Farewell to the Past

Half a block down from the iconic Mile Zero marker for the beginning of the Alaska Highway stood the equally iconic Alaska Hotel.  Originally named the Dew Drop Inn, she earned the title historic and became embedded in the memory of any who lived, worked, or vacationed in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.  At least until last Friday, then she became a much different memory as hundreds of people gathered round to watch her last breaths go up in smoke.

We arrived after the more spectacular event, the wood frame building billowing with fire and smoke.

( photo – K. Sullivan http://www.photosbykas.com/)

At 7:30 the Dawson Creek Fire Department was trying to save the Brass Scissors, again.  That building suffered the same threat a year earlier when the video store south of it burned down.

The next day









Isaiah 64:11
Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.

I had the privilege of sharing a year of internship with this amazing and brilliant minister at West Point Grey Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, BC. I couldn’t have said it any better. In fact when I was seeking a call one congregation asked what my plan was to grow the congregation was, I asked, “What are your gifts? Its not what I will do, but what you are willing to do.” I didn’t get the call.

Hopping Hadrian's Wall

Whenever a congregation goes looking for a new pastor, the first question on their minds when the committee interviews a new candidate is: Will this pastor grow our church?

I’m going to go ahead and answer that question right now: No, she will not.

No amount of pastoral eloquence, organization, insightfulness, amicability, or charisma will take your congregation back to back to its glory days.

What then can your pastor do?  She can make your board meetings longer with prayer and Bible study.  She can mess with your sense of familiarity by changing the order of worship and the arrangement of the sanctuary.  She can play those strange new songs and forget about your favorite old hymns.  She can keep on playing those crusty old hymns instead of that hot new contemporary praise music.  She can bug you incessantly about more frequent celebration of Communion.  She can ignore your phone…

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