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God opens the door to new worship location

October 30, 2010 No Comment

Wednesday evening Vespers will be conducted in the base chapel

Lutherans in St. Jean, Quebec have a new place for midweek worship, thanks to a partnership with the Canadian Forces.

The local Anglican church where they met closed, leaving the group to find another location. Rena, wife of Pierre Couture, the group’s lay leader, contacted Major Kevin Klein, a Lutheran Church–Canada pastor who took over as Senior Chaplain at the nearby military base in July of this year. Major Klein met with Pierre and Rena, along with Captain Charles Deogratias, who serves as Chapel Life Coordinator. The result was the base offering free use of its 300-seat chapel for Wednesday evening Vespers services.

The services are open to both the local civilian and military communities. There are 3,300 personnel on the base, including a constant component of 1,500 recruits and officer cadets as it is the location of the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the military and LCC to work together,” says Major Klein.

Sunday chapel services normally have a very basic format to be understandable for recruits who have little or no knowledge of Christianity. Klein says the addition of the weekly Vespers offers “services for students and staff who might need a liturgical tradition,” referring to Christians of any denominational background who may prefer liturgical worship.

Efforts are under way ensure the services meet the bilingual needs of military personnel and the surrounding francophone community. Major Klein says the services use the new LCC French hymnal, Liturgies et cantiques lutheriens and are conducted in both French and English. The level to which each language is used during the service depends on the number of people present and the number of them who speak either language.

The “amazing timing of God,” is how Major Klein describes the new partnership between the church and the Canadian Forces in St. Jean. He is optimistic about its success as an instrument of worship and evangelism, saying; “We hope it will reap a lot of benefits and spread the Word.”

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