Restoring Life Through Creativity

Westview ARTS Academy was founded in 2016 with the help of a CBWC Opportunity Grant. One year later, founder and Director Elaine Hileman wrote this article to share the story of how the ARTS Academy ministry has been going.


Susan arrived in Calgary a few years ago with her two children after fleeing a harrowing case of domestic violence. Alone, broken, and tired, she wondered how to even begin to rebuild their shattered lives. With no biological family to turn to, she turned to her newly found spiritual family, the Christian church, for hope and comfort.

Initially, the church was supportive, but before long they judged the challenges of single-parenting and the trauma her children were experiencing from domestic violence. Some church members, misguided but well-intentioned, suggested that Susan give up her oldest child for adoption. They knew of a couple in the church who were eager for another child, and whom the church members felt would be more capable parents than Susan.

This unexpected betrayal from the very people she looked to for guidance, support and encouragement left Susan reeling. Disillusioned, angry and confused, she quietly shut herself and her children away for nearly six months. She was lonely, discouraged and distrustful of the church.

After some gentle nudging from a friend, she decided to give God’s family another try. When she hesitantly walked through the doors of Westview Baptist Church, she had no idea how God was planning to creatively put her life back together.

Part of a mosaic-mural being pieced together by families of victims of drug related killings in the Philippines. Photo by Vincent Go

 

Around the same time, God was working in my life by nudging me to start an arts academy at Westview Baptist Church. Inspired by years of working in ministry, education and the arts, I proposed starting a professional, affordable and Christ-centred arts academy at Westview. Church leadership immediately supported my vision and encouraged me to apply for an opportunity grant from CBWC. I did, and after receiving a generous start-up grant, founded the Westview ARTS Academy.

Last fall, our professional instructors began teaching art, dance, drama, and music classes to over one hundred students, from 3-year olds to adults. The Academy runs classes in painting, sculpture, ballet, choreography, banjo, guitar, voice, theatre and more.

People are generally excited by the ARTS Academy, but I think some are confused at why it’s a ministry of our church. I however, often wonder why arts academies aren’t a natural part of every church. Being created in the image of God is a mysterious thing, and one thing it means is that we can’t help but be creative. It is part of our nature. And creativity isn’t just exercised in traditional arts, but in all aspects of life. Our goal with the ARTS Academy is to give people permission to explore and grow their God-given nature. As Eric Liddell famously said in Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” I echo it by saying, “When I paint, I feel God’s pleasure.”

 

Susan heard our vision for the ARTS Academy at a Sunday service and introduced herself to me, offering to volunteer.

“I was drawn to the ARTS Academy because I think that there’s truth in the statement, ‘Once an artist, always an artist.’ However, it was a part of my past that remained buried underneath some unpleasant memories,” she said.

“I was resistant initially, despite feeling drawn. But once I met Elaine and she shared her vision for the academy, I felt compelled to be a part of it. I knew that this was a step on the path of healing and restoration the Lord was walking me through.”

When I first met Susan I didn’t know she was a single mom, let alone one who had been through so much trauma. I also didn’t know how much talent accompanied her offer to volunteer. Later, I learned that the very hand she painted so beautifully with had once been broken by her ex-husband in a fit of jealousy and in an attempt to keep her from ever creating again. I felt such awe at God’s work in restoring that part of Susan’s life as well as everything else He was doing to bring her physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

“In my life, before Christ began to set me free, the heaviness I was carrying didn’t allow room for creativity. When you are in survival mode, some things just go. They are not essential,” Susan said. “In my marriage, I felt that life was draining from me. Creativity, random emotions, fun, humour, the ability to laugh… all these things fell to the wayside. It wasn’t a fast thing, or all at once, but as the years passed away, so did ‘life’. So did hope. At times, there seemed to barely be enough room for breathing, let alone creating! It sounds dramatic, but this is the truth. I did not begin to re-surface from the depths of this until I made a confession of faith in Christ. Overnight, even though nothing in my outward life had changed, the breath of life came to me and hope was born in me. I struggled against this foreign feeling of hope, but ultimately, it remains, and, as we remain in Him, our life is slowly restored. Creativity is Him. He is the Creator. His creative expression brought this earth to life and all that is in it. It went from darkness and chaos to beauty and life—and life in abundance! ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water… and so it goes. God speaks and it happens. God forms, and it becomes. God breathes, and human life becomes. We are made in His image, in His likeness, and so we too, can create, form, mold, shape, become… and we can use these gifts to bring light, beauty and truth to the world around us, and bring glory to Him, pointing to Him, the One who created all things.”

