First News

FIRST NEWS | APRIL 15, 2020

LIBERIA UPDATE PART II

Bob continued his Liberia stories this week in a livestream session with Kurtis. If you missed the live session, click the player below to watch the recorded video of the update.


AREA PASTORATE

For most of us, it's been 5 Sundays since we last met together for worship because of the Covid19 pandemic restrictions. One of the things that we quickly shifted over to, in terms of pastoral ministry, was to divide up the city into areas and assign a Pastoral Team member to oversee the care and connection of members and adherents for that particular area. See the Area Pastor list here.

So far, the area Pastorate system has been working out very well! Some Pastors have enlisted the help of CG leaders, and/or one or two other lay leaders to help with calls for the people in their areas. All of us on the Pastoral team have been so blessed by the opportunities to get to know individuals that otherwise we may never have on a typical Sunday morning. It's heartbreaking to hear from individuals who can no longer physically visit their spouse or parent(s) living in a care home. Even though everything seems to be focused on Covid19, there are many who still need procedures done or ongoing treatments and they must go at it alone, without the usual company of a family member because of the restrictions at hospitals. But in the midst of all of this, there is also 'beauty in the ashes'. There are stories of God's grace where the Lord provided the perfect timing for things that needed to be done. Many are taking the personal initiative to keep in touch with a few that the Lord brings to their minds. And the kindness of individuals offering to help others who may have lost their work during this time. We continue to be the church, the body of Christ, even without the use of a physical building.  If you would like pastoral care, or know of someone who needs pastoral care, please send us an email at  . I will pass that along to the Area Pastor for follow up.

John Tsang
Minister of Congregational Care


FACE MASK DONATION

The Shelter Ministry volunteers are preparing and distributing meals every Tuesday and they are running low on face masks. If you have spare unopened boxes of face masks or cloth masks, the Shelter Ministry would love to accept your donation. Please contact if you would like to help.


RESOURCES

Click here for a list of government aids and benefits available for individuals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here for a list of communication apps for group video calls and messaging.


BLOOD DRIVE

There is always a need for blood donations—and this is especially true during COVID-19. Giving blood is a tangible way the Church can serve our community in this time—so we’re doing a Blood Drive along with other churches in the Lower Mainland. We want to encourage those who are able to book an appointment to give blood in April or May.

Note that you MUST book an appointment to give blood—you can do this at blood.ca or by calling 1-888-236-6283.

Read about what Canadian Blood Services is doing to help those giving blood do this as safely as possible at blood.ca/covid19.

FIRST NEWS | APRIL 8, 2020

PASTORAL REFLECTION

Click the video to watch the weekly pastoral reflection from Anthony.

LIBERIA UPDATE

It was a joy to host our very first livestream update with Bob this afternoon. Great work, Kurtis! If you missed the live session, click the player below to watch the recorded video of the update.

Bob will continue with a his second part of sharing next Wednesday, April 15, 3pm on Facebook Live.

COMMUNITY STORY

On March 15, our pastors, a CLT representative, and a few families gathered together to witness the baptism of Mia Kyriacou and Ally Reddekkopp. We had a simple worship session with a guitar for songs, a short message and prayer time together. As we sang the Doxology together in closing, we could all feel the presence of our Heavenly Father in our midst. We were once again reminded that God is near to us no matter the circumstances and He is worthy of all our praises.

See a photo slideshow with our singing recorded that day below. Click here for a full video of the baptisms.

 

Having witnessed Mia and Ally's profession of faith in baptism, we would also like to take this chance to virtually welcome Fabiano, Caroline, Sung, Margaret, Samuel, Melea, Fay and Noelle into membership.

"On behalf of the Membership Committee, I would like to welcome each one of you to First Baptist Church. We thank God for you and are delighted that he has brought each of you here, to be part of this community of God's people. May you be richly blessed as you find your place among us, to worship, to grow in your faith and to serve using the gifts our Lord has given you. May you be filled with God's love and peace."

- Claudia Wakeman, Membership Committee Chair.

You can read their testimonies here. 

