Nov. 19/20, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk:Pastor Karen Quan

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Returning to Montreal to be with my family is always a special time. Being here reminds me of the focus of “Christ, our Coming King”. Montreal is a city founded upon the strong influence of the Catholic Church.

During the short 10 min bus ride along “De L’Eglise = Church Street” from my family’s home to our neighborhood hospital, we passed at least 3 catholic churches. Of the 3 churches, 2 were smaller and the exteriors were overgrown with weeds & bare bushes. They looked rather sad, lonely and empty. I was reminded of how before the 1960’s each “Parish or Church” was responsible to look after & care for all the citizens of that designated area. Whether it was related to physical needs (Eg. bring food to the poor), emotional (Eg. visiting the sick & housebound) & spiritual (Eg. praying for those in need), the ministry of the clergy/parishioners were to be salt & light in the community. But after the 1960’s and the silent exodus of quebecers from the institution of the church, we now have an entire generation & beyond who have been completely cut off from the life of the church. As quoted in the Gospel Coalition, Quebec & it’s people are now identified as the Least Reached People Group in all of North America. Less than 1% of the population are identified as evangelical christians.

But the influence and legacy of the church lives on. Even as we walked through the main doors of the Verdun Hospital (founded & led by the Catholic Church from the 1930’s-1950’s) it’s inscription reads “Hopital General de Verdun, Dedie au Christ Roi = Verdun General Hospital, Dedicated to Christ the King”. Makes me wonder, how many people walking through these doors actually know who Christ is personally? With such a strong heritage & rich history, one might assume that it would be so easy to make Christ known! But the opposite seems to be true, as I walk along “De L’Eglise = Church Street” and pass by the “Church St. Pub” (a new bar with the Devil holding a pitchfork as it’s logo”).

No matter what our environment looks like, may we not forget that Christ has died for our sins and Christ will come again. May we not grow immune to this truth just as the etchings on a building can become somewhat of a decoration and easily overlooked. It encourages me to look up to Mont Royal and fix my eyes on the cross. It reminds me that everything that happens in the city happens in the shadow in the Cross.

Romans 5: 8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Karen Quan