May 31, 2011
St Philip’s Dunbar where I was priested and served
- This is a photo of our visiting Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, UK with David, Sylvia & Claire Everett, Janice’s cousins
One of the wonderful fruits of the sometimes painful time at St Philip’s Dunbar was the birth of our first son James. What a joy he has been to us. We are so grateful for the gift of our three sons James, Mark and Andrew. They are irreplaceable gifts from God. I was age 26 at the birth of my first son.
Fatherhood is an amazing gift…
Lord, I give you my dear son. May he live for you all the days of his life.
God the Father loves us more than we even love our own children.
Grandma Olive , holding our first son James, was a very loving lady. She poured into our family in so many ways. We are immeasurably healthier because of her. I always loved to visit her and Grandpa Hird in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast.
Grandpa Vic Hird had a deep love for children. It brought out the best in him. He had a soft spot for James who was key in Grandpa coming back to faith in Jesus Christ. When James was about two to three years old, he danced before Grandpa Vic, as Grandpa Vic cathartically sang ‘Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.’
One of our favorite places to vacation for the Hird family has been Penticton in the Okanagan. My parents even bought property there at one point, thinking of retiring in Peachland. When our eldest son James was born in 1981, we vacationed that summer in Penticton. Holding James, I was about to go off on the motor bike. Being a wise parent, I gave my son back to my wife Janice, before heading off.
Every one loved our new son James. My in-laws Rev David and Vera Cline had a particular heart for James. David and Vera at that time were leading Brighouse United Church in Richmond, a booming evangelical congregation before the tragedy that happened to their former denomination.
Nana Allen dearly loved her new great-grandson James. Sadly Nana was to pass away the next year in 1982. We still miss her, but rejoice that she is with Jesus. Her godly example has been a great inspiration to us.
When my specialists advised me to step down from St Philip’s on Oct 1st 1981, my father and mother rallied around us, being a great support. My dad Ted has always been very fond of our son James. Family is such a wonderful gift that we don’t always fully appreciate.
James as always is full of life and vitality. You can see why thirty years later James does so well at floor hockey, and is such a strong Canucks fan. Go Canucks Go!!
August 9, 2010
I have twice had the privilege of having one of my sons in the “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” musical. My middle son Mark, as part of a North Vancouver Choir, was in the Livent Production at the Ford Theatre in downtown Vancouver. My youngest son Andrew played Zebulun in a Joseph production at the Terry Fox Theatre in Port Coquitlam. It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. I want to commend all the young people (and not so young) in ‘Joseph’ for the excellent job that they did, pouring their hearts and souls into a high-quality performance. It was exciting to see my son Andrew shine with life and vitality as he experienced the joy of working together on a high-quality community theatre team.
‘Joseph’ is one of those musicals that never seems to wear out, probably because of its theme of biblical proportions! It was so much fun! Perhaps the most colorful musical ever! I especially loved that amazing coat: it was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and all those other 57 amazing colours.
The Joseph musical variety was remarkable: country (One More Angel in Heaven), French-bistro (Those Canaan Days), Disco-rock (Go, Go, Go Joseph), Calypso (Benjamin), and even Elvis (Song of the King). Weeks later, these catchy songs kept running through my head when I was waking up or going to sleep.
The Joseph musical began in 1968 as a 20-minute “pop cantata” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for a school Easter concert in the UK. Derek Jewell, then the jazz and pop critic for the SUNDAY TIMES, unexpectedly gave the Joseph Musical national exposure when he wrote: “Throughout its twenty-minute duration it bristles with wonderfully singable tunes. It entertains. It communicates instantly, as all good pop should. And it is a considerable piece of barrier-breaking by its creators.”
Tim Rice’s favorite Bible story had long been Joseph and his coat of many colors. Speaking of the Genesis 39 Joseph story, Tim Rice commented: “This great tale has everything — plausible, sympathetic characters, a flawed hero, and redeemed villains … It is a story of triumph against the odds, of love and hate, of forgiveness and optimism. As with all great stories, the teller has no need to spell out the messages if he tells the tale well…”
Five years later, Joseph was expanded to 40 minutes in London, and then to 90 minutes in New York. After Andrew Lloyd Webber’s huge success with Jesus Christ Superstar, his Joseph musical finally hit Broadway in 1982, where it became one of the most enduring and endearing shows of all time.
