The Rev. Clarence Li’s nine years as Rector of St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt have very successfully broadened the congregation’s life in our community, making real the motto, “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.” Environmental issues, justice for ALL and reconciliation have been strong themes. We are known for being “rainbow friendly,” welcoming the community’s LGBTQ population and meeting spiritual needs of people no matter where they are on their spiritual path.
We were able to establish the first homeless shelter in Sechelt. The earliest days saw the shelter in the annex on the church property, testing the congregation’s covenant to serve those in need. And the service to homeless grew with the move to the Upper Deck. Today we are very proud to witness RainCity’s new 40-unit modular building on Hightide Avenue, made possible in partnership with BC Housing.
As well as officiating at our two regular Sunday services, Rev. Li continued the tradition of providing numerous liturgical opportunities throughout the week, meeting the needs for those comforted by contemplative services and the amazing musical experiences of Taizé chants.
Eight years ago, Clarence suggested we establish time for a Native drumming circle, creating opportunities for parishioners and many other community people, to learn the stories of residential schools in B.C., local shíshálh tradition and the results of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A drumming circle, held recently to recognize Clarence’s contributions, was attended by 83 people. St. Hilda’s is also dedicated to the success of the syiyaya reconciliation movement, largely due to Clarence’s leadership.
As we adjust to living our church life without our Rector, Clarence Li, we are comforted to know we will see him, and his welcoming smile, on the streets and sidewalks of Sechelt as he rushes off to the next meeting.
Meg Stevens, Carol Eades, Mike Starr, St. Hilda’s Anglican Church, Sechelt