HFTC Update

HFTC Update | April 29 ,2021

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BY GOD'S GRACE

Dear Friends, 

As of this afternoon, by God’s grace, we are fully moved out of our church building. Praise God! As a ministry partner from UGM noted over email correspondence with me, it is truly a historic moment. 

I want to thank our staff team, especially Soniya Mathew, Ayele Mekonen, Angeline Teay, Shufen Ong, and Joseph Leong. They worked diligently and tirelessly around the clock to deliver on some ambitious objectives and deadlines. We must commend them for their dedication—for some of them; they pushed through some major personal challenges. 

I want to thank our volunteers: Richard and Linda DeBoer, Marjorie Cox, Carmen Mok, Tim Cunningham, Steve Milos, Cathie McGuire, Katie Loewen, Benjamin Yu, Ligia Martinez, Alice Owen, Hildie Richter, Anna Kim, Jennifer Cote, John and Rose Kavanagh, David Shirmohammad, Eric Findlay, and Colin Kushnier. They were instrumental in helping us get to this point. They expressed their love for our church in very tangible and practical ways. We are deeply grateful for their commitment. 

On January 18th, 2020, while Soniya was away in India, I emailed her a list of high priority items for our HFTC relocation. It marked the beginning of what would be a 16 months process of strategizing, researching, organizing, and packing. Two months into that process, the global COVID-19 pandemic sideswiped us. In addition to the HFTC relocation process, we had to make some significant organizational and operational adjustments—not just for the sake of reducing expenses but for greater resiliency and agility in an ever-evolving environment. 

And now, by God’s grace, we are here. Fully moved out. Office secured. Ministry space secured. Temporary recording site secured. All of our building content safely stored and insured in an accessible storage near us and a long-term, climate-controlled storage within a 30 minutes radius. We have much to be grateful for.

Friends, this is just the beginning of our adventure! There is much ahead of us. I trust that the Holy Spirit will convict us, surprise us, and change us in ways that are beyond the scope of our understanding. 

In Christ, 
Justin Kim
Executive Minister 


CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS

Here are three photos that show how the construction is coming along. Above is the west end of the 7-storey affordable housing unit from Ted Northe Lane.

Here is another shot from Ted Northe Lane to give you a sense of progress in relation to the church building.

A shot of the affordable housing unit from Nelson Street.


BUILDING TOUR

Please be sure to join us at 6:30 pm this Friday for a tour of the church 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

Posted by Justin Kim

HFTC Update | March 19 , 2021

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GOD ALREADY KNOWS WHAT WE NEED

Dear Friends,

Yesterday morning, I started the day with a prayer of thanksgiving as it marked our 134 years as a church. What a milestone! What a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us, the West End, and this city!

In 1886, we started at the back of a pub, known as the Blair Saloon, located at the intersection of Abbott and Water. Leading up to the construction of our very first church building—a humble 24’ x 35’ frame building—on 432 Main Street, by 1887, we had already moved twice due to a citywide fire. There was a point in time when we worshipped out in the open as we were without a building. Talk about displacement!

In 1911, after a number of building projects and displacements, God planted us at the very heart of the city, at the intersection of Nelson and Burrard. And now, almost 110 years later, we are reminded again of God’s intentionality in physically placing us here. Where we are situated is not a byproduct of chance. Where we are situated is integral to the raison d'être—the God-given purpose—of our church. He planted us here to reflect the Good News of Jesus Christ.

As we head towards another displacement, we must remember God’s faithfulness and intentionality. In the face of uncertainty and numerous changes, we must remember, as so aptly put by Rebecca Thornber at our Winter Church Meeting, that God already knows what we need. Our Good Shepherd is leading us. Let us follow.

With joy,
Justin Kim
Executive Minister


OFFICE SPACE

Starting April 6th, our staff team will be working from our new office at 1500 West Georgia Street. It's the triangular BOSA Commercial building where Pender, West Georgia, and Nicola converge. Our new office space is operated by Regus, a company that provides the flexibility that our staff need to work from the central downtown location and other locations throughout the city.

For all mail correspondence, please send them to the following address starting from April 1st.

The First Baptist Church of Vancouver
1500 West Georgia Street
Suite 1300
Vancouver, BC V6G 2Z6

Our office and fax phone numbers will remain the same. Just as a reminder, they are as follows.

Phone: 604-683-8441
Fax: 604-683-8410

 


MINISTRY SPACE

We were able to secure St. Andrew's-Wesley as our main ministry space for 25 months. Once St. Andrew's-Wesley is back in their newly renovated building (which is currently set to take place in a month or two), their staff trained and ready to manage their building, and the COVID restrictions are lifted, we will be able to use their space on Sunday afternoons. Additionally, St. Andrew's-Wesley has expressed openness to sharing their space on the weekdays.

As you are aware, St. Andrew's-Wesley is right across us. Due to the proximity, we will be able to retain our parking arrangement at Nelson Square and visibly see the progress of our construction as we make our way to church on a weekly basis.

This might be new to you, but when our church building was destroyed by the downtown district fire in 1931, St. Andrew's-Wesley was one of the three local churches that offered their space to us. We are grateful for their continued generosity and hospitality.

We were also able to secure a temporary recording site for our First Worship as we will need to vacate our church building by the end of April and won't have access to the St. Andrew's-Wesley building right away. Coastal Church has graciously offered their Commercial Campus to us. We are thankful to Pastor Dave and Cheryl Koop and their team, particularly Brad Bergman, for making this possible. Additionally, I must note that Westside Church has expressed openness to support us along the way.


THANK YOU

We are making good progress with our packing! This is mostly due to the diligence of our wonderful volunteers and staff. We are grateful for them.

I must recognize our volunteers by name. Marjorie Cox, Carmen Mok, Benjamin Yu, Ligia Martinez, Alice Owen, Hildie Ritchter, Jennifer Cote, Cathie McGuire, Richard and Linda DeBoer, Tim Cunningham, Steve Milos, and Anna Kim.

Furthermore, while it is a team effort, several staff members are going above and beyond. They are Soniya Mathew, Angeline Teay, Shufen Ong, and Ayele Mekonen. Often, their contributions go unnoticed. Please be sure to let them know that they are appreciated.

Last but not least, when it comes to the items that won't be going into storage, it is good to see that organizations like HomeStartLookout, refugee families, and individuals who are in need will benefit from our donations.

We have much to be grateful for. God already knows what we need. Thanks be to God!

 

Posted by Justin Kim

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