Around Town: acting pastor, Tanzanian camp, John Stackhouse: same-sex issue

James Yi was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for his role in Kim’s Convenience; he is also an associate pastor at New Joy Church in Surrey. Photo: James Saip.

A recent article in the Surrey Now-Leader (and other local papers) describes the unique career path a local pastor/actor:

Without question, James Yi has developed a special relationship with Kim’s Convenience, both on stage and television.

The Surrey-based actor has earned an award nomination for his work as store owner Appa in a theatre production of Ins Choi’s story, and Yi also has a recurring role on the hit TV show.

For this Fraser Heights-area resident, employment as a professional actor is in addition to his work as an associate pastor at New Joy Church, located on 104th Avenue in Guildford.

It all adds up to a busy yet fulfilling work life for Yi, who was born in Korea, raised in Cleveland and moved to Alaska before settling in Vancouver to take a shot at an acting career, at a time when he was well established in church ministry work. . . .

Yi has now been acting professionally for close to 13 years, with a couple of those spent doing Kim’s Convenience.

On stage, to date he’s starred in three different productions of the show – one in Chemainus last year, the Pacific Theatre version in Vancouver and, most recently, a spring run in Seattle with Taproot Theatre.

Go here for the full article.

Tanzanian camp

Members of Jericho Ridge Community Church recently returned from a camp for children with albinism in Tanzania.

Brad Sumner posted a moving comment July 14 about a recent trip:

On Friday, Meg, Sophie myself and four others from Jericho Ridge [Sumner is lead pastor of the Surrey church] returned from a two-week service and learning trip to Tanzania with Under the Same Sun.

We went there to facilitate a summer camp for children with albinism which is a genetic condition that results in a lack of pigment in the skin which results in life-threatening discrimination and isolation for people in East Africa.

This being my eighth time to Tanzania in eight years, you’d think that it would get “easier,” but I’m not sure struggling for justice for an entire people group who have been marginalized for generations ever gets “easy.”

Hearing stories of those who have survived attacks or attempted abductions and the physical and social discrimination that are ongoing in Tanzanian society never gets an easier for me and I’m not sure I want it to.

Yet despite the emotional and spiritual and financial costs, I count it one of the great privileges of my life to stand with people with albinism in Tanzania who are working toward the day when the attacks and discrimination will be a faint memory.

Go here for the full story. Two years ago I wrote about the coverage National Geographic gave to Under the Same Sun and its Metro Vancouver-based founder Peter Ash, who facilitated and participated in the recent camp.

John Stackhouse: same-sex issue

Primate Fred Hiltz and many in the General Assembly seemed shocked at the result of the vote on same-sex marriage.

John Stackhouse has written an insightful reflection on the traumatic decision on same-sex marriage at the Anglican General Synod last week (which I wrote about here).

Stackhouse, formerly a professor at Regent College, now at Crandall University in New Brunswick, answered the question Anglicans and same-sex marriage: why can’t they agree?:

The Anglican Church of Canada, historically one of the two major Protestant Christian denominations in this country, last week came within a very few votes of accepting nationally the full validity of same-sex marriage (SSM).

According to their tradition, the Anglican representatives voted in three bodies: laypeople, clergy, and bishops, with a two-thirds majority required in all three groups required to change such a basic tenet. The majority requirement was met in the first two houses, but it failed by several votes in the third.

Thus, following a decision made in 2016, localities can continue to choose to bless same-sex marriages, but the national church as such continues to demur.

On an issue as basic as marriage, however, one has to wonder: What’s going on? Why haven’t decades of study and conversation and controversy – extending even to the secular courts of the country – settled this matter firmly in the minds of people who, one might assume, read the same Scriptures, believe the same basic doctrines and desire the same goods?

Here are some suggestions as to why this process has been so long, so difficult, and so unlikely to resolve anytime soon into a happy consensus.

    1. Because the issue is binary. Ironically enough, with all the talk of gender fluidity, multiple sexualities and the like, the fundamental issue is stark: Either heterosexual marriage is the one and only norm, or it isn’t. Either there is something importantly wrong with same-sex attraction or it’s perfectly all right.

There is no middle ground for those who seek unity through compromise. So the struggle grinds on, with progress coming only as each individual involved undergoes a significant alteration of view. . . .

This is the first of five points; go here for the full comment.

Several youth delegates assembled outside the hall to sing and lament the decision.

A July 20 Response to General Synod by the Board of Anglican Deacons demonstrates how difficult it is for those on one side of the debate to acknowledge the legitimacy of the other side’s stand:

As Deacons our ministries situate us as navigators of the often stormy waters between church, community and the world. These waters are stirred up through misunderstandings or historic hurts. However, the defeat of resolution A052-R2, proposed changes to the marriage canon, challenges deeply our ministry in the “public square”.

For many of us personally, the process and the decision has been shocking, hurtful, frustrating and deeply disappointing. We are not alone.

It is deeply confusing that a failure to change a canon at the national level by a small minority of our church is holding the church back from joyfully offering everyone, without restriction, the sacrament of marriage. This ‘no’ to same-sex marriage seems devastating to our work as Deacons. Our vocation is to nurture those who are marginalized and work to bring them into a loving, accepting and nurturing church. . . .

Go here for the full statement.

