First News

First News | June 9, 2021

REOPENING PLAN

Dear friends, 

Last week, our hearts were heavy, remembering the 215 Indigenous children who never had a chance to get back home. We grieved. We cried. We prayed. We were reminded that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we must commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation—which is at the very heart of the Gospel. 

This week, our hearts broke once again at the news of the deadly hit and run in London, Ontario. A Canadian family was targeted because of their Muslim faith. Four family members were killed, Madiha Salman 44; her husband, Salman Afzaal, 46; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna Afzaal; and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother, whose name has not yet been released. Their 9-year-old son, Fayez Afzaal, remains hospitalized with serious injuries. We grieve with the loved ones of the Afzaal family. We encourage you to keep Fayez in your prayers.

As I grieved and reflected, I was reminded of an excerpt from John Stott’s book, The Cross of Christ, which brings to focus the integral relationship between the community of the cross and justice. 

"Christians cannot regard with equanimity the injustice which spoil God’s world and demean his creatures. Injustice must bring pain to the God whose justice flared brightly at the cross; it should bring pain to God’s people too. Contemporary injustices take many forms. They are international (the invasion and annexation of foreign territory), political (the subjugation of minorities), legal (the punishment of untried and unsentenced citizens), racial (the humiliating discrimination against people on the ground of race or colour), economic (the toleration of gross North-South inequality and the traumas of poverty and unemployment), sexual (the oppression of women), educational (the denial of equal opportunity for all) or religious (the failure to take the gospel to the nations). Love and justice combine to oppose all these situations. If we love people, we shall be concerned to secure their basic rights as human beings, which is also the concern of justice. The community of the cross, which has truly absorbed the message of the cross, will always be motivated to action by the demands of justice and love.”

As a community of the cross, my hope and prayer is that we will be drawn closer and closer to Jesus, who is reconciling all things to Himself, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20). And, as we are drawn closer and closer to Jesus, I believe we will become more and more aware of how He is at work—bringing renewal in the most seemingly hopeless places. And in becoming more and more aware, may the Holy Spirit soften our hearts to the things that break the heart of God and empower us to join Jesus in His work of renewal. 

As promised last week, along with this letter, I’m attached a more in-depth explanation of what to expect for the upcoming in-person worship services. 

Please continue to pray for Anthony’s recovery. Also, please keep our staff team in your prayers. They are faithfully and diligently at work for us and with us. 

Peace to you, 
Justin Kim 
Executive Minister 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Starting June 20th, we will reopen our in-person worship services. We will begin with one in June. Two in July. Four in August. 

We will be meeting on Sundays from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm at the Coastal Church Commercial Campus which is located at 1645 N Grandview Highway. Limited parking is available in the church lot. Street parking is also available. 

Until we get to Step 4 of the BC’s Restart Plan, our primary means of worship will be through our First Worship recording and our monthly live online services due to the restrictions of the religious gatherings variance. This means that our in-person worship services will be for the recording of the following week’s services. In other words, those who attend the June 20th in-person worship service will be part of the First Worship recording that will go out to the wider congregation on June 27th. 

While the order of worship will mirror our First Worship recording, our in-person worship services will include “pauses" that are part of the recording process. We trust that all attendees will show grace. Perhaps, in those moments, some of us will be led to pray for all who will be taking part the following week! Perhaps, some of us will come to a greater sense of appreciation for our video production team. The gift of these in-person worship services will be an opportunity to be reminded of what we are missing deeply and what we will experience more fully when we get to Step 4. 

Please check below for the registration process, safety guidelines and protocols, and other pertinent details. Also, please note that plans can change depending on the variables that dictate the rollout of the BC’s Restart Plan. 

REGISTRATION & GUIDELINES

Registration is required for those who plan to attend our in-person worship services. 

To register for the June 20th, please click here

Due to the requirements around physical spacing, we have a maximum capacity of 25 registered attendees per service. We would like to encourage you to register latest by Thu, June 17, 12pm and if the maximum capacity has been reached, we will notify you by email and place you on a waitlist. 

Once you register, you will receive an email closer to the service date regarding the health assessment form, check-in process, safety guidelines and protocols, and other building access and usage-related details. 

If you have any questions, please contact our church office at  .


