Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Grande Prairie

Max Rossiter
A dear Alpha coach passed away New Year's Eve in Grande Prairie. I may post further about him, pending permission from Joyce, his wife. His memorial service was held on Friday Jan 13 at Grande Prairie's Christian Fellowship Assembly (CFA). I was determined to attend, but to make it otherwise worthwhile, I fired off a number of emails to arrange meetings with other churches in town. There was no rental vehicle available until Thursday morning, so I arranged to pick it up by 7:30 that AM. My daughter and her husband and family had been down to our home for New Year's, and on the way back had hit a deer with their truck, so, knowing I would be travelling back at dusk on Friday, I decided to take the full protection package for this trip. Normally I don't, but for an extra 9 dollars a day I thought it was worth the extra insurance.

A number of Grande Prairie churches are participating in Alpha's Global Advertising Campaign (GAC), so there are about 10 Alphas running or about to start. My first appointment was with Fariborz Khandani of Christ Church Anglican. It was a lunch meeting and I actually beat him to the restaurant after my 4-hour-and-change trip. Following that meeting, I met with Pastor Peter Ma of McLaurin Baptist, where my co-father-in-law (son-in-law's dad) is actually hosting a table in their Alpha. Then I visited the Salvation Army, who are going to run an Alpha at their drop-in centre.
Friday morning I met for breakfast at Denny's with Wes Dong and Senior Pastor Anthony Bulmer of Grande Prairie Alliance. It was a great time spending time away from their usual environment with leaders of one of my key Alberta churches. Wes is the one who basically organized the GAC for the city, and he did quite a lot of work, including bringing on at least one church I had been pursuing since my first visit there, and one course running for students at Grande Prairie Regional College. Thanks Wes.

My last visit Friday morning was to the Chancery of the Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard-Mclennan, just to keep in touch and let them know I haven't forgotten them, and to ensure they have not forgotten me. My hope is that we might be able to arrange some kind of Diocesan-wide training event. If so, I'd invite Alpha Canada's National Catholic Coordinator, Josh Canning, out to participate. I'd appreciate prayer to see that happen, should it be the Lord's will.

Max's memorial service had a number of references to Alpha, the difference it made in his life, and his devotion to it as an evangelistic tool. He had been the Alpha coordinator at CFA for many years. Max was one of the most colourful characters one could ever meet. On his facebook page he attributed his education to, "Kingston Pen." After he was saved, he couldn't stop talking about Jesus. Now he's talking to him. And Jesus is probably smiling.

Peace, Max


BTW, no deer.
BTW.2 On the way to GP I passed at least half a dozen large, wide load trucks with pilot trucks, carrying oil patch offices or machinery heading north. I'm guessing they would have been heading either to the Grande Prairie or Peace River areas. I hope that's a good sign.

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