Dal Schindell’s death on August 6, 2019 in Vancouver leaves us saddened at the passing of a unique Canadian evangelical who made a significant contribution to the establishment of The Renewal Fellowship within the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Dal had a vision for a publication of the organization which had been founded in May 1983. For him, the old gospel hymn “Channels Only” said it all. The first issue which appeared in the fall of 1983 was full of helpful and practical suggestions for the denomination’s renewal. It provided a global perspective on the church, articles by key renewal leaders here and in the United States, written especially for a Canadian audience with a passion for vivid and challenging teaching. Over the years of its existence, Channels became a resource for the encouragement and renewal of our denomination.
An elder at Fairview Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, he used his creative gifts to establish the magazine. He was on the staff of Regent College (see their tribute here)and thus had a wide perspective on the entire evangelical community in Canada and abroad.
The magazine featured the latest in design and content, establishing the credibility of our cause. Feature articles varied from lives of Canadian Presbyterian missionaries to the ways in which congregations could become set on fire as the Holy Spirit was active in our congregations. Dal, with his keen sense of humour, had a talent for involving his Regent College contacts — often diverse well-known renewal leaders. Dal consistently produced a quality publication which even today has much to tell us about his influence and impact.
Dal was a true channel in the early days of our Fellowship and was an encouragement for all of us who prayed that God would bring new life and vision to the denomination. Even today its articles speak to us in our present situation as a church, claiming with confidence and hope the promise of God’s blessings on his people as they are obedient to His truth.
Dal’s passing is a reminder of how much we owe to those who have passed on, as well as being a challenge for renewed commitment and trust. Our sympathy goes out to his widow, Kit, and the family.
Donald MacLeod is the founding chairman of The Renewal Fellowship. He resides in Brighton, Ontario.