STAFF UPDATE

Since June 1st of last year, Kira Fondse has served as our Interim Worship Coordinator. She has done so faithfully, diligently, and skillfully. On July 8th, Kira will transition out of her role. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, she demonstrated exceptional leadership and deep care. Please be sure to let her know that she is appreciated and loved. 

Starting June 21st, Ben Ewert will begin as our Minister of Worship. Please keep Ben, Krista, Jakob, Ella, and Audrey in your prayers as they settle in as host community members of Kinbrace. 

Soniya Mathew will complete her time with us at the end of August. For the past eight years, Soniya has been an indispensable member of our Support Team. As our Operations Manager, she provided the leadership that we needed to prepare for our displacement. Week in and week out, she served the Lord by humbly doing all that needed to be done to help us grow and thrive as a church. We are deeply grateful for her. We encourage you to keep her in your prayers as she begins the Professional Development Program at Simon Fraser University this Fall. 

As part of our Pastoral Team, Joseph Leong will assume the role of Director of Operations. He will support our Executive Minister by providing operational leadership in implementing the vision and goals of FBC. As Director of Operations, Joseph will form and develop teams to ensure that the operational systems, policies, procedures, and objectives foster a healthy organizational culture that reflects the core values of FBC.


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

You are warmly invited to attend our 2021 Annual General Meeting on June 23 at 7pm on Zoom. 

Since this is an AGM, we require a higher quorum than a normal general meeting, so we ask members to attend if they can. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only members may vote at the meeting.

Please follow this link to register and you will receive a Zoom link in the confirmation email.

Items on the agenda include:

  • Shelter Ministry Update by David Nacho
  • Treasurer's Report & Approval of Financial Statements
  • Nominating Committee Report
  • A word from our new Minister of Worship, Ben Ewert
  • Church update by Justin Kim

Please review the 2020 Annual Report, comprised of the 2020 In Review and the Financial Statements here. 2021 Winter Business Meeting minutes, 2018 & 2019 Revised Financial Statements are also available on myFBC in the Entire Church Group under 'Files'.

We look forward to seeing you! 


STREET MINISTRIES REQUEST

We need 4 bakers to bake cookies for a take-out meal on June 22. Please contact David at if you would be able to help!

Prayer Liturgy - 215 Indigenous Children

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On May 28, as part of my morning routine, I checked the news to get up to speed on what was happening around the world. At the very top of the website, I noticed the headline news about the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the former residential school in Kamloops. As I started to read, I could not hold it together. I broke into tears. I could not finish it. Waves of emotions crashed over me. They swallowed me. One feeling after another: Sadness, sorrow, grief, indignation.

I could not stop thinking: What if my son, Antonio, was one of the children? What if they were Michelle Casavant’s children? What if it was one of our youth? More tears.

When we look at our New Generations ministries, our hearts are filled with hope for our children as we look upon them as the future of our church, our society, and our country. This hope was never available for those children, their parents, and their people.

I’m still struggling. And I’m listening to others in our church and community who are also struggling with the discovery of this horrendous past. As a way to walk alongside one another, I’ve prepared this liturgy for us. Before you open the attached liturgy, please take time to slowly and prayerfully read the introductory words below. 

Blessings,
Filipe Balieiro
Director of International Ministries


Few words before we enter the liturgy:
 
  • First of all, I would like to thank Cheryl Bear, who kindly provided her feedback for this liturgy.
 
  • This liturgy might feel a little long for some people. Please be sure to carve out time to slowly and prayerfully work through it. It is fine for you to go through this liturgy on your own, but you are also welcomed to do so with others (e.g., family, Connection Group). 
 
  • Several denominations were involved in the administration of Residential Schools in Canada. Therefore, as we are part of Universal Church of Jesus Christ, we have sinned against Indigenous Peoples. So, not only do we ask for justice, we also come before the Lord and the Indigenous Peoples in a posture of repentance. Asking for forgiveness.
 
