Faiths Faces Kelowna: St. Mary's East Kelowna

Faiths Faces Kelowna

This is a personal experience exploration of the different churches, temples, mosques, etc. in Kelowna. Through this weekly experience, I hope to become more spiritually-oriented, while getting to experience different religions, and different slants on the Christian experience.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

St. Mary's East Kelowna

Address: 2710 East Kelowna Road
Date & Service Attended: July 30 2006
Pastor/Priest/Leader: Lay pastor - Eileen

Sermon: A contemplation of John 6: 1-21 (The Miracle of the Fishes and Loaves, and Jesus walking on water.

The lay pastor, Eileen, referenced a biblical book (sorry, I've forgotten by whom) that said that there are three ways to look at the Fishes and Loaves:
  1. An actual miracle as stated;
  2. A communion, where sustenance is gained;
  3. Jesus turning the 5,000 from selfish, to sharing and caring
She elaborated on the third point - that the people, having come so far, and it being the travelling time of Passover, were unlikely to have arrived there (Sea of Galilee) without some food.

By Jesus setting the example, and sharing what little he was able to round up, encouraged the crowd of pilgrims to share what they had. In short, to turn from selfish, to sharing, and then caring. So that the five barley loaves and two fish ultimately became twelve baskets of leftovers. A miracle of a sort too.

(This reminds me of the story of stone soup that I had read as a child. Perhaps Jesus was the spiritual originator of "stone soup").

In any case, it was a different way to think about John 6.

The second part of the sermon related to the walking on water miracle. Again, another biblical book was related, and Eileen said that John 6 also shows us how Jesus does three things:
  1. Watches us;
  2. Guides us;
  3. Helps us.
Other parts of the service: There was hymn singing, one which I really enjoyed, "Wind Upon the Waters", in their 1998 "Common Praise" hymn book (anything with nature in it really gets me, as I enjoy this display of God's magnanamous nature more than almost anything).

They also had flute playing, a hand drum, two acoustical guitars, and an organ. Usually, one or two of the instruments were being played while a hymn was being sung.

My feelings/thoughts: Usually, I don't comment on the church venue, but this is a very small, historical church building. Very nice I thought.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the service and the people: it's a very intimate type venue, and the interaction of the congregation supported that intimacy even more. To me, it felt like the best kind of family gathering. I also appreciated the prayer, where we prayed for a number of different worker types, and various people of the congregation, but where we could also call aloud the name of someone we wanted a prayer for.

I enjoyed the variety of music, I liked Canon Jim Kiddell ringing the bell at the start of the service.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed the service, with the slight proviso that I enjoy a sermon that uses a current "life" example, of how the scriptures/God has meaning (and in what way) and can be put to use on a regular basis. In that regard, the sermon wasn't quite as I like, but the rest of it was unbelievably beautiful for me.

If you're like me, I can't recommend enough that you try out this service. I think this is a real hidden gem of a church.

Other things: (Occassional comments on church goings on, or musings about the service, situation, etc.) Announcements that were slightly humourous: If you are between 75-80 and volunteering at the church, they need to know your name so you can be covered by the insurance policy (not quite sure why everyone else's name doesn't seem to be needed). Got a laugh from the congregation when one parishioner asked, "What if you're over 80?"

My own very personal ranking on the service and sermon overall: [I liked it a lot]

Religion: [Christian]
Denomination: Anglican
Size of Congregation: [Small]
Primary demographic appearance: [Older (mostly 40+ years old)]
Was greeted/welcomed, made to feel welcome: [Once or twice] And was personally introduced in the service to the rest of the congregation by the lady sitting next to me, Joan.
Service Started: 9:30AM
Service Finished: 10:25AM

Contact this church:
Phone: 763-3660, email:
Web-links: None found.

Faiths Faces Kelowna


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