Trinity Dancers from Light of the World, an original Christmas production by Westview ARTS Academy students and instructors.

 

Beyond restoring our individual creativity, I believe God also wants to restore the church’s united creativity for His glory and to be a light to a lost world. Currently, the church only embraces a fraction of the arts, and funds even less.

The goal of Westview ARTS Academy is not to create “Christian art,” but to create artists who communicate God’s truth, beauty and love. Christian art is often segregated art. It is art for Christians; art meant to entertain believers, or art that is considered safe. Art created by Spirit-filled believers will challenge unbiblical worldviews and make people reflect on life, rather than giving them clichés.

This is a long-term investment in Christian discipleship and artistic training and it requires engaging professional artists who will impart their Christian worldview and technical skills to our students, but it is an investment we are excited to be making.


Elaine Hileman is the Director of Westview ARTS Academy. To find out more about Westview ARTS, visit their website: www.westviewartsacademy.ca

This article was published in Volume 13, Issue 8 of Making Connections. Subscribe to the Making Connections monthly newsletter here

Opportunity Grants Awarded

The CBWC has awarded $55,000 in Opportunity Grants in 2017. Opportunity Grants fund innovative ministries that churches and partner ministries would otherwise be unable to afford. The following grants were awarded:

Centre for Healthy Aging Transitions, Vancouver, BC — $10,000 for Re-Engaging Retired Pastors, phase 2. Many pastors have experienced loss of connection from the churches and organizations that they served faithfully for many years, some with poor salaries and minimal retirement packages. These retired pastors have a wealth of experience in spiritual care and counseling, and have stories that can enrich the lives of others. There is little clergy care offered to retired pastors, but they could be mobilized to help one another: older adults helping their peers live well. CHAT is developing an online network to facilitate this connection, provide training, and gather at symposiums.

Hillside Church, North Vancouver, BC — $13,200 for North Shore School of Mission. Hillside Church is establishing a ministry internship program for their 20-somethings. The program includes church-based service, college-credit theological education, and short term missions. With Columbia Bible College as a partner, students will be able to earn undergraduate credits during the 12-month intensive. The CBWC grant will be used to renovate a classroom space. Operating budget funding has been provided by Hillside Church, other supporting organizations, subsidized tuition from Columbia Bible College, and tuition paid by participants. Stay in touch with the school or find out more details here: https://www.schoolofmission.org/

Gull Lake Baptist Camp, Lacombe, AB — $25,800 for a new multipurpose recreational space. A new flat surface space with surrounding boards, bleachers and a storage shack will expand the activities possible at the Gull Lake Centre. The camp has many fun activities, but almost all of them require trained staff (climbing, boating, canoeing, archery, etc.) A playing surface can be used as a skating rink in the winter, and infinite possibilities in the summer. Construction is starting this fall to be ready for winter rentals.

Broadway First Baptist, Winnipeg, MB — $6,000 for Tapestry: Healing Retreat for African Immigrants. Broadway First Baptist is providing a free weekend retreat each fall for women who are recent immigrants to Winnipeg, especially those connected to the Shalom Church in Winnipeg, while building relationships with the women of Broadway-First. Because there are tribal struggles that come from African into Canada, time spent getting to know each other and learning to tell one’s story is so vital. The first retreat was held in 2016. This opportunity grant will fund 2017 and 2018 retreats.

Since Opportunity Grants began in the early 1990’s, more than $4 million has been provided to support the ministries of CBWC churches and their partner ministries.

In this round of funding, Opportunity Grants received four requests for a total of $121,200. All requests were granted, but one was for a lesser amount than requested. Opportunity Grants are awarded annually; the next deadline for applications is April 30, 2018. To get an application form, visit the grants and loans section on the church life resources page: http://cbwc.ca/resources/church-health/

This article was published in Volume 13, Issue 8 of Making Connections. Subscribe to the Making Connections monthly newsletter here

Banff Pastors Conference is coming up!

Our annual pastors’ and spouses retreat is coming up again. Held in beautiful Banff, the conference is a time for pastors and their spouses to rest and charge up. The theme is life on the vine. Our time together will be restorative and focused on reconnecting with Christ, our source of resurrection and joy. Guest speakers and worship leaders will bring encouragement and inspiration, and the splendid Rocky Mountains will ensconce us in the presence of God.

