The peach trees were poised to blossom and lend their citrus fragrance everywhere along the hundred kilometer system of lakes known as the Okanagan in British Columbia. And in the city of Vernon on the first Sunday in May the brand new CLC congregation of St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church gathered in the rented Halina Centre to install their first resident pastor, the Rev. David J. Reim.
There were over 50 people in attendance, including about a dozen guests from “the States” who came up both to encourage the new group and to share a day of fellowship. The Rev. Terrel Kesterson of Spokane, Wash. based his address on Hebrews 13:17, and spoke on the theme: “The Blessing Of The Holy Ministry.” The undersigned performed the rite of installation, assisted in the laying on of hands by Pastor Kesterson, by a representative from the mother church in Seattle, Mr. Fritz Peterson, and by the member whom the Lord moved to make the original contacts which led up to this day of praise and thanks, Mr. Herb Steffl.
The whole soul-inspiring story of how the Lord Jesus has, step by step, given every possible blessing to the establishment of this island of truth amidst a spiritual wasteland is still available to anyone who has not already read it. And it is, of course, our own fault when we are surprised at how quickly and easily our God makes the impossible possible.
It did indeed appear for over a year that the whole movement in Vernon was just a one man effort. Luther is credited with the statement that ” . . . one man and his Bible are a majority.” Now we know that others were watching and very much aware that their former fellowship was adopting unscriptural positions on woman suffrage and engaging in the gross religious unionism which is a necessary part of the so-called “church growth” movement.
And the Spirit in His own time has been gathering in His elect and bringing them together, supplying above all the precious Word, and also adding every other material blessing in a miraculous manner, just as He has promised.
Our fellow-redeemed in Vernon are truly thankful that you are helping to support their local effort to begin with. They have asked me to express their thanks to you by this means, and to pledge to you that they will do all in their power to quickly reduce their need for subsidy.
In the meantime, Vernon is also one of Canada’s leading vacation spots. St. Paul congregation invites you to come and see what God has wrought.
–Pastor Bertram Naumann
(Editor’s note: Pastor Naumann serves our CLC congregation in Seattle, Redemption Lutheran. Redemption and its pastor were the instruments used by the Lord to make clear that a door was being opened in Canada.)