Archive for May, 2012

Exploring Old City Quebec
May 30, 2012

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29 and 30, 2012

On Wednesday we had warm weather (cheers!) and sunshine, so because of the sunshine the Wednesday photos are much brighter.

Here is our continued introduction to the Old City of Quebec City. We did not try to see the sights of the new city.

The Old City is surrounded by a stone wall. Here is the St. Louis Gate.

The Upper Town of the Old City is large and is on a plateau surrounded by cliffs. Our Hotel Clarendon is in the Upper Town. The Lower Town is small and narrow, situated below the cliffs, along the St. Lawrence River.  You may go down to the Lower Town by the funicular.

Or you may use the steep “Breakneck Stairs.” We took the funicular once, and the steps three times. The steps are a grand workout for the heart!

Here is an open square in the Lower Town.

The church is the Roman Catholic Our Lady of Victories Church, commemorating the French victories against the British.

Nearby a colorful trompe l’oeil mural fills one side of a five-story building and features many historical characters in a modern setting.

This close-up shows the artistry better.

In the foreground take note of Samuel de Champlain, who here by the river founded the first French settlement, a trading post, in 1608.

And a few more scenes in Lower Town.

Next, back up the stairs to the Upper Town and a better, sunny-day view of Le Chateau Frontenac.

At the east corner of Frontenac is a statue honoring Samuel de Champlain.

We went to the Fort Museum to see and hear a narration and light show telling the story of Quebec. The diorama shows the city in about 1780.

We are standing on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, which enters from the left. The St. Charles River comes down from the top center to join the St. Lawrence.

A few street scenes.

Here is the oldest house in the province, built in 1676, now a restaurant featuring Quebecois specialties such as pheasant, bison, caribou, pea soup and maple syrup pie.

Across the street from our hotel is the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

It was the first Anglican cathedral built outside the British Isles and was completed in 1804. The two British Army engineers who designed it were inspired by St. Martin-in-the-Field Church in London. The Cathedral now has a Sunday attendance of about 80 people.

On Wednesday morning we went there for the morning prayer service. Besides Jolene and me there were only two people present, the man who led the service and one other man. Afterwards we met them and found that the service leader was Bishop Dennis Drainville, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec. He was dressed in casual conventional clothes, but from the web site of the Diocese I learned that this is how he appears on more formal occasions.

The prayers in this service were broad in scope and deeply meaningful.

On Wednesday evening we had dinner on the patio of La Petite Italie restaurant. Excellent food, and generous portions.

Just outside the wall of Old City, on the west, is the impressive Parliament building.

Tomorrow, Thursday, we will leave for home, so this is likely my last post about our time in Quebec.

Thanks for joining us on our travels. Post a comment to let me know you are there.

May peace and joy from our heavenly Father be with you wherever you are.




On to Quebec City
May 29, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

This afternoon we drove from Montreal to Quebec City, a three and a half hour trip. We are here for a few days of vacation, which means that we check our emails twice a day to see what missions work and Roxbury Holiness Camp work may need attention now.

We had reservations to stay at Hotel Clarendon in the Old City, which is walled and preserved in style so that it looks much like any old European city.

This is our hotel.

It is only a few blocks from the grand and famous Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac hotel.

The Frontenac was built in 1893 in the medieval French style, with many turrets and copper roofs. It is an example of the 19th century Canadian Railway architecture. In planning this trip we considered staying at the Frontenac, but after learning that  the room prices soar to $459, we thought better.

The weather in Montreal was hot and mostly sunny. Here it is cloudy, windy and cold.

We walked around several streets (the entire Old City is easily reached by walking) and had dinner at the small but lovely and moderately-priced Le Cavour restaurant.

The food was quite good, except the vegetable soup. You could do as well by buying canned vegetable soup, watering it down, adding extra salt and overcooking it.  So when you come to La Cavour, I recommend that you skip the soup and enjoy the rest of the meal.

In Search of Beavers
May 29, 2012

Monday, May 28, 20112

We spent all morning with the Millers, continuing our discussions of world missions, the local church, theology, and current developments in the Brethren in Christ. I think you would have enjoyed our conversation!

