First News

First News | October 14, 2020

Weekly Reflection


CHILDREN & FAMILY MINISTRIES UPDATE

The Children & Family Ministries for this season intents to partner with families to stay connected and belonged through different approaches, particularly online, since the in-person meeting is not feasible.

Every week, the NewGen Hi-Five Weekend serve as an online platform for the children to learn the Word of God. We are currently using the materials from the book I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God by Diane M. Stortz. The children learn the different names of God through stories in the Bible. If you love storytelling and are interested in using your gift to teach the children online, drop me a note at and we would love to have you joining us in Hi-Five Weekend!

Earlier in October, we celebrated the dedication of Ada Elliott, daughter of Rochelle and Chris, at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was a beautiful service and our church family gets to share the joy by viewing a recording which was included in First Worship this past Sunday. We thank God for the nice weather, beautiful ceremony, and warm fellowship with the family. There will be a few more child dedications coming soon.

I want to thank Justin Kim, Daniel Fabiano, Soniya Mathew, and Julie Thompson for their tremendous support and guidance as I serve in this interim role with the Children & Family Ministries in September. I would not have had such a smooth transition without their great help. I also want to thank all of you who have prayed for the C&F Ministries and me.

As Advent is approaching, please continue to pray for us as we lead our children in knowing the true meaning of Advent and pointing them to God’s plan to rescue, redeem, and restore us.

Blessings,
Joseph Leong
Interim Director of Children & Family Ministries


A MESSAGE FROM BOB & ANNE SWANN

Dear First Baptist Family,

Anne and I cannot say THANK YOU enough for being a real family to us and for us. A FAMILY of God’s creation.

I came to First Baptist as a pastor on January 1st of 1999. You have prayed for us, supported us, and blessed our children ( David, Sarah, and Michael) in ways we could not even have imagined.

I have been allowed and supported to take 15 teams to Africa in that time, to direct 21 years of outreach to the homeless along with many amazing volunteers, and to make 4 journeys to Cree Nation Onion Lake Saskatchewan. These are only some of the experiences we have shared together. 

The weddings and funerals have allowed us to share deeply in your joy and in your sorrows. I, as a friend, a brother and a pastor, cherish these memories. When we all gather together again in Heaven it will be better than any mind has imagined.

The plan to retire on August 31st, 2020 was made many months before Covid-19 appeared. Therefore when Pastor Justin kept saying, “We are still going to celebrate your retirement in a meaningful way,” I found it hard to believe him. I did come to think that a quiet retirement would be just fine. But Justin, together with all of the pastors and you, surprised my family with an amazing celebration on Zoom.

In the middle of Anne’s recovery from emergency surgery on August 18th, you all out did yourselves! Your prayers, and your generous love gift have reinforced what I have said for years, “First Baptist Church Vancouver is a real, God given family and it is a privilege to be part of it. “

We know we are blessed. It is a joy to become volunteers together with you all. May God lead us together as we take care of each other and serve our hurting world.

Love in Christ,
Bob and Anne Swann


BAPTISM & MEMBERSHIP

Membership

Have you considered becoming a member at FBC? We believe church to be a covenant community—a group of disciples who are committed to corporately live under God’s rulership and to obey God’s will. If you think of First Baptist as your church home, membership is a way to express this commitment and to more fully participate in the life of the church. 

Will be running online membership classes this month. Classes will run Sunday, October 25th and Sunday, November 1st at 1pm on Zoom

If you would like more information, or to sign up for these classes, contact Rebecca.

Baptism

Baptism is a public declaration of our decision to become disciples of Jesus. It reflects our union with Christ in his death and resurrection and marks our commitment to follow him in all areas of our lives.

We are still baptizing in this season, although with modifications due to Covid. If you are considering baptism, email Rebecca for more information. 


PRAYER MEETING

Sunday, October 25 | 2:00-3:30 pm

REGISTER HERE and a Zoom meeting link will be sent to you via email one day before the prayer meeting.

Please contact John Tsang if you have any questions.

First News | October 7, 2020

WEEKLY REFLECTION

The video Joseph mentioned in his reflection can be found in the AGM Update section below.


PRETEENS & YOUTH UPDATE

What will preteens and youth ministry look like this year?

I’ll skip boring you with all the potential answers to focus on a keyword Belonging.

Belonging to a group is critically important for everyone and it is no different for our NewGen friends. There are many groups that call for their attention even in a pandemic. But belonging to a group where one can have Christ-following friends who love, encourage, laugh, challenge, doubt, discuss and pray with/for you is the unique gift of being a part of the good and beautiful community. 

And so, this Fall our teaching theme and activities have kicked off with an emphasis on Belonging. Through our weekly zoom calls, a photoscavenger hunt through downtown and dropping off Tim Horton’s gift cards to preteens our aim has been to either begin or grow our relationships and to share with each person that they are welcome and have a community to belong to. 

My hope and prayer that our NewGen leaders share with me is that each of our preteens and youth would know and experience that they Belong most importantly to Christ but that they also belong in our group and are a gift to us! 

We would love your prayers as we connect online and sometimes in-person. Pray that belonging to our group would be a reality for our preteens and youth. Pray that they may know they belong to Jesus. And in all these things may we grow together to better show the world what the good and beautiful community looks like.

Blessings,
Daniel Foster Fabiano
Director of Preteens and Youth Ministries


AGM UPDATE

An update from your moderator...

I just want to say thank you for coming to our very First Virtual AGM ! It was so very wonderful to “see” you all! And I know you were excited to see everyone too! And we discovered that we can do this!  

I also want to say that the “background crew”: Angeline, Soniya, Kurtis and Justin worked tirelessly most of September so that it could come off without a hitch!  I am so appreciative! And Eric kept me on track during the meeting, fielding the requests for questions. I needed that!

