Around Town: Brian Doerksen, Acts for Water, clergy abuse, Found Boutique

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My next weekly update will be early next year.

Many of us have sung Brian Doerksen worship songs in our churches over the years. We sang one just last week as our church gathered online.

So I have no doubt that many fans, friends and followers will be joining him from a distance for his Christmas at Our House special this Sunday (December 20) at noon.

Here’s a description of the gathering:

Christmas at Our House with Brian Doerksen & Friends was created to bring the songs and story of Christmas to your family and friends at this difficult and special time of year.

Filmed at Brian’s home and studio on the west coast of Canada, this is a special one hour concert and storytelling event that features songs from Brian’s JUNO-nominated album The Heart of Christmas.

In the studio space in front of a crackling wood fire, Brian and special guests sing new songs telling the ancient story of Christmas. Back in the house, three generations of the Doerksen family, along with close friends the Siewert family gather together to share the heart and story of Christmas.

Acts for Water

Acts for Water’s approach uses Gravity Flow Systems to provide clean water to a wide range of villages and communities in Uganda.

I suppose it’s a stretch to talk about Acts for Water in my Around Town column. After all, most of the work takes place in Uganda. But their office is based in Richmond.

Jeremy Hunka, who works full time at Vancouver’s Union Gospel Mission as a homeless advocate and public relations specialist, encouraged me to give Acts a positive mention.

“I figure we can all use as much Christmas inspiration as possible right now.” he wrote.

“Essentially, as Christmas approaches, there is a group of local Christians that are rallying to bring clean water and COVID-19 protection to thousands through the local organization Acts for Water.”

Here are some details he provided:

  • Acts for Water is a Vancouver charity that provides clean, disease-free water to children and families in Uganda – where people are desperate for it. They bring water to about 9,000 new people per year. Jeff Golby is the Christian CEO of the charity. While the organization isn’t a strictly faith-based charity, much of the leadership are local Christian leaders and they are motivated by their Christian faith, as the website states under the values section.
  • Acts for Water is taking emergency measures this Christmas to confront COVID-19, such as:
    •  Imagine being told all year that you have to wash your hands all day, every day, but you don’t have clean, disease-free water to do that. And you don’t even have soap! Acts for Water is distributing thousands of ‘Emergency COVID-19 Health Kits’ this Christmas and beyond. They look like this, and include soap, a Jerry Can, access to disease-free water, and education to protect from COVID-19 and other diseases and parasites.
    • This Christmas, Acts is also teaching local women how to make soap with materials that are locally available or very cheap in Uganda, so they can turn it into a long-term business and help their families. Long-term development out of a crisis.
    • Finally – the organization is this week going to ‘turn the taps on’ at its most recent water project, in a place called Kota. The water system they’re finishing will bring clean water to thousands of people just before Christmas! Merry Christmas indeed.
  • Acts is one of the oldest water charities in Canada (45-plus years old); it was started on Vancouver Island, and has helped more than 250,000 people.
  • The organization was recently featured on Global News.

Clergy sexual abuse update

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has released a major update to its November 2019 report on clergy sexual abuse.

Here is part of a B.C. Catholic article:

The update, released December 11, provides a progress report on 31 recommendations made last year and includes the names of three priests involved in abuse settlements that have not been previously published.

The priests named are John Edward Kilty, Johannes Holzapfel, and Armand Frechette. . . .

“We understand that some people think that we should speak less about this issue because it may seem that it feeds into an ‘anti-faith’ narrative . . . others, including some victims/survivors, think that we are still not doing enough to address the issue,” the report says. . . .

The progress report was originally to be released in late March, but the archdiocese said pandemic-related bans on gatherings affected its ability to host in-person meetings and investigations.

“We hope that 2021 will offer the opportunity to make better progress and engage more fully with victims/survivors and others within the Church and the broader community.”

Go here for the full article and here for the full report.

