Around Town: Samson on the screen, Worship Central, Rise, Jazz Vespers . . .

In the world of movies, all the attention, superhero-wise, will be going to Black Panther this week, but Samson will be coming to several local theatres this Friday (February 16). The Old Testament strong man is featured in a movie that Pure Flix (producer of God’s Not Dead and The Case for Christ) describes like this:

Samson is based on the powerful, biblical epic of a champion chosen by God to deliver Israel. His supernatural strength and impulsive decisions quickly pit him against the oppressive Philistine empire. After being betrayed by a wicked prince and a beautiful temptress, Samson is captured and blinded by his enemies. Samson calls upon his God once more for supernatural strength and turns imprisonment and blindness into final victory.

Local movie critic Peter Chattaway posted an exclusive interview with Taylor James (Samson) February 12 on his FilmChat blog. It began:

Peter Chattaway: What was it that drew you to this role?

Taylor James: What drew me to this role! It’s one of the most iconic, if not for me the most iconic, stories within Judges in the Bible. Samson is about power, his story of power, how he had it, how he lost it, and then how ultimately he had the chance for redemption at the end.

I saw a flawed hero within Samson, I saw somebody who was reluctant, I saw a lot of the characteristics of many of the young guys coming into the NBA, a lot of guys graduated from school, a lot of those youthful, impulsive, foolish – but quite rightly so – decisions, and there’s nothing like watching, for me, a character lose everything and then win it all back. So that was what drew me to Samson.

Go here for background on James and the full interview. (Editor’s note, February 16: Go here for Peter Chattaway’ quick takes on Samson and Black Panther.)

Worship Central Conference

The Worship Central Conference this weekend (February 16 – 18) will feature several well known worship leaders – of course – but also people best known for their work in social justice, prayer and evangelism.

Here is the description of the event:

This two-day training conference is designed for church leaders, worship leaders, musicians and anyone who is passionate about encountering God through authentic worship. The weekend will consist of main sessions as well as workshops designed to equip the worshipper with practical, methodological and theological tools to further advance the kingdom of God.

These are some of the key leaders:

* Tim Hughes (Worship Central), co-founder and global leader of Worship Central, and along with his wife Rachel lead St. Luke’s Gas Street Church in Birmingham UK. Tim has written many songs including ‘Here I Am to Worship,’ ‘Happy Day,’ ‘The Way’ and ‘Hope & Glory.’

* Danielle Strickland serves in the Salvation Army as an officer – currently leading the social justice fight in Toronto – and was previously based in Los Angeles and Australia, and Vancouver. She is internationally recognized in her capacity as a leader, speaker, writer, justice advocate, mission developer and church planter.

* Pete Greig (24-7 Prayer), Pete is one of the founders of 24-7 Prayer, senior pastor of Emmaus Rd in Guildford UK, an ambassador for the NGO Tearfund and teaches at St Mellitus Theological College in London. For eight years he served with the senior leadership team at HTB and Alpha International. He has authored a number of books including Red Moon Rising, God on Mute and 2016’s Dirty Glory.

Other speakers: Chris Quilala (Jesus Culture), Molly Williams (Jesus Culture), “JD” Jonathon Douglass(Hillsong United), Cass Langton (Hillsong), Mia Fieldes (The Belonging Co.), Dr. Darrell Johnson, and Jason Ballard (Alpha Canada).

Rise: Worship Leader Training

For those in the Valley – or who would love two straight weekends of worship highlights, Rise (Worship Leader Training) Conference will take place at Northview Church in Abbotsford February 23 – 24.

This youth-oriented event is sponsored by several Abbotsford churches. In fact, most of the leaders are local worship/youth pastors from all over the Fraser Valley – love the range!:

* Ajay Klassen (Coast Hills Community Church, Cloverdale)
* David Song (South Abbotsford Church)
* Kendra Giesbrecht (Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford)
* Andrew Geddert (Northview Church, Abbotsford)
* Seth Leighton (Village Church, Surrey)
* Jonathan Giesbrecht (Northview Church, Abbotsford)
* Chad Joiner (MEI Schools, Abbotsford)
* Alex Toney (All Saints Community Church, White Rock)
* Adam Smith (Bear Creek Church, Surrey)
* Zack Melhus (Broadway Church, Chilliwack)
* Teddy Lee (City on a Hill Church, New Westminster)

Jazz Vespers / Evensong

From the Brentwood Presbyterian site, featuring their Jazz Evensong.

