Chloë’s Baptism

Chloe Frances Reimer was welcomed into the human family on February 20th, 2011 – with reverence, song, food, friends, and plenty of joy all around. The congregation of West Point Grey United Church served as official greeters with Rev. Valerie Taylor and Eunice Williams acting on our behalf.

It was fitting that Eunice introduced JP, Lies, Charlie and their extended families to the congregation since it was she and her husband Dwight who had welcomed Chloe’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother to Vancouver in 1959 when Jack became the first United Church chaplain at UBC. Although Jack died in 2001 his spirit was very much present – as witnessed by the baptismal font which he and Phillip Harrison made and the reading of one of his prayers by Phillip’s wife Marilyn.

Paul Verhoeff read the scripture verse dedicated to Chloe (Psalm 139) – the same one he read at his daughter Lies’ baptism many years ago. Rev. Taylor performed the baptism and blessing using Jack’s baptismal font, Cobi Verhoeff nurtured the baptismal candle, and JP sang a song he wrote for his daughter.

The event was made extra special by the presence of Lies’ sister (Anya), brothers (Rudy and Lance) and the many friends that JP and Lies have made over the years. Daegan (JP’s sister), Steve, Zachary, Samantha, and Thomas were unfortunately stuck in Victoria because of illness. It was wonderful to see so many infants and toddlers as part of the service.

The congregation continued to celebrate in the adjoining gym where they cut into an enormous cake that JP and Lies brought, enjoyed coffee and cookies, and caught up on each others’ lives. Charlie and his young friends (and not so young uncles and buddies) shot some hoops while the adults visited. Fran and I found it especially touching that this was also the space in which we had held our wedding reception in 1967 and where Dorothy and Jack celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1994. I have included a couple of photos from both of these events in the photo album.

After the reception, many of us drove out to Paul and Cobi’s house in Fort Langley to continue the party. We were later joined by Jeremiah (Anya’s husband) when he flew in from Lethbridge after finishing his obligations there.

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