First News

First News | May 26, 2021

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Ministry Partner Highlight: Kinbrace

The Kinbrace community welcomes refugee claimants with housing, education, and support. Hospitality for those on the move in search of protection is one of the defining features of this community launched by Grandview Baptist Church in 1998. The COVID-19 pandemic slammed borders shut and decreased international travel, globally affecting asylum seekers’ quest for safety. Pray for them. More privileged people can travel, and we are grateful for the arrival from Costa Rica of Suzannah and David Nacho, creating an unexpected bond between First Baptist Church as David (one of the co-founders of Kinbrace) takes the lead as Director of Street Ministries and Suzannah joins Kinbrace’s staff team as the Community Coordinator. And there is more: Ben Ewert – recently hired as Minister of Worship for First Church – and his wife Krista with children Jakob, Ella, and Audrey arrived from the UK to Kinbrace on 23 May 2021 to live as host community members providing 24/7 hospitable presence with Rachel and Ben Kavanagh, the other host community family already in place. Refugee claimants have always benefited from the welcoming spirit of the First Baptist Church community (through volunteers, First Baptist Foundation, prayers), but never has it been quite so thick….! We step forward with gratitude and anticipation to together share a warm welcome with and for refugee claimants.

Loren Balisky
Director of Engagement

Meet the Kinbrace community:

Becoming Neighbours

Wed, June 10, 7-9pm


For those who are curious, want to hear stories, and learn more about Kinbrace and people seeking refugee protection, check out this wonderful Zoom event! More details here.


First News | May 19, 2021

Ministry Partner Highlight: Keats Camps

First and foremost, we want to say thank you FBC family! Like most this time through COVID has been challenging, frustrating, and always ever changing, and thanks to your support through finances and prayer we are able to continue pressing on. 

Last summer our camp was quiet, too quiet! We are excited to be opening our property up to families this summer for 8 amazing weeks. We are offering our families a chance enjoy all the joys that Keats has to offer! Let us take care of all the details (like transportation and meals), while you spend time with your family on an island getaway on the Sunshine Coast (in the Vancouver Coastal Region). Make each day your own, choosing from a variety of activities, exploring amazing West Coast nature on the island, or just finding a peaceful place to slow down. Come join us this summer for the best week of your life!

 Learn more and register on our website.

Stan Carmody
Executive Director
Keats Camps


First News | May 12, 2021

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Ben Ewert will be joining the pastoral team in June and we have asked him a few questions to help us to get know him better!

What is your role on staff at First Baptist Church?

I will be moving into the role of Minister of Worship at FBC.

What excites you about this work?

First off, I’m excited to meet, in person, all of the people I’ve spoken to over Zoom over the past few months. I’ve heard wonderful things and have seen the talent and heart for worship that is present in Sunday morning services. Leading and developing a ministry of worship is close to my heart. I believe that worship is central to who we are as human beings created in the image of God. Either our focus is on the One who fashioned us, in all of our many foibles and weaknesses, to create, work and live in light of His glory and kingdom, or we turn our attention elsewhere and become less than our Christ-given calling should inspire us to be. Through joy and sorrow, we pray with the psalmist, ‘O Lord, open our lips,’ and in that cry we make the promise that, ‘our mouths shall show forth Thy praise.’ The Church is redeemed and set free to worship without fear. The proper response is to proclaim God’s holiness, love and mercy to the world. This is why worship is so desperately important. It is my privilege to work with the people in the worship ministry of FBC, there now and yet to come, to help foster a practice of worship out of which musical styles, service patterns and community outreach can continue to spring.

Tell us about your family

I am married to Krista and have 3 children and an irrepressible (bordering on manic) dog named Byron. Krista is a woman of many vocations: a mother, a communicator and a creative, an academic and advocate. She is of dual-heritage and was born and raised in the greater Vancouver area. Audrey (6) likes to play with her dolls, loves making crafts and drawing pictures, and cuddling with her dog, Byron. Ella (11) is the sporty one. She loves playing basketball and soccer, reading and spending time playing her Nintendo Switch. Jakob (13) is creative, artistic and has a love for architecture. He plays the violin, sometimes likes it, and spends much of his time crafting new worlds with his friends on Minecraft.

What three words best describe you?

Bearded, good-humoured, and introspective.

What in your life brings you the most joy?

One of the things that brings me great joy is conducting and performing as a musician. I have spent many years conducting choirs and instrumental ensembles and know that choral music has so much to offer to the Church and the community at large. To me, it seems to be a poignant image of the individuality and unity at play in the body of Christ. The vast repertoire of sacred music is a bridge from Church to World and speaks to people, creating common ground where the Gospel does resonate when presented with care and diligence.

What is your favourite movie?

One of my favourite movies is called Babette’s Feast, a 1987 Danish film depicting the arrival of a Parisian refugee into the home of two daughters of a deceased Lutheran minister. The village in which they live is remote, austere and very strict in their religious observances. It’s not exactly a barn-burner but rather a delightful slow-burn of a narrative that reveals how an act of abundant blessing can melt a cold asceticism into love and kindness. I think it has a lot to say to the artistic temperament.

What sort of music do you enjoy listening to?

I enjoy a wide variety music and would be hard pressed to pick just one kind. With that in mind I will name a few artists and albums to which I keep returning.

  • Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philhamonic)
  • Ēriks Ešenvald’s Te Deum, Psalm 67 and O Emmanuel (Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir, Cambridge)
  • Mandolin Orange Blindfaller and Tides of a Teardrop
  • Snarky Puppy Live at the Royal Albert Hall
  • James MacMillan’s Miserere (Harry Christophers and the Sixteen) and The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (James MacMillan and the BBC Philharmonic)

How can we pray for you?

  • We would greatly appreciate prayer for safe travels and an ease to navigating the quarantine process first in Toronto and then Vancouver.
  • Please pray for the children as they move away from friends and known communities to a new city for them, new schools and new communities.
  • Please pray for Krista and I as we will both be starting new jobs in June. Krista has accepted a role as Marketing and Communications Lead with Alpha Canada.
  • Thank you so much for all of your support! It has meant a lot to us already and we have felt a warm welcome from all the way across the Pond. 

Ben Ewert

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