Rob Des Cotes (Founder – Imago Dei)

bio.photo.rob and ruthRob Des Cotes founded Imago Dei in 2002.  He became a spiritual director, retreat leader and pastor of Imago Dei. He is the author of four books of meditations for spiritual direction, Fan the Flame, Higher Than I and Ultreia! (Go Higher) and the final book, Strength to Strength. He and his wife Ruth have three adult children and lived at the A Rocha Brooksdale Environmental Centre in South Surrey, BC, where Ruth still lives and works as an environmental educator.

 

Rob continued on a new part of the journey with his Father on April 6, 2016.  A memorial service was held for Rob on April 16
at Fairview Baptist Church.

DSC_0158_057With comforted sorrow, we announce the passing of Rob Des Cotes on April 6, 2016. Our grief at his passing is deep – but deeper still is our gratitude and comfort of the Spirit. The seeds of Rob’s ministry yield a harvest which continues to blossom. A gesture of kindness. A word of counsel. Encouragement by grace. An invitation to the love of Jesus. Each of us has a memory of Rob’s impact. You can share your own via the menu on the left. Ultimately the fruit of Rob’s influential living for Christ is best seen from eternity. There is celebration in heaven and on earth for His servant.

Rob focused the last 14 years of his life upon on a fresh way of being a community of faith. He founded and led Imago Dei as a refuge and resource for hearts that longed for God. His example and teaching were a call to prayer. That call remains, as does the need. Hearts still yearn to seek God’s face. There is much that remains for the community of Imago Dei. We continue to find encouragement and hope within our network of communities. We continue to be directed by the weekly reflections written by Rob. We are still a voice of invitation towards a spirituality graced by Jesus, enlivened by the Spirit and submitted to the Father. With gratitude, we rejoice in what God has done. With trust, we look forward to what will yet be.

Rob was looking forward especially in the last few months. He anticipated with joy the coming Summit of Imago Dei leaders May 20-22 at A Rocha. He prepared a video presentation for the Summit to offer his voice of instruction and encouragement. We anticipate blessing. The Summit will be a time to remember and celebrate Rob’s ministry among us. It will offer us opportunity to connect and build community. It will be a time to prayerfully discern our path for the foreseeable future.

Another decision of foresight by Rob was the establishment of a Leadership Team for Imago Dei. You will find their names below. Ruth’s voice and spirit continues to bless us with wisdom. Paul and Paivi, as well as Tom and Kim have led the Vancouver Imago Dei group for years and bring depth and experience. Scott and Miriam are part of the A Rocha Imago Dei group. By the invitation of Rob and the Leadership team, Scott will take up pastoral care for the leaders of the Imago Dei groups. Karin will continue to offer her administrative help. As a team we ask for your prayer that we may serve our Lord well in this ministry.

Above all, we ask you to pray for Ruth and family. They recognize the care of God in the midst of grief. Our love for them expressed before God’s throne, is blended with His grace and descends upon their need.

– Leadership Team of Imago Dei

14 thoughts on “Rob Des Cotes (Founder – Imago Dei)”

  1. Rob was a friend, mentor and spiritual director for us over the past 7 years. As a result of his gentle teaching and godly example, I am experiencing Christian conversion in meaningful, growing ways. There is a void in our lives as a result of his passing. Rob and I spoke several times about the appropriate sorrow in loss. Then we would speak of the resurrection and new life that awaits us. I know Rob’s desire for us would be to find consolation in Christ at this difficult time. My prayers are for Ruth and the family. May His mercies be new every day. Miriam

  2. I have not had many mentors in my life, but the numerical absence has been amply compensated by the depth of one. Rob offered me direction in spiritual growth, a fresh paradigm for understanding that growth and a language to process it all. On top of all that treasure, Rob gave me hope that the re-ordering of my soul is not simply for my sake, but a foundation for ministry to others. To Rob- pilgrim, artist, musician, guide, teacher and friend, only God is large enough to carry my gratitude to you.

  3. Rob, was in the widest sense, a kind man, a compassionate man, and a humble man, whose heart beat with the Father’s heart. There is much that could be included, but having attended the Imago Dei group that meets at Brooksdale and was lead by Rob, I have to say that I have been greatly impacted by Rob’s leadership as he reflected the amazing gift of leading a small group. He listened, noticed, affirmed, and included a number of reflections and questions with such ease and thoughtfulness. He was one who listened and reflected as he directed each of us over the years. At the end of each meeting I felt that I was drawn closer to the face of God and His love for each of us attending…His loss is immense.

