First News

Summer at First

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We have many special events planned for the coming months and we invite you to be a part of as much as you can! Here's the rundown of what's going on. Mark your calendars!

July 6

Internationals: 

Khatsahlano! Music + Art Festival

 

July 7 & 14

Adult Education: Manuscript Bible Study

1-3pm | Pinder Hall

 

July 7

Young Adults: Beach BBQ

 

July 7

CG Leaders Appreciation Lunch

12pm | Joey Burrard

 

July 8-12

Kickers Soccer Camp 1

9am-3pm | Jericho Beach Park

 

July 11

Kickers Parents BBQ Night

5:30-7pm | FBC

 

July 18             

Youth + Preteens: Playland

 

July 19

Internationals: Richmond Night Market

 

July 21             

Summer Church Picnic

12-2:30pm | Memorial South Park

 

July 22-26        

Camp at First: Miraculous Mission (VBS)

9am-3pm | FBC

 

July 26

Internationals: Picnic at Jericho Park

 

July 29-31        

Youth + Preteens: Camping Trip 

Golden Ears Campground

August 2

Internationals: Music Concert

6pm | FBC Sanctuary

 

August 4

Starting Point

11:30am | Bistro

 

August 9

Internationals: 

Music at the Steveston Cannery

 

August 10

Regional Picnics + BBQs

 

August 14

Youth & Preteens: Cultus Lake Waterpark

 

August 19-23

Kickers Soccer Camp 2

9am-3pm | Jericho Beach Park

 

August 22

Kickers Parents BBQ Night

5:30-7pm | FBC

 

August 23        

Internationals/All-Church

Vancouver Canadians Baseball

 

August 30-September 1

Youth: A-Team Retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*A team is being organized to serve the Onion Lake community during the summer. Dates are TBD. 

New Sermon Series

Starting July 7th, Anthony Brown (our new Senior Minister) will begin a sermon series on the Gospel of Mark.  

Season of Prayer: Week 2

As some of you aware, I have been wrestling with the book of Ephesians (or perhaps a better way to put it is to be wrestled into submission) for the last five and a half years. Whether it be as I am rushing to visit you in the hospital or seating quietly in my office, on countless occasions, the prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 has guided my intercession for you and our church family. 

Paul, who is imprisoned in Rome and awaiting trial before Nero Caesar, pens this prayer with the help of his friend, Tychicus. Holding the young Christians in Asia Minor close to his heart, he bursts into a prayer that is full of fervor, love, and hope. Darrell Johnson describes it as "the prayer that blows the circuit boards". [1] In terms of its technical structure, it is one long, long sentence in the original Greek. Phrase after phrase, it gathers "rhetorical momentum" until the words crescendo into one of the boldest prayers in Scripture. 

I am always taken by the movement from intercession (verses 14-19) to doxology (verses 20-21)--how Paul is moved from his prayer for others to the praise of God. Ultimately, the "efficacy" of prayer goes far beyond just the answers themselves. It inexorably leads us to God Himself. Our Triune God who is "able to do far more, abundantly, beyond" all that we ask or think! [2] 

In describing who are praying to, John Stott puts it this way: [3] 

God's ability to answer prayer is forcefully stated by the apostle in a composite expression of seven stages.  

  1. He is able to do or work (poiēsai), for he is neither idle, nor inactive, nor dead. 

  2. He is able to do what we ask, for he hears and answers prayers. 

  3. He is able to do what we ask or think, for he reads our thoughts, and sometimes we imagine things for which we dare not and therefore do not ask. 

  4. He is able to do all that we ask or think, for he knows it all and can perform it all. 

  5. He is able to do more...than (hyper, 'beyond') all that we ask or think, for his expectations are higher than ours. 

  6. He is able to do much more, or more abundantly (perissōs), than all that we ask or think, for he does not give his grace by calculated grace. 

  7. He is able to do very much more, far more abundantly, than all that we ask or think, for he is a God of super-abundance. 

As we enter into our second week of prayer, we encourage to be in prayer for the following outward-oriented ministry of our church family. 

  • Missionaries: Barbara Forster (SIM at Vancouver), Greg and Julie Slade (Frontiers at Ontario), Kaori Chua (OMF at Japan), Christina Winrich (OMF at Japan), John and Jooling Cuddeford (ISMC at UBC), Caitlin and Mathew Windsor (Wycliffe @ Kingfisher Lake), Tom and Grace Mei (Asia), David and Suzannah Nacho (Costa Rica), and Bill and Janice Dyck (Bolivia). 

  • Onion Lake TeamBob Swann, our Minister of Mission, is forming a team to serve our First Nations friends at Onion Lake this coming summer. 

