Good News for British Columbia, indeed.

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

In the run-up to the B.C. Day long weekend, a bit of obscure history related to sharing the Gospel in the province.

Back in 1971, local Christians wanted to do something unique to celebrate the 100th anniversary of B.C. becoming part of Canada. This now rare booklet was the result.

“Good News for British Columbia” is a Gospel of Mark from the Today’s English Version translation. This is confirmed by several line drawings inside by the late artist Annie Vallotton, whose artwork is intimately associated with the translation. This booklet was commissioned by the B.C. District of the Canadian Bible Society and printed by the American Bible Society in the United States. (1971, you’ll recall was the 100th anniversary of B.C. becoming part of Canada.)


I make an educated guess that the booklet was designed to appeal to tourists who came to visit during the various celebratory festivities in 1971, and then afterwards. For those not from B.C., the photo on the booklet cover is of the totem poles in Vancouver’s Stanley Park looking towards the “North Shore.”

It seems like a good idea, as perhaps tourists would see it as a neat keepsake of their visit and then read what was inside. (I wonder why other provinces, who were also celebrating centennials in surrounding years, didn’t think of the idea.)

I’ve found press evidence that B.C. churches liked the idea of the booklet.

In the June 23, 1971 edition of The (Sunshine Coast) Coast News (as it then was, which you may see here, the local paper for Gibsons reported on the booklet. Please scroll to the bottom of page 5, and the item Scriptural Project.

It reads:

“As a Centennial project churches in Gibsons and Sechelt are joining in a combined effort to distribute Scriptures during the week of June 23rd to July 3>Many householders will be visited and offered one of the special Centennial copies of St. Mark’s Gospel. These copies will carry the title of ‘Good News for British Columbia’.”

Hard to imagine churches doing a mass distribution of Bible portions in this way these days.

I make another guess that the local section of the Canadian Bible Society promoted the booklet a little, as I next saw a reference to it in a 1973 newspaper.

If you scroll to page 18 of this edition of Quesnel’s “Cariboo Observer”, as it then was, you’ll see another mention of the booklet in their March 28, 1973 newspaper. In the “Our Churches” column by Shirley Demers, she notes that the “United Church of Canada (St. Andrews)” was going to be handing out the booklet as part of the “Key ’73″ evangelical push of that year.

I mentioned that the booklet is probably “rare”. Well, I’ve seen it twice, perhaps three times, in 28 years.

I used to go to a Baptist church when I first moved to Vancouver, and I recall that they had a copy or two in their literature. So, when I recently saw another copy in a small thrift store, I made sure to buy it for myself. That is the one pictured above.

Street evangelism is an often thankless task. So, if any readers recalled the booklet, I wanted to take pains to note that I do as well.

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28 Responses to Good News for British Columbia, indeed.

  1. Paul D. says:

    I’m surprised they chose Mark of all the Gospels.

  2. fjc says:

    I am convinced that those who participate in street evangelism do it either as a result of peer pressure or do it primarily for their own self worth/satisfaction. Not for the poor souls on the street. And in many cases they make a nuisance of themselves.

  3. Christine says:

    1 Corinthians 2
    14But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,16to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

    I can assure you, as one who participates in Street evangelism, it is for God’s glory and not those who do so.

    I would ask you to consider why, in the face of extreme adversity and violence against us, we do so.

    Let me quickly explain…
    If I saw a blind person walking towards the edge of a cliff but out of ambivalence or apathy never bothered to warn desperation to warn him. them, I’d be a pretty poor human being. You’d probably even say I was hateful or maybe even responsible for negligence in some ways because I refused to warn the person.

    The right thing to do would be to warn that person because it is the decent thing to do. Even more so, many areas have negligence laws that would say I was responsible for this person’s death because I didn’t act. Maybe the blind person would ignore me and my warning and continue, maybe I’d even plead, and beg him to stop, possibly even grabbing a hold of him in desperation to make him “see” the truth of the cliff.

    It’s the same with evangelists. We care enough to be a nuisance, because the truth is hard, it is uncomfortable and people don’t want to hear it. They want to be left alone for many reasons, it’s annoying, it’s a nuisance to you on a pleasant sunny day, it’s not nice to be told that cliff is eternal punishment in hell, whether you believe or not! .

    You see the Gospel of Jesus Christ (repent and place your trust in Him alone to be made right with God) is offensive, it’s foolish to those who can’t see the truth but it IS what God uses to bring about salvation.

