First News

Introducing Dr. Ben Ewert | Minister of Worship

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce our new Minister of Worship, Dr. Ben Ewert. 

Ben will provide pastoral leadership in developing and implementing the ministry of worship within the congregation and beyond. 

Ben Ewert was born in Gramado, Brazil, the son of missionary parents working for Janz Team Ministries (now Teach Beyond). At the age of 7, his family moved back to Canada, and he spent most of his formative years in Winnipeg, where he was baptized at the age of 17, a moment that marked an ever-burgeoning realization of a God-given vocation of musical worship.

Ben holds two undergraduate degrees with a major in piano performance (Prairie College and Trinity Western), a Masters degree (Choral Studies) from the University of Cambridge and a DMus (Choral Conducting) from the University of Alberta. His research has focussed on the interplay between liturgy, politics and music in the early works of James MacMillan. His academic interests lie chiefly in music and meaning at the intersection of sacred and secular culture.

Ben has been actively involved in musical worship ministry for over twenty years. He has been privileged to lead music and worship arts programs in non-denominational, Baptist, and Anglican churches both in Canada and the UK, and as precentor of the chapel at Churchill College, Cambridge. He is a baritone, often leads from acoustic guitar or piano, and has a deep desire to see a flourishing music ministry filled with homegrown musicians and composers that feed both the Church and the City. His favourite hymn of yesteryear is I bind unto myself today (trans. by Cecil Alexander) and, of recent times, Rising Sun (All Sons and Daughters). His prayer for the Church is that the Lord would ‘open our lips’ to worship, and that our lives would ‘show forth his praise.’

Ben is looking forward to joining the FBC pastoral team and will live in East Vancouver where he, his wife Krista and their three children, Jakob, Ella, and Audrey, will serve as a host family at Kinbrace, welcoming refugee claimants and asylum seekers to Canada. 

Let us keep Ben in our prayers as he enters this new chapter at FBC starting this summer. Let us welcome Ben, Krista, Jakob, Ella, and Audrey as Christ welcomed us. Let us pray for God’s guidance and provision as they make their way to Vancouver from the UK. 

I want to express my deep appreciation to our Worship Search Committee—Leona Adams (Chair), Mark Anderson, Michelle Casavant, Peter Findlay, Robyn Driedger Klassen, and Alessandra Reddekopp. I must also note the pastoral input by Rebecca Thornber and Anthony Brown throughout the search process. Despite the pandemic challenges, they faithfully served the Lord and laboured on behalf of our congregation for the past 6 months. 

Thanks be to God! 

In Christ, 
Justin Kim 

First News | March 10, 2021

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WINTER CHURCH MEETING UPDATE

The WCM was held on Zoom a couple of weeks ago – it was so very good to see everyone!

This is just a short summary:

  • Rebecca, with her prayer helpers, led us through the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Nancy Scambler led us in a time of remembrance of those in our church family who have gone on to their heavenly home. We are so very grateful for each one.

  • James Goulden, representing Laine Bosma, presented the Treasurer’s Report. The 2020 year ended with a significant surplus, primarily due to the CEWS which enabled us to retain our staff, and the prudent not-staff cuts to our expenses taken during this pandemic year. We celebrated God’s goodness to us as Kira led us in the Doxology.

  • Determining how to distribute the surplus funds, the MOTION was moved and carried that $200,000 would go to the Building Project Fund, $30,000 to match contributions made to the Easter and Christmas Special Offerings and $28,000 be set aside for Evangelism initiatives approved by the CLT.

  • Susan Ting spoke regarding the Nominating Committee’s report that included several new people stepping into new roles while others, having completed their terms stepped down. We are grateful for all those who have and are serving in the various ministries in the church.

  • Justin gave us great news regarding our relocation: 1) Office spaces have been secured 2) St. Andrews Wesley church will be available for our use on Sundays, from 1-3 in the afternoon, 3) We have continued use of the Nelson Square for parking and 4) We have the use of Coastal Church’s Commercial Drive campus for recording our services during the gap between the delayed occupancy of their building and our relocation.

  • Leona, Trung, Filipe and Danny all made short reports: The Worship Minister Search Committee is interviewing a candidate; the Children and Family Director Search has reposted their job description and gone further afield; Filipe is focusing on 4 particular goals as he develops the International Ministries; and Danny let us know how the Preteens and the Youth are doing in the midst of a pandemic.

We are grateful for all the work that is being done on our behalf – God is surely blessing us! We have much to be thankful for and are challenged to continue to pray for all our staff and the ministries God has entrusted us with. The meeting closed in prayer.

Claudia Wakeman
Moderator


HOLY WEEK SERVICES

Palm Sunday

March 28, 9am | First Worship online service video will be available on our website.

Good Friday

April 2, 9am | First Worship online service video will be available on our website.

Easter Live!

April 4, 10am | Live service on Zoom

Join us for a live service on Zoom as we celebrate Christ's resurrection! This is our first live Zoom service and we are so excited to be worshipping together with everyone! Sign up here and you will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation email. Just click on the link and join us on Easter Sunday, 10am!


EASTER MEMORIAL FLOWERS

On Easter Sunday, we will have a display of flowers to reaffirm our resurrection hope for friends and family. The flowers will remind us that death does not have the final word. 

If you would like to request a flower in memory of a loved one, you may use the form on myFBC  by March 28. Since we are not gathering in-person, we will send out an e-book with the name dedications via the Sunday First Worship email.


EASTER SPECIAL OFFERING

Each year, during Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, FBC collects a special offering that is used to support various causes and organizations. This Easter, the special offering will go towards supporting Strathcona Vineyard Church (Downtown Eastside) and Aboriginal Mother’s Centre Society.

There are two ways to give. You can give online by clicking here. Please make sure that you select “Easter Special Offering” under the Fund category. You can also give by mailing in a cheque. Please indicate that it is towards the “Easter Special Offering” on the memo section of the cheque. 

Designated Gifts: It is FBC's policy that designated gifts will be used solely for the stipulated purpose of the designated fund. However, when the purpose or project has been completed, or the special restricted fund has been closed, or the purpose of the special restricted fund cannot be completed as originally planned, the remaining capital will be distributed at the discretion of the CLT.


DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

It's that time of the year again: Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend!

Remember to set your clocks FORWARDan hour this Saturday before you go to sleep.

First News | March 3, 2021

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OUR STORIES

One thing severely impacted during a time of a pandemic is the community aspect. We are told to stay away, to only go out if you must, and this has impacted the way we run our services. Limited group gatherings have prevented more people than necessary to be involved, which has unfortunately meant that the personal stories we hear from you congregants during the Passing of the Peace part of the service have taken a back seat.

My job used to involve making the Our Stories videos that we saw once or twice a month, but now the production of the online services has taken over my world and Our Stories has also had to take a back seat.

As we finish packing up the church and relocating in the coming months, keeping each other in the spotlight is going to be more important than ever as we lose our church building as one of our main identifiers as a community. We are looking at different ways we can bring your stories back into our services. There aren't any firm plans on how to do this yet, but I want to ask you all to let me know if you have a story to tell and maybe even brainstorm on how we can tell the story to the congregation. The online service platform gives us so many options! Let's be creative together!

Kurtis Findlay


WEEKLY REFLECTION

In the month of March, we will be highlighting our Global Missions Ministry by featuring some of the missionaries FBC is supporting. Stay tuned for weekly videos about local and overseas missionary work and testimonies!

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