The conference begins with dinner on Monday night and finishes on Thursday, November 9th. Stay a couple of extra days, and you’ll still have plenty of time to be home for Sunday! Early bird registration is open until September 10. Last chance to register is October 22. Visit our website to register and find more details: http://cbwc.ca/events/. Download the registration brochure here: http://cbwc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Brochure_Banff2017_web.pdf

David Fitch will be leading us in a reflection on faithful presence. David is a strategist for missional church and the planting of missional churches in Western culture. David Fitch teaches evangelical theology and directs the Theology and Mission Masters & Doctoral programs at Northern Seminary in Chicago. He is an ordained pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and currently co-pastors with three other pastors in Westmont, Illinois. He writes regularly on culture, politics, political theory, ethics, ecclesiology and mission.


Rob Parker will lead us in practices of life on the vine through Bible studies and prayer times. Rob is the founding director of the National House of Prayer based in Ottawa. NHOP was established in 2005 with the mandate originating from 1Timothy 2: 1-3. Rob’s desire is to mobilize informed, focused and sustained prayer for Canada and its leaders. Rob is gifted in preaching and teaching, and has a pastor’s heart for God’s people.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour.

– 1 Timothy 2:1-3

This article was published in Volume 13, Issue 8 of Making Connections. Subscribe to the Making Connections monthly newsletter here

Update from a Century II Donor recipient

 

Century II is a fundraising program for church capital projects. It was started in 1980 by a men’s group, and has been raising money for much needed upgrades ever since. Four times a year, a particular CBWC church is chosen and a fundraising campaign is distributed to donors who have pledged regular support to Century II initiatives. This summer a camp was selected for the first time. Gull Lake Centre in Lacombe, Alberta is in need of upgrades, and received some of what they need through generous donations of Century II supporters.

Earlier this year, First Baptist Church in Ponoka, Alberta made an appeal to expand their sanctuary. The existing sanctuary seats about 260 people, but it’s too small to house their church family. While they offer audio and video links in the gym, it is not a long-term solution. “We miss being with each other. Our desire is to have all worshiping together.”

 

CBWC donors responded, and the crew has been busily working all summer. We received a progress report from someone on the construction team recently, with photos and thank you’s. Have a look at where they’re at! (Note the prayers included in the construction materials.)

The new multi-purpose sanctuary will seat up to 450 people, allowing the congregation to worship together. It will also provide additional ministry space throughout the week. The first service in the new sanctuary will be held September 10th. Visit and celebrate with them if you’re nearby!

This article was published in Volume 13, Issue 8 of Making Connections. Subscribe to the Making Connections monthly newsletter here

Kinbrace receives funding for refugee support work

“The voice of the asylum seeker … is a voice that’s difficult to hear at times. The asylum seeker’s voice … gets lost in the noise of politicians who shamelessly conflate asylum seekers with risk and terrorism … [and gets] crowded out by our own instinctual fear of the ‘other’.”

— Loren Balisky, executive director of Kinbrace Community Society

Last week Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson awarded $181,220 to five refugee support services, including $5,000 for CBWC-affiliated Kinbrace Community Society. 

The money comes as Canada experiences an increase in refugee claimants. British Columbia and Manitoba have both had over 400 refugee claimants in the first three months of 2017 alone, and Alberta has received over 300. 

Mayor Robertson spoke out in favour of refugee claimants during the funding announcement, something no other Canadian mayor has yet done.

Immigrant Services Society of BC received $70,220 towards their work in facilitating the myriad logistics of asylum claims. They are heavily relied on by refugees, government and other support agencies to connect refugees with services, housing, work, training and support. The funding is welcome, ISSofBC says, as they work to meet “unprecedented service demands.” 

Kinbrace provides transitional housing for 30-40 refugees annually while the refugees wait for their claim to be processed.  Kinbrace has a community living model where refugee families and several Kinbrace staff and their families share their lives in the same houses.  Kinbrace staff embrace refugees in a community that walks alongside them during the complex and arduous refugee claims process.  In addition to providing shelter, Kinbrace provides other essential supports like its very practical READY tours that orient refugees to the refugee claims system and for its advocacy on behalf of refugees.

