On a winter evening in February 50 – 60 people gathered from Vancouver (and surrounding areas) to share what God has been doing in their midst. You’ll remember from other Listening to God times what those questions were:
What does God ask of you?
What resources has God provided?
What remaining resources do you still need?
How can we (in the churches of the Union) support your call of God this year?
I was thankful for the hospitality of Brian Stelck, the President of Carey Centre, and the organization of John Prociuk, Lisa Shierman and Shelby Gregg. You will be familiar with the pattern of worship and sharing that are part of each time.
Part of the healthy response to these sessions was the good relationship that Paul Pearce and Dawn Johannesson here with the area churches. Paul is the Area Minister and Dawn is the Area Administrator. Below are Dawn’s impressions of the sessions themselves and Paul’s comment on the Vancouver time in particular.
As one of the Administrators of the BUWC (BC & Yukon Area) it was my pleasure to work with many of the churches that were represented at the BU Listening Sessions held in BC in February; Carey Centre on Feb 23, Emmanuel Baptist, Victoria on Feb 24 and at White Rock Baptist on Feb 25th.
I believe we are making great strides. It was a great time to learn and listen to the representatives of the churches so that we can do a better job of serving our churches/ministries and one another.
At each of the Listening Sessions we heard a report from each church representative. I was encouraged and excited listening about the ministries already happening but also excited about the opportunities and planning of new and creative ways in which we can collaboratively work together.
The needs were heard and in fact there’s many areas of ministry yet to happen in each region — some of the churches expressed the need of funding resources, while other churches expressed the need of resources in people.
I’m grateful that our BUWC staff have generously given their staff time to these important matters so I would encourage one another to carry out this task with great anticipation for what the Lord has in mind. I sensed a real commitment — to enhance and/or begin the ministries of the local church in the BUWC.
On a personal note — let’s take a step at a time and grant patience with one another as we seek God’s direction so this will be a great benefit to all.
The recent listening sessions were a time of encouragement and challenge as we had the opportunity to hear what God is doing through the ministries of our BUWC churches. Each region reflected the commitment of our local churches to contextualize their ministries to their communities. The diversity being expressed between urban/suburban and semi rural was refreshing. The honesty and transparency of churches struggling and uncertain about the future also reflected the integrity of those who are working through significant times of change and challenge.
The Vancouver Friday evening session reflected the diversity of our churches as they are dealing with the changing demographics of Vancouver. The reports on ESL (Trinity), refugee care (Myanmar), arts and worship (Fairview), community impact (FBC Van, Grandview Calvary), disabled (Joy Fellowship), specialized congregations (Grace, First@Night), and global concern (West Vancouver Baptist) were representative of God’s varied grace as he works amongst us.
The commitments made are attached.
What a range of churches and people; from the poor to the wealthy, the charismatic to the liturgical, the artist and contemplative, the multi-ethnic, those coming to Christ and those on a journey of enquiry.
Thanks be to God.
First at Night – Santosh Ninan
Help us find our own location in Yaletown area
Funding for my position so I can stay as the full-time pastor
Grace Community – Allan Tam
To pray and provide supports for funding a qualified shepherd for our English congregation
To provide support for the pulpit
Trinity Baptist – Alison Fraser
It would be helpful to have a strong resource person “down the street” who would be involved to church plant in the Chinese population
West Vancouver Baptist – LaVonne Dougall
Intentional pastoral care
Assistance in seeking a lead pastor
First Baptist – Hart Molthagen
Engage in a dialogue over how we work closer together for the sake of the kingdom
Fairview Baptist – Rob Des Cotes
Adult Education/Leadership training (Sunday School, Bible studies, youth etc)
Grandview Calvary – Tim Dickau
Networking to move together as a denomination towards justice, integrated multicultural living, radical hospitality and pursuit of deeper personal faith
Joy Fellowship – David Hayward Jr
Renovation of a bathroom at Emmanuel Church in Richmond
Perhaps some leadership training/team building