Found Boutique

Still shopping? Want to help out a good cause? Anyone in the neighbourhood of New Westminster might want to check out Found Boutique.

A recent article in the New Westminster Record describes what you’ll find there:

An eclectic boutique in downtown New Westminster is helping to fund meal, shelter and recovery programs for folks in need – one sale at a time.

Found Boutique, located at 641 Columbia Street, features a collection of home décor, gifts, jewelry, accessories, skin care and brand-name fashions for men and women.

As a social enterprise operated by the Union Gospel Mission, Found Boutique raises funds to support the UGM’s meal, shelter and recovery programs.

“The boutique is wholly owned by UGM, and 100 percent of our net revenue actually goes back into UGM’s programs and services,” said Nicole Mucci, UGM media communications officer, adding:

That includes helping fund the New West drop-in centre, creating meals for people who are experiencing homelessness in New West and the Tri-Cities.

It helps fund our mobile mission outreach vehicle, which goes out and connects with people where they’re at and helps gives them the survival gear that they need and outreach opportunities for them to get to know what resources are available should they desire to seek recovery or move towards exiting homelessness.

Found Boutique is home to an eclectic and ever-changing array of clothing, gift and household items.

Mucci said:

This store is made up of three parts. About 25 to 30 percent of the store is local artisans. About 50 percent of the store is brand new men’s and women’s clothing and home décor that we curate for the store. The other 20 to 25 percent ends up being high-end, brand-name merchandise that is either brand new or gently loved at a fraction of retail that comes from movie sets and local clothing manufacturers.”

Go here for the full story.

December 17, 2020

Pro-Life Outreach Opportunity in Vancouver (Application Deadline) – December 17, 2020 at All Day

December 18, 2020

Christmas with Chor Leoni – December 18, 2020 - January 1, 2021 at All Day
Online Conversation with Malcolm Guite – December 18, 2020 at 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Lessons & Carols: From Coast to Coast to Coast – December 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

December 19, 2020

Christmas Presence at Home – December 19, 2020 at All Day
North Shore Community Christmas Dinner – December 19, 2020 at All Day
musica intima: ceremony of carols – December 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

December 20, 2020

Brian Doerksen: Christmas at Our House – December 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Hope is Born: A Christmas Special – December 20, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Phoenix Chamber Choir: Rejoice & Sing – December 20, 2020 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

December 22, 2020

Christmas with the Bach Choir 2020: Digital Edition – December 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

December 24, 2020

Hope Alight – December 24, 2020 at All Day

January 8, 2021

Vancouver 24/7 Week of Prayer – January 8, 2021 - January 15, 2021 at All Day

January 10, 2021

24/7 Week of Prayer - UBC – January 10, 2021 - January 17, 2021 at All Day
Awaken BC: Prayer for Revival – January 10, 2021 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

January 12, 2021

Rhythms Workshop: Refugees – Invited In – January 12, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

January 14, 2021

Live Webinar: Explore Alpha Online – January 14, 2021 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
SIM: Discerning Your Call in Life – January 14, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

January 16, 2021

Brave Love Canada National Zoom Event – January 16, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Open Doors Canada: Release of 2021 World Watch List – January 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

January 18, 2021

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – January 18, 2021 - January 25, 2021 at All Day

January 19, 2021

Advance Summit: Do the Work of an Evangelist! – January 19, 2021 - January 20, 2021 at 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
National Alpha Kick-off – January 19, 2021 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Men's Ministry Leadership Training 101 – January 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

January 20, 2021

Ending Poverty Together Online Workshop – January 20, 2021 at 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Carmen Joy Imes: Reading the Bible Right Now – January 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
ELO Webinar: Jesus on Economics & Entrepreneurship – An Interview with Jerry Bowyer – January 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Men's Ministry Leadership Training 102 – January 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Webinar: Online Sexually Explicit Material and Pornhub – January 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

