Around Town: Blanket Exercises, Men for God, Gideons, Sacred / Silence . . .

St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church, First Baptist Church and several other Christian groups took part in 'Reconciliation Matters' May 31, 2015 to recognize the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This Blanket Exercise at the Wall Centre, across from the two churches, was one of the day's events.

St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, First Baptist Church and several other churches took part in ‘Reconciliation Matters’ May 31, 2015 to recognize the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This Blanket Exercise at the Wall Centre, across from the two churches, was one of the day’s events.

Two churches will hold Blanket Exercises this week in honour of National Aboriginal Day (June 21) – West Point Grey United Church tonight (June 23) and Vancouver Eastside Vineyard Church on Saturday (June 25).

And what is a Blanket Exercise? According to Kairos Canada, which developed the initiative, the Blanket Exercise Workshop teaches Indigenous rights history:
The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now called Canada, and the distinct cultures and nations which live on those lands to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time to the arrival of the Europeans. The narrator and a European (or two) work with the participants to read a script while the exercise goes through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance that resulted in the nation we today call Canada.
The Blanket Exercise should be followed by a talking circle of at least half an hour. Kairos urges organizers to invite local First Nations individuals or representatives in order “to honour the traditional territory, to teach and to begin to build a relationship.”
Men for God
Tim Challies will be one of three key speakers at Men of God.

Tim Challies will be one of three keynote speakers at Men for God.

Cloverdale Baptist Church will host Men for God this weekend (June 24 – 25). Pointing out that men are underrepresented in church, Fletcher Matandika – president and founder of Joy to the World Ministries, which is sponsoring the conference – says:

In almost every congregation, men are outnumbered by women and are less involved in church life and ministry in comparison to women. When it comes to evangelism and discipleship, you will agree that it is so much harder to evangelize and disciple men than it is to evangelize and disciple women. Why is that? What kind of men will it take to change the situation? What can and should the church be doing to raise godly men capable of providing godly leadership in the home, in the church and in general public life? These and other related questions lie behind the vision for this conference.
Keynote speakers are Tim Challies, the Toronto-based author/pastor/blogger; Rob Godard, senior pastor of Cloverdale Baptist; and Andrew Compton, associate pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California. The event has a decidedly Reformed and complementarian (rather than egalitarian) look; those of that persuasion – or who are willing to learn from those who hold that point of view – should enjoy it.
Gideons gone

gideos bible logoThe mission of The Gideons is “to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through personal evangelism and Scripture distribution, in Canada and worldwide, so that people may receive eternal life.” Unfortunately, that work will no longer take place inside Abbotsford schools.

A June 16 Province article pointed out:

The last public school district in BC to distribute religious material in classrooms will stop handing out bibles, according to a group pushing to have the practice ended.

The BC Humanist Association asked the Abbotsford School District in March to stop distributing bibles, arguing that the district should not be using public school resources to promote a religious world view.

In a news release this week, the association says it has been informed by the Abbotsford School District that it will no longer distribute religious materials to students.

Ian Bushfield, executive director of the BC Humanist Association, said it is believed that Abbotsford was the last public school district in BC that was handing out Gideon bibles in classrooms.

He said the move is a clear recognition that the province’s public schools should be secular and inclusive. . . .

According to the district, in the 2014-2015 school year, 112 of the books were given to Grade 5 students at 21 elementary schools. The district has 30 elementary schools.

Fortunately, the BC Humanist Association can’t curtail The Gideons’ work outside of the classroom, and they still seem to be thriving worldwide.

Sacred Space / Silence

RIchard Mouw

RIchard Mouw will discuss sacred space.

Regent College puts on a very interesting lecture series every summer – but next week’s should be particularly so.

First up is Richard Mouw, on Monday (June 27). Mouw, professor of faith and public life and president emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary, will address Why Evangelicals Need Sacred Space:

Evangelicals have typically not been very enthusiastic about creating special “sacred spaces.” On occasion, we have offered a theological rationale for our resistance, although sometimes it has simply been out of desire not to be too “Catholic.” But this has often led to a spiritual poverty in our worship as well as in our individual “quiet times.” It is time to think new thoughts about seeking out spaces that invite us into special experiences of the divine presence.

