Around Town: Grace Seniors Home, God is for the Birds, Flourishing, charities . . .

No one will be forced to move from Grace Seniors Home now that the province has bought the building.

The provincial government has purchased a seniors home in Chinatown in order to prevent residents from being evicted.

Housing Minister David Eby stated April 23:

This has been a difficult time for the seniors at Grace Seniors Home. We understand the owner of Grace Seniors Home had been working to sell the property for quite some time. This put the housing of the vulnerable residents there at risk. . . .

We’re pleased to announce that the Province, through BC Housing, is buying the building at 333 East Pender Street.

This outcome means that residents can stay in their homes and continue to receive the cultural supports they need. These seniors are reliant on the immediate community, as well as each other, for their health and well-being.

“The building will be upgraded and operated as a seniors’ housing facility with Chinese cultural supports. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will operate the building, starting on June 15, 2021.

The purchase price of $17 million includes $3 million for renovations.

The history of Grace Seniors Home is complex and involves several Christian groups. An April 14 article by Joanne Lee-Young in The Vancouver Sun touched on those connections. Here is a portion:

A letter from the city to [owner Stephen] Lee in November 2006 noted his relocation plan then included the 46 seniors at 596 E Hastings moving to other senior homes he operated, including at the Vancouver Chinese Mennonite Church Senior Home at 485 Dunlevy and Vancouver Grace Seniors Home on East Pender, as well as Richmond Grace Seniors Home on Westminster Highway.

Chinatown Peace Church is less than half a block from Grace Seniors Home.

In 2017, the building at 485 Dunlevy, which had 32 units where Chinese seniors were living, was sold to Atira Women’s Resource Society, which now runs a supportive housing building for women 45 and older. Some of the Chinese seniors moved down the street into Vancouver Grace Seniors Home.

Go here for the full article.

Tim Kuepfer, pastor of Chinatown Peace Church (formerly Vancouver Chinese Mennonite Church), which is on the same block as Grace Seniors Home, said he is happy to see that the residents will be able to stay in their homes. As mentioned in the Vancouver Sun story, the church property included seniors housing.

Kuepfer says Chinatown Peace Church congregation is still able to meet in the building it sold to Atira (during non-Covid times), but looks forward to moving eventually to a new location on Main Street between Keefer and Georgia. He says “We hope to be a living-room for Chinatown in which, through God’s love, strangers become friends.”

God is for the Birds

This week marks the centenary of John Stott’s birth, and A Rocha Canada (based in Surrey) is one of many ministries and movements around the world recognizing his influence on their work.

God is for the Birds: Celebrating a Creation Care Champion will be held next Monday (May 3).

Here is why A Rocha is remembering Stott:

John Stott is well known as an influential Christian leader of the 20th century. Perhaps less well known is that he was a passionate birder and a keen supporter of A Rocha’s work since its inception. This A Rocha Talk will both highlight Stott’s influence and legacy for creation care today and it will invite you to the joy and wonder of birding.

One of the marvels of spring is the annual migration of millions of birds. These remarkable creatures give us a window into the intricacies and beauty of creation. They also have much to teach us about the Creator.

Stott took to heart Christ’s exhortation to “consider the birds” and this partly explains why he advocated for the role of creation care in discipleship long before it was commonplace.

Stott even wrote a book about his passion: The Birds Our Teachers.

When Vancouver School of Theology professor Jason Byassee wrote The Quiet Christian Witness of A Rocha for The Christian Century in 2018, he included a portion about Stott, in his role as supporter of A Rocha founders Peter and Miranda Harris:

The foreword to Harris’s book [Under the Bright Wings] was written by John Stott, the late great expository preacher at All Souls Church in London, a towering figure in the evangelical world – and a lifelong birding enthusiast. He threw his evangelical credentials behind the Harrises, pointing out that one of Jesus’ very few imperatives was his directive to “study the birds.”

The Harrises called their study center “the rock,” or a rocha in Portuguese. It’s a reference to the property’s original name, quinta de a rocha, or “farm on the rock,” as well as to its christological foundation. Now an international Christian conservation organization operating in some 20 countries, A Rocha refutes any blanket judgment that evangelicals don’t care about the environment.

Go here for the full article. (Byassee was so impressed by what he saw down on the farm in Surrey that he has since joined A Rocha Canada’s national board of directors.) Note: The A Rocha talk will be May 3. A global birding event to commemorate Stott will be May 8.

FH Canada: Flourishing

FH Canada (Food for the Hungry) is hosting what promises to be a valuable event at the end of next week, May 7 – 8. Flourishing Conference will focus on ‘uprooting poverty, planting hope.’ Here is how they describe their plans:

Speakers from across Canada will challenge the common narrative that poverty is about a “lack of stuff” and assert that it’s really all about relationships. . . . Combining theory and practice, Flourishing will equip you to make a practical difference here at home and around the world.

