Around Town: Thanksgiving, Stephen Toope, Mully, Highway to Heaven . . .

Joel Pel at First CRC’s Garden of Eatin’ cleaning vegetables for this weekend’s Thanksgiving Harvest Feast. Welcome House is in the background.

Many church members around the city will be inviting international students and new citizens home for Thanksgiving dinner, but I have been particularly taken with the uniquely welcoming atmosphere at First Christian Reformed Church of Vancouver, at 11th and Victoria.

For more than 10 years, First CRC has offered a weekly community meal at the church every Wednesday between September and May.

Joel Pel is a member of the church who volunteers with the weekly meals and with the Thanksgiving meal planned for this weekend. He describes how the meals work:

It is different from a ‘soup kitchen’ model, in that we all help prep and clean up, and all eat together. With the completion of the Welcome Centre [run by ISSofBC for refugees and immigrants right next door to First CRC], we have had a lot of residents also joining us – which has been great, but has meant that we have been at or over capacity (90-plus people) each week.

Also, each year we traditionally have our Thanksgiving Harvest Feast where we celebrate the good food God has blessed us with through the Garden of Eatin’. It also serves as an important reminder of our call to be stewards of creation.

This year we are combining the two events into one – neighbours and gardeners eating together, giving thanks for the good gifts we have in our neighbourhood, and more broadly as well.

Stephen Toope at Cambridge

Stephen Toope was president and vice-chancellor of UBC for several years.

Former University of British Columbia president and vice-chancellor Stephen Toope was installed as vice-chancellor at Cambridge University October 2. He is the 346th person and first non-Briton to take on the role, which makes him the main administrative and academic officer of the university (the chancellor’s role is ceremonial).

He obtained his doctorate at Cambridge in 1987. Before leading UBC between 2006 and 2014 he was dean of law at McGill University and after was director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Toope is an active Anglican and his father was an Anglican priest.

Jim Coyle of The Star wrote a good appraisal of Toope last month. Go here for Toope’s inaugural address at Cambridge.

Mully

This movie has a very short run – two nights. The first  has passed and the second is next Thursday (October 12). By all accounts Mully is well worth watching – the critics haven’t weighed in on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience rates it at 92 percent.

Here’s the description

What happens when a six year old boy in Kenya is abandoned by his family and left to raise himself on the streets? Mully is no ordinary rags-to-riches tale. It’s the true story of Charles Mully, whose unlikely stratospheric rise to wealth and power leaves him questioning his own existence, searching for meaning in life.

Against the better judgment of family and community, Mully sets out to enrich the fate of orphaned children across Kenya. Jeopardizing his own life and the security of his family, Charles Mully risks everything and sets in motion a series of events that is nothing short of astonishing. An astonishingly inspirational film directed by Scott Haze.

Mully is being shown at several theatres in the area, including The Park and International Village Cinemas in Vancouver. Go here for the full list of theatres.

BBC: Richmond’s ‘Highway to Heaven’

The BBC has written an appreciative article about Richmond’s ‘Highway to Heaven.’ This is the way they describe the many religious buildings dotted along No. 5 Road:

No. 5 road wasn’t always such a heavenly destination.

For decades, it was just a sleepy by-way on the outskirts of Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver.

On one side of the street, there were acres and acres of farmland. On the other, a quiet row of mid-century houses.

But in the 1980s, the city of Richmond found itself in the middle of an immigration boom, with newcomers pouring in from China, the Philippines, Taiwan and India. With them, they brought not only the languages, cuisines and traditions of their home countries, but their religions as well.

One of the first organisations to come to the street was the gurdwara.

Members bought an 11-acre farm and farmhouse on No. 5 Road in 1984, and converted the farmhouse into a place of worship.

Other faiths soon followed, and in 1990, the city rezoned the area to officially allow cultural and religious organisations to build along the road.