Kinbrace is one of many community-based ministries associated with Grandview Calvary Baptist Church on the east side of Vancouver.  To learn more about Kinbrace and its work with refugees, go to www.kinbrace.ca or contact Loren at loren@kinbrace.ca.

With files from ISSofBC

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The French Connection

 

CBWC member Kim Louise Clark has published a collection of devotionals, called The French Collection. The book follows a walk through Paris and parallels the deeper journey of faith. 

Here’s a teaser excerpt from the first chapter. The French Connection can be purchased on Amazon, online at Chapters Indigo and at a few select bookstores in Alberta. A portion of the sale proceeds are being generously donated to the CBWC. Thanks Kim!

My mom used to say that a vacation that started off badly would be a great trip. I never took this seriously, and certainly never purposefully attempted to do something foolish before a trip if nothing bad had yet happened. I also do not remember her saying this after she became a Christian, and not surprisingly, I can’t find any Scripture to substantiate this idea.

It was a few days before I flew to Paris, and my feet were resting comfortably in bubbly, silky warm waters: I had finally used my gift certificate for a pedicure. From the wide selection of colours, I chose a deep pink called ‘Bijou’, which is French for ‘jewel’. My silky smooth feet would soon be strolling around the exotic streets of Paris.

With a sense of enchantment, I stepped back out into the shopping mall but the feeling of specialness quickly began to fade as the tinges of a migraine that had been lurking around the back of my head grew painfully obvious.

I took meds but they proved ineffective and, as I passed a few stores, every movement emphasized the headache’s onset. I began to feel extremely ill. While I made my way over to one of the comfortable chairs clustered throughout the mall, I dug out my cell phone to tell my husband that I didn’t think I could drive home.

How life’s situations can change so quickly. One moment I’m a lady exiting an expensive salon; the next, I’m a crumpled heap in a chair, vomiting into a bag.

I can’t go to Paris. How am I going to manage on my own for six days, when I can’t even get home by myself from the mall? …

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New BC Yukon Regional Minister Announced

On behalf of the CBWC Board, it is my great pleasure to announce the hiring of our next BC/Yukon Regional Minister, Rev. Larry Schram. Larry currently serves as the Lead Pastor of Summerland Baptist Church. For over thirty years, Larry has encouraged local churches and pastors to be healthy, effective and faithful. Larry has been part of the BCY Region for the last 10 years and has already been an asset to Rob Ogilvie in encouraging and assisting the Okanagan churches. Larry rounds out the Executive Staff team well and he is eager to ensure we are prepared for upcoming cultural changes. Larry will begin orientation for this new role on Sept 1, 2017. 

Even before Larry begins, you will have the opportunity to welcome Larry to this new position and get to know him a bit better at our upcoming CBWC Gathering May 25-27 (see cbwc.ca/assembly for details of this event).

At The Gathering, we also look forward to thanking Rob Ogilvie for his service as BCY Regional Minister over the last decade and will commission him for his new role as Executive Minister effective July 1, 2017.
Please join us in prayer for our BCY churches during this time of transition, for Larry and Erna Schram as they prepare to move to the Lower Mainland, for Rob Ogilvie as he transitions to his new role and for Jeremy Bell as he juggles many details in wrapping up his time as Executive Minister. It has been my privilege to hear each of these people share their heart and passion for advancing God’s Kingdom and I am grateful for their service in our midst.   
Shalom,
Rev. Kayely Rich
Vice President of Personnel & Programme

Written by Kayely on behalf of the CBWC Board.

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Finding our whole story in Easter

Finding our whole story in Easter

by: Anne Smith, pastor at Southpoint

When I grew up, I went to a little Baptist church that had only two liturgical days on the calendar: Christmas and Easter. Even as a child, this seemed strange to me. Suddenly, it would be Easter! We’d dress up, hunt for our Easter baskets, have a bunch of lilies around the cross, sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!”, be told that Jesus died to save us from our sins so that we could have eternal life, and then, next week, everything would be back to normal.

He Qi’s painting of resurrected Christ shows fleeing demons and the not-yet awoken women. This is the sudden turn. Eucatastrophe.

Increasingly, I find a wider, deeper meaning by living Easter from within the unfolding story of the liturgical calendar, which mirrors the life of Christ. We prepare for resurrection during Lent, we celebrate resurrection on Easter Sunday, and we practice resurrection during the season of Easter, which extends to Pentecost. Holy Week holds this all together. During Holy Week, we witness and watch the movements of Jesus as he makes his final journey to the cross. His passion reveals the full measure of God’s love, and his resurrection reveals the full measure of God’s power. 