Keynote address: Danielle Strickland

60-minute interactive workshops with:

    • Tim Day – City Movement /
    • Derek Cook – Canadian Poverty Institute / Ambrose University
    • Cheryl Bear – Nadleh Whut’en First Nation
    • Donna Harris – Praxis / Builders & Backers
    • Ellen Duffield – BRAVE Network
    • Daniel Whitehead – Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries
    • Rick Faw – A Rocha
    • James Woller – Thrive

Special speakers:

    • Shelaine Strom – FH Canada
    • Carissa Youssef – FH Canada
    • John Johnstone – Leq’á:mel First Nation
    • Mike Janz – FH Canada

For a full look at the speakers and schedule go here.

Charities need help

Daphne Bramham interviewed Ratanak International founder Brian McConaghy for her April 27 Vancouver Sun comment: ‘Help needed for charities to get through the pandemic.’

Here is a portion:

In February, Imagine Canada reported that 55 per cent of charities reported less revenue in 2020. In B.C., 74 per cent reported reduced revenue because of cancelled events and fewer donations. Nineteen per cent expected they would have to close.

Online giving was one of the few bright spots. CanadaHelps, which provides fundraising technology for 24,000 charities, reported an 86 per cent increase in donors last year. According to its 2021 Giving Report, 1.1 million people gave $480 million.

One explanation is that the pandemic forced older people to become more Internet savvy. They are the demographic that has always provided the most and biggest donations. And right now many are debt-free, with secure jobs or pensions, money to spend and few places to spend it.

But many smaller, donor-dependent charities serving the most vulnerable face greater needs than ever, with no money to spare for online technology. Even if they could, many of their donors traditionally come from those same communities and have gone from donor to client.

Still, there are some such as Ratanak that found success going old school, relying on personal relationships, and retooling their work to ensure that they were also serving their donors.

Go here for the full comment.

This is a theme Cardus has been commenting on since the beginning of the pandemic. Go here for links to some of their articles.

Apr 2021

Under the Sun: Types and Shadows in a Biblical and Brazilian Perspective – April 29, 2021 - May 3, 2021 at All Day
The Church in a Post-COVID World – April 30, 2021 at 6:00 am - 8:00 am
Himalaya: A Drive-in Film Festival (two shows) – April 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm - 11:50 pm

May 2021

When the Best is Corrupt: Strategies for Living in Integrity – May 1, 2021 at 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Perseverance Conference – May 1, 2021 at 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Himalaya: A Drive-in Film Festival – May 1, 2021 at 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
God is for the Birds: Celebrating a Creation Care Champion – May 3, 2021 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Our Whole Society: Free to Believe, Responsible to Act – May 4, 2021 at 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Every Moment Holy, Vol. 2: Death, Grief & Hope – May 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Bill C-15 Online Learning Event – May 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Pray for India – May 5, 2021 at 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Canadian Sexual Exploitation Summit 2021 – May 6, 2021 - May 7, 2021 at All Day
Addressing Our Cultural Moment with Humility and Hope (including book launch) – May 6, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Flourishing Conference: Uprooting Poverty, Planting Hope – May 7, 2021 - May 8, 2021 at 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
SIM Banquet: Changing Times Unchanging God – May 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
New Roots Live – May 8, 2021 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Memorial Service: Remembering Teacher Hui – May 10, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Sarah Williams: The Integration of Heart & Mind – St. Bernard of Clairvaux for the Postmodern Academy – May 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Faith in Action: Refugee Advocacy Webinar – May 11, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Keeping an Open Heart in Troubled Times – May 12, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
John Swinton: Moving Beyond the Empire of Illusion – What Do We Do About the Problem of Evil? – May 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
March for Life in Your Neighbourhood – May 13, 2021 at All Day
Identity: Film Screening & Conversation Around Faith, Race, Art & Mental Health – May 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Beyond the Conversation: A Gift of Presence – May 15, 2021 at 12:00 am - 11:55 pm
AC Literary Expedition: Discussing Critical Race Theory – May 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Elizabeth Sung: Rethinking the Kingdom of God, Christ's Ministry & Christians' Transformation – May 17, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
What Would Jesus Tweet? – May 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Virtual Book Club: Not Done Yet by Beth Seversen – May 18, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Carmen Joy Imes: The Mission of the Church to Bear God's Name – May 19, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Cardus Coffeehouse: Welcoming Refugees – May 20, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
BAM Vancouver Transforming Business Series – May 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Woven Together: Partnerships in Community Programs – May 20, 2021 at 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Historymaker – May 21, 2021 at All Day
Mark Glanville: 'Where are Your Roots?!': Biblical Ethics & Jazz (a Jazz-Talk from the Piano and a Bar Stool) – May 24, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Religion & Thoughtful Activism Conference – May 25, 2021 at 12:00 am
The Common Good Collective: Words for Good – May 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Susan Phillips: Tethered by Prayer – the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola – May 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Alpha Webinar: Reviving Evangelism in Gen Z – May 27, 2021 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Earthkeepers: Prayer Night for Bold Climate Action – May 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
What's the Best Luxury Album? A panel discussion – May 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Day of Prayer for Camp – May 30, 2021 at All Day
John Behr: What is Life? – May 31, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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