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New Generations Ministries

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Hey First Family, 

 These first weeks of September have been marked by Kickoffs in our NewGen ministries. First, we had our Preteens and Youth Kickoff BBQ, followed by a Pancake Breakfast and School-Age parent orientation the next Sunday. We are so grateful to the many families--parents, children, youth and preteens--who participated and came out to connect with us and our teams! It is truly a gift to be in community with one another. These kickoffs also served as important times where we could share concerning our Fall calendars and hopes for this upcoming ministry season with parents. 

As we embark on this Fall season, we are looking to build on the goals that we set last year of community and discipleship. To cultivate community, we will be facilitating Friday night activities and Sunday morning spaces, where preteens and youth can connect with one another and their leaders in safe and fun environments. We are also keen to enrich the relationships of our volunteer team in children's ministry by regularly gathering together to pray before services on Sundays.

In regards to discipleship, we are desiring for each person to encounter and follow Jesus. And so, a key initiative we are focusing on this year in preteens and youth is small groups. We believe that these smalls groups will not only strengthen the relationships in our community but will also play an important role in growing our understanding of what Jesus is calling us to. We will also be promoting and undertaking several service opportunities for our preteens, youth and families to do all together as serving is an important part of discipleship. 

And last but certainly not least, we desire for our NewGen ministries to be ministries where we partner with and equip parents to play their irreplaceable role as the primary spiritual leaders of their children. We are excited to be hosting a parent seminar on dealing with anxiety in children and youth, this Fall and look forward to hosting more seminars in the upcoming year.  

Here is how you can partner with us. First, we need and would love your prayers. Pray that our children, preteens, youth, and volunteers may grow in their community and discipleship. Pray particularly for those who are new or who perhaps feel on the outside. Second, consider joining us at either a specific event or perhaps in a more regular space. We are looking forward to a family service day at Gleaners and for families serving together at Shelter this Fall. If you are a parent we encourage you to save the date for the Parent Seminar we are hosting on Friday, November 15.

Thanks to all of you who have prayed and who participate in the NewGen Ministries. We are so thankful to be a part of this community and excited to see what God will do in and amongst us as we follow Jesus. 

Daniel Foster Fabiano, Director of Children and Preteens Ministries
Filipe Balieiro, Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministries 

10 Years of Kickers at FBC

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We are midway through July and summer is now in full swing. This past week we hosted our July Kickers camp, where we had the pleasure of welcoming sixty children to our church building and riding with them on a yellow school bus to Jericho field every day for some soccer. Oh, the joys of summer days for the children! 

As some of you may know, this is our tenth year of hosting Kickers camps. What a testimony of love and presence to our neighbourhood, as our First Baptist family has continued to invest in caring for children in the West End and the Vancouver area. It never ceases to amaze me how the beautiful game aka soccer can bring people together. This past week, children from all over Vancouver and of different ethnicities had a week of building relationships, playing soccer, enjoying bus rides, sipping on freezies, eating burgers, and beating their parents in a game of soccer! It was a fun-filled and beautiful week, where we got to invest in many children's stories. What a privilege. 

I am so thankful for all of the coaches, volunteers and support staff at First who made last week possible! It truly is a team effort. Two huge thank you mentions are needed for their tremendous efforts and work last week. First, thank you to Jose Figueroa for directing Kickers. Second, thank you to Joseph Leong for directing the preschool soccer & arts camp. Bless you all for the time and energy spent on the children and their families. 

Jose often tells his coaches and me, "The goal of Kickers is building relationships". Building relationships is a simple yet profound statement that I remind myself of often. For in reality, building relationships is a goal of our church and critical part of our calling as Christians, as we follow Jesus. And it is why I am so encouraged to see several members of our coaching team who used to be campers step up to take leadership roles this year. 

And so, I have two invitations for you: the first is to consider who might Jesus be leading you to grow deeper in relationship with? The second is an invitation for you to join me in praying for our next Kickers camp and the rest of the Summer program as we continue to minister and grow in relationship with the next generation. 

In Christ,
Daniel Foster Fabiano
Director of Children & Preteens Ministries

Children Summer Programs

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"What are your plans for the summer?" It is a question I often ask our preteens these days. And so I will pose the same question to you and to your families this week: What are your summer plans? 

For all of us, and particularly for our children and families, summer is a season of change. It's a season where the days are longer and brighter, and where the regular rhythms of school are disrupted. And parents are faced with the dreaded dilemma or gift, depending on how you look at it, of no school! 

The extra space given to children by a summer break provides a unique opportunity for us to encounter, engage, and encourage children from our church and all parts of our city. And it is to this opportunity that I want to direct your attention.  I invite you to pray for our Summer at First program, and I encourage you to participate in our Summer program. 

As some of you may know, Summer at First is a full season in our Children and Preteens ministry. It's a season in which we hope and plan to run two Kickers Soccer camps, a week-long Camp at First, a church picnic, Preteens & Youth camping trip, several one-day excursions, and all the while continuing our Sunday programming. This particular summer is also special since we will be celebrating the tenth year anniversary of Kickers! 

Thankfully, we have been blessed to be able to bring on Joseph Leong as our summer programs coordinator. But we will definitely need your prayers and participation in order to make it all happen. And so, if you are interested in participating as a volunteer for our Camp at First, as a coach, or as a volunteer at the church picnic, please let me know. We are particularly needing volunteers for our Camp at First. 

But our goal in hosting all of these programs is not to replace school with a bunch of activities and to keep children and their families "busy." Rather, our hope and prayer are that we could engage and encourage children and their families both from our church and from our community. Last year, approximately 100 campers attended Kickers, 50 of whom were not regular attendees at our church. What an opportunity and gift for our church and volunteers to be witnesses and bring shalom to our neighbourhood.

My hope and prayer for this Summer at First is that we might strengthen our community and continue to walk with children and their families in their discipleship journey. Please join me in praying for Joseph, for all of the children we will minister to, for all the volunteers and families who will be impacted through our summer programming. Please also consider inviting friends of your children to join us this summer and/or consider volunteering in some capacity.   

Daniel Foster Fabiano
Director of Children & Preteens Ministries