Jazz Vespers have been around for some time now, but it seems that the movement is really starting to hit its stride. Apparently many people enjoy their jazz in a worshipful setting.

The pioneer in this area, I believe, was St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church under the leadership of their late minister Gordon Turner. A trombonist himself, he modelled the service after one he attended in New York.

But Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Burnaby has been offering Jazz Evensong (rather than Vespers) for several years now as well. I posted an article by Lloyd Mackey about them three years ago.

Brian Fraser

Pastor Brian Fraser has led the way with Jazz Evensong, and he recently wrote about faith and jazz on his blog:

I have been nourished by a branch of the Christian church that traces its roots back to the wing of the Reformation shaped deeply by the mind and mission of John Calvin. In one of the few references he made in his writings to his own conversion experience, in the introduction to his commentary of the Psalms, he said that God gave him a teachable spirit. I resonate deeply with that experience and hope these blogs and the conversations they call forth will serve that purpose among those who choose to participate in this process of growing into our God-desired authenticity.

I am also nourished by jazz. The most common form of jazz in human experience is ordinary conversation. There is structure – vocabulary and grammar. But every time we use that structure, we improvise, just like jazz musicians. So, if we were to manage the substance and sound of our voices in a conversation like jazz musicians manage the substance and sound of their instruments in a performance, what difference would it make in the quality of community we are generating, one conversation after another. . . .

Go here for the full comment.

I can think of five churches in Metro Vancouver that are now hosting Jazz Vespers:

* St. Andrew’s-Wesley United, Vancouver: Sunday afternoons, weekly: February 18, The Hot Mammas
* Brentwood Presbyterian, Burnaby: Wednesday evenings: February 21, The Doe Bender Group
* Northwood United, Surrey: Sunday afternoons, bi-weekly: February 25, Olaf DeShield
* St. Stephen’s Anglican, West Vancouver: Sunday afternoons, occasional: February 25, Roma Swing Trio
* St. Andrew’s United, North Vancouver, Sunday afternoons, monthly: February 25, artist TBA

February 15, 2018

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hfour Studio – February 15, 2018 at 12:00 am
Book Launch: Dr. Bruce Hindmarsh – The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism (with Mark Noll) – February 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ruined by Lynn Nottage – February 15, 2018 - February 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 16, 2018

Samson Movie in Canadian Theatres – February 16, 2018 at 12:00 am
Worship Central Conference – February 16, 2018 - February 17, 2018 at All Day
Voices for TRAC (Trinity Refugee Awareness Campaign) – February 16, 2018 at 7:30 am - 9:30 am
Date Night Comedy Tour – February 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

February 17, 2018

Renovaré: The Listening Life – February 17, 2018 at 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
You are My Beloved: A Lenten Retreat – February 17, 2018 at 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Prophecy Speaking Today Workshop – February 17, 2018 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

February 18, 2018

Alio Modo featuring Vancouver Viols – February 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jazz Vespers: The Hot Mammas – February 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

February 19, 2018

Gospel Music Workshop – February 19, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

February 20, 2018

FaithTech YVR Coffee Shop Takeover – February 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 21, 2018

Water from Stone: Opening Reception – February 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: The Doe Bender Group – February 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

February 22, 2018

Let's Talk Marijuana (indoubt:live) – February 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 23, 2018

Rise (Worship Leader Training) Conference 2018 – February 23, 2018 - February 24, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 2:30 pm
One Game = One Giant Step of Youth – February 23, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

February 24, 2018

The Bible: Why We Can Trust It – February 24, 2018 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Workshop: Songs of Justice, Songs of Freedom, Songs of Hope – February 24, 2018 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Flavours of Hope: Pop-Up Community Dinner – February 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Vancouver Cantata Singers: Cantus Missae - Rheinberger and the Romantics – February 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Spirit(us): An Evening with Kiya Tabassian – February 24, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 25, 2018

Concert: Songs of Justice, Songs of Freedom, Songs of Hope – February 25, 2018 at 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Jazz Vespers – February 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers with Roma Swing Trio – February 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Olaf DeShield – February 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

February 27, 2018

Income Tax Ministry (Tuesdays & Saturdays) – February 27, 2018 - April 24, 2018 at 9:30 am - 2:00 pm

February 28, 2018

David S. Robinson: Protestantism without Reformation – Bonhoeffer's View of the North American Churches – February 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Chaplains Connect – February 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Is Christianity or Secular Humanism a Better Foundation for Human Rights? – February 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: The Miles Black Trio – February 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Heather Soles & Friends – February 28, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 1, 2018