January 21, 2021

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Joint Prayer Service – Archdiocese of Vancouver / First Baptist Church – January 21, 2021 at 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
An Evening with Dr. Joel Thiessen: The Millennial Mosaic – January 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

January 23, 2021

Comagape Christian Conference 2021 – January 23, 2021 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

January 24, 2021

Just 58: Trapped in Transition (documentary focused on community, refugees & Lebanon) – – January 24, 2021 at 7:15 pm - 8:13 pm

January 26, 2021

Alpha Youth Leader Gathering – January 26, 2021 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Missional Commons Webinar: Thriving Through the Pandemic? – January 26, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
The Church after Covid: Allowing the Spirit to Re-orient us around the Mission of God – January 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

January 27, 2021

Alpha Webinar: Don’t Give Up – With Dr. Charles Price, Dr. Darrell Johnson, and Dr. Laurel Buckingham – January 27, 2021 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Book Launch: Better Than Brunch – Missional Churches in Cascadia – January 27, 2021 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Paul Allen on Critical Realism – January 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
A Table for All Workshop – January 27, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

January 28, 2021

Tish Harrison Warren: Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep – January 28, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
A Table for All Workshop – January 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Mission Central: SERVE – Pre-Conference Prayer Night – January 28, 2021 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

January 29, 2021

Human Flourishing in a Technological World: Robert Doede – The West's Journey from Living Selves to Software Selves – January 29, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Mission Central SERVE: Youth and Young Adult Rally – January 29, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Reading Fratelli Tutti: Pope Francis’ Vision of Fraternity and Social Friendship – January 29, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

January 30, 2021

2021 Mission Central Conference: SERVE – January 30, 2021 - January 31, 2021 at 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Summit 2021: 'Conversion Therapy,' Conversion and the Gospel of Grace – January 30, 2021 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
SIM: What is Poverty? What does that look like in Canada? – January 30, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

February 2, 2021

JustWork presents Groundhog Day Trivia – February 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 3, 2021

A Panel on Human Trafficking – February 3, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Bill C-6 Webinar: Bans on Conversion (Conversation) Therapy – February 3, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

February 5, 2021

Canada Chinese Christian Winter Conference – February 5, 2021 - February 7, 2021 at All Day
G. Peter Kaye Lectures: Understanding Jesus Means Understanding Judaism – February 5, 2021 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Being Human in a Technological World: John Behr – Pointers from Patristic Anthropology – February 5, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

February 6, 2021

Catalyze for the Climate 2021: Virtual Conference – February 6, 2021 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am

February 7, 2021

Virtual Book Launch Party: Wonderfully Made by Esther Leung-Kong – February 7, 2021 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
A Literary Expedition into 'The Abolition of Man' – February 7, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

February 8, 2021

Food Security in the time of COVID-19: an IDW Panel – February 8, 2021 at 8:00 am - 9:30 am

February 9, 2021

Andy Crouch: Building for the Future in the Context of Lament – Navigating and Implementing Organizational Change – February 9, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
6 Principles to Navigate Revelation, with Dr. Darrell Johnston – February 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

February 10, 2021

Alpha Webinar: The Time is Now – with Vijay Krishnan and Nicky Gumbel – February 10, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
TWU Live: Bringing Campus to You – February 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

February 11, 2021

David's Crown: An Evening with Malcolm Guite on the Psalms – February 11, 2021 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
SIM: Faithful Witness in Forgotten Communities – February 11, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

February 12, 2021

Jens Zimmerman – Who Am I? Personhood, Technology and Human Flourishing – February 12, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm

February 13, 2021

David Baird: The Power of Civility – February 13, 2021 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

February 18, 2021

The Goodness of Creation and Human Responsibility – February 18, 2021 - February 20, 2021 at All Day
The Southern Cross: Navigating New Horizons in 21st Century Global Evangelicalism – February 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Canada, the Churches, & Bill C-15 – February 18, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Trinity Western University and the Court of Public Opinion: A Closer Look at the Role of Religion in Society – February 18, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

