July 21- Rev. Dr. Brian Thorpe ( please see his bio below) He will also preach on August 25th.
July 28- Craig Perry will be back preaching and Rachel will be back on the organ.
August-4 The Rev. Dr. Gerhard Bihl will commence his duties with us as a Short Term Pulpit Supply. (please see bio below)
Rev. Dr. Brian Thorpe July 21 and August 25
Brian Thorpe grew up in Saskatoon and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and St. Andrew’s College. Following graduate work at Union Seminary in New York, he was in ministry in Saskatchewan in Gravelbourg and as a chaplain at the University of Saskatchwan. He then completed a PhD at McGill University in Montreal.
In 1980 he moved to Vancouver where he served three different congregations (University Hill UC, North Lonsdale UC, Mount Seymour UC). In 1994 he became the Executive Secretary of the British Columbia Conference. During that time the church’s response to the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools System became one of the most critical issues facing the church. In 2000 the General Council of the United Church asked Brian to work exclusively in this area. One of the primary foci of this work involved the development, in partnership with survivors of residential schools and the Canadian government, of an alternate dispute resolution project in the Gitxsan Nation in northern British Columbia.
From 2005 to 2013 he returned to pastoral ministry at Ryerson United Church (now Pacific Spirit United Church). Upon retirement he was made Minister Emeritus in the congregation. He has also taught at the Vancouver School of Theology and is currently the Past Chair of the First United Church Community Ministry Society on the downtown east side of Vancouver.
Rev. Dr. Gerhard Bihl Short Term Supply Minister Begins August 4th Gerhard is a retired ordained minister. After a career in geology (Ph.D., UBC) he served united Churches since 1977 mostly in Alberta and BC. His extensive training in stages of faith development as well as in a wide variety of skills e.g. Sage-ing, Marriage Encounter; his professional expertise and life experience has led him to us at this period of time. Looking forward to his personal stories. Gerhard sings and plays the guitar and harmonica. He has written spiritual songs and once played with the River City Gospel Jazz (now disbanded) which conducted worship services over the lower mainland. He is also interested in Art producing cards, illustrations, banners, murals and paintings. He is married to Rev. Jan Bihl, minister at Como Lake United Church. He walks the Coquitlam Crunch at least three times a week and loves to hike in the mountains.