Around Town: Children of God, UGM, Canada in Crisis, Christopher Yuan . . .

‘Children of God’ opens next week at The Cultch.

The Cultch has a series of plays that will be of interest to many in the Christian community over the next month or two, beginning with Children of God, which runs from February 20 – March 10.

Here is a brief description:

In this powerful musical, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption: for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came.

Children of God offers a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.

A review by Marsha Lederman in The Globe and Mail of the musical’s world premiere in 2017 was headlined ‘Children of God is must-see theatre for Canadians.’ While acknowledging that “It is an uneven work. The second act is much stronger than the first,” she states:

Children of God demonstrates the tremendous power of live theatre, with the most punch-to-the-emotional-gut ending I have ever experienced in my many years as a theatregoer. It is a work of art that does not descend into pedagogy but, unless you are a stone, should send you from the theatre with an enlightened heaviness – the ugly truth of the work turning around and around in your mind and heart.

 Still, it is good to see that the nuns and priests are not painted all in black:

The temptation to make the school authoritarians one-dimensional evil-doers must have been strong, but Payette resists, and Lindstrom and Torontow give their characters complexity and depth.

Two other plays at The Cultch this spring look promising as well:

Anna Dalgleish (left) and Kelsey Krogman star in ‘The Amish Project,’ Photo: Morris Ertman

We Now Recognize by Khari Wendell McClelland (Freedom Singer) is “a timely concert that explores the power of apologies, the nature of community and the redemptive potential of music.” February 28, 6 & 9 pm.

Act of Faith: “Inspired by a true story, this new play explores the mystery of faith-based healing, and the consequences of life-changing transformation.” April 11 – 20.

Another interesting play  not at The Cultch, but at Studio 1398 – will have a short run, from February 20 – 23. The Amish Project looks at the aftermath of a man walking into an Amish schoolhouse and shooting 10 girls: “A surprising story of radical forgiveness in the face of horrific tragedy, written by Jessica Dickey.” It was previewed in The Vancouver Sun February 13.

Major grant for UGM housing

Artistic rendering of Union Gospel Mission’s planned new Women and Families Centre at 616 East Cordova Street, Vancouver. (NSDA Architects / UGM)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Vancouver offering money for housing February 11 (which must have been a darn sight more enjoyable than responding to the furore involving Vancouver MP Jody Wilson-Raybould which has come to a boil since then!).

Here is how the Vancouver Courier described it:

Eight months removed from the federal election, Trudeau doled out close to $20 million in funding promises aimed at housing and affordability for the middle class, renters and those living below the poverty line.

The big winner of the day was the Union Gospel Mission’s Women and Families Centre, which received an $11.3-million cash injection to aid expansion plans: more beds and more programming options that include trauma counselling, recovery support, job prep classes and licensed childcare spaces.

The Women and Families Centre is a three-storey building in the Downtown Eastside that has outreach workers and offers supports such as emergency food hampers and an afterschool program.

On the second floor is what’s called “The Sanctuary,” a stabilization program for women and mothers with babies. It’s for women who want to overcome addiction or get into recovery from addiction. Currently, there’s room for up to 15 women and up to six babies in the live-in suites. Monday’s announcement will help the facility to house more than 60 suites.

“Folks in the area know that his hub has been a refuge to countless women struggling with addiction as they work towards recovery,” Trudeau said.

For background on the project, go to my May 2, 2018 post, or to the NSDA Architects page featuring plans for the Woman and Families Centre.

Canada in Crisis

A pastors forum aimed at ‘mobilizing the church for action’ will be held next Thursday morning (February 21) at Cariboo Road Christian Fellowship. Canada in Crisis will feature two speakers, Doug Sharpe, president of Canada Family Action, and Craig Buroker, senior pastor of Southside Victory Church in Calgary

The mission of Canada Family Action is “To mobilize, train and activate Canadians in defending and promoting Christian principles in Canadian society,” and its vision is to be:

national organization dedicated to a healthy moral Canadian society that protects children, honours and encourages traditional marriage and families, encourages responsible governance, and respects every citizen’s right to express and debate views and beliefs on all issues.

Craig Buroker said in one of his blog posts:

Who would have thought it . . . the church . . . a politically active force!

I’ve heard pastors say “well I think we should stay focused on “spiritual things.” Well, perhaps it’s best for us to broaden our perspective here a minute . . . Does the church of the Lord Jesus Christ exist to help people? Does it exist to be a light in a dark place and a beacon of truth when it seems like society is unsure of which way to go?

We know that there is a huge spiritual battle going on behind the scenes of that which we see in the natural. The Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul, that our battle is not against people, but the spirits that war against us and against the kingdom of God!

The church is not an institution or an organization . . . it is a living body of people with everyday lives, and marriages, and children and people we meet everyday. Not only are we asked by God to be an active force in the world . . . we are commanded to “go into all the world and share the good news”!

Right now in Canada that may mean speaking the truth and ACTING ON THAT TRUTH so that people know there is a wonderful alternative to all the confusion that is in the world regarding men and women, and politics and social issues, and that there really is a God who loves them and wants to reveal Himself to them.

