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Facing the Self-Sufficient

How do you pastor someone who doesn't see a need for God?

Several years ago I did a wedding on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, a one-hundred-kilometer stretch of coastland where a wild shoreline of sandy coves and pebble beaches and rocky shoals meets a puzzlework of primeval rain forest and fjordlike escarpments. The coast is dotted with small villages where prawn trappers, beachcombers, artists, and eccentrics dwell.

The wedding ceremony took place far above the clawlike curve of a rock harbor, in a wooden Anglican church built into a cleft of the steep mountain slope.

The inside of the church was decorated in wildflowers gathered from the hills and garden flowers garnered from local homes. The bride wore a simple but elegant white dress, the groom his own suit. The service had a beautiful simplicity to it, like something hand-carved.

The reception was held outdoors on property the bride's family owned, a promontory that jutted out into a harbor, with a large lawn bordered on two sides by rocky shore and blue-green sea. Sailboats crisscrossed ...

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