    So, because we care, and want you to see what we see (again whether you agree or not) at least we took the time to warn you.

  4. Christine says:

    Sorry that scripture is 2 Corinthians 2

  5. Jane says:

    People who do street evangelism do it because they take seriously the command of Jesus to go and preach the Gospel to all creatures. The apostle Paul did say that some do in fact to it out of a sense of rivalry or envy but others do it ‘rightly’…some for selfish gain and some out of deep love for their neighbours. He said none the less that he rejoiced however it was preached. (He was in a Roman jail as he wrote this) for the Gospel is the power of God for salvation. He also knew that preachers of the Gospel would be mocked and scorned by many…but some do believe as well…and it is the some that they do it for. God gets the glory either way.

  6. fjc says:

    We have one here in Calgary. Makes a fool of himself and tries to break every noise bylaw, and others, in the City in order to get his face in the paper. He has gone so far as to endorse politicians-just another way to get publicity.

    Sorry, I have no time for any of them. My faith is private. I resent someone knocking on my door-whatever faith they represent- or approaching me on the street. I am strongly in the MYOB camp.

  7. Jane says:

    fjc – that is pretty sad that if you believe that Jesus forgives sinners and saves them from an eternity of God’s wrath in hell. Charles Spurgeon said “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!” Jesus’ faith wasn’t private. The men that Jesus discipled and sent out did not have a private faith.

  8. Hopesome says:

    Some people like to be preached to, some not!

    Some people like ‘Apple Pie’ some not …………

    Jesus used discernment – knew what and when and how ……….. to overcome adversity in anothers life, love and passion …….

    He didn’t need to speak – he knew

    Actions speak louder than words in my book …………… though I do respect that some do love the sound of their own voices !!

  9. fjc says:

    I simply believe that we live in a different world today, with different modes of communication.
    We no longer have town criars either. In the same vein, I am not a believer in tithing. If only because many of the former roles of the church have been taken over by society-Government.

  10. Jane says:

    fjc – the town I live in does have a town crier and many towns still do. Last week a group of open air preachers and local Christians joined in downtown Vancouver ….here is a follow up communication as they prepared to head into the Okanagan and points east …”"”Is open air preaching effective? The crowd of people in this picture sitting and standing grew over a 3 hour period as God’s word was proclaimed. A Taiwanese woman was riding by on a tour bus, heard the preaching of the gospel, found her way back to where she heard God’s Truth and came back to give testimony of how her soul and witness were blessed. A young man with cerebral palsy rolling by in his wheelchair insisted (he couldn’t talk) that his caregiver stop so they could listen to heralding of the Scriptures. They stayed for over an hour under the thunder of God’s Testimony. Yesterday when Mike was done preaching a man in tears told him how he loves the preaching of God’s Word. Even the heathen gave testimony of the power of God’s word by crying out in rage and fools scoffed and mocked under the proclamation of God’s Holy Writ. We leave Squamish and Vancouver British Columbia to declare God’s Word to the masses in another place. May He bring life to the seed that was sown here. May He bless our faithful friends and our fellow co-laborers in the gospel here! May God continue to richly bless you saints! “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 “”
    also there is no Biblical law that says Christians are to tithe (it was an old testament requirement for the upkeep of the temple etc) …but Christians this side of the Cross are to give as is their desire to give and to give cheerfully not out a mere sense of duty.

  11. Hopesome says:

    The streets run with the flotsam and jetsam of inhumanity and humanity all rolled into a manageable criteria for us to exist in …………. We move in and out of that criteria depending on what state of mind we happen to be in…….. We tend to gravitate to that which is uppermost in our mind as need ….. Street evangelism appeals to those who are ‘quandry’ ……. and its ‘being in a quandry’ that all of us en masse live in ……… Should we or shouldn’t we, shall we or shan’t we, when will we………… how will we, and the biggest quandry of all is why ………….

    Does Jesus love us ………… sometimes

    Does he want us to have hope …………….. sometimes (street evangelism walks into sometimes and fills the gap and then becomes sometimes and we stay there instead of heading forward and saying in all horror why does he love us and show us who he is only sometimes!!

  12. Hopesome says:

    Who betrayed Jesus – Mr Jealousy, after all Jesus was healing and his power intimidated the jealous ones.

    Mr Greed. after all Jesus had status not him.

    Mr I am (not you Jesus) kind of authority that finally bullied pilot into betrayal.

    Mr Money (Judas) who sold him down the river for a dollar (30 of them).

