First News

Ekklesia Sermon Series

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Dear friends, 

Starting from this coming Sunday, we will spend the next 2 months in the book of Ephesians. 

As some of you are aware, I’ve been immersed in the book of Ephesians for more than 7 years! For some reason, the Holy Spirit kept drawing me back to it—over and over again—throughout my entire pastorate at FBC. Moreover, at the outset of the pandemic, our staff team huddled around the book of Ephesians every Tuesday morning—studying, reflecting, sharing, and praying—for around four months. It has kept us grounded in Christ amid an ever-evolving world that was significantly affected by the pandemic. 

For some of you who have been part of our church for over a decade, you might recollect that, in 2011, Darrell Johnson led us through a 10-month long sermon series on the book of Ephesians entitled “Navigating an Alternative Reading of Reality.” The main thrust of the series was that the book of Ephesians helps us to see reality, more clearly, with lenses that are saturated by the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jan Porcino, who at that time served as our Minister of Discipleship, produced a wonderful study guide that complemented the sermon series. 

And, now ten years later, as we begin our displacement, I sense that the Holy Spirit is prompting us to renew our lenses as we look to all that is ahead—not necessarily in preparation for the new building, but for far greater things, namely the fresh and surprising ways that He will be at work in us and through us to renew our church, our city, and our world. 

In the book of Ephesians, we are drawn to the breathtakingly expansive work of our Triune God—creation, redemption, the new humanity, and the renewal of all things. All of these initiated in Jesus Christ. And at the heart of that expansive work is the Church, a reconciled and reconciling community led by Jesus and empowered by the His Spirit, described in colourful images like body, building, temple, bride, marriage, and family. 

 The pandemic has raised many questions for us: What does it mean to be church when you can’t go to church? What does it mean to be a worshipping community when it seems like we are tenuously and strangely “connected” virtually? Can the Lord’s Supper be truly communal when we are taking the elements in the confines of our homes? How are we to care for one another when we aren’t able to meet in-person? How can we share the Good News when are “socially distanced”? In addition to these significant questions, we have now entered a long period of displacement. 24 months to be more specific. 

 In the face of all of these challenges, my prayer is that we will be reminded of whose we are, what we are, and how we are to live as the Church through this sermon series. My prayer is that we, as a church, will be further rooted “in Christ” though we may be physically displaced and distanced. My prayer that we, as a church, will be set afire by His Spirit to be reminded of our first love, Jesus Christ, who is on the move. He is on the move to renewal all things. Will we join Him? 

 I want to express my deepest gratitude to the host of guest preachers who will be part of our Ekklesia sermon series. Elita Friesen (The Way Church) will open up our series, followed by Dawn Humphreys (Strathcona Vineyard), Darrell Johnson, Jenna Fabiano (Willoughby Church), and Chris Price (The Way Church). Thank you for your friendship and your love for the Church! 

Our sermon series will be coupled with our Weekly Reflections by our Pastoral Team—exploring and expounding on the implications of the preached texts. Additionally, Rebecca Thornber, our Minister of Discipleship and Community, will complement the series with a Connection Group study guide. 

Jesus will build His Church. His will build His Ekklesia. 

In Christ, 
Justin Kim
Executive Minister 

P.S. For a better understanding of the word “ekklesia”, please be sure to listen to the sermon that Darrell Johnson preached two Sundays ago. Here is the link

Street Ministries Update

Last week we moved out of our building for the next two years.

You don’t need me to tell you that every area of church life is impacted by this move. And yet, I thought it was important to address the congregation about the Shelter Ministry because it has such a public presence in our city and because in the months that I have been serving as the director, I have come to understand how much love, resources and effort this church has poured into the shelter ministry over the years.

Our Shelter Ministry has become Street Ministries; this change is not merely a result fo circumstances. Instead, it wants to signal our response to Jesus’s calling to be a blessing to the city. This is the invitation I want to extend: During the next two years, let us not simply look forward to returning to upgraded and newly built sacred spaces. Rather, let’s seek Jesus in the city, among the poor, among the lonely, among the new comers, and among those who are serving the poor in the city.