As the road grew, immigrants built large cultural hubs where they could not only practise their faith, but be reminded of where they come from.

Writer Robin Levinson King introduces the article with this thought: “What one Canadian street could teach the world about religious harmony.” Well, maybe, but I thought pastor Frank Klassen of Trinity Pacific Church made a good point:

The importance of this relationship to his church and his faith [which emphasises personal faith and one’s relationship with God over liturgical practice] can make Rev Klassen feel a bit “queasy” when people talk about the “highway to heaven.”

“Ultimately the road that leads to heaven is a narrow path, it’s not a smorgasbord,” he says.

Rev Klassen said he’s happy to participate in community events and wants to be a good neighbour but ultimately he’s more concerned with strengthening the faith of his own congregation.

As well, I wonder what the City of Richmond was thinking when it zoned religious buildings all in one place. Are they interested in interfaith goodwill? Or are they intent on sidelining religion? Probably neither, intentionally, but that could be the net effect. Still, interesting article.

October 5, 2017

James Nesbitt: Faith & Shadows in the Land of Promise – October 5, 2017 - October 12, 2017 at All Day
The Christians by Lucas Hnath – October 5, 2017 - October 7, 2017 at All Day
Evan Kreider: Reformation – October 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

October 7, 2017

Brian Doerksen CD Release Event – October 7, 2017 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
A Rocha: Harvest Celebration – October 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

October 8, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Laura Crema – October 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Thanksgiving – October 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

October 10, 2017

Surrey Aglow Luncheon: Celebrating Aglow 50th Anniversary – October 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

October 11, 2017

Evening of Worship & Justice – October 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ARPA Canada Fall Tour: Who is Sovereign? – October 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 12, 2017

Mully: Theatre Opening – October 12, 2017 at All Day
Barth Netterfield: Back to the Very Beginning – Probing Cosmic Origins – October 12, 2017 at 9:25 am - 10:40 am
An Evening with Kelley Nikondeha – October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
April Yamasaki: Stories of Life – October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Kairos Course (Thursday evenings) – October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Barth Netterfield: Back to the Very Beginning – Probing Cosmic Origins – October 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

October 13, 2017

The Annual Health & Wellness Fair: Lifelong Learning – October 13, 2017 at 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Spark – October 13, 2017 - October 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tim & the Glory Boys: The Hootenanny Tour! – October 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Spike Psarris: What You Aren't Being Told About Astronomy – Distant Starlight – October 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 14, 2017

AWANA NextGen Conference – October 14, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Peer Support Facilitator Training (Living Room & Family Room) – October 14, 2017 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Book Launch: "Under Siberian Skies" by David Funk – October 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
No One Leaves Alone: M2/W2 Gala – October 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

October 15, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Jamie Croll Group – October 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
ICR Concert: Royal Heirs / Tass Saada Testimony – October 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

October 16, 2017

C2C Banquet – October 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Buyers Beware: Ending Commercial Sexual Exploitation – October 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Book Launch for Dr. Bob Ekblad: The Beautiful Gate – Enter Jesus' Global Liberation Movement – October 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 17, 2017

TWU Dead Sea Scrolls Institute Guest Lectures – October 17, 2017 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Back to Basics: 500 Years of the Reformation – October 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 18, 2017

Missions Fest: Mission Pastors' Roundtable – October 18, 2017 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
From Congregation to Protest March – October 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Jessica Graieg-Morrison: Dwelling – Opening Reception – October 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Evelyn Underhill & C.S. Lewis: Literary & Contemplative Affinities – October 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

October 19, 2017

Eyes and Wings Prophetic Conference, with Bill Johnson – October 19, 2017 - October 21, 2017 at 12:00 am
Global Leadership Summit – October 19, 2017 - October 20, 2017 at All Day
Leader Impact Forum with Braden Douglas – October 19, 2017 at 7:00 am - 8:30 am
Open House: Vancouver Christian School – October 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Conference – October 19, 2017 - October 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

