We got caught in the rainstorm last Saturday returning from the Caribbean festival (warning, opens to loud music).
It was one of those spontaneous outpours that usually come from nowhere. The day had been dry, hot and humid, no one expected rain.
It started when we boarded the Seabus back downtown, I was slightly optimistic; we were on our way to the Plaza of Nations to check out Desifest.
By the time Seabus docked, it became disappointingly apparent the rain wasnâ€™t going to stop any time soon â€“ the sensible thing was to get home and regroup.
Those sunny days obviously did our heads in, because for a place where it rains all the time, people were acting as though a strange thing of nature had befallen us. It was coming down quite fast and heavy when we got out of the skytrain station, the rain felt sticky, warm and uncomfortable.
We walked a few miserable feet, all but ready to pack it in when a voice behind us said “you guys want to wait here for a while, it’s coming down really hard now.â€
Of course, there we were, right in front of a church and he was offering us refuge from the rain.
The symbolism wasnâ€™t lost on us as we scuttled in through the massive doors.
The church was preparing for their Saturday evening service, I imagine thereâ€™ll be a few extra empty pews because of the crazy weather.
This little incident had me thinking about churches and their image as a place of refuge.
St Andrewâ€™s Church – 1022 Nelson
First Baptist Church – 969 Burrard
Christ Church Cathedral – 690 Burrard
St. Maryâ€™s Ukrainian Church â€“ 14th & Cambie
Holy Rosary Cathedral – 646 Richards
Russian Orthodox Church â€“ 75 East 43rd
St Paulâ€™s Anglican Church â€“ 1130 Jervis
I live close to many churches, too many actually. There are three churches on my block, and close to ten more within a mile.
These are very old churches that have survived the neighbourhood/city and the changes that have come with it.
The old Presbyterian Church with beautiful architecture is finally being let go; thereâ€™s a for sale sign out in front, it makes me wish I was in a position to buy old churches.
Iâ€™ve been to that church a couple of times; itâ€™s like being among old friends, always reminded me of the term â€œsafe-heavenâ€.
Thereâ€™s a Catholic church two buildings away, a couple of days ago I heard sounds of Leonard Cohenâ€™s Hallelujah coming from the inside the church, I think it was the Jeff Buckley version.
It made me smile because Iâ€™ve never regarded it as a â€œChristianâ€ song; Iâ€™ve always considered it a song about love and the variety of life â€“ there are many different notes of Hallelujahs, â€œall the perfect and broken hallelujahs have equal value.”
I go to the Wesley church further down beyond the park for Carols Night because I love traditional Christmas carols/hymns â€“ I find them comforting, it brings back pleasant memories from my childhood.
Every year, around the Oscars, there are a series of Sunday services that explores the Christian faith and the Oscar nominated movies called the Oscar Sermon Series.
The religious institutions around here seem to have grown on me, they’re a part of the community as anything else. Church for me, had always been the place where you went to get instructions on how to live your life for that week.