Bless This House
By Gillian Hoyer
As many of us were chalking our doors and praying for our homes and churches in the days around Epiphany, another important house blessing was occurring in the diocese. On January 4, Bishop Logan McMenamie presided at the blessing of Threshold House, the fourth and newest home opened in Victoria by the Threshold Housing Society (see November 2016 issue of The Diocesan Post for more about the Grand Opening).
A ministry of the Diocese of British Columbia, the first of Threshold Housing Society’s homes was opened 25 years ago. Through the faithful giving of Anglicans to “Anglicans in Mission” (and later to the “Anglican Appeal”), our diocese was able to hire Church Army chaplain, Rick Sandberg. Together, Rick Sandberg and a group of concerned Anglican parishioners in the Greater Victoria region provided the inspiration for establishing Threshold Housing Society.
Because of this strong relationship with the Diocese of British Columbia, each of Threshold’s houses has been blessed by the bishop. Bishop Barry Jenks remembers blessing Threshold’s first house, Mitchell House for young men, when it opened in 1992. He was also there for the opening and blessing of Threshold’s second house, Holly House for young women, which opened in 1997. Bishop Logan blessed the third house, Forrest House, upon its opening in 2014.
Threshold Housing Society staff, board members, and friends, as well as local Anglican, United, and Lutheran clergy and civic officials, gathered to bless and pray over the house. Bishop Logan, with the assistance of the Rev. Michelle Slater, minister at Oak Bay United Church, and the Rev. Gillian Hoyer led the prayers throughout the house, praying in turn for each of the common living spaces and bedrooms. As incense was wafted through the house, prayers were made for laughter, comfort, friendship and privacy to fill the house; for cupboards to be full, and for peace to be granted to all who would ever live in Threshold House.
Threshold House, along with all of Threshold Housing’s homes, is at capacity. The Society continues to strive to provide transitional housing for as many “at-risk” youth as possible and has become known throughout the region for providing a safe and stable home for at-risk youth while they gain education, work experience and build life skills. Threshold Housing Society remains the only organization in the region serving marginalized youth in this way.