October 20, 2017

In Theatres: Same Kind of Different as Me – October 20, 2017 at All Day
The Risk of Isolation: The Role of Community in Mental Health – October 20, 2017 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Ruth Everhart: Shame - Hope and Healing – October 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The French Symphonic Organ – October 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

October 21, 2017

Gather Rise 2017 – October 21, 2017 at 8:30 am - 7:30 pm
Building Blocks of Faith-Based ELL Ministry Conference – October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Made in God's Image – October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our Town: A Lianna Klassen Exhibition – October 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Women's Prayer Conference – October 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Creation Science Meeting: Hugh Ross vs Carl Wieland (video) – October 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
A History of God on Vancouver Island: Featuring Storyteller/Journalist Phil Hood – October 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
BC Lions Faith & Family Night – October 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
EMBER: Pursuing His Presence and His Heart for Our City – October 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm
Reformation Hymn Festival – October 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Secret Keeper Girl: The Purple Party Tour – October 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

October 22, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Christie Grace – October 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Karin Plato, Natasha D'Agostino – October 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monthly Hymn Sing – October 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Greg Toews: How to Help the Rohingya – October 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Made in God's Image – October 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 23, 2017

Canada's Thanksgiving Concert Tour 2017: Triumphant Quartet & Southern Raised – October 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

October 24, 2017

Open House: Surrey Christian School (Kindergarten) – October 24, 2017 at All Day
Chris Barrigar: God's Agape / Probability Design – October 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

October 25, 2017

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: The Dignity of Difference – Critical Moral Contributions of Religion in a Globalized World – October 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Free Will Clinic – October 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 26, 2017

Welcome the Stranger: Refugees Becoming Neighbours – October 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 27, 2017

Jesus + Justice Conference – October 27, 2017 - October 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 12:00 pm
Made in God's Image – October 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Rend Collective: The Good News Tour, Part 1 – October 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dave Siverns: Longings and Liturgies – October 27, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 28, 2017

What in the World is Going On? – October 28, 2017 at 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Reframing Retirement and the Spiritual Journey – October 28, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Art Show: Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside – October 28, 2017 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

October 29, 2017

Concert: Where Truest Pleasure Lies – October 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Written on the Heart – October 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Sanctuary Allstars – October 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Abbotsford: Together All-City Worship Event – October 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Journey 101 (Sunday evenings) – October 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 30, 2017

Understanding People, Mental Health & Trauma – October 30, 2017 - November 3, 2017 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
David Shenk: Muslims & Christians Creating Friendships – October 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 31, 2017

Hey Neighbourhood! – October 31, 2017 at All Day
Hope on the Edge of a Precipice: The Reformation at 500 – October 31, 2017 - November 2, 2017 at All Day
Barnyard Bash – October 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Barnyard Bash – October 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The Pit Stop – October 31, 2017 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Halloween Candy Stop – October 31, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Halloween Festival – October 31, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Book Launch for Iain Provan: The Reformation & the Right Reading of Scripture – October 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hallelujah Night – October 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

November 1, 2017

Equip Study Conference 2017: Transforming Discipleship – November 1, 2017 - November 3, 2017 at All Day
Missions Fest: Pastors' Appreciation Breakfast – November 1, 2017 at 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Business By the Book: Daniel C. Loney – November 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Creating a Plan for the St. Andrew’s-Wesley Restoration  – November 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Martin Luther: Renegade, Book Study and Panel – November 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

November 2, 2017

MEDA Convention 2017: Business as a Calling – November 2, 2017 - November 5, 2017 at All Day

November 3, 2017

The Compassion Experience – November 3, 2017 - November 6, 2017 at All Day
Audible: Poems, Stories, Songs – November 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. Iain Provan: The Reformation and the Right Reading of Scripture – November 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Graham Ord in Concert – November 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Kairos Blanket Exercise – November 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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