  4. Dear Rob. Love and Peace to you in your continued friendship with Christ, and comfort to your family and friends. Thank you for your pastoral sense and service to those seeking love and goodness. Thank you for the gifts of friendship art, music, community and prayer, through which many came to know the love and beauty of God.

  5. What I love about Rob, the Man of God, who (like Moses) sees the invisible, is that when confronted with bad news turned his face to the wall (like Hezekiah), and under the Spirit’s unction pressed in, seeking the naked face of God, whose single glance reveals a kingdom ( a thousand years). From that point onward, I saw in his writing more depth, more truth, more love, more riches. He leaves a treasure house that will satisfy a multitude!!

  6. At this time of sadness, my loving prayers go out to the whole extended ‘family’ of the Imago Dei Christian Community, and especially, to Rob’s wife, Ruth, for continued blessings of comfort and strength… With ‘reflections’ from near and afar, we are all grateful to be touched by such a special ‘wonderful’ man’s life.

  7. A sower went out to spread his seed. And much fell on fertile ground.
    We, the Victoria community of Imago Dei , are a growing shoot from
    that early planting eight years ago, by Rob. A great teacher, and one
    with a knack of connecting people who were meant to be together.
    Robs Friday meditations were step stones enabling us through our
    daily walk. He sowed, he salted ,and he blessed, in all he did, and I
    am confident that his work will flourish as God blesses our silence
    and praise, awaiting that DAY. A true servant of the Lord.

  8. I still remember coming to my first Imago Dei meeting at what is now Kingfisher Farm (first site of A Rocha Canada). It was a special time of just sitting and being. After a few meetings I asked Rob if I could bring my guitar and sort of play in the background. I had played poor guitar in the past but not for many years. “Certainly,” he said. So, for 7 years I played backup to Rob. He musical skills far outweighed mine but all he asked was that I was in tune. And then on the occasion that I would strike a wrong chord … there was a quick furtive glance. Not condemning, just making sure all was well. I will miss playing with him … but perhaps when I get to heaven my skills will be upgraded and we can jam together.

  9. My thoughts are with Ruth, Rachel, Michael & Luke.
    This is my own mini tribute to Rob
    My songs and puppets and stories are still here with me, but a little piece has gone with Rob when he passed on . Rob was many things to people and wore many hats.. A father, husband, chaplain, multi instrumentalist, visual artist were only a few of his gifts.
    We met when I became a childrens performer and needed a back up accompanyist. For several years Rob played keyboard ,guitar, flute. He wrote lyrics, produced my cds and was often the roadie.
    Our gigs took us north to Haida Gwai, Terrace, Smithers Prince George. South to Seattle, East to Canmore, Vernon, Trail and Nelson & West to Lilloet and Whistler.

    Long car rides provided much entertainment, upbeat debates and laughter. Rob had a unique sense of humour. He tweaked lyrics and helped develop the personality of each puppet! The most important being the 3rd member of the band. “Rockysaurus” our life size dinosaur..
    An added bonus: our children grew up with us on the stage. Sometimes they were guinea pigs for new songs, or they came up on the stage to dance to the famed “Dinosaur Dip”
    What made performing such pure joy was Rob’s calm and gentle disposition, his creativity, and the genuine warm paternal rapport with the thousands of kids we entertained. There were sometimes concerts where nothing went as planned, but we were pros , had unspoken signs to the mask the glitches! Sometimes I did not dare to look over at him, for fear of a giggle outburst in the middle of the concert.

    As I can tell by the many comments Rob touched many. We will all miss him terribly.. May your songs, music, books continue to be a legacy.
    May Rob’s memory be a blessing to all who know him,

  10. This tribute was written and read to Rob before he passed on to glory …

    Dearest Spiritual Director Rob,
    You are an amazing brother and Spiritual Director to me and to many! The 1st year of Spiritual Direction with you in Vancouver in 2003 was so life-giving and free-ing for me, that I realized what it meant to be truly free in Jesus name! You directed my spirit and soul to the Lord so gently that I left wanting more of whatever you offered and therefore I wanted to follow in your footsteps so that others can be offered the same freedom and direction to follow Jesus. Thank you for entrusting Imago Dei Singapore to me and giving yourself and all the resources we needed so generously. You show me what it truly means to be like Jesus and live like Jesus. You are magnanimous, redemptive, rich and real kind of human, hard to describe but you show me what our Heavenly Father intended us to be. So Thank you, Xie Xie, Obrigada, Terima Kasih, Arigato, Kumsahamida Jesus for Rob Des Cotes!