What I like particularly about Mouw is his willingness to engage – or at least be patient and polite – with those on the fringes of his moderate evangelical, somewhat Reformed outlook. Books like Talking With Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals, The Smell of Sawdust (an appreciation of fundamentalism), Praying at Burger King and Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World give a sense of the breadth of his interests.

Liam Neeson in Silence, which will come out later this year.

Liam Neeson in Silence, which will come out later this year.

Just a couple of nights later (June 29), Philip Ryken will visit from another of evangelicalism’s preeminent schools – he is president of Wheaton College. His topic is Becoming Like Jesus in His Death: Lessons for Ministry from Shûsaku Endô’s Silence; like Mouw, he will be appreciating Catholic influences:

While visiting a Tokyo museum, the novelist Shûsaku Endô saw a fumie – an icon of Jesus Christ that was blackened by the feet of 17th century apostates who chose to trample the face of the crucified Christ rather than to suffer torture from the shoguns. The encounter led Endô to write Silence. This exceptional Japanese novel – soon to be released as a major motion picture [directed by Martin Scorsese] – opens up profound questions about ministry, suffering and the challenges of communicating the gospel across cultures.

Should be a good week at Regent College.

June 23, 2016

Pilar Mehlis: I Belong Here . . . – June 23, 2016 at All Day
Kairos Blanket Exercise – June 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Fr. Jacques Philippe: Series of talks on Mercy – June 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 24, 2016

Men for God Conference – June 24, 2016 - June 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Chapel: School's Out 2016 - Trilogy – June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Tamara Kleinsasser in Concert – June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 25, 2016

Birthright International Walk/Run Day – June 25, 2016 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Welcome Centre Opening – June 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Vancouver Oratorio Society: The Path of Composition – June 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Aboriginal Day Electronica Liturgy – June 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cathy AJ Hardy Album Release Party: 'And I Heard the Sound of Laughter' – June 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 26, 2016

World Refugee Sunday – June 26, 2016 at All Day
St. Jude's Open House – June 26, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Kairos Course (Cantonese) – June 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mixed Multitude Music Album Release / Listening Party – June 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Vancouver Oratorio Society: Silver Jubilee Celebration Concert – June 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 27, 2016

Richard Mouw: Why Evangelicals Need Sacred Spaces – June 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 28, 2016

Regent Redux: A Good Death? Mercy, Mortality & Medically Assisted Dying – June 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Boundaries – June 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

June 29, 2016

The Colour Collective: The View from Here - Opening Reception – June 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Philip Ryken: Becoming Like Jesus in His Death – Lessons for Ministry from Shusaku Endo's 'Silence' – June 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tord Gustavsen Hymns and Visions with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad – June 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Original Blend – June 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 1, 2016

Canada Day Prayer for Greater Vancouver – July 1, 2016 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
With One Voice – July 1, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

July 2, 2016

A Rocha: Restoration Saturday – July 2, 2016 at 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

July 3, 2016

Night of Power Prayer – July 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 4, 2016

Summit Ministries Canada: Worldview Summer Course - “NO Compromise" Defending TRUTH in a Culture of Deception – July 4, 2016 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tsawwassen Alliance Church Soccer Camp – July 4, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Dr. Daniel Boyarin: Jesus Kept Kosher: a New Interpretation of Mark 7 – July 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Night of Power Prayer – July 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Susan Phillips: Paying Attention - Taking the Time to Discover Our Stories – July 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 5, 2016

One Night Screening of 'Numb' – July 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 6, 2016

Business By the Book: Annie Li – July 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Regen: Jen Ennis / Regen Band – July 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ralph Wood: Flannery O'Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Christ Pantocrator – July 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Hip Pocket Trio – July 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 7, 2016

Memorial for Iraq – July 7, 2016 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Dr. Christine Bochen: Thomas Merton’s Witness and Challenge: “Mercy, always, in everything, mercy” – July 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Gospel in Vancouver: Imagining Mission in Cascadia – July 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 8, 2016

Pacific Grace Soccer Camp – July 8, 2016 - July 12, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
White Rock Baptist Church Soccer Camp – July 8, 2016 - July 12, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
CBC Musical Nooners: The Tourist Company with special guest Jordan Klassen – July 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

