On Thursday, Sept. 24 there will be history made in Clearwater. And in some ways it will history repeating itself.
For the past two and a half years Clearwater United Church has been served by Rev. Brian Krushel, an ordained Lutheran pastor. That was the catalyst for the church to consider expanding its ministry to include working with two other Protestant denominations, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
There used to be two Anglican churches in this area, one in Birch Island and one in Little Fort, but those churches ceased to be viable many years ago and were closed. Even though the churches were not there, many of the families whom those churches served still remained in the area and if they were to continue to attend Anglican services or be ministered to by an Anglican priest, they would have to travel to Barriere or Kamloops to the south or Valemount to the north.
Back in the 1970s there was talk of the local United and Anglican churches joining together when the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada were moving towards a denominational union of their own. Those plans never came to fruition and it seemed that when the plans of the two denominations halted so did the plans of the local churches.
Although there has never been a Lutheran Church in this area, there are people living here who grew up in the Lutheran tradition. Because there was no Lutheran church available to them, these folks sought out a church home with churches of other denominations.
But all that is about to change.
In 2010, the Church of St. Paul in Barriere became an Ecumenical Shared Ministry of the Anglican, United and Lutheran churches. That meant that people of all three denominations were worshipping and working together under the guidance of a single pastor. That proved to be very successful and was heartily embraced.
This meant that Clearwater United Church, which has always been served by the same minister as the former Barriere United Church, was witness to and benefitted from this shared ministry. When Rev. Krushel arrived in February of 2013 and began serving the two congregations, the idea of expanding the ministry of Clearwater United to include Anglicans and Lutherans was thrust to the forefront. Two and a half years later, those dreams are becoming reality!
On Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church, Clearwater United will give way to Trinity Shared Ministry. Representatives from each of the three denominations will be present to sign the agreement that will bring the United, Anglican and Lutheran Churches into this new and exciting shared ministry – Bishop Barbara Andrews (Anglican Church of Canada), Bishop Greg Mohr (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) and Rev. Ivy Thomas (United Church of Canada). It is especially meaningful that Rev. Thomas will be present as the Conference Minister since she served Clearwater United from 2006 to 2009.
People from Clearwater and area are invited to attend this celebration service and be a part of history in the making. A special invitation is extended to all former members and associates of Clearwater United to be a part of this historic day.
Sunday worship at Trinity Shared Ministry is a blend of all three traditions with Holy Communion celebrated on the first and third Sundays of each month. For more information or to reach Pastor Brian Krushel, call 250-672-5653 or check us out online at www.norththompsonpc.ca