For obvious reasons I can not tell you everything about 2017.
However, I can tell what I do know: we flew in from Copenhagen in September and we were greeted and felt very welcome already at the airport.
Then we came to the parsonage and so many people had volunteered and worked at the house getting everything ready. There was even a toy for the dog!
We have had so much help and we get so much support and we truly appreciate it; because beginning a new life in a foreign country is not easy, as you of cause, all know!
We had problems getting work permits, we had challenges with almost everything. New exotic names like Tsawwassan and Nanaimo! I was on Vancouver Island yesterday and I remember my first ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, on the way on the slope up on the ferry the car battery died! But we got help.
When we got bills in the first months here we had no idea who they where from, we did not know names of any phone company or anything.
We got help.
And here at the church everything was new as well, I did not know anything about Thanksgiving or Fall bazaar or about Remembrance Day, I did not know what a poppy was.
People kept saying to me: You need to get a poppy for Remembrance Day and I thought: why? Why, do I need a puppy, we already have a dog!
And then there is work-party? What kind of party is that? I experienced my first work party in the fall, so many people showed up and after a few hours the church was shining! Good work!
What is Hawaiian dancing? What is an Auxiliary? I still have trouble spelling it, and there is old auxiliary and new auxiliary and Sunday school auxiliary and Ladies auxiliary...
In February I met a lady at Kroaften (yet another new thing) and she asked me if we were getting settled and how we handled everything, and I told her: we get help!
And she said: you are so lucky! You are the pastor, and everybody wants to make you feel welcome. When we came here it was not like you describe it, we hardly knew anyone and did not know anything and there was no one to help us out.
I do not know if this lady came to church when she arrived, however let us make sure that everybody who comes here feel welcome in our church, just like we all do!
I see how the deacons do a good job welcoming and greeting people at the door every Sunday and I am so impressed with the volunteer work you all do here around the clock; let us continue that good work and try to greet new people and make them feel welcome.
We have dedicated 2018 to outreach and I am looking forward to my next report, hoping that I can tell you how we succeeded in making new people feel welcome here.
Let us make this year a welcoming year!
Once a month we meet in the library for a Danish afternoon. We get together once a month in the library and sing Danish songs and try to talk only in Danish. We enjoy an annual Christmas celebration, in December Erik Hougaard joined us and he played the piano and helped us get into the right Christmas spirit.
Is not in the evening anymore. Some people asked if we could do movie nights in the afternoon, so now I think we need to change the name to avoid misunderstandings. We mostly watch Scandinavian movies with English subtitles.
Every Thursday in the Library.
Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen, Pastor.