  • Refugee Sponsorship: Bob Swann and a number of lay leaders are in the process of filling out all of the necessary paperwork to sponsor a family. More details will follow next week via First News as a feature article. 

  • Kickers Soccer Camps: A significant number of those who take part in our camps are not part of our church family. Our camps are a wonderful way to embody the love and invitation of Jesus Christ. 

  • Hong Kong Bible Conference 2019: Our former Senior Minister, now a fellow lay member, Darrell Johnson will be preaching from a Baptist church in Kowloon City for nine days in early August. Last year, the conference reached around 249,000 people. This year, they are praying for 300,000! Please pray for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as Darrell seeks to faithfully preach on Jesus' parables in Luke.

  • Vocations and Neighbourhoods: Whether it be paid or volunteer, home or office, blue collar or white collar, all of us are called to be missionaries. Please pray that we may join in on what God is doing in our respective vocational settings and our neighbourhoods. 

  • Local Organizations: Kinbrace, First StepsPromise Vancouver, Keats Camp (80% of the campers are from non-church background).  

As you might have heard from Andrea Tisher (Minister of Worship) on Sunday morning, in two weeks, on June 23rd, she will be candidating for the role of Lead Pastor at Southwest Community Church in Kamloops. As she has requested, would you pray for her, her family, and our sister church in Kamloops? Should it be the case that the Lord is leading Andrea, Gordon, Emily, and Brendan to Kamloops, we--as a church family--need to celebrate that our sister church will be blessed by one of our own. 

Integral to who we are a church family, we at First have always sought to birth and bless sister communities. Some of the communities that were birthed from us include Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Jackson Avenue Baptist Church (now Ward Memorial Baptist Church), Fairview Baptist Church, South Hill Baptist Church, Broadway West Baptist Church, West Point Grey Baptist Church, Ruth Morton Memorial Baptist Church (now Mountainview Christian Fellowship), and Kitsilano Christian Community Church. And so, while we might be naturally saddened by this potential transition, we must rejoice in knowing that Southwest Community Church and Kamloops as a whole will be blessed by the Tishers

Trusting in Him who is "able to do far more, abundantly, beyond" all that we ask or think, 
Justin Kim


[1] Darrell Johnson's Experiencing the Trinity
[2] Ibid
[3] John R. W. Stott's The Message of Ephesians, pg. 139-140

Posted by Justin Kim

Growing as a Disciple

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Whether you are new to Christianity or have been a follower of Jesus for a long time, we are all called to grow as disciples of Jesus.  What does it mean to be a disciple? Eugene Peterson in his book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction describes discipleship as being an apprentice. He writes that as disciples we "...are people who spend our lives apprenticed to our master, Jesus Christ. We are in a growing-learning relationship, always. A disciple is a learner, but not in the academic setting of a schoolroom, rather at the work site of a craftsman. We do not acquire information about God but skills in faith." 

One way at FBC that we are seeking to foster discipleship in our context is through the development of a Discipleship Pathway, which we plan to launch in the fall. This is simply a method of how the church will help to equip our congregation to grow as followers of Jesus, to develop skills in faith, in all areas of their lives. Currently, a committee is working over the summer to look at the activities and programs of our church and their role in discipleship. The committee then determines what programs need to be added and develop a process to guide people through this. The pathway will include entry points into the church, opportunities for learning that equip us to grow as disciples, places to serve, as well as space to mentor and help others to grow.

As we work, then, to envision and sketch out this Discipleship Pathway, one illuminating picture is that of Internationals--a ministry that seeks to be a key entry point into the life of our church. The Internationals Friday evening gatherings strive to be a space of welcome, hospitality, and love for both Christians and non-Christians: a place of genuine community that extends food and fun, fellowship and friendship as an open door and a clear window into the life of our church. In a highly missional sense, we seek to make ourselves visible to our community--utilizing Facebook, WhatsApp, and soon, Instagram--so that the interest of Vancouver's many internationals might be piqued. And in hoping to pique such interest, in the summer we strive to be Out & About in the community, looking to enjoy fun activities that might organically draw new friends. Then, through the doorway that is our ministry, we seek to invite our participants further into the life of our church, extending God's welcome through Starting Point, through our ESL Sunday sermon discussion, through service, as with Shelter, etc. In fact, FBC's recent Starting Point gathering, the first of its kind, included a number of faces who first experienced our church life with Internationals.

Thus, as it is with Internationals, so it intends to be with all of our ministries: steady steps along the life-long pathway of movement towards Jesus--mindful moments in the workshop of life with the Great Craftsman.

Rebecca Thornber, Minister of Discipleship & Community
Stuart Campbell, Connection Group & Internationals Ministry Coordinator

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