We more than met our quorum and passed all the motions. The new Nominating committee is already at work, and the new Membership Committee will be soon. You will have seen the news about in-person prayer meetings that we are all so pleased to hear about, as well as the scheduled zoom prayer times. We are all aware that we are totally dependent on our Lord to see us through this day, as well as the days ahead.

The highlight of the meeting has to be the video presentation, put together beautifully by Angeline: “FBC in Pandemic Mode!” It is just wonderful and will make your heart sing! Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it or if you want to enjoy it all over again!

Thank you for being such a great community!

Blessings!
Claudia Wakeman
Moderator


PRAYER MEETING

In-person Prayer Meeting - Cancelled

Regretfully, due to low registration, we will be cancelling the In-person prayer meeting scheduled for Sunday Oct 11th. Please do join us for the Zoom prayer meeting scheduled for Oct 25th if you are able and we hope to see many of you there. 

Zoom Prayer Meeting (open to all) 

Sunday, October 25 | 2:00-3:30 pm

REGISTER HERE and a Zoom meeting link will be sent to you via email one day before the prayer meeting.

Please contact John Tsang if you have any questions.


THANKSGIVING OFFERING

Each year, during Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, FBC collects a special offering that is used to support various causes and organizations. 

This Thanksgiving, the special offering will be used towards covering the cost of upgrading our audiovisual production software and hardware. During the pandemic, we have been blessed by the dedication and expertise of our support team. We want to provide them with the necessary tools to grow and thrive in their roles. We invite you to be part of God's work in our community and the ministries of FBC and we thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

If you would like to contribute to this offering, there are two ways to give. You can give online by clicking here. Please make sure that you select “Thanksgiving Special Offering” under the Fund category. You can also give by mailing in a cheque. Please indicate that it is towards the “Thanksgiving Special Offering” on the memo section of the cheque. 

Designated Gifts: It is FBC's policy that designated gifts will be used solely for the stipulated purpose of the designated fund. However, when the purpose or project has been completed, or the special restricted fund has been closed, or the purpose of the special restricted fund cannot be completed as originally planned, the remaining capital will be distributed at the discretion of the CLT.

First news | September 30, 2020

Weekly Reflection


Keep Death Daily Before Your Eyes - (From the Rule of St. Benedict, 480-543)

 

Psalm 90:12, Teach us to number our days and we may gain a heart of wisdom. Why would the ancient spiritual writers remind us to “keep death daily before our eyes”? What, if any, is the spiritual wisdom in being mindful that we could die anytime? What one commentator wrote about the modern person is that she lives as if she is immortal, constantly putting off what needs to be done today, and always thinking that there is time to fix the mistakes of life, until one day she is confronted with the final days and feel this deep sense of regret. As the Psalmist wrote, there is indeed wisdom in being mindful of our own mortality.   

Sometimes the end of life is more real than ever. Perhaps you have felt it yourself. Or maybe you have a parent or spouse that is getting more and more frail. Or perhaps you received a call that your brother has been diagnosed with a very serious illness and has only a few months to live. How do we care for someone as they approach the end of their life?  If you are able, come and join me as we reflect on this very important question. The same class will be held twice to accommodate people's different schedules.    

End of Life Care - Caring for those who are nearing the end of life.  

Group A – Wed Oct 14, Thu Oct 15, Fri Oct 16
Group B - Sat Nov 7, 14, & 21

All sessions will be held from 9:30-12:00 noon, at Pinder Hall with Covid safety protocols. Limit of 8 participants for each session. To register, email   

John Tsang
Minister of Congregational Care


FALL PRAYER GATHERINGS

Prayer is a central part of who we are as the people of God. To that end, we will be holding a series of in-person and zoom prayer gatherings in the fall. Here are the dates and times. 

In-Person at Pinder Hall (max of 20 participants each time)

Sun Oct 11th, 2:00-3:30 pm,
Thu Nov 12, 10:00-11:30 am and
Sun Dec 13th, 2:00-3:30 pm. 

Zoom (open to all) 

Sun Oct 25th 2:00-3:30 pm
Sun Nov 29th, 2:00-3:30 pm.  

For the in-person prayer gatherings, proper Covid safety protocols will be used. All participants will be required to wear masks and to sign a Covid-19 self assessment form 1 day before the event. 

Registration for the above gatherings begins 2 weeks prior to the event and you can do so through our church website event and/or through our regular weekly First News and First Worship announcements.


THANKSGIVING OFFERING

Each year, during Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, FBC collects a special offering that is used to support various causes and organizations. 

This Thanksgiving, the special offering will be used towards covering the cost of upgrading our audiovisual production software and hardware. During the pandemic, we have been blessed by the dedication and expertise of our support team. We want to provide them with the necessary tools to grow and thrive in their roles. We invite you to be part of God's work in our community and the ministries of FBC and we thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

If you would like to contribute to this offering, there are two ways to give. You can give online by clicking here. Please make sure that you select “Thanksgiving Special Offering” under the Fund category. You can also give by mailing in a cheque. Please indicate that it is towards the “Thanksgiving Special Offering” on the memo section of the cheque. 

Designated Gifts: It is FBC's policy that designated gifts will be used solely for the stipulated purpose of the designated fund. However, when the purpose or project has been completed, or the special restricted fund has been closed, or the purpose of the special restricted fund cannot be completed as originally planned, the remaining capital will be distributed at the discretion of the CLT.


FAMILY NEWS

Lena Dueck, a long time member of FBC entered into the presence of the Lord on Sept 16, 2020  Lena was involved in a number of ministries during the time that she attended FBC. She will be missed by her extended family, please keep the family (Noel and Karen Low Ah Kee) in your prayers during this time of loss..

 

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