Eucatastrophe

Love proves stronger than hate, mercy stronger than judgement, forgiveness stronger than vengeance. The worst agency of the Evil One, death, becomes the agent of redemption. In this eucatastrophe, this sudden turning from sorrow to joy, there is room for the full breadth of my story.

Growing up, my sister was chronically ill. As I watched her suffer, I was comforted by this image of who God suffers with us on the cross. But, thankfully, the story does not end there. 

In Tolkein’s essay, On Fairy Stories, he uses the word “eucatastrophe”. It’s a term he coined to describe a sudden turning from what looks like imminent failure to joy breaking in from nowhere, changing everything. When I first heard of eucatastrophe, I thought, “That’s Easter!” This turning began with the incarnation as Jesus entered fully into our humanity and became well acquainted with the grief that wounds and breaks us. The full manifestation of this solidarity happens on the cross.  Yet into that suffering broke the resurrection.  Joy pierced suffering, seemingly out of nowhere. Eucatastrophe. 

As my sorrow is drawn into Jesus’ sorrow, I find comfort and belonging. As Jesus draws my life into his resurrected life, I find healing and life.  Christ shares in my suffering, and I share in his resurrected life.  Living the Easter story means embracing this tension between the suffering Christ and the victorious Christ. A year ago, just after Easter, two members of our church family died. So this year as we remember, I’m grateful for this story which holds both joy and sorrow, death and resurrection, yet is, at its heart, a story of eucatastrophe. 

After Resurrection, by He Qi

The sudden turn

The Gospels contain a series of resurrection accounts where Jesus appears to a variety of folk. People are surprised, of course, but more importantly Jesus’ appearance shifts their story. They don’t know yet that he’s alive. They’re in despair, grief, confusion, and crippling doubt. They’re puzzling about how it ended up so wrong when it had seemed so right. Then Jesus appears to them – eucatastrophe, the sudden turning! Thomas turns from skepticism to faith, Mary’s grief is instantly changed to joy, and on the road to Emmaus the disciple’s confusion becomes clarity. I love this. I find great hope in this unique dynamic of Easter morning.

These “turnings” are very powerful for me, both as a person, and as a pastor. Jesus draws near when we are in the worst straights, when our storyline has been blown to pieces. He joins us in our pain, picks up our shattered story, and begins to walk us in a new direction. 

As a pastor, I’ve seen many people go through turns like these. Things are going well, we feel God’s presence, we are full of faith. And then dramatically, it changes. Some circumstance changes that shakes all of life. We feel how I imagine the disciples were feeling: confusion and despair, thinking, did we get duped by this guy who we thought was the Messiah? Where is God? Is God real? Into this darkness, Jesus somehow appears, pulling us into a new storyline.  It might not be the same direction, but it’s a redeemed story that continues on.

Easter in community

At Southpoint, our celebration of Easter really begins on Palm Sunday. I get up early and cut cedar branches from the trees on Kingfisher Farm. Later, as folk gather outside, we pass out cedar branches, wooden blocks for banging, and long ribbons on sticks. We process into the sanctuary together, singing songs, beating blocks, waving our branches—we make a ruckus to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem!

Then on Good Friday, we lay out a path of sorrow at Kingfisher Farm. The stations of the cross are tucked away in the forest and farmland, so folk walk the stations of the cross surrounded by cedar trees. There is a meditative space to sit and reflect on images of the crucifixion. In the room is a large cross, and all who gather are invited to place a hand print in red on the cross before leaving, symbolizing our own betrayal of Christ, as well as our fellowship with him in his suffering.

On Easter morning, we gather again for worship. The service begins as we cry out together, “Christ is Risen!! He is Risen Indeed!!!’ We begin to sing, and as we sing, children and adults bring the flowers and greens they have picked from gardens to the wire bound cross at the front of the church.  We fill the cross to overflowing with flowers and greens. It is a messy, gorgeous display of abundance springing forth from the scarcity of the cross. We sing songs, proclaim the story, sing more songs, share communion – the broken body of Christ which has become the feast of resurrection life.

