First News

Congregational Care

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How are you feeling and how is your recovery going? 

By the grace of God, I (John Tsang) am feeling very good and my recovery is coming along very well. Much of this, I think, is because of the prayers of the saints at FBC. I participated and completed the Healthy Heart Program at St. Paul's. At the beginning of July, I returned to work part-time and by the end of August/beginning of September, I will be back to full-time. It was just perfect in terms of pace.    

What have you been up to these past 2 months?

In July and August, I tried to pick up where I left off before my surgery - following up and visiting individuals and families with pastoral care needs and connecting with key people. Captain America (Justin Kim) asked me to serve as Captain for the upcoming Ride for Refuge, so I've been organizing some group rides on the weekends. (The folks at Healthy Heart said that cycling is good rehab!)

Apart from that, in our liturgical calendar, there is this long period (which we currently are in) called Ordinary Time. When it comes to the lives of those in our congregation, ordinary time is people diagnosed with serious illness, it is children born to expecting parents for the first time. It is grieving families experiencing the loss of a loved one; it is an unexpected change in employment. Ordinary time is a big move to another city; it is the joyful marriage of a grown daughter; it is waiting for surgery.  It is unexpected accidents, it is the beginning of treatments.  It is mom beginning to lose her memory, and it is children diagnosed with health issues. This is ordinary time and by 'ordinary', I certainly don't mean to minimize the seriousness of any of these things happening to someone; I mean that it just is. These are the 'ordinary' moments of life, through which God can use to form and shape us into disciples of Jesus. When 'ordinary' things like these happen to us, it can launch us into a deep dark valley, it can force us to face some of our greatest fears, and it can burn off the dross of our spiritual lives. This is ordinary time. 

 What is next in the Caring Ministry

Well, I'm thrilled to begin the next phase of our Caring Ministry. After getting a good feel for the pastoral needs of individuals and families here at FBC, we are ready to develop a team of caregivers that are skilled, loving, self-aware, and attuned to the Holy Spirit.  

I stand in a long tradition of excellent Pastoral care here at FBC. I chatted with individuals who participated in caring ministries in the past and listened to their stories. I wanted to know what worked and what didn't. I wanted to know what got dropped and what could be improved. I tried to put all of that through the grid of my own experience and training - prayerfully and thoughtfully - and I put together a series of training sessions to develop Care Friends and what I call Care Ministers. For a detailed description of the training sessions, please visit the FBC website page. 

 What are you looking forward to in these training sessions in the fall?

I'm really excited about what I see as team-building, learning, and reflective times through these groups. The first thing that you'll notice is that these training sessions are created in a small interactive setting of 7-10 participants. The topics and content, I think, are well-thought through but the real beauty is the experiential learning, growing in our self-awareness, knowing our own story to see how God has formed us, and to sharpen our skills as caring friends and caregivers. I think going through these training sessions will make us better parents, daughters, brothers, friends, neighbours, and co-workers.    

The other guiding principle behind this is the concept of praxis which is simply a fancy word for integration of theory and practice. In the Gospels, we see that Jesus used the rhythm of teaching, sending out, and returning for reflection. This is the model of our Care Ministry Training. Instead of overloading a person with all the material at once, we will learn the basics, go and practice what we learned and then come back for reflection and deeper learning. Then we will go and practice, and still return for yet more learning and reflection. My hope is to develop caregivers who are life-long learners. 

Some who have received previous Caring training (eg. Stephen Ministry) have asked if they should participate. I think we could all use a refresher once in a while. As well, I think those with previous training will come and share their stories because that will add a richness to the group interaction and experience.    

By way of conclusion, words cannot express what a blessing and honour it is to journey with someone in their moment of loss, grief, confusion, or pain. It is a sacred thing and in those moments, I think we're approaching holy ground. Victor Hugo in the closing moments of his epic story Les Misérables, wrote this line, spoken by the imperfect protagonist Jean Valjean, "To love another person is to see the face of God".

John Tsang
Minister of Congregational Care

Posted by John Tsang

Fall Kick-off 2019

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Fall marks the start of a new season of ministries and events and we are very excited to kick off another year at First Baptist Church! Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will lead us, surprise us, and change us to be the sort of church family where all participate and belong. 

This is not an exhaustive list, but it does highlight some of our key events and rhythms. 




Choir begins!
First rehearsal of the season. New and prospective choir members welcomed. 7-8:45pm. 


Preteens & Youth Family Kick-off BBQAll preteens, youth and their families are invited to bond over BBQ and games. Filipe and Daniel will share about our upcoming preteens and youth events.


Induction of Anthony Brown as Senior Minister
Join us for a time of commitment and covenant between the church and Anthony Brown, our new senior minister, as we enter in this new chapter of ministry together at FBC. 


School Age Pancake Breakfast & Parent OrientationPancakes! What better way to kickstart a new season with our little ones! Parents, want to hear more about our goals and plans for our School Age Ministry? Please be sure to attend the orientation after the worship service.