During this time, we won’t simply set our own table with our own initiatives, our own strengths and resources. Rather, we let us learn to collaborate with others in service. Let First Baptist model a way of being in the city that resembles Jesus, the supreme guest.

To do this well, we need to pause for a few weeks to deepen relationships and partnerships with others in the city. During these weeks, if our Lord is moving you to contribute and participate in Street Ministries with the poor and marginalized in our city, please contact me. I would love to converse with you. My email: .

David Nacho
Director of Street Ministries

Posted by David Nacho

First News | April 28, 2021

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CONNECTION GROUP STORIES

We are one of three connection groups meeting on the North Shore at the present time. The North Shore Bible Study has been around for a long time formed originally in the mid 1970’s, still have members attending from the original group. We are a group of 13 at the moment, meeting usually every two weeks for fellowship, prayer and bible study. Prayer is a big part of our agenda, maintaining a prayer & praise list of special needs of the group, beyond that to concerns for family & friends, the wider needs of the church family, ministers and ministries as well as several organizations and missionaries beyond our church. 

We are very thankful for Zoom, it has worked very well for us once everyone got comfortable with the technical issues. During this past season we invited several guests to visit with us to share their ministry and to get to know them better. Guests included were Abe Han, Anthony Brown, Rebecca Thornber, David Nacho and upcoming, Ricky Lee from Promise Vancouver. 

Through the summer months last year, because of Covid-19, we met in a park on numerous occasions, it was great to get together and look forward to perhaps doing the same thing this summer, if permitted.

Blessings
Barbara & Bryan Reid


Our women’s group started around four years ago from a desperate need to learn from God’s Word and the healing that it brings. The ladies in our group are spread out throughout Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, and Surrey. We don’t all go to FBC, and we even had a lady from Saskatchewan who joined us recently. We meet on a bi-weekly basis. It has been wonderful to grow in the knowledge of our Living God through His Word and to pray together. We love that we can be honest and open with one another. It has led to some powerful times of prayer. Before the pandemic, we enjoyed few social gatherings, and we hope to do that again one day!

In March 2020, before everything had shut down, we had started the Sanctuary Course. It was the perfect study for the beginning of the pandemic. We ended up meeting every week to either go over the materials or pray together during that anxious time. It was such a lifesaver to be able to vulnerably share and pray together as we entered a strange world. We were doubly reminded to place our trust and hope in our Living God, our strength and refuge. We love our group. We hope you have or will find a group of friends you can walk and grow with!  

Anna Kim

We would love to help you find or start a Connection Group! Your first step will be to contact Rebecca. We will do our best to assist you.


FBC FAREWELL TOUR

Virtual Live Tour | Friday, April 30, 6:30pm

It is time to lower the curtain on our time at First Baptist Church for the foreseeable future. But before we go, let's all take one final tour of the building before the renovations! Kurtis Findlay will be your guide as we go through the entire church from the very bottom to the very top! You will revisit places you haven't seen in over a year, and even discover places you've never been before -- all from the comfort of your living room!

This virtual tour will be streaming live on YouTube Facebook

*This event will be recorded in case you can't make it for the live viewing.


CONNECTING WITH GOD RETREAT

Sat, May 8, 9:30am-12:30pm, Zoom | Facilitator: Carrie Shuliger

In this half day retreat, we will be assessing our spiritual temperaments and evaluating our spiritual practices in order to discover ways we can deepen our relationship with God and support one another in our lives of faith. Our Spiritual temperament is the way we best relate to God, our most natural and meaningful approach to connecting with God, knowing God and loving God. Discerning our Spiritual temperaments helps to increase our self-knowledge—to understand who we are—they don’t completely label or define us, but they may help us articulate a part of our beautiful complexity and choose practices that fit.

Register here before May 5.

 

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