Maybe it’s time to bring out that old song penned by William Booth when he made the Salvation Army a force that changed England . . . ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!

The event is sponsored by ACMV / Hope Vancouver.

Christopher Yuan Conference

Christopher Yuan

Willingdon Church will host a well known speaker on issues of sexuality to make a number of presentations over the February 22 – 24 weekend. The Christopher Yuan Conference will involve three sessions on Friday and Saturday, along with sermons during several services.

These are the sessions on the 22nd and 23rd:

* Session 1 (Friday, 1 – 4:20 pm)

Who am I? Sexual Identity vs Christian Identity

How did sexuality become who we are? And if this is incorrect, how does the Bible communicate who we are? Dr. Yuan overviews the secular worldviews from which sexual identity blossomed and then articulates personhood through the lens of Scripture – particularly, the image of God and the doctrine of sin.

Holy Sexuality: Breaking Bad Paradigms

We’ve pigeonholed ourselves into the purely secular paradigm of sexual orientation, that is, heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality. But is there any other framework? Dr. Yuan looks to the Bible for theological clarity and explains the correct biblical standard: holy sexuality which is chastity in singleness and faithfulness in biblical marriage.

* Session 2 (Friday, 7 – 8:30 pm)

Ordinary Parents, Extraordinary Father

Dr. Leon and Angela Yuan share about what parents can do when their prodigal breaks their heart. Often parents feel they have nowhere to turn. What will help their child and what will help them to persevere? Leon and Angela Yuan share from personal experience as they survived the difficult years with their prodigal son. Come and hear practical steps which can benefit any parent of any child of any age.

Session 3 (Saturday, 9 am – 12:30 pm)

The Myths and Purpose of Marriage and Singleness

Marriage and singleness seem to be things we take for granted and yet there are many things that we may misunderstand, assuming to be true when they are not. Dr. Yuan provides a robust theology of marriage and a theology of singleness that can help us all better understand the situation (married or single) we find ourselves in and better minister to others who are married or single.

All sessions are free, but one must register online by February 18.

Yuan will also be speaking at Willingdon’s weekend services: Saturday (5 & 6:30 pm) and Sunday (8:30, 10, 11:30 am) on ‘A Christian Response to Homosexuality.’ On Sunday evening (7 pm) he will address the topic ‘Homosexuality: What the Bible Says.’ 

For a bit more insight into Yuan’s outlook you could read an interview from last fall in The Christian Post, which focused particularly on his new book, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel.

February 14, 2019

Eve Leader: Through a Glass Darkly – February 14, 2019 - February 15, 2019 at All Day
The Date Night Tour – February 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

February 15, 2019

Trio Céleste – February 15, 2019 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Song & Story: A Celebration of the Indigenous Studies Program, featuring Cheryl Bear – February 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Y4C Presents '7 Mountains of Influence in Our Culture' – February 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm

February 16, 2019

Open Mosque Day – February 16, 2019 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Honduras Fundraiser High Tea – February 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Masterpieces: Famous Choruses of Great Composers – February 16, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 17, 2019

Taizé Contemplative Service – February 17, 2019 at 4:00 am - 5:00 am

February 19, 2019

MVA Faith Caucus – February 19, 2019 at 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Inklings Institute of Canada: The Perilous Lot of the Christian Artist – February 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Mixing Science & the Mystics (part 1) – February 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 20, 2019

Children of God – February 20, 2019 - March 10, 2019 at All Day

February 21, 2019

Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil: a call for papers – February 21, 2019 at All Day
Dark Glass Theatre: The Amish Project – February 21, 2019 - February 23, 2019 at 12:00 am
Canada in Crisis: Mobilizing the Church for Action – Pastors Forum – February 21, 2019 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Andrea Loewen Book Launch for 'Feeling Better – A Field Guide to Liking Yourself' – February 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Shad – February 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

February 22, 2019

Christopher Yuan Conference, with Dr. Leon & Angela Yuan – February 22, 2019 - February 24, 2019 at All Day
Work as Worship Retreat – February 22, 2019 at 7:30 am - 2:30 pm
Christianity at a Crossroads with Clarence Janzen – February 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

February 23, 2019

Coldest Night of the Year – February 23, 2019 at All Day
Delta Prayer Breakfast – February 23, 2019 at 8:15 am - 11:00 am
Journey Home Refugee Support: Basic Training – February 23, 2019 at 8:45 am - 3:00 pm
Screen Time (Simulcast): Parenting in a Media Saturated Culture – February 23, 2019 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Singable Saturdays: Mozart Edition – February 23, 2019 at 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Tensions in the Bible: The Development of Catholic-Jewish Relations in the Context of Biblical Interpretation – February 23, 2019 at 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Christianity at a Crossroads with Clarence Janzen – February 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Healing Night with Pastor Anthony Greco – February 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Ember – February 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Reverb: Songs, Poems, Stories – February 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
What About the Dinosaurs? with Clarence Janzen – February 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Young Street Vocal Band – February 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Worship Invades Coquitlam – February 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

