Travels 2015: A Tale of Two Churches

Travels 2015 is a series of updates I originally posted on Facebook while on vacation. What started as a quick update and a couple photos transformed into a series of mini-essays that I would have posted on this website had it been up and running at the time. This one was written on August 9th, 2015.


After two weeks of streaming Calvary Grace services while island bound, it was a treat to attend two church services this morning.

I'd heard of Door of Hope through Josh Garrels (who's an elder there) and Tim Mackie (the pastor who taught this morning and who is largely known through his work at The Bible Project). A highlight of that visit was the excellent music, particularly singing favourite songs of my own and being introduced to new songs written by them. It was a joy to worship with such a packed congregation of all ages (this picture was from the comparatively sparse early service). The circumstances of our sanctification seems similar, despite the distance between our cities.

The very first time I came to Calvary Grace, Trinity Church of Portland's pastor Art Azurdia was preaching. His church is also the home of Humble Beast. The gospel was proclaimed during the service I attended with powerfully articulated gratitude. Oddly enough, both sermons this morning m were specifically encouraging for my situation, speaking to my impending fears and uncertainties.

I was particularly encouraged by my long chat with a new friend, Josh Hill. Hearing his story of how God burst his bubbles of pride one-by-one while simultaneously being extraordinarily led to his current ministry was like comparing study notes from two students with the same teacher.. God doesn't waste anything, despite the frustration of my current round-about, circuitous trials.

And speaking of round-about and circuitous trials, that describes my evening on the streets of Portland. Literally. Walking in. Circles. My aunt might be a Canadian orienteering champion, but send this boy into a foreign environment and Maps or now Maps,  I am as confused as ever. Maybe that's my just judgment after joining the hoards of grease-worshiping-Americans navigating the round-about and circuitous lineup for a Voodoo doughnut (worth it!) Other observations from Portland:

  • Everyone other male here has a moustache. Old guys. Young guys. Even video game geeks.
  • Portland is in the middle of a heat wave which means there are lots of sweaty miserable looking bearded men around.
  • I too was hot and sweaty. Just not bearded. Didn't need that help.
  • I was given plenty of moments to yell "bicycle rights!" and "pedestrian rights!”
  • Both churches had excellent coffee (INCLUDING DECAF!). Trinity even served custom Cemex pour-overs. Calvary Grace, it is time to up our game!

Stay tuned for more updates. I'm pretty excited for what is planned these next two days. Pray these opportunities be used well!