. We met with their new minister, Rev. Rhian Walker, at Heartwood Community Cafe. Trinity United’s vision is to “live out the Christian values of equality, justice and compassion in their neighborhood by creating an inclusive community living room space that supports people working on social and ecological justice, culture and the arts. The café, located in the heart of Mount Pleasant in Vancouver is a safe place for LGBTQ, youth, families and more, offering both physical and spiritual nourishment. Mt Pleasant’s diversity, density and its need for public space made it a great choice. When Trinity United Church’s lease expired, they leased the café with a new mission. www.heartwoodcommunitycafe.ca Tom and I both enjoyed learning about this new vision of ministry.
We don’t often think about visiting churches when we travel to new places unless it’s a famous cathedral. I’m glad I have my books to promote. As God leads us to a variety of churches, God is teaching us that our United Church is a very deep well of spirituality and vision.
Three stops and our time was gone. We picked up Alex and returned to family life. Tonight we enjoyed grandson Chris and the movie, “A Walk in the Woods”. It’s been a grand day.