Christian Tour Part 3: United Church

I have to credit Amber who paused our trip to Prince George for 75 minutes so that I could continue my adventure through Christianity. She walked through the town of Banff with Acadia while I and my faithful son Blaise attended Rundle Memorial United Church. I was late, again, because I missed the exit off the TransCanada and had to turn around.

The building is beautiful and suits the gorgeous Rocky Mountain surroundings. As we entered sanctuary from the front doors (a lot of these older churches don’t have foyers), we were handed a bulletin and a songbook. The order of service was traditional Protestant and it felt a lot like attending a Seventh-Day Adventist church, with a couple added readings.

It was a summer service, so there were very few people inside, though many of the “so called” liberal churches are declining in membership too. We took our seats during a hymn. We sang from both the hymnal and the newer song book.

One retired pastor who was visiting from Arizona led everything in the service except for the Mission Minute and play piano. He directed everything as though it was an upbeat business meeting. His sermon was about gifts. It didn’t look like he had anything written down and it seemed like it was all a bit off the cuff - that said it was good to be reminded of why God endowed us all with gifts.

The stained glass windows are noteworthy. Three large windows on each side featured men (and one woman) of faith. On the left side were folks like John Wesley, Isaac Watts, John Knox, John Calvin, and other big names in Protestantism. On the right, were local ministers who established churches or served the church locally, most notable would be Pastor Rundle for whom this church is named. Flanking each window were picturesque depictions of each province and territory (except Nunavut of course) of Canada. New Brunswick’s picture had a view of the St. John River valley.

Blaise was brave enough to go up with the two other kids for the children’s time. When asked where he was from, he guardedly said he was on vacation.

During the shake everyone’s hand and bless everyone time, Blaise and I were invited to stay for coffee and juice after the service. I declined, but then discovered we had 15 minutes of flex time before we had arranged to meet Amber so we ended up partaking in some rather delicious brownies and coffee in real china cups. I think it is the classiest after church snack I have ever experienced. Everyone was very friendly and I chatted with a local bank worker who attended this church in his youth.

No comments: