First News

back to list

First News | August 19, 2020

Weekly Reflection


Fall Kick-off 2020

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we found new ways to gather together safely and responsibly. Over the course of the summer, we hosted over 30 in-person, outdoor Area Pastorate gatherings. We witnessed growth in Connection Group participation. Our New Generations and Internationals met in various outdoor settings—ranging from Sunset Beach to Deep Cove. Last week, we had our VBS. This week, we are running our Kickers Camp. We have much to be thankful for. 

The next phase of our reopening will primarily focus on care. In order to meet the growing care needs of our congregation as well as of our neighbours, we are planning to host several, in-person care ministry training opportunities at Pinder Hall. They are as follows: (1) Care Friends Training, (2) End of Life Care (will be offered 2 times), and (3) Sanctuary Course – Understanding Mental Health. Our priority is to equip our congregation to care for those who are most in need. In addition, we are aiming to further develop our Area Pastorates to identify lay leaders who can help with the care of those who are most vulnerable and isolated amongst us. 

One important date to mark on your calendar is our Fall Kickoff on September 12th. We will be gathering by areas from 10 am to 12 pm. At our Fall Kickoff, you will hear more about where we sense our Lord is leading us when it comes to our priorities and plans, especially as it relates to our reopening, displacement, and direction. We hope to see you there! More details will be provided by your Area Pastors. 

Yesterday, as our Pastoral Team met in-person at Sunrise Park, I came away sensing two things. The gift of each other. And the gratitude of knowing that our Lord brought us together. All of us, without exception, are created and called to grow in community. In his book “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them” (I love this title! Ha), John Ortberg puts it this way: “Community is the place God meets us.” Perhaps, for you, this means taking the risk of joining a Connection Group—a small group of broken people who long for Jesus. 

With gratitude,
Justin Kim
Executive Minister


Camp at First 2020

Dear First Baptist Family,

Amid the pandemic season, we are so grateful that we had an opportunity to connect with some of the children and volunteers through Camp at First. 7 children and 11 volunteers participated this year and we had so much fun together.

This year’s theme is Rainforest Explorers: Jesus Leads the Way. With the help from Julie Thompson and Angeline Teay, we transformed Pinder Hall into a rainforest! At camp, we looked into the Bible and discovered that Jesus leads the way to the treasure of eternal life with Him!

Each morning, our camp started with a welcome and health tips session by our healthcare worker puppet, Halley. She reminded everyone to wash and sanitize their hands and led us to recite our health chant: “Be kind, be calm, stay safe, stay strong!” We would proceed with the Music Session after that and it was a great joy to see the children and volunteers worshipping God with actions! Our favourite song is definitely the theme song "Jesus is My Treasure" and you can listen to it in the recap video. During the Storytelling and Bible Challenge Sessions, the leaders and puppeteers worked together seamlessly to bring God’s word into the children’s life. At break time, the campers would learn about a unique animal during the “Featured Creature” Session. Before the end of each day, the children would make some crafts to bring home.

A huge and special thanks to Julie Thompson, who has put in so much time and effort to make camp this year a successful one. She went the extra mile to incorporate puppet shows to bring out the theme and contents of Rainforest Explorers. The puppet show was a brilliant idea as it was an excellent way for children to enjoy learning while following the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. Julie also offered wonderful resources such as books, crafts, ideas and gadgets related to the Rainforest Explorers theme. The children loved every bit of it!

A huge shout-out to our puppeteers, the Wilkinsons gang (Ciara, Tikki, Darve, and Jemma) for serving and entertaining the kids with their talents. Our featured creature puppeteer, Teddy Kim, did a great job in doing research of the special animals and he is amazing with his animal jokes too!

I would also like to thank our committed and passionate leaders: Daniel Surya, Hellen Muuo, Neema Muuo, Alessandra Reddekopp, Nadia Schiller, and Sophia Porter, for serving and loving the kids with their incredible talents and gifts. We couldn’t have done it without this fantastic team!

Lastly, we are thankful for all who have prayed and supported us during this challenging season. Thank you for your love and for remembering us in your prayers. We believe that it is the power of God through your prayers that held everything so wonderfully together.

Jesus leads the way! Amen.

Joseph Leong
Summer Program Coordinator


Celebrating Bob Swann

Zoom Celebration

Sunday, August 23 | 1:00-2:30pm | Zoom

We will have an opportunity to get together for a Zoom celebration to honour Bob as he transitions out of pastoral ministry after 21 years of faithful service at FBC! If you missed the announcement from Bob, click here to watch the video.

Follow the link below to RSVP by Friday, August 21 and a Zoom invitation link will later be sent out via email.

RSVP HERE

Love Offering

We would also like to show our love and appreciation by collecting a love offering for Bob. If you would like to bless Bob through a financial gift, please write a cheque addressed to "First Baptist Church" and indicate "Love Offering for Bob Swann" on the memo line.

You may mail the cheque to First Baptist Church, 969 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y1 or drop it in the church mailbox beside the office door on Burrard Street. Please make your gift by August 31, 2020.

*Please note that this gift will not be tax-deductible.