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You have until May 15 to contribute an expression of your creativity – be it reminiscence, a poem, a drawing or photo, even a recipe – something that emerges from your experience of the pandemic, heralds the arrival of spring or reflects on your journey in faith and life.  Please be generous and share your insights and inspirations with others of our church family.  Contributions should be forwarded to Mike Werth at [email protected] or dropped off at the office.       

The Garry Oak 

Creatively expressing life and faith. A meditation on changing a name. The Garry Oak is a unique West Coast tree.  But it is also the name we have chosen for an on-line experiment to encourage creative expression. Pre-Covid we published The St Peter’s Review which ran for three editions.  On further consideration, we felt that this title seemed rather academic and stuffy. Then one of our parishioners, Bill Henderson, donated a young Garry oak to be planted in the church garden to commemorate this year which is the 130th anniversary of the founding of this church on this property in the heart of Comox.  As we pondered this generous gesture, we saw similarities between the characteristics of this tree and the church for which it is now home.The Garry oak usually has a life span of some 300 years.  St Peter’s has a way to go to match that but for a church in this part of Canada to have offered services for 130 years without a break is significant.  One could use the term “enduring” to describe either.When the Garry oak thrives, its root systems nurture a fungal network conducive to growing Camas lilies whose bulbs along with the oaks’ acorns were a vital food source for Salish First Nations.  When St Peter’s has flourished it has nurtured life and faith and caring and generosity in scores of families across generations.Oak meadows once carpeted the Valley but fell before the ignorance of settlers who did not understand the tree’s vital role in food production.  But it survives and its qualities are now widely appreciated so it is protected and grows. It is resilient The church in an earlier time was the centre of a community’s social life.  But societies change and, with the onslaught of mass communications and technology, they become impersonal, lose their centre.  Then a pandemic comes along and we all realize anew how vital connectedness and relationships to each other and to the transcendent are to human thriving.  And the church provides those linkages in a way no other can.  And we all realize how fortunate we are that it too is resilient.Enduring, nurturing, resilient are common characteristics of the Garry oak and St Peter’s church.  Hence, for an instrument to celebrate creativity, faith and life through this church family, we felt The Garry Oak was an appropriate name.  Tony Reynolds