Young Adult Kick-off Lunch 

An open invitation to all young adults, especially those of you who are starting your University/College years! Meet us at Pinder Hall after the service. 

SEP 9, 11, 13

Care Friends Training Group A

This is the foundation of our caring ministry training conducted in an interactive group setting of 7-10 participants to foster teamwork, self-awareness, and reflective learning. More opportunities available.

SEP 9, 11

ESL Classes begin!
Learn and practice English with experienced instructors. Admission is free.

SEP 13

First Seniors "Welcome Back" Fall Gathering 

Welcoming back all of our seniors. Lunch, music, and special guest speakers! 

SEP 14

Fellowship Breakfast Kick-off 

Open to all. Breakfast and teaching. Some of our guest speakers will include Anthony Brown, Leah Kostamo, Daniel Whitehead, Paul Pearce, Carolyn Watts, Anika Barlow, John Tsang, and John Cuddeford.

SEP 14

Alzheimer Café 

A gathering of individuals with memory loss along with their caregivers, and/or friends and family in a safe, supportive, and engaging environment. 

SEP 14

Children & Preteen Leaders Orientation

Growth and training opportunity for all Children and Preteens Ministries volunteers.

SEP 15

Baptism Sunday

Celebration of God's grace to those who will be immersed into a new life with Jesus Christ.

SEP 15

Book Club begins!

Love books? We are starting the Fall season with Jean Vanier's writing.

SEP 15

Starting Point

New to FBC? This is a gathering to introduce you to the church and how you can get more involved in our community.

SEP 17

Overnight Shelter begins!

We are looking for more breakfast volunteers. If interested in serving, please contact the Shelter team.

SEP 22

HFTC Capital Fundraiser Launch
As we move forward with the Heart for the City Project, we will be embarking on a fundraising campaign focusing on funding the furniture, fixtures, and equipment for our newly renovated and expanded facilities.

SEP 22

Connection Group Leaders Kick-off

Growth opportunity for current and prospective Connection Group leaders.

SEP 28

CLT/PT Retreat
A day of sharing and praying together for the church leadership and pastoral team.

SEP 29

Dedication of Children
If you are interested in dedicating your child, please contact Shufen.



Oct 5

Ride for Refuge (Kinbrace)

A family-friendly cycling and walking fundraiser that supports charities who provide refuge and hope for displaced, vulnerable and exploited people everywhere. Join the FBC Team to support Kinbrace Community Society!

Oct 6, 20

Baptism & Membership Class begins

If you are interested in being baptized and/or becoming a member of our church, please contact the church office

Oct 11

Mission & Justice MAT Event

Speaker: Cathy Peters "Anti-Child Sex Trafficking" 

Oct 14

Homelessness Action Day

We are opening our doors to support the City of Vancouver's Homelessness Action Week!

Oct 20

Adult Education: Foundations 

We are starting a new series on Foundations. More details to come.

Oct 21,23,25

Care Minister I Training Group A

Care Minister I builds upon the basic Care Friends Training and seeks to develop skills for higher levels of needs. More opportunities available.

Oct 27

Baptism & Membership Welcome


Nov 24

oup, Share & Pray with Bill & Janice Dyck

Join our missionaries as they share about their work in the field. 

Nov 27

Fall Business Meeting
Get up to date information about the various ministries and projects happening at FBC.

Youth & Preteens Camping Trip

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As part of our 2019 summer program, our Preteens and Youth went camping on July 29-31 at Golden Ears. And it was an amazing time where we could enjoy God's good creation, eat good camping food, and enjoying each other's company.

We had a wide range of ages from 10 to 17 years old, and I am always amazed when I see how God has been speaking and working in the lives of our kids regardless of their ages, family backgrounds, and where they are at in their lives. 

So, what is the importance of having a camping trip with our preteens and youth?

We believe that, in the New Generations ministries, fun activities help develop trust, which leads to a low-pressure environment between the kids and their leaders, and also among kids themselves. This environment allows for vulnerability and increases discipleship opportunities. As for discipleship, we believe that it goes beyond coming to church and getting lots of sermons or hearing Bible lessons. Discipleship literally means that a person can rub off on others as they seek to disciple them. In other words, those who were discipled actually became like the one who discipled them. So, this kind of camping trip is a unique opportunity to combine all these elements mentioned together in 2-3 days of living and sharing life together.  

Finally, a huge thank you to Chris Hawkey, the camping master! He cooked, helped us setting up tenting, led us on a hike, playing games with the kids, helped us with the bonfire, etc. Without him, this trip wouldn't be as smooth as it was. Chris blessed us with his presence and his skills. Also, I could not forget to once more thank Joseph Leong for the great job he is doing as our summer program coordinator.

In Christ,
Filipe Balieiro
Director of Youth Ministry

Posted by Filipe Balieiro

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