First News

FIRST NEWS | APRIL 1, 2020

How are you structuring your day staying at home? This week, we have Rebecca sharing some of her daily rhythms and spiritual practices. Click the video below to watch.

Read the full liturgy Rebecca mentioned in her reflection here: A Liturgy for Those Flooded by Too Much Information by Douglas McKelvey


Speaking of spiritual practices, we came across these beautiful paintings shared by one of our FBC members, Sandi Smoker, who is a gifted artist. 

"Painting, for me, has become an important part of my spiritual practice, a natural expression of devotion from the stillness and quiet of morning prayer and scripture reading. Over these past weeks as I transitioned from prayer to painting, I felt my own fears and longings, my gratitude and helplessness emerge through colour and line. Sharing them with my community on Facebook and Instagram seemed like a good way to soften the impact of our situation by simply being in solidarity with each other. Scripture encourages us to comfort others through the comfort we have received. I feet the Holy Spirit's comfort as I paint and I paint to offer myself up as a comfort to others." - Sandi Smoker

See more of her work at @smokeypointarts 


 PASTORAL CARE/KEEPING IN TOUCH

During this time if you have any pastoral care needs, please do reach out to us. We’ve assigned Pastoral Team members to serve as Area Pastors, the list is below. Or, if you know of anyone that could use pastoral care, please do contact us as well.  

Anthony Brown – North Shore
Justin Kim – West End, Downtown
Rebecca Thornber – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Filipe Balieiro – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Stuart Campbell – Cambie, South Granville, Oakridge, Kerrisdale
Daniel Foster Fabiano – Coquitlam, Burnaby
John Tsang – Vancouver East, New Westminster, Delta, Surrey, Richmond
Bob Swann – Richmond, Shelter, Homeless friends, volunteers, and workers

Area Pastors will work with the leaders of our Connection Groups based in their area. If you have any care needs, please contact your Connection Group leader or Area Pastor. We are ready and happy to help and support you. You can also reach us by calling the church office or email us at  .  


CALL TO PRAY

1. Noon Time Prayer 

We are inviting you to pause in the middle of the day, at 12noon to pray for 10 to 15 minutes. It will be encouraging to know, that as many of us as possible, will be uniting our hearts to pray in this season. If for any reason, noon time does not work for your schedule, then perhaps at 7:30am or, 10pm. There are many things that we can pray for but if you would like additional guides, here are two options. First, use our weekly FBC prayer guide. If you'd like to receive that (it comes out Fridays), please send an email to . Secondly, If you would like to explore a contemplative way to pray, Pray as You Go offers daily prayers with sacred music, scripture, and reflective questions. This resource is both web based and app based. 

2. Prayer Needs or Requests 

If you have a prayer need or request, you can submit it by sending an email to  . Would you please indicate the level of circulation that you would like (confidential, Pastoral team only, church-wide).  

3. City-wide, Nation-wide Prayer Movements 

This crisis has stirred the hearts of God's people around the city and the country to pray collectively. 24-7 Prayer Canada is a ministry that seeks to help churches pray. They have a number of opportunities to pray with others during this time. Here is the link to that hub of resource. Let us unite our hearts in prayer!  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Rom 12:12-13)

4. A Prayer for these Times 

In this time of COVID-19, we pray to you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  
When we aren't sure, Lord, help us be calm;
When information comes from all sides, correct and not, help us to discern;
When fear makes it hard to breathe, and anxiety seems to be the order of the day, slow us down, God;
Help us to reach out with our hearts, when we can't touch with our hands; 
Help us to be socially connected, when we have to be physically distant;
Help us to love as perfectly as we can, knowing that "perfect love casts out all fear." Amen. 

 

FIRST NEWS | MARCH 25, 2020

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We, like many of you, are doing our best to adjust to the new normal. It has been an adventure! 

We hope you were able to join us for our very first virtual worship service this past Sunday! While we most certainly miss our in-person worship service, we were encouraged by the participation level and the positive feedback regarding the format and content of our First Worship!

Here are some of the photos shared by the FBC family via social media: 

We would love to hear from you! If you have an encouraging story, a morning reflection, a funny photo of your children, a newfound hobby, an amazing Instant Pot recipe--share it with us! You can tag @firstbc on Instagram, @First Baptist Church Vancouver on Facebook, or send them to Angeline. We will share snippets of our community life here with the hope of to keep us connected!

PASTORAL REFLECTION

Click the video to watch a short devotion message by Daniel.