July 9, 2016

Harrison Gospel Chapel Art Exhibit – July 9, 2016 - July 10, 2016 at All Day
David Ley: Postmodern Urban Spaces - a City Tour – July 9, 2016 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Vancouver Whitecaps Faith and Family Night – July 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 10, 2016

RZIM Summer School – July 10, 2016 at All Day
The River Fellowship Presents Dan Mohler – July 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Real Life Young Professionals Fellowship – July 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Kathaumixw Concert to support Syrian Refugee Project – July 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 11, 2016

Minho Song: From an Inward-looking Congregation to an Outward People of God – July 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 12, 2016

Dr. Paul Martens: Neo-Anabaptism is Dead; Long Live Neo-Anabaptism – July 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Kathy Dawson: The Secret to Long Lasting Success in Child and Youth Ministry – July 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
George Marsden: The Genius of C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity – July 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 13, 2016

Northview Community Church Soccer Camp – July 13, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Ravi Zacharias: When Answers Assume a Contrary Worldview – July 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Regen: Ben Hilson / Village Church Band – July 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Malcolm Guite: An Unexpected Music - Poetry and the Experience of Grace – July 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: The Six Degree Band – July 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 14, 2016

[R]Evolutionary Theology Conference: Re-Imagining God and the World – July 14, 2016 - July 17, 2016 at All Day
Jeff Greenman: Screening of 'Between a Shoe and the Roof' – July 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

July 15, 2016

BC Christian Ashram Retreat – July 15, 2016 - July 17, 2016 at All Day
Harrison Gospel Chapel Art Exhibit – July 15, 2016 - July 17, 2016 at All Day
Athletes in Action: Surrey Volleyball Camp – July 15, 2016 - July 19, 2016 at 9:15 am - 3:00 pm
An Evening with Lucy Shaw – July 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 16, 2016

A Rocha: Restoration Saturday – July 16, 2016 at 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Bibles on the Beach – July 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 17, 2016

Athletes in Action Hockey Camp – July 17, 2016 - July 22, 2016 at All Day

July 18, 2016

Total Athlete Training: 2016 High Performance Camp, Week 1 – July 18, 2016 - July 22, 2016 at All Day
Richmond Baptist Church Soccer Camp – July 18, 2016 - July 22, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Athletes in Action: Langley Volleyball Camp – July 18, 2016 - July 22, 2016 at 9:15 am - 3:00 pm
Mark Buchanan: Every Tribe & Tongue & Nation - the Church & Canada's First Nations – July 18, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 19, 2016

90 Years & Counting: A Birthday Celebration for Dr. J.I. Packer – July 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

July 20, 2016

Regen: Landry McAllister / CRCF Band – July 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. John Walton: Origins Today - Genesis 1 Through Ancient Eyes – July 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Hans Boersma: Reading Up or Reading Down? – Hospitable Readings in the Early Church – July 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 22, 2016

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement – July 22, 2016 at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Worship and Prayer Night, with Andy Park – July 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

July 23, 2016

Serguei Popov: World Renowned Violinist in Concert – July 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Bibles on the Beach – July 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

July 24, 2016

On Earth as it is in Heaven – July 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Engaging Our Muslim Neighbours – July 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 25, 2016

Total Athlete Training: 2016 High Performance Camp, Week 2 – July 25, 2016 at All Day
Peace Portal Alliance Church Soccer Camp – July 25, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Everett Hamner: The Soul, the Cell and Fiction Since the Human Genome Project – July 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 27, 2016

Regen: Barrie Thiessen / City Life Church Band – July 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tremper Longman: Silent Suffering: Encouragement in the Midst of Pain of Life, from Job, Psalms and Lamentations – July 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

1 comment for “Around Town: Blanket Exercises, Men for God, Gideons, Sacred / Silence . . .

  1. Neil Bramble
    June 23, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Indeed Canadian Gideons are doing well worldwide, and this under their new brand ShareWord Global. But they are also doing well in Canada under the traditional Gideon brand, and that includes Vancouver. Gideons here and across Canada engage people in the public square.

    Two years ago they launched a new outreach program for youth and young adults called SendMe. They have also begun to host large youth events, branded MVMNT (Movement). Part of this is the smart phone app called NewLife. Information about SendMe can be found at sendme.ca. The app—available in about 15 languages — can be downloaded at http://www.newlifeapp.ca.

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