Also, Dave took me on a hike into a preserved area in his town of Blainville, an area of ditches, ponds and young-growth trees.

We saw robins, yellow warblers, red-winged blackbirds and a song sparrow.  And everywhere, horsetail plant (Equisetum arvense.)

But we were in search of beavers, who live here and whom Dave has seen before. We saw the work of a beaver – old work, not new chewing.

And a beaver dam.

The dam is not exactly obvious at a glance, but it is the row of sticks immediately to the right of the water, stretching from the foreground to the edge of the woods.

We also saw this beaver lodge.

Again, you have to look for it. It fills the top center of the photo. Not the classic scene I had imagined – an obvious lodge in the middle of a large pond, so obvious that no one could miss it. This one was imbedded in the woods you had to look carefully to see it.

But, sad to say, we did not see any beaver. They are more active in the fall, Dave reported.

On the way back to the Millers’ home we stopped to see their son Andrew at work at Lenoir-Lacroix, a coffee business owned by Christian and Stefan Lacroix. It is grown in a way that is sensitive to the environment and is certified fairly-traded.

Andrew at work at the coffee roaster.

And so we said farewell to the Millers.



A Community of Faith
May 29, 2012

Sunday, May 7, 2012

Today we went with Dave and Patti Miller to their church service.

Well, “church” is not the term he and his group prefer. They talk of themselves as a community of faith, to distinguish the nature of their fellowship as being different from a mere building or ritual.

The Intersection is the name of this new “church.” It is a ministry of the Mennonite Brethren, so Dave is here because we are (or he is) in partnership with the Mennonite Brethren in this ministry.

They meet in a really nice reception hall in the basement of this center for senior citizens.

Here is a view of the meeting hall, with Dave and another fellow practicing music for the service.

Prior to the service people enjoy refreshments and connecting with each other.  JoLene doesn’t know quite how it happened with the language barrier, but she ended up untangling a tiny hair band from a doll’s hair for this little girl.

In the service the children sang “Our God is a Great Big God” with vigor.

Dave preached today, although he regularly has others from the group share in doing the teaching/preaching. This being Pentecost Sunday, he spoke on Acts 2 and the coming of the Holy Spirit then, and the fact that God’s promise of the Holy Spirit is for us today as well.

With my limited French I was able to follow much, but not all, of the service.

After the service we and a dozen others from The Intersection walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner and conversation. We learned so many stories of broken lives and failed dreams, but then of God’s redemption and restoration.

Lilacs are in bloom and fragrant here. We are seeing many of the “lacy” variety.

To Montreal, Quebec
May 26, 2012

On Friday, May 25, 2012, we left for the Montreal area to spend time as regional administrator with Dave and Patti Miller.

We drove 3 hours to the New York border, 3 more to the Canadian border, and 3 1/2 more to the Millers’ home in the town of Blainville in the greater Montreal area. Montreal proper is an island in the St. Lawrence River. Blainville is on north shore of the river.

Here are the Millers.

And here is a plant in their yard.

They call it tthe Dr. Seuss plant! It is very sensitive. If the Millers pinch a tip off the top, the whole stem will wilt and die. This was all new to me. Do any of my readers know what this plant is?

The Millers have been here since 2004 (they were in Quebec City earlier) and have planted a church in partnership with Brethren in Christ World Missions, the Canadian Conference of the BIC Church, and the Mennonite Brethren Church.

Today, Saturday, May 26, the Millers took us to Montreal to see some of the sights there. As you might imagine, en route we talked about many aspects of their ministry and church.

We toured  St. Joseph’s Oratorio of Mount Royal.

This is a basilica, a functioning parish, and the largest shrine to Joseph, the husband of Mary and the earthly father of Jesus. The complex edifice sits on the highest point on Montreal Island. It was the dream and project of Brother Andre Bessette, who died in 1937 at the age of 91.

Then we walked around the Old City.

Had lunch. Saw five wedding parties!

And various other sights.

And now it is time to…