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Olympic welcome at Richmond B.C. Lutheran congregation

February 12, 2010 No Comment

By Keven Drews

RICHMOND, B.C. — Images of the Olympic torch relay beamed across a massive screen, boxes of hotdogs buns lined the hall, and computers hummed in an Internet Café Friday shortly after Trinity Lutheran Church opened its doors to the world.

Until February 28, Trinity will remain open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. as part of its Olympic outreach and celebration program named Share the Joy!

The church is located one kilometre from the Richmond Oval, site of speed skating competition, and right across the street from the Richmond O Zone, the City of Richmond’s official Olympic celebration site. The O Zone is expected to draw up to 400,000 visitors over 17 days.

“I don’t think I have stopped yet,” said Don Hindle, the congregation’s director of services, during a quick interview with The Canadian Lutheran. It was his first break of the day.

To make Share the Joy! a success, the church is relying on an army of volunteers.

Hindle said the church needed to fill 1,200 four-hour, volunteer shifts, but now needs to fill 400 four-hour shifts. It has decided to work with a number of local congregations – including Presbyterians and Baptists.

Only five to six community members and Olympic fans showed up Friday morning, but many more were expected to watch the Olympic opening ceremony in the evening.

Inside the fellowship hall, almost 200 chairs sat before a screen, which stretched six-metres across diagonally.

While images of the torch relay ran on the screen, women worked in the kitchen, preparing coffee and food for guests.

Down the hall, another woman oversaw 15 computers in the Internet Café.

More volunteers worked the foyer, lined with Gideon Bibles and Chinese-language newspapers.
Racing up and down the halls were Ewald Wuschke, a member of Trinity’s English fellowship, and Mike Sun, a member of the Chinese fellowship.

Wuschke and Sun worked on the Internet Café.

Wuschke  also worked to get the massive screen.

“Up to this point, I’ve put in over 500 hours,” he said.

Friday morning, Wuschke and Sun worked to set-up the church’s first webcast.

For the next two weeks, Sun will be on call to solve any problems in the computer café.

Meantime, Trinity will host Edmonton’s Concordia Concert Choir, Sunday at 7 p.m (PT).

“This is definitely the biggest project I’ve ever taken on and probably will take on,” said Hindle.

The webcast schedule is online at http://www.tlc-lcc.ca/live-feed-ustream.html where you can also watch the webcasts, including the choir concert.

For up-to-date online information subscribe to Lutheran Church–Canada’s Twitter feed @lccinfotweet.