February 19, 2021

Business As Mission Virtual Conference 2021 – February 19, 2021 at 9:30 am - 1:30 pm
Mission Central Conference: GROW – February 19, 2021 - February 20, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 5:30 pm

February 20, 2021

Coldest Night of the Year: Several Events – February 20, 2021 at All Day

February 21, 2021

A Literary Expedition into 'The Abolition of Man' – February 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

February 22, 2021

Tax Clinic – February 22, 2021 at All Day
Keeping Up the Pressure: The Role of Faith Communities in COP26 – February 22, 2021 at 8:00 am - 9:00 am
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Webinar – February 22, 2021 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am

February 24, 2021

Lisa Marie Bowens: Reading the Bible Right Now – February 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

February 25, 2021

The Global Leadership Summit: Special Edition – February 25, 2021 at 8:30 am - 11:45 am
Earthkeepers: Climate-themed Lent Prayer Night – February 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
SIM: What Do Missionaries Do? And Why? – February 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Communities of Welcome for Refugee Claimants: Discovery Meeting – February 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

February 26, 2021

Empowering Temporary Foreign Workers during COVID-19 – February 26, 2021 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Thomas Fuchs: Embodied Cognition and Psychiatry in a Technological World – February 26, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Mission Central Conference: CREATE – February 26, 2021 - February 27, 2021 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Black History Month with Marcus Mosely: Songs of Freedom – February 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

February 27, 2021

CHAT Canada Webinar, with Sandi Smoker: The Art of Grandparenting (bi-weekly, Saturday mornings) – February 27, 2021 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

February 28, 2021

Just 58: Journeying with Justice – February 28, 2021 at 7:15 pm - 8:13 pm

March 2, 2021

Deborah Haarsma: Christ and the Cosmos – The Universe Seen Through the Eyes of Biblical Faith – March 2, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

March 3, 2021

Beauty & Brokenness: A Journey to Easter (three Wednesday mornings) – March 3, 2021 - March 31, 2021 at 9:00 am - 9:45 am
Deborah Haarsma: One Human Family – Christian Reflections on Racism and Science – March 3, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Deborah Haarsma: Christian Ministry in Pandemic Times – March 3, 2021 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

March 4, 2021

Linda Woodhead: Values are the New Religion – March 4, 2021 at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cardus Forecast: A Canadian Addendum to Davos and McKinsey – March 4, 2021 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

March 5, 2021

Academic Symposium 2021 – March 5, 2021 at 10:30 am - 3:30 pm
David Lewin: Education, Enhancement and the Pursuit of the Good – March 5, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

March 7, 2021

A Literary Expedition: Michael Polanyi – March 7, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

March 9, 2021

Standing Strong Through the Storm – March 9, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

March 10, 2021

On Mission: Innovation in Missions – a Global Perspective – March 10, 2021 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

2 comments for “Around Town: Brian Doerksen, Acts for Water, clergy abuse, Found Boutique

  1. Calvin Weber says:

    Surely the times for the February 12 Mission Central:Grow Conference cannot be correct.

    And isn’t there a Mission Central: Create Conference also in February?

    And in light of COVID-19 cancelling the annual Singing Christmas Tree it has been replaced with a film produced by Broadway Church in its place, HOME. It has the songs and story pattern one would experience at a SCT performance without the ‘tree’/choir or stage. It is available through the church website link to Youtube and is worth seeing/sharing during this holiday season.

    • Flyn Ritchie says:

      Thanks Calvin: three good points:

      1. The times – and date – of the Mission Central: Grow Conference were wrong. It is actually from the evening of the 19th to the evening of the 20th.

      2. I have added the Mission Central: Create Conference, which runs February 26 – 27. I had entered the other events a couple of months ago and possibly missed this one.

      3. Sorry I haven’t said anything about the movie being played in place of the Singing Christmas Tree. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUSlHQ47HtY&feature=youtu.be

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