    Some of the cast of characters that stole – HONOUR, INTEGRITY, FREEDOM, HOPE, LIFE ……… and then they loved THE THIEF AND FOUND HIM WORTHY TO BE SET FREE with which the final insult to Jesus came into play ………….

    I’m sorry evangelism sprang out of betrayal …………

    The streets will run with blood was one of the many prophecy’s I heard …………..on this journey into why ……….. without a language of true hope thats where we are heading

    What and how do you guide your children through conflict……… threats, bullying, bribes, and when those methods only work for so long do you ground them, sanction them or abandon them, for thats the way the world is turning ……

    You all like conflict Jesus didn’t ……….. he rose above it and took your assumption that you could get away with murder, His patience ran out in the temple – so has mine.

    You can preach till the cows come home ……. sweeten and soften the ear of your listener but to save the lost souls …… takes guts ………… not martyr’s and guts are a limited edition in this world with so many weapons of destruction to take the responsibility for you !

  13. Jane says:

    The apostle Paul said this in his letter to the Romans …Chapter 1 : 14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

    The Gospel is a proclaimed message, it is announced Good News, it is to be heralded by Christ’s ambassadors. They are the ones who represent their King much like the ambassador of a country represents the interests of his home country while living in another nation. Understand that the Gospel Is Words that are meant to be told to everyone and anyone…and it is God (not men) who saves souls. Men can be as winsome as possible but in the ears of mockers and scorners no amount of human winsomeness will win a soul to Christ. A person comes to God by the power of His Holy Spirit.

  14. Hopesome says:

    I said to save a soul takes guts

    you are not up against flesh or blood -

  15. Jane says:

    Hopesome – it would be nice if you would say what you mean and mean what you say….I was perfectly clear. God calls his people to use His Words with their mouths to express to others how to be saved…but God saves the soul…not a mere man.

  16. Hopesome says:

    Yes Jane you quoted chapter and verse very clearly – and I understood just exactly what it was you were saying :- You enjoy preaching the word of the Lord – you are commanded to spread the good news to all of those with ears to hear.

    I Jane enjoy practising the word of the Lord; it comes at a price when dealing with betrayal, false witness, hiddeness, and of course deception always hurts but when the victory of the enemy has been defeated and the pathway made clear then it means that not only I but many others may be able to see more clearly love more deeply and follow him without fear of deception standing in the way to his heart. I honour those who walk in the wake of belief and admire that they sacrifice much; however for me doing is greater than saying ………… though both sometimes are required.

    You are right mere man is limited when it comes to the great deceiver – but when you go beyond those limitations thats when action comes into play and you begin to see why and how the witness of truth has been blurred and how deception has covered its way to hope. My pathway led me through the word onto the practice and into the action I hope yours does to.

    God Bless.

  17. Jane says:

    Hopesome – Is there a person on this fallen earth who has not been betrayed, been the victim of false witness, and more importantly haven’t we all committed betrayal and born false witness against someone else?
    Could you describe to me what your practice of the word of the Lord looks like in a day to day life? Are you referring to specific practices or rituals or prayers or places you go? Or are you saying that practising the word of God means that you consider yourself “last of all, the servant of all” and you “deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow Jesus.” and that you believe that “whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”?
    I’m afraid I am not grasping exactly what you mean. I am wondering also about the power of this ‘deceiver’ …is the deceiver more powerful than God or is the deceiver still confined to doing the deceiving according to God’s will and decree?

    Also, no where did I say that I “enjoy” preaching the word of the Lord…rather the very thought of approaching people to share the Gospel scares me…. I am thoroughly inadequate for the work. I did say that ambassadors of Christ (and that means all Christians) are commanded to preach the Word…the Gospel that saves. Granted some will do so in different kinds of venues and to different degrees….but that does not lessen the command to go and speak it out loud.

  18. Hopesome says:


    My remit changes daily – in plain English I go where I am called to go- where the need is greatest

    and if I am in the middle of doing the dishes then tough the call on his heart comes first …….. and if I am heading to someplace and I am lead to another then ……….. I deal with the frustration later !!

    That is literally how my day goes always – If a pathway is blocked then it needs to be opened and thats usually what the ‘call’ is all about! How that ‘pathway is cleared varies …….. the enemy loves division among us and if we are to truly join him who loves us then division has to leave and unity enter.

    Love never fails ……………….

  19. fjc says:

    I still maintain that those who practice street evangelism do it for their own well being, their own egos under the guise of self sacrifice. It is self serving in my opinion.