February 24, 2019

Grand Reopening & Celebration of African Fountain Chapel Vancouver (AME) – February 24, 2019 at 11:00 am - 4:30 pm
Jazz Vespers @ St. Andrew's United Church – February 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Olaf de Shield (Black History Month) – February 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dedication Service: Central Presbyterian Church – February 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 25, 2019

Kairos Cantonese Course – February 25, 2019 at All Day
David Clough: On Animals Volume II – the Challenge of Christian Animal Ethics – February 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Stephen Fearing – February 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

February 26, 2019

Tuesday Morning with John Stetch – February 26, 2019 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Open House: Mission to Seafarers – February 26, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Animals and Ethics in the 21st Century with Dr. David Clough, sponsored by Vancouver Humane Society – February 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mixing Science & the Mystics (part 2) – February 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 28, 2019

Khari Wendell McClelland: We Now Recognize – February 28, 2019 at All Day
Hans Boersma: Lectio Divina – Renewing Our Practice – February 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Bryanna Russell: Making Womb – Opening Reception – February 28, 2019 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

March 1, 2019

Apologetics Canada Conference 2019 – March 1, 2019 - March 2, 2019 at All Day
World Day of Prayer: Ecumenical Worship Service – March 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Doing Family Right Conference with Dr. Dave Currie – March 1, 2019 - March 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Mini Choi: The Twelve Apostels – March 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 2, 2019

Tactics Evangelism Training – March 2, 2019 at 8:30 am - 2:15 pm
Finding God in the Dark: Lenten Retreat – March 2, 2019 at 9:15 am - 3:30 pm
Pastors Brunch with Bill Wiese – March 2, 2019 at 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Taste of the World – March 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Habib Koité and Bassekou Kouyate – March 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

March 6, 2019

Mary McCampbell: "This is the Way the World Ends": The Acopalypse in Contemporary Film, Fiction & Television – March 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Darrel Falk & Todd Wood: Evolutionary Creation and Young Earth Creationism (Separate Talks) – March 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 7, 2019

Darrel Falk & Todd Wood: The Fool, the Heretic & the God Whose Standard is Love – March 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 8, 2019

Mirror Dance Production: Before is Now – March 8, 2019 at All Day
MHM Book Launch: Janet Boldt – March 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Opening to God in Silence: A Lenten Weekend Retreat – March 8, 2019 - March 10, 2019 at 5:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Spark 2019 Preteen Gathering – March 8, 2019 - March 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 4:00 pm
André Valadão: Brazilian Ministry Concert – March 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 9, 2019

CFaN Impact Breakfast with Peter Vandenberg – March 9, 2019 at 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Declining Churches in Canada: How Can We Respond? – March 9, 2019 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
DivorceCare (Saturday mornings) – March 9, 2019 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Health Seminar on "CANNABIS" (in Cantonese) – March 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Chris Tomlin Holy Roar Tour – March 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Seven Mile Story – March 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 10, 2019

Climate Change Presentation, Prayer – March 10, 2019 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
An Evening with John Brierley: The Camino – a Path of Awakening – March 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Seven Mile Story – March 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 12, 2019

Seven Mile Story – March 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 13, 2019

Film Screening: Between a Shoe and the Roof – March 13, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Dennis Danielson: Ethics & the Logic of Naturalism – March 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Reconciliation and the Indian Act – March 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 14, 2019

20th Annual Mel Smith Lecture: Preston Manning – March 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Young People and the Church? A Conversation – March 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 15, 2019

G. Peter Kaye Lectures: John Bell of the Iona Community – March 15, 2019 - March 17, 2019 at 12:00 am
CampsBC Celebration Banquet & Fundraiser – March 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Seven Mile Story – March 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Vancouver Orpheus Choir: Celtic Connections – March 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 16, 2019

Inspiring Dominican Saints: Pope St. Pius V – March 16, 2019 at 9:15 am - 12:15 pm
Beyond Snakes & Shamrocks: Missional Leadership Lessons from St. Patrick – March 16, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 17, 2019

Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir: Celtic Connections – March 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Seven Mile Story – March 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 21, 2019

40 Days for Life – March 21, 2019 - April 14, 2019 at 12:00 am
Bryanna Russell: Making Womb – March 21, 2019 - March 22, 2019 at All Day
DivorceCare (ongoing, several locations) – March 21, 2019 - January 7, 2020 at All Day
Photo Exhibition: Mennonite Churches in the Fraser Valley – Early Decades – March 21, 2019 - March 31, 2019 at All Day
Fireside Apologetics: Dr. Paul Chamberlain - Why Do People Stop Believing and What Can We Do About It? – March 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Anne of Green Gables: The Musical – March 21, 2019 - March 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Geneva Lecture: Jim Mullins – Gardening in Babylon: Work, Calling & Reimagining the Mundane – March 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jesus Freak – March 21, 2019 - March 23, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

March 22, 2019

PACLIFE Day – March 22, 2019 at All Day
Life on the Margins: a Workshop in the Downtown Eastside – March 22, 2019 - March 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, UK – March 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 23, 2019

Income Tax Ministry (Tuesdays & Saturdays) – March 23, 2019 - April 30, 2019 at 9:30 am - 2:00 pm

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