PASTORAL CARE/KEEPING IN TOUCH

During this time when we cannot meet together in person as a church, it is even more important for us to care for one another. To that end, we’ve assigned Pastoral Team members to serve as Area Pastors.

Anthony Brown – North Shore
Justin Kim – West End, Downtown
Rebecca Thornber – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Filipe Balieiro – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Stuart Campbell – Cambie, South Granville, Oakridge, Kerrisdale
Danny Foster Fabiano – Coquitlam, Burnaby, Surrey
John Tsang – East Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond 
Bob Swann – Richmond, Shelter, Homeless friends, volunteers, and workers

See here to get to know our pastors a little more.

Area Pastors will work with the leaders of the Connection Groups/Small Groups based in their area. If you have any care needs, please contact your Connection Group leader, or Area Pastor. We are ready and happy to help and support you. You can also reach us by calling the church office or email us at  . 

CALL TO PRAY

We are inviting you to pause in the middle of the day, at 12:00 noon to pray for 10 to 15 minutes. It will be encouraging to know, that as many of us as possible, will be uniting our hearts to pray in this season. If for any reason, noontime does not work for your schedule, then perhaps at 7:30 am or, 10:00 pm. There are many things that we can pray for but if you would like additional guides, here are 2 options:

  1. Use our Weekly Prayer Guide. If you'd like to receive that (it comes out Fridays), please send an email to 

  2. If you would like to explore a contemplative way to pray, Pray as You Go offers daily prayers with sacred music, scripture, and reflective questions. This resource is both web-based and app-based. 

If you have a prayer need or request, you can submit it by sending an email to  . Would you please indicate the level of circulation that you would like (confidential, pastoral team only, church-wide).  

Finally, this critical time has stirred the hearts of God's people around the city to pray collectively. We are aware of some of these movements and once we learn more, we will pass that information along to you. Let us unite our hearts in prayer!  

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Rom 12:12-13)

GIVE

Giving is an integral part of our discipleship. Your gift will help the church maintain mission and ministry commitments in a time when these commitments are more important than ever. We encourage you to give as an act of worship through these reliable, easy and safe secure systems:

  • Give Online 

  • Set up Pre-authorized Debit or Credit Payment by contacting our accountant, Teck-Ngee.

  • Mail your cheques to First Baptist Church, 969 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y1.

  • Other ways to give

ANNOUNCEMENT

For those internationals in our family: To help our English levels continue to grow and to maintain a sense of community, Stuart will be posting a daily link on the Internationals WhatsApp and Facebook pages to an article, video, or song, along with relevant new vocabulary. It would be wonderful if the posts become a conversation. Email Stuart to join the group.

 

FIRST NEWS | UPDATES + RESPONSE PLAN

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Dear FBC Family,
How are you today? There are many things we want to share with you today. And so, here’s a breakdown of what we are sharing about in this email.

  1. Pastoral Care/Keeping in touch
  2. Connection Group
  3. First Worship
  4. Outreach
  5. Giving
  6. Prayer

Before we go into the details, our Moderator, Claudia Wakeman, recorded a message for us! 

As we all know, the BC health authorities have tightened up things even more this week and as a church, we want to make sure that we are being responsible by doing all we can to protect the vulnerable and help our healthcare system to cope. We will continue to suspend our physical Sunday worship gathering until further notice. We are not being fearful. We are being responsible and this is what love requires of us in this season.

As we discern what is best for the common good of our city and our church, we encourage Connection Groups or any other social/ministry groups to meet online and not in person. We believe social distancing is the right course of action. But at the same time, it is a difficult one for us as a church. We will miss meeting together in person more than ever in this difficult season, but we know that Jesus will be as present as ever in our lives. On that note, our pastoral team has planned out a care system where we can still stay connected as much as possible! More details below.

Updates & Communications

Starting next week, we will send out a mid-week First News update on Wednesday evenings and a worship service order on Sunday 9am called First Worship! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram too!


PASTORAL CARE/KEEPING IN TOUCH 

During this unprecedented time, it is even more important for us to care for one another.  To that end, we’ve assigned Pastoral Team members to serve as Area Pastors. 

Anthony Brown – North Shore
Justin Kim – West End, Downtown
Rebecca Thornber – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Filipe Balieiro – West Point Grey, Kitsilano
Stuart Campbell – Cambie, South Granville, Oakridge, Kerrisdale
Danny Foster Fabiano – Coquitlam, Burnaby, Surrey
John Tsang – East Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond 
Bob Swann – Shelter, Homeless friends, volunteers, and workers

See here to get to know our pastors a little more.