    Whether they admit it or not and despite all of the verses they intone and interpretations that they choose to apply.

  20. Jane says:

    I need a brick wall :)

  21. fjc says:

    Just one person’s opinion. As equal and as valid as your own.

  22. Hopesome says:

    The religious household is full of anomalies …………..

  23. Jane says:

    for fjc – Romans 10:15 … As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

    for Hopesome – what specific religious household and what specific anomalies…list please. thanks

  24. Susan says:

    Maybe there is an interesting story on each totem pole about a clan. Much like many cultures, each has a story. I suppose, when it comes to Christianity and totem poles, one is like the turtle on the fence. The turtle did not get on the fence by himself. Yet, now that he’s is on the fence, he needs help to get off. I kind of think, maybe each culture is like the turtle on the fence. Waiting for someone to help him get off the fence. Just to help the turtle out and not to take him from his environment.

  25. Hopesome says:


    Many Americans living in a ‘Christian/religious household carry guns !! – love and hate!!

    If you are fully protectedd by the almighty power of the lord that they profess to honour then who needs a gun. I can testify that when in a situation of the utmost threat a gun is not longer of any use !!

    Many who profess to worship a loving God are anything but loving once the veneer of ‘sweet Jesus’ is removed.. I can testify with all honesty on that one having had first class witness of the anomalie of ‘yes I love Jesus but ……………

    as for going deeper into religious household anomolies then I am afraid your understanding would have to be greater and your challenge not so viralent as both would tarnish any goodwill on my part !!

    Many profess to walk with the Lord and yet ………. money has the upper hand with huge ministries, huge assets and rather large loopholes when it comes to dealing in circumstance where mere words do not remove the veils of greed, grief, or someones determination to dominate !!!!!! You know Satan likes to bring his pride to bare when he shows us his world of …………… I AM – well to overcome I AM what do you suppose it entails.

  26. Jane says:

    Hopesome – As a Canadian I wouldn’t know about having a gun in my home. If the US constitution allows for Americans to have a gun then that’s fine if they do. Luke 22:36 He (Jesus) said to them (his disciples), “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”
    Also Jesus died for hypocrites which seem to be describing.
    You seem also to presume some things about my motives. I ask simply to understand so I can process what another person is saying. I guess now is a good time to just ask outright if you consider yourself to be Christian? if not? what do you base your greater understanding on? (you presume I am of lesser so I want to know from where you get your ‘greater’ )

  27. Hopesome says:


    You lose the meaning of the flower when you pick at its petals!!

    Hyprocrisy is not what I am talking about thats a far too simple way of describing the ‘double edged sword ‘……….. The word can be a double edged sword it can cure or kill – the ones who know when they are ‘killing’ are not hypocites they are worse than……….

    Christians are people who have a format and a remit in which they ‘operate’ and I respect that ……. Love however needs no label or format.

    Understanding has many levels ……… so does a willingness to hear it.

  28. Hopesome says:


    Yu must take the essence of the word when it comes to the biblical; far too many have dipped there hand into its supposed translation for it to be taken as an absolute litteral;

    Like most ancient ‘dicoveries’ much interpretation on mans part has gone into its value.

    At some point in time we all wish for a saviour whether we admit it or not ! and the name of Jesus allows us to (some of us at least) feel some sense of security in those not so ‘light’ places that we find ourselves in; the problem is that some of those dark places need more than a word or chapter and verse to be opened so that the light of insight wisdom and knowledge can enter.

    Jesus represents all of those areas in our lives that need; but sickness/he heals – is really the key point and only point at which he comes into play.

    On so many levels we are a people who have been led by wrong influence (again whether we admit it or not) and to turn the tide of infuence into a direction that honours, is loyal, and to give insight ect; as you do, needs a special kind of alternative influence to bring about that much desired change. Jesus represents good influence and satan bad. The world is to all intents and purposes filled with good and bad but the good isn’t good deep down it only apoears so; and thats where you will find that saviour you so desire to meet sat among not only the ‘bad’ but revealing what intent is behind the ‘good’. Think about marketing; most bosses market their goods to make a profit we as a customer are only seen as a means to an end most of the time; psychologists are brought in to tap into our weak spots and place certain goods in certain positions so that there is a better chance of them selling, a con is behind it basically but they know that we need their goods at the end of the day. Religion is no different in some cases – its marketed, the essence of truth blurred over time by greed to be him, know him, and to claim his glory – . Healing in his power you have never witnessed.

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