An Almost Holy Picture by Heather McDonald – March 1, 2018 - March 3, 2018 at All Day
Art Exhibition: Adrift by Jenny Hawkinson – March 1, 2018 - March 2, 2018 at 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

March 2, 2018

The Crucifixion by John Stainer: A call for choir members (Saturday rehearsals) – March 2, 2018 at All Day
Apologetics Canada Conference 2018 – March 2, 2018 - March 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Circle Conference – March 2, 2018 - March 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm

March 3, 2018

A Lenten Retreat with the Soul of Christ Prayer – March 3, 2018 at 9:15 am - 3:15 pm
"The Way": a Lenten Journey Retreat – March 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
An Evening with Trace Bundy – March 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Geneva Lectures: Dr. Derek Schuurman: Responsible Automation – Faith & Work in an Age of Intelligent Machines – March 3, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

March 6, 2018

Mental Health First Aid (Tuesdays) – March 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

March 7, 2018

Excellence in Board Leadership for Businesses and NPOs – March 7, 2018 at 7:30 am - 9:30 am
The View From Here: A We Carry Kevan Film – March 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Juhli Conlinn & Friends – March 7, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 9, 2018

Magnify Conference 2018 – March 9, 2018 - March 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mirror Arts Hangout – March 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Christian and the Public Square: Truth and the Messy Business of Citizenship (19th annual Mel Smith Lecture, featuring Andrew Bennett) – March 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Raising Hope: REED Fundraiser – March 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

March 10, 2018

Reframing Retirement with Dr. Paul Pearce & Dr. Carson Pue – March 10, 2018 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Mental Health & Addiction: A Sanctuary Workshop – March 10, 2018 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Evening at the Well: JJ Heller & Mandy Arioto – March 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 11, 2018

Jazz Vespers: Greta Matassa – March 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Together: City Church Worship & Prayer Gathering – March 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 13, 2018

Being Clear About the Gospel Conference – March 13, 2018 - March 14, 2018 at All Day

March 14, 2018

Developing Missional Disciples (Round Table Discussion) – March 14, 2018 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
MALTS Informational Webinar – March 14, 2018 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lunchtime Lecture and Discussion on Stanley Hauerwas – March 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Expert Medical Panel Discussion on Mitigating the Addiction Crisis – March 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Dennis Venema: Adam & the Genome – March 14, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 9:20 pm
Ashley Moyse: Biotechnology and Theology – March 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Jazz Evensong: Jonny Tobin & Friends – March 14, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 15, 2018

Grand Embrace II – March 15, 2018 at All Day
Spiritual Trauma with Hillary McBride – March 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Steve Bell in Concert – March 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 17, 2018

Chronic Disease Prevention Nutrition Workshop (in Cantonese) – March 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

March 18, 2018

Dr. Jerry Grillo: The Favour and Anointing of God – March 18, 2018 - March 19, 2018 at All Day
The Joseph Syndrome – March 18, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 19, 2018

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila – March 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
An Evening with Brother Yun (The Heavenly Man) – March 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

March 20, 2018

The Laing Lectures: Dr. Stanley Hauerwas – March 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Laing Lectures: Stanley Hauerwas – The Christian Message in the World Today – March 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 21, 2018

Reaching Out to the Indo-Canadian Community – March 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The Laing Lectures: Stanley Hauerwas – The Christian Message and Humanism – March 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Marcos Flo & Friends – March 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 22, 2018

40 Days for Life – March 22, 2018 - March 25, 2018 at All Day
The Comedy of Errors – March 22, 2018 - March 24, 2018 at All Day
Water from Stone – March 22, 2018 at All Day
Provincial Leaders Dinner – March 22, 2018 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Art of Creative Apologetics: Building Connections Through Imagination – March 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Tom Swanky, J.D.: Usqalits’ – Canada’s Pacific Genocide – March 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Laing Lectures: Stanley Hauerwas – The Church and Civil Society – March 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 23, 2018

52nd Annual British Columbia Leadership Prayer Breakfast – March 23, 2018 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
JUNOfest Christian Showcase – March 23, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Thomas Merton and Celtic Spirituality: A Public Talk & a Retreat with Dr. Monica Weis SJJ – March 23, 2018 - March 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 3:30 pm

March 24, 2018

Church Architecture: Inside and Out – March 24, 2018 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Ukrainian Catholic Easter Bake Sale – March 24, 2018 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

March 25, 2018

One Hour: See the Cross Lenten Concert – March 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Jazz Vespers – March 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Miles Black & Friends – March 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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