Calgary Alberta. Eight year old Eva and I attended Cathedral Church of the Redeemer. Eva pointed out that my blue denim skirt and jacket perhaps resembled jeans too closely to qualify as a ‘goin’ to meetin’ ensemble, but understood dressing out of the travel bag imposes some style limitations.
This was Eva’s first time at any church! She enjoyed dressing for the occasion and the sensuous Anglican ceremony captured her interest: Spine tingling organ, brilliant organist and choir, the sung Eucharist, the joyful sound of sanctus bells, a sermon on the text, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ We knelt at the altar. Eva received a blessing and I communion. ‘Body of Christ broken for you. Blood of Christ shed for you’. Mouth agape at the transubstantiation riddle, ‘Creepy,’ she said. Her mother (my daughter Emma) said it was ‘unhygienic’ for all to drink from a common cup. We had a short, unresolved discussion about the efficacy of wine in killing bacteria or viruses. I figure that which does not kill me will make me stronger and if I die from drinking communion wine, I’m in good standing with the almighty, if there is an almighty, although Emma strongly contends that there is no almighty. It is a sad state of affairs. There are deadly germs and viruses and no saviour
The church hosted harvest lunch today. Lasagne with green salad. Pumpkin, pecan, and rhubarb pies. Chocolate cake. Happy to report that a fair contingent of impoverished, possible homeless people attended both the service and the lunch and that Christ the Redeemer church has had a long and very significant involvement in the ‘Inn from the Cold Program’. When it gets cold here it gets deathly cold. Homeless people perish from the cold. We all agree — Christian, Atheist, Pagan, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, (forgive me for those I’ve missed) — when winter gets a grip in these parts it’s better to be in than out and anyone who helps bring the homeless inside is committing an act of love.