PALM SUNDAY FAMILY ACTIVITY

Have you been following our weekly New Gen video updates? There has been a raging debate as to whether Danny is riding a cow or a horse. What do you think?! Anyways, last week, Danny and Filipe challenged our First families to share their Palm Sunday photos. Here are some incredibly adorable photos!

RESOURCES

  • Click here for a list of communication apps for group video calls and messaging.
  • Good Friday worship resources will be made available on the First Worship page on Thursday, April 9, evening.
Thank you for giving faithfully, particularly during these difficult times.

FIRST NEWS | APRIL 1, 2020

How are you structuring your day staying at home? This week, we have Rebecca sharing some of her daily rhythms and spiritual practices. Click the video below to watch.

Read the full liturgy Rebecca mentioned in her reflection here: A Liturgy for Those Flooded by Too Much Information by Douglas McKelvey


Speaking of spiritual practices, we came across these beautiful paintings shared by one of our FBC members, Sandi Smoker, who is a gifted artist. 

"Painting, for me, has become an important part of my spiritual practice, a natural expression of devotion from the stillness and quiet of morning prayer and scripture reading. Over these past weeks as I transitioned from prayer to painting, I felt my own fears and longings, my gratitude and helplessness emerge through colour and line. Sharing them with my community on Facebook and Instagram seemed like a good way to soften the impact of our situation by simply being in solidarity with each other. Scripture encourages us to comfort others through the comfort we have received. I feet the Holy Spirit's comfort as I paint and I paint to offer myself up as a comfort to others." - Sandi Smoker

See more of her work at @smokeypointarts 


 PASTORAL CARE/KEEPING IN TOUCH

During this time if you have any pastoral care needs, please do reach out to us. We’ve assigned Pastoral Team members to serve as Area Pastors, the list is below. Or, if you know of anyone that could use pastoral care, please do contact us as well.  

Anthony Brown – North Shore
Justin Kim – West End, Downtown
Rebecca Thornber – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Filipe Balieiro – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Stuart Campbell – Cambie, South Granville, Oakridge, Kerrisdale
Daniel Foster Fabiano – Coquitlam, Burnaby
John Tsang – Vancouver East, New Westminster, Delta, Surrey, Richmond
Bob Swann – Richmond, Shelter, Homeless friends, volunteers, and workers

Area Pastors will work with the leaders of our Connection Groups based in their area. If you have any care needs, please contact your Connection Group leader or Area Pastor. We are ready and happy to help and support you. You can also reach us by calling the church office or email us at  .  


CALL TO PRAY

1. Noon Time Prayer 

We are inviting you to pause in the middle of the day, at 12noon to pray for 10 to 15 minutes. It will be encouraging to know, that as many of us as possible, will be uniting our hearts to pray in this season. If for any reason, noon time does not work for your schedule, then perhaps at 7:30am or, 10pm. There are many things that we can pray for but if you would like additional guides, here are two options. First, use our weekly FBC prayer guide. If you'd like to receive that (it comes out Fridays), please send an email to . Secondly, If you would like to explore a contemplative way to pray, Pray as You Go offers daily prayers with sacred music, scripture, and reflective questions. This resource is both web based and app based. 

2. Prayer Needs or Requests 

If you have a prayer need or request, you can submit it by sending an email to  . Would you please indicate the level of circulation that you would like (confidential, Pastoral team only, church-wide).  

3. City-wide, Nation-wide Prayer Movements 

This crisis has stirred the hearts of God's people around the city and the country to pray collectively. 24-7 Prayer Canada is a ministry that seeks to help churches pray. They have a number of opportunities to pray with others during this time. Here is the link to that hub of resource. Let us unite our hearts in prayer!  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Rom 12:12-13)

4. A Prayer for these Times 

In this time of COVID-19, we pray to you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  
When we aren't sure, Lord, help us be calm;
When information comes from all sides, correct and not, help us to discern;
When fear makes it hard to breathe, and anxiety seems to be the order of the day, slow us down, God;
Help us to reach out with our hearts, when we can't touch with our hands; 
Help us to be socially connected, when we have to be physically distant;
Help us to love as perfectly as we can, knowing that "perfect love casts out all fear." Amen. 

 

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