Schumachers arrive to minister in B.C.

Ponoka residents will be glad to know David Schumacher has arrived safe and sound in Kamloops, B.C. to take up is ministry.

Rev. David Schumacher smiles serenely as he gazes at his new residency at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.

“We truly believe that God put this church in our path,” he says.

His unfaltering faith during what he calls a difficult period of transition, as he and wife Kathy live between crates, a province away from his children and grandchildren should be taken as encouragement to the parishioners of St. Andrew’s.

He seems determined to make a difference within his new locality.

Schumacher, 56, moved to Kamloops from Ponoka in the fall. “It was difficult and overwhelming at times, but I’ve learned some incredible lessons about people and about my walk of faith and how it impacts people.”

He hopes to bring his experiences from Alberta to developing a similar sense of community to the North Shore church.

According to a recent Globe and Mail story, national survey statistics indicate that, before 1971, less than one per cent of Canadians were of no religious denomination.

However, two generations later the figure has risen to nearly one-quarter of the population – 23 per cent – who do not follow a religious institution.

Schumacher acknowledges the declining attendance rate within churches across Canada is a reflection of the situation outside the country, particularly in Europe.

He is unconcerned with these statistics and, when questioned upon the recent atheist bus advertising issue, remains indifferent.

“Churches are in the business of encouraging people and providing hope,” Schumacher says.

“Without hope, life becomes meaningless.

“I really believe that my job as a pastor is to stick to the truth as I see it and to share that truth in whatever environment I find myself.

“I am simply here to tell you that I have a God and that I can introduce him to you to provide hope even in the midst of despair.”

Schumacher did, however, express concern about the way religions have convoluted the Christian message.

“I’ve always endeavored not to compromise on what I believe in as a Christian.”

Schumacher tries to deliver sermons in a way that keeps his congregation engaged. From jokes to James Bond anecdotes, he adapts his delivery in accordance with the demographics of his audience.

As Schumacher begins his work in the community, he is grateful for the welcome he has received.

“People I’ve met so far are very open, very understanding and very caring.”

From Kamloops This Week