Rev. Terry Dyck 

Lake Windermere Alliance Church 

After a year of living in the Columbia Valley I have accumulated some observations and experiences of the rythyms of the community. Excuse me if some of these appear obvious to you, or normal and expected. It is relatively easy to slide into the perspective of thinking that what is happening around me and in my world – “it’s like this everywhere.” When indeed, life as you know it, may only be like you know it, where you are. Things may be very different everywhere else. That is certainly worth pondering and considering what that may mean for how you think and treat other people.

One observation that continues to stir around in my brain is the contrast in community engagement. Allow me to expand, and forgive me for making broad generalizations. 

You know, generalizations are only generally true. It has been a joy to participate in community events where broad participation occurs even when an individual may not have a personal attachment to the event. For instance, the grad parade where people lined the streets to celebrate high school graduates. People showed up whether or not they knew the grad, family or friends. The Santa Claus parade being another such event.

You may say, “of course we show up, this is our community, these are our people.” But one of the more unique features of life in the valley is the engagement of one-time guests, repeat or seasonal residents, and those that make up a group I would call non-resident ownership. I continually connect with individuals, couples, families who regard this area as their other home, or second home. I witness people going all in, whether they are permanent, long-term residents, new to the valley, or occasional residents.

I have not yet fully formed and processed my thinking about what this all means. Currently I have landed on the phrase, “while you are with us,” to describe my approach. This is also shaping how I describe, encourage and challenge people in their faith journey. 

While you are with us … engage as you can, make a positive impact, take a step in your personal journey, build a healthy relationship, invest in someone …while you are with us.