Observing Easter is inherently communal. It’s hard for me to conceive of it any other way. I feel like something intrinsic to the Gospel gets left out when we are too individualistic. Especially Easter. It was a social thing. It was instantly spread and shared and wrestled with, together. Mary immediately ran to tell the disciples, and they ran back and told people—it just feels that there needs to be a spilling over into one another’s lives to contain it, because it’s too big to be kept individual. 

Together we are remembering the story, we are reliving the story. It is the story that unites us as Christians. So to tell it, live it, remember it, celebrate it together, with Christians of different stripes all over the world… That is powerful.

We proclaim this not just as a story from the past, but as the story of our present reality, and the story of our future hope. The story of redemption that holds all creation. Living it out as an individual is all good and well, but Easter was and always shall be a communal reality, not an individual affair. To celebrate as a people deepens the practice of resurrection.

Triumphant Entry, by He Qi

Mission in the Arrivals Wing at YVR

Mission in the Arrivals Wing at YVR

 

“Last month, a middle-aged Mexican woman came to the door. I knew immediately there was something different about her; she was definitely in need of TLC, you know… just some loving care.” Dennis Kirkley says. He’s the lead chaplain at Vancouver Airport Chaplaincy; he’s also a CBWC church member. “I felt the Lord whisper to me, ‘care for this person’. So that’s what we did.”

He quickly learned why. Polly* was transgender, and had been recently disowned by her family after years and years of being unaccepted. Her mother died a few years ago, and her father finally told her to leave his house.

“She’d been living with her father for years because no one in her city would hire her. She had a degree—she showed me the paper. She could teach, but had never been able to get a job,” Dennis says. With no options left, a friend offered to buy a flight to Vancouver where they hoped Polly would have better luck. She arrived with no contacts, no plan, no job, and was noticed by Customs who directed her to the Chapel. Dennis and his team connected her with agencies who helped her prepare for the Refugee Claimant hearing, find accommodation, and complete paperwork to settle in Canada.

“When she returned the next day, refreshed for her final Customs interview, she told us, ‘You’re the first place that has cared for me.’” Dennis recalls. “That gave me opportunity to tell Polly how much God cared for her and has blessed our land, where all God’s people are treated with dignity and respect. When she left for her interview, she had a smile on her face and, I believe, hope in her heart!”

This is just one example of the work Dennis and his team do at the Chapel. Talk with him for any amount of time, you’ll hear story after story spill out, as he sketches a picture of the incredible range of human need they encounter. As an inter-faith ministry, the YVR Chaplaincy has met this need with spiritual and emotional support for 30+ years in International Arrivals.

“One thing about this job is, you have to be ready for anything. You have to be spiritually and emotionally ready. We get everything under the sun walking in the door, from people just popping by to say hello, to heavy, heavy situations,” Dennis says.

“We get women who are leaving an abusive relationship, people being deported, people who are grieving, carrying ashes of a loved one. There are people struggling with mental health,” Dennis says. “Just last week we had a guy who was trying to go home, but he was so disruptive that he got kicked off a flight. They were already taxiing to the runway, but he was so belligerent they had to turn around and kick him off. Then, of course they brought him to us!”

YVR is supportive of their work and recently decided to expand the current Chapel facility in 2018 and provide a second chapel past the security gates in 2020. That’s where most people in the airport are, so it’s a great answer to prayer. The current Chapel gets over 1,000 visitors monthly, and operates with a team of 35 volunteers, 10 chaplains, and 5 board members. Currently all the volunteers are Christians, though all faith groups are welcome to participate in this ministry.

The Chapel is also there to serve YVR staff. “We’re not trying to be a church or a mosque or anything,” Dennis says, “but it just so happens that there are a number of Roman Catholic Filipinos working at the airport on Sundays who want to attend mass. So for 7 years there’s a priest who comes down on Sunday afternoon at 4pm to hold a mass. And there are a lot of Muslim employees who come on Fridays to pray.”

To all CBWC churches, Dennis wants you to know they’re here to serve you. The Chapel is available for groups to gather and pray before a trip, or for goodbyes. They offer tours of their own space and the terminal—a few parking passes can be procured if you carpool.

“We hope churches will be more aware of us being here, so they can know what God is doing at YVR and they can pray for us.  We will be in need of new volunteers as our facilities expand in the future, and we also need the support of area churches because we must raise all our own operating expenses.”  Dennis is available as a guest speaker, with either a message or a mission report. “Ultimately we’d like to have churches aware of this marketplace ministry right in their midst.”

 

*Polly’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.