With tens of millions of people having seen Joseph worldwide, the Joseph musical now has a place in The Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest running touring musical.
As well as twelve different professional casts in its thirty-one year history, Joseph has been performed in 15,000 schools or local theatres, involving over 500,000 performers of all ages. Nowadays there are nearly 500 school or amateur productions each year in the UK, and over 750 in the US & Canada.
The song that touched me the deepest in Joseph was “Close Every Door To Me”. Joseph poignantly sings: “Close every door to me, Keep those I love from me. Children of Israel are never alone, for I know I shall find my own peace of mind, for I have been promised a land of my own.” This song both faced the depths of Joseph’s despair in prison, and yet clung steadfastly to God’s promises of hope. Joseph never gave up on his dreams, and neither should we.
Even after betrayal again and again by his brothers and others, Joseph saw the big picture, and at the end extended forgiveness to his jealous brothers. “You meant it for evil”, he said to them, “but God meant it for good.” All things really do work for good for those who love the Lord. May you, like Joseph, discover His goodness today.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector, BSW, MDiv, DMin
St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver
Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada)
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier
-award-winning author of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’
p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail email@example.com . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.
-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide : Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada
You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide
July 24, 2010
While back in High School, my youngest son Andrew had a tremendous experience as Daddy Warbucks in his BCCA school’s Annie musical . He even shaved off his hair to really get into the part! The entire school rallied around the musical, resulting in a great sense of school spirit and camaraderie. Thanks to the hard work of the drama teacher Mrs. Birth and the music teacher Mrs. Gleimus, the participants blossomed and became a close-knit team. I was very impressed by the quality performance of all the youth that put their heart and soul into the production.
The 9-year-old girl who played Annie was superb. One person commented that she was as good as the original Annie! Her fellow orphans were cute, endearing, and believable, especially in the song ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life”. Another real star in the show was the orphanage director Miss Hannigan, who demonstrated a wonderful slapstick humour: “Why any kid would want to be an orphan, I’ll never understand”. And who can forget the good-natured BCCA Principal Mr. Jarvie who surprised everyone when he was wheeled in as President Roosevelt!
The Annie musical was based on Harold Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip. Harold Gray invented Little Orphan Annie in 1924 for the Chicago Tribune. Ironically Harold Gray did not start his comic strip with a little orphan girl, but rather with a boy named Otto (Little Orphan Otto!)
The Annie musical began at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977. The New York show went for 2,377 performances, making it the third longest running musical of the 1970s. In 1982, the movie version was released starring Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Ann Reinking, and Carol Burnett.
One of my favorite songs from the Annie Musical is ‘Tomorrow’. Going through a bitter 1930’s depression, it gave people great hope to remember that ‘The sun will come out tomorrow’. It is easy to be stuck in the past, in fear and discouragement. The ‘Annie’ musical reminds us to be future-oriented. To believe in the future gives us the courage to face each day’s challenges. “Just thinkin’ about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow.” Life can beat us down and make us want to give up. The Annie musical reminds us that “ya gotta hang on ’til tomorrow come what may”. The future can seem very mysterious and inaccessible. The Annie musical reminds us that : “Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You’re always a day a way!” Visionary people believe that there is hope for their future, that life is worth the struggle, that breakthroughs will come if we don’t give up.
The Annie Musical also reminds me that all of us feel alone at times; all of us can feel like orphans. Life can sometimes feel very overwhelming. The answer for Annie’s plea was adoption by Daddy Warbucks. The answer for our pleas in the 21st Century is the Spirit of adoption. All of us long for a father who will accept us and love us as we are. Jesus said: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Jesus reveals the heart of a true, loving Father, a Father who loves us beyond measure, a Father who longs to adopt us as his very own children. God has a special place in his heart for the fatherless, the abandoned, and the rejected. All of us at some level are little Orphan Annie. All of us are waiting to be loved.
Daddy Warbucks sang to Orphan Annie: “Something was missing but dreams can come true; that something was no one but you”. Just like Daddy Warbucks, theheavenly Father is longing to adopt you and give you a new silver locket, if you will just say ‘yes’. The Father loves you beyond your wildest dreams. The Father rejoices over you, and is saying, “It’s okay to come back home. The table is set. The Adoption Party is ready to begin!” God’s family, the Church, would love to throw a party in your honour this very Sunday! See you then.