    Love, Muifong from Singapore ID

  11. This tribute was written for Rob before his home-going.

    Dear Pastor Rob,

    Thank you for the opportunity to listen to you teach, sing, and expound during The Heart’s Journey – spiritual formation retreat on March 12-14, 2015. You made time for us Singaporeans and travelled all the way here to engage with us. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn with you.

    Personally, you taught me the unrushed and quiet disposition of a child of God, resting in Him.
    Rest in God alone, Rest in God alone, My soul, O my soul.

    As I write this, I have been thinking of your situation using the preferred diagram you drew to teach us how to pray, and ask ourselves how God sees a given situation. I believe you and God are very close. For all that you are facing, you have been in touch with God. Together you two are looking at the situation. May you rest in Him now in His stillness, doing everything with God, allowing Him to fill your thought life and desires. In quietness and strength, He is your strength.

    Thank you Rob for many wise words and your presence at many retreats. I have learnt much from your life with contemplative prayer, from your posture of allowing space for God to take initiative. May you abide in His presence as you battle with bodily symptoms. Thank you for caring for your spiritual life for the sake of others, for the sake of the Kingdom in your generation.

    The most important thing you can do for others, as you said is to guard your heart, bring grace, peace, guard it from turmoil, fear, dissipation.

    Thank you Rob, for a life humbly lived, so well and full!

    Praying for the Lord’s strength and presence to gird you with peace,
    Bay Wan Jee

  12. This tribute was written for Rob before his home-going.

    Dear Pastor Rob,

    Thank you for the opportunity to listen to you teach, sing, and expound during The Heart’s Journey – spiritual formation retreat on March 12-14, 2015. You made time for us Singaporeans and travelled all the way here to engage with us. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn with you.

    Personally, you taught me the unrushed and quiet disposition of a child of God, resting in Him.
    Rest in God alone, Rest in God alone, My soul, O my soul.

    As I write this, I have been thinking of your situation using the preferred diagram you drew to teach us how to pray, and ask ourselves how God sees a given situation. I believe you and God are very close. For all that you are facing, you have been in touch with God. Together you two are looking at the situation. May you rest in Him now in His stillness, doing everything with God, allowing Him to fill your thought life and desires. In quietness and strength, He is your strength.

    Thank you Rob for many wise words and your presence at many retreats. I have learnt much from your life with contemplative prayer, from your posture of allowing space for God to take initiative. May you abide in His presence as you battle with bodily symptoms. Thank you for caring for your spiritual life for the sake of others, for the sake of the Kingdom in your generation.

    The most important thing you can do for others, as you said is to guard your heart, bring grace, peace, guard it from turmoil, fear, dissipation.

    Thank you Rob, for a life humbly lived, so well and full!

    Praying for the Lord’s strength and presence to gird you with peace,
    Bay Wan Jee, from Singapore ID

  13. Rob was a spiritual director for our church group the past few years and I attended several of his enriching workshops during his last years lived here on earth. My condolences to his family and community in this time of loss. He was a remarkable man and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from him. The way he taught his retreats spoke to my soul in a quiet and powerful way…I often sensed that he was ‘steeped’ in Jesus as he shared with us and his teachings greatly impacted my walk with God. He had a gift for capturing the essence of our relationship with Jesus and how to live this out in our daily lives. I was also struck by the way he generously gave of himself, as he could, when his health was declining…he embodied his teachings through this incredible challenge and seemed to press into the Lord in the face of loss. Thank you Rob for blessing us in the way you lived your life and shared it with others. You are greatly missed and my heart goes out to your family.

  14. Many moons ago when I lived in the Lower mainland Rob invited me into the Imago Dei group. I was an impetuous poet feeling the isolation of an artist working alone. Rob brought me into a wondrous landscape of fellow artists and would help shape and bleed my material into the larger family of Christ. I loved the gentle contemplative spirit that guided Rob and effected those who knew him. To be still and know was the guiding influence he gave me when I felt the storms of life upon me. I thank God for his wisdom, ways, and generosity. May grace be with his family.

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