  • There are many layers to this liturgy. We hope that this liturgy could be a place where we can express our emotions and feelings before the Lord about what transpired. While this can be a place where we can ask for justice and reconciliation, it is also an opportunity for the Church to ask for forgiveness, to grieve, to close our mouths, and to listen. We hope that this liturgy will teach us that, in this situation, we are not the benefactors. At this moment, we do not offer. Rather, we listen. We walk with them. And so, this liturgy might be unsettling. It might not bring closure or comfort to you. This liturgy is an invitation to mourn with those who are mourning. It is an invitation to cry with those who are crying. To listen to them. It is okay if you are feeling unsettled after going through this liturgy.
 
  • Some of you might feel that this liturgy lacks hopeful languages. When you get to the part that references the book of Revelation, you will find some words of hope. However, the majority of this liturgy does not revolve around hope. This liturgy was shaped to create spaces for us to cry and walk alongside those who are grieving. It mirrors our Good Friday liturgy. It is important to note that we are not in the place of power—leading the way. We are not in a position to provide the way forward. At this moment, we must take time to listen. What would it look like if our Indigenous sisters and brothers led the way? Additionally and sadly, in the coming weeks and months, we might hear of more heart-breaking discoveries. More bodies found in other residential schools. The heartache and pain of our Indigenous sisters and brothers will continue to intensify and augment. For this reason, we must listen to them, grieve with them, and walk with them. We must sit with them in that unsettling space. 
 
  • Social media posts and other outlets can only take us so far. Those are temporary outlets of our indignation, anger, and frustration. We must remember that repentance, reconciliation, and healing take time. They take years and decades. Keep in mind that this journey towards reconciliation is a marathon, rather than a 100m sprint. 
 
  • Please do not hold back your emotions. Bring not only your thoughts before the Lord, but all of your emotions. There are no right or wrong emotions when we are lamenting.

Click here to read the liturgy:

Prayer Liturgy

First News | June 2, 2021

FAMILY UPDATE

Greetings to you all!

On behalf of the CLT, I wanted to give you an update on how Anthony is doing. 

 You'll be pleased to hear that his blood pressure is regulating, and his other health issues have lessened as well. Both he and Helen are very grateful for your ongoing prayers and are very aware that God has had them firmly in His hand.

Anthony has been on medical leave as his doctors determine the next steps for his full recovery. He has several upcoming medical appointments that could help in that regard.  When it is the right time, we will be working with Anthony to determine the "when" and the "how" of his return to work. As you well know, our deepest concern is for him to have a full recovery.  

So please continue to pray for Anthony and Helen as they travel this uncharted path.

While Anthony is away from the "office", the Pastoral Team are diligently and carefully picking up the details and anticipating and implementing the plans for the summer and fall, particularly concerning our displacement and our hopeful return to in-person services in the next few months. I know they would be grateful for your prayers. It certainly has been an unprecedented time!!

God is with us! He has shown His grace and love in countless ways to us as a church and us individually. We are a blessed people! And we are thankful.

May you know His grace and love every day!

Blessings,
Claudia Wakeman
Moderator


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Greetings to you all,

Our Annual General Meeting will be June 23. We’ll have another opportunity to gather on Zoom to celebrate God’s goodness to us.

We have much to celebrate! This year we began with a surplus financially, we have successfully packed up and moved offices and we have officially entered into our “Displacement”. We have new spaces to call “home”. We are delighted that once in-person services can resume, we will be able to meet at St. Andrew’s Wesley Church across the street! And have you noticed how our new rental building as well as the tower, are going up and up! We will also be welcoming the Ewerts to our church family. Ben, our new Minister of Worship will be speaking at our AGM.

So put June 23rd, 7 pm on your calendar and plan to attend. More information will be forthcoming. Looking forward to seeing you!

Claudia Wakeman
Moderator

Document for review: The 2020 Annual Report, comprised of the 2020 In-Review (from the Winter Church Meeting) and the 2020 Financial Statements.


CARE SEMINAR

Sat, June 19 | 9:30-11am | Zoom

One of the best ways that you can care for your family is to 'put all your ducks in a row' when it comes to things like wills, power of attorney, power of representation (health care directives), and funeral pre-planning. In this seminar, we will talk about why this is important, offer some pointers as to how to start, introduce the concept of funeral pre-planning, and answer your questions. We are delighted to have Joyce Ling (member of FBC, family, wills, and estate lawyer) presenting the legal portions of the seminar. Pastor John will facilitate and discuss funeral pre-planning. 

To register, please click here.  

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