We welcome all newcomers with open arms to worship and find a new home with us. We are also grateful for those who have been a part of our family for many years. Without them, there would be no Gibsons United today. Our congregation traces its roots back to the early 1900's.


History

Gibsons United Church originated around 1900 as a Methodist congregation, and for many years was located at the head of the Government Wharf overlooking Gibsons Harbour. The tiny church was very active with worship services, Sunday school, choir concerts, congregational suppers, and men's and women's groups. Gibsons United was the mother church for the Davis Bay, Roberts Creek, and Port Mellon Communities.

In 1956, a small core group of church members decided it was time to build a larger church to support the expanding community. They purchased the present site and with financial assistance were able to undertake the building of the shells of both the Sanctuary and the Christian Education center. The first service in the unfinished Sanctuary was held on 6th July 1961. The church became self-supporting in 1975 and was debt free by 1978.

During this time, Gibsons was also continuing its support to the people in Davis Bay and Sechelt who had established their own church, Saint John's United in Davis Bay. Gibsons continued with this commitment until Saint John's became self-sufficient in 1987. In 1998, both Gibsons and Saint John's (until then known as the West Howe Sound Pastoral Charge) became self-supporting, each with its own minister.

Gibsons United implemented a Church Council in 1993 to manage the duties of the church. This successful endeavor involves some twenty-five members and adherents and we are honoured to have some of the original core group still active in our church. Our Council has proven itself to be very supportive of our ministers and the congregation. We have become active in many ways including improving communications within the church and with our neighbours, enriching the life of the church, increasing community outreach and maintaining the church facilities.

The Gibsons congregation includes individuals and family groups of all ages, types, and incomes. Most of our members live within a couple of miles to the church, but some come from as far away as Sechelt. Together, we work inclusively to share our resources and skills to bring a Christian spirit of love and support to each other and our community, as a growing and changing church family.

Submitted by Betty Paterson



There are many items in our sanctuary that are very special to us. Two of these items are detailed below.


Rupert Bainbridge Memorial Window

This window was designed by Vivian Chamberlin, Mary Burgess and Maynard Halsey, and crafted by Susan Furze. It has many symbols, the doves, sheep, tree of knowledge of good and evil, water, flowers and fields.

Colours and their Meaning

Blue sky, love, peace, harmony in the heavenly body, infinity
Brown abode of man, earthly
Green peace, spring over winter, life over death, birth, new beginning, completeness, hope
Orange emotions, feelings, happiness, joy and energy
Purple God, the sovereign, royalty, mastery, greatness, strength and triumph
Red love, fire and zeal, blood of martyrs, faithful, sacrificing, physical and being centered
Violet love, truth, kindness, spiritual and saints
White innocence of the soul, purity, holiness of life, high plateaus, patience
Yellow rejoicing, hope, emblem of the sun and divinity, mental supremacy of reason over passion

Reference Verses from Genesis

Ch 1:12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. (Symbolized by the lower third of the window).
Ch 1:20 And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky." (Symbolized by the water in the middle of the window, the sheep under the tree and the dove in the corners).
Ch 1:24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so. (Symbolized by the sheep and dove).
Ch 2:10 A river flows of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches.
Ch 3:22 Then the Lord God said, "See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever". (Symbolized by the apple tree).


Sanctuary Cloth


The purple cloth on the Communion Table celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary, June 7th, 1987, of this sanctuary as the home of the Gibsons congregation of the United Church of Canada

In the centre of the arrangement is the Passion Flower (Passiflora Caerulea). The ten petals represent the ten faithful apostles, Judas and Thomas being omitted, (some say Peter). The outer corona symbolizes the crown of thorns. Within the centre, the five stamen represent Christ's wounds and the three-part stigma, the nails.

The Rose (Rosa Acicularis), symbol of love and hope, is often used in relief on pew ends, in carved mouldings and in stained glass windows.

The White Daisy (chrysanthemum Leucanthemum) signifies the young Christ's purity and innocence.

The Lily (Lillium Longiforum) is a symbol of Easter with its immaculate white flowers. It was cultivated centuries before Christ by the Cretans and Egyptians; was cherished by the monks of the Middle Ages and is found in many Renaissance paintings.

The Christmas Rose (Helleborus Niger) which grew abundantly in the first century, symbolizes the Nativity of Our Lord. It blooms at Christmas time, is hardy through the snow and storms and it is said that "Despite wars, which shake the whole earth, there still exists a mighty power, which can shape a rose or lead shepherds to a King".

The Fleur-de-lis (Iris Pseudacorus) forms a golden link around these flowers. The iris is indigenous to Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and North America. In Canada, these grow wild and are know as yellow flags. Louis VII of France chose the iris, growing on the banks of the River Lys, as the emblem for his Crusaders. The Fleur-de-lis epitomises the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Molly Whitelaw Reid designed the cloth incorporating flowers symbolic in the Christian religion. We gratefully acknowledge the help of Pauline Webber who hemmed the cloth; Lillian Loewen of Sechelt who so skillfully appliqued and embroidered it and Dr. Bill Cormack, botanist and friend for his botanical advice.

Prepared by Margaret and Ed Edgar