Area Pastors will work with the leaders of the Connection Groups/Small Groups based in their area. If you have any care needs, please contact your Connection Group leader, or Area Pastor. We are ready and happy to help and support you. You can also reach us by calling the church office or email us at  .


CONNECTION GROUP

We encourage Connection Groups to meet online and not in person for the time being. Here are a few ways to do this: 

Google Hangout:
You will need a Gmail account to use this. Set up for free here

Facebook Messenger
You will need a Facebook account to use this. Set up for free here.

Phone call schedule: 
If meeting online won’t work for your group, another option might be setting up a phone call schedule. 

  • Each week (or more frequently) assign each person in your Connection Group one other person to call.  
  • During the call check in on how each other is doing, talk about the sermon discussion questions, and pray together.  
  • You could change the pairs each week so each person gets the chance to talk with every other person in the group.

Contact your Area Pastor if you’d like help getting set up for online meetings. If you have found other creative ways of keeping in touch with your Connection Group members, let us know!

Discussion Questions

Each Sunday in First Worship we will send out a few discussion questions based on that week’s sermon. We encourage you to use these as you meet online.

What if you’re not in a Connection Group? 

If you’re not currently in a Connection Group, contact your Area Pastor to get connected. Or why not find one or two other people in the church that you could meet online or call each week.


FIRST WORSHIP

Our Sunday Worship will move to an interactive online format "First Worship" starting this week! We will send out the service order through this channel at 9am on Sunday. First Worship will include New Generations Ministry resources, notices, information updates, Bible study questions on the passage and sermon alongside links to videos of:

  • Welcome and announcements
  • Pastoral prayer
  • Worship songs and hymns
  • Scripture and Message

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be providing more resources and perhaps livestream elements to help us connect with one another. Area Pastors will keep in touch with elders and shut-ins, especially those with barriers accessing online resources.


OUTREACH

We will continue serving the downtown homeless and urban poor community. They are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society at this time, lacking access to vital information, as well as many of the essential resources the rest of us are relying on. Having gathered information from sources such as UGM’s response and other churches and agencies working in the DTES, we have made the following decisions:

  • Overnight shelter is suspended until further notice.
  • Instead of having our guests dining together in the gym, we will give out packaged meals and coffee on Tuesday evenings. 
  • This information sheet, edited from materials kindly provided to us by Strathcona Vineyard Church, will be distributed as widely as possible.
  • Volunteers will number 10 or less and come by invitation only.

It is possible that at some point the city may request us to stop serving food, but we will not do so until then. Everyone in the congregation will be encouraged to look for ways to serve their neighbours, especially those more vulnerable, if not in person, then by phone call, and certainly in prayer.


GIVING

Giving is an integral part of our discipleship. Your gift will help the church maintain mission and ministry commitments in a time when these commitments are more important than ever. We encourage you to give as an act of worship through these reliable, easy and safe secure systems:

  • Give Online through CanadaHelps
  • Set up Pre-authorized Debit or Credit Payment by contacting our accountant, Teck-Ngee.
  • Mail your cheques to First Baptist Church, 969 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y1.
  • Other ways to give

PRAYER

God of love and mercy, who is ever present in the world, we come to you on this day with all of our concerns, all of our fears, all of our confusion, and our anxious thoughts of the unknown. We are seeing events unfold that are unlike any other that we have experienced in our lifetime. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we find comfort and assurance in knowing that you are the God who created the heavens and the earth and that we are in your good hands. Now, it is our turn to hear your Words that were repeated throughout scripture, “Do Not be afraid for I am with you.”

O God of mercy, we commend to You our needs, the needs of our loved ones, the needs of our neighbours.  We pray for protection, safety, kindness and compassion to prevail. We pray for extra sensitivity and attentiveness to those around us who are vulnerable, in particular the elderly, the sick, and those with less means to care for themselves.  

We pray for our national, provincial, and municipal leaders, and our medical officers who must make decisions quickly for the good of us all and to slow down the spread of the virus. We pray for doctors, nurses, care aids, LPN’s, and other health workers who are working under very stressful conditions; give them strength, protect them, and bless them as they serve those who are sick. We lift up to you the many people whose livelihoods are dramatically affected because of the halt of the economy. As we care for our own well-being, may we also extend this same vigilance to those around us. In these trying times, may we learn to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Amen.       


MORE INFORMATION

Please visit the dedicated site about COVID-19 at BCCDC to learn more about the virus, assessment tools, and best practices during this season.

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