A (Scottish) Canadian Thanksgiving Feast
In July of this year, Norman Van Eeden Petersman got a call from a police officer asking, "are you the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church?" Fearing that something was wrong with one of our congregants, he responded that yes he was. Well, this call was of a very different nature!
The officer explained that he was arranging a visit of 40 Scottish high school students and chaperones from the village of Kinlochbervie who would be coming to Vancouver in October. They were coming to Vancouver to learn more about the life and legacy of Lance Corporal Roberth MacBeath, a Victoria Cross recipient in WWI who had subsequently been killed in the line of duty as a Vancouver Police officer. As their visit would occur over Thanksgiving weekend, he asked if our congregation would be interested in hosting a proper Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for these visitors. We were delighted to be asked and began making plans for a feast!
The dinner was held on October 7th at the downtown hotel where the students were staying and our congregation brought all the fixings for a turkey dinner. We had turkey, ham, yams, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, salads, and, of course, pumpkin pie. We noticed that the Scottish students didn't seem very smitten with pumpkin pie... so perhaps the Scots need further introduction to this fixture of a Canadian thanksgiving meal. We spent several hours with the students and chaperones and had a wonderful time visiting with them and learning more about our respective communities. We had the privilege of opening and closing our meal in prayer and singing Psalm 100 together. Hugh Fraser explained the history of Thanksgiving Day in Canada and we also heard a great presentation from one of the teachers about the life of Robert MacBeath. All in all, it was a blessed opportunity to display the love of Christ and the hospitality of Christians to these students and chaperones from Kinlochbervie. Our prayer is that the Lord would continue to bring about His good purposes through this simple action!