Summer break

I will take off the rest of the summer, returning with weekly updates in early September. There will be an intriguing and wide-ranging set of events this summer, including Lauren Daigle in concert; a book launch for Karen Giesbrecht’s Happy Colon, Happy Soul; a Perspectives intensive, Regent College’s giant two-day used book sale; Flames of Revival and the Surrey March for Jesus. See below for all the links.

July 25, 2019

Now and Then – July 25, 2019 - August 8, 2019 at All Day

July 26, 2019

Summer Retreat at Kingfisher Farm – July 26, 2019 at 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

July 27, 2019

One Day Intentional Community Event – July 27, 2019 at 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

July 28, 2019

Church at Country Fest – July 28, 2019 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Jazz Vespers @ St. Andrew's United Church on the North Shore – July 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Interdenominational Hymn Singing – July 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

July 29, 2019

Malcolm Guite: Ordinary Saints – July 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 30, 2019

Vancouver Bach Festival 2019 – July 30, 2019 - August 9, 2019 at All Day
Lunch Discussion with Malcolm Guite: The Poetic Imagination – a Way of Seeing Reality More Clearly – July 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

July 31, 2019

Faculty Roundtable: Spiritual Practices Informed by the Arts – July 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Regen 'Kickoff' – July 31, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Susan Phillips: Walking the Spiritual Exercises – Praying with Scripture on the Pilgrim Trail – July 31, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

August 1, 2019

Bethany Sollereder: God, Evolution & Animal Suffering – Theodicy Without a Fall – August 1, 2019 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

August 7, 2019

Mission Possible Summer Social – August 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 9, 2019

Perspectives Course: Intensive – August 9, 2019 at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

August 11, 2019

Lauren Daigle Look Up Child Tour – August 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

August 14, 2019

Rhythms: Loving Your Neighbours – August 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Strategic Election Mobilization Presentation – August 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 15, 2019

Strategic Election Mobilization Presentation – August 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 16, 2019

Summer Used Book Sale: the biggest & best ever – August 16, 2019 - August 17, 2019 at All Day
Book Launch: Happy Colon, Happy Soul by Karen Giesbrecht – August 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Strategic Election Mobilization Presentation – August 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 17, 2019

Strategic Election Mobilization Presentation – August 17, 2019 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

August 18, 2019

Jesus at Work: Marketplace and Mission – August 18, 2019 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

August 19, 2019

Kickers Soccer Camp – August 19, 2019 - August 23, 2019 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

August 22, 2019

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief – August 22, 2019 at All Day

August 23, 2019

Overcomer: Opening Day – August 23, 2019 at All Day
Flames of Revival Rally: Encounter with Jesus – August 23, 2019 - August 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 6:00 pm

August 25, 2019

Traditional Hymn Singing – August 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

August 26, 2019

Switchfoot – August 26, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

August 28, 2019

Association of Christian Clubs at UBC Prayer & Commissioning Night – August 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Newsboys United – August 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

August 31, 2019

March4Jesus Surrey / Worship & Praise 'Shout Out' – August 31, 2019 at 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
'Interviews Across Time & Space' Book Launch – August 31, 2019 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

September 2, 2019

Torchlight Festival – September 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 9:30 pm

September 4, 2019

Prayer Service (Vespers in the Byzantine Rite) for the Protection of the Environment - God's Creation – September 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

September 6, 2019

MovieNight Presents 'The Thinking Garden' – September 6, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hook(ed): Tackling a Moving Culture – September 6, 2019 - September 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Emily Chambers – September 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Mountain Goats – September 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

September 7, 2019

A Rocha End of Summer BBQ – September 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Founders' Day: 160th Anniversary of First Anglican Service in New Westminster – September 7, 2019 - September 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 11:30 am
Benefit Concert for Hummingbird Ministries – September 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Coastal Church: 25th Anniversary Services – September 7, 2019 - September 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 12:00 pm
Evening of Worship Hosted by Hungry Collective – September 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

September 8, 2019

Pray for Hong Kong – September 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

September 10, 2019

CPJ Fall Tour – September 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

September 11, 2019

Intersection: A Networking Opportunity for Mission Agency Leaders – September 11, 2019 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Karina Svalia: On the Sixth Day – Opening Reception – September 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

September 12, 2019

DivorceCare (ongoing, several locations) – September 12, 2019 - January 7, 2020 at All Day
Karina Svalia: On the Sixth Day – September 12, 2019 - October 9, 2019 at All Day

September 13, 2019

Mother of the Maid by Jane Anderson – September 13, 2019 - October 5, 2019 at All Day
MCC Festival for World Relief – September 13, 2019 - September 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm - 2:00 pm
An Evening With Malcolm Guite (An Inklings Institute of Canada Coffee House Event) – September 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Norm Strauss – September 13, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

September 14, 2019

Alzheimer Café – September 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Celtic Lasses Concert – September 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Faces of Dignity: Vancouver Art Showcase – September 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Peter La Grand EP Release Show – September 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

September 15, 2019

Freedom Session (series beginning at many local churches) – September 15, 2019 - October 3, 2019 at All Day
World Day of Migrants and Refugees Mass and Celebration – September 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Human Sexuality Series (Sunday Evenings) – September 15, 2019 - October 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Steve Bell Solo Concert – September 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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