Around Town: Hosting refugees, Festival of Hope, Neighbourhood Grants . . .

Volunteers at First CRC welcomed almost 90 Syrian refugees on Easter Monday.

Volunteers at First CRC welcomed Syrian refugees on Easter Monday.

First Christian Reformed Church of Vancouver (First CRC) welcomed more than a dozen Syrian families – almost 90 people – for a meal and conversation on Easter Monday. The newly-arrived refugees are staying at the 2400 Motel on Kingsway as they await more permanent housing.

Dena Nicolai, who has just been hired by the Christian Reformed Churches in the Metro Vancouver / Fraser Valley region as a chaplain and refugee support mobilizer, said:

Even amidst linguistic and cultural differences, we had a wonderful afternoon, with many good conversations – and we received multiple returned dinner invites back into these families’ future homes. We hope to share more meals together in future, perhaps ones that include the opportunity to learn how to cook Syrian food (an offer we also received).

Almost 90 Syrian refugees from the 2400 Motel enjoyed a meal and friendship at First CRC on Easter Monday.

Almost 90 Syrian refugees from the 2400 Motel enjoyed a meal and friendship at First CRC.

Many volunteers and many answered prayers made the meal possible. Pastor Dave Bornman from West Coast Christian Fellowship used his church’s school bus for transportation, and at the last moment, a quick thinking volunteer from First CRC arranged alternate transportation for four people in wheelchairs. Others ran games – indoor and outdoor – and other activities for the almost 40 children in attendance, including kids from the church.

First CRC has been preparing itself for a role with refugees ever since it learned that Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) would be developing a Welcome Centre right next door, on land originally owned by the church. It is expected to open later this spring. (For earlier stories on the situation go here and here.)
Dena Nicolai

Dena Nicolai has recently begun a new role as a chaplain and refugee support mobilizer.

Nicolai is supporting the vision of the Christian Reformed Church to establish a multi-faith chaplaincy to be accessed by Government-Assisted Refugees and potentially ISSofBC staff at the Welcome Centre. She would work as a Christian chaplain. She will also act as a liaison with congregations throughout BC that are interested in supporting refugees as they transition to life in Canada.

Nicolai is completing a thesis for her MA in Theological Studies at Regent College. Before moving to Vancouver she lived for four years in the Middle East, based in Cairo, Egypt, where her work included organizing and facilitating numerous interfaith and intercultural dialogue events between North American Christian university students and people from various countries across the Middle East.

Festival of Hope launch
Will Graham, Billy Graham's grandson, will speak at the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope launch March 31 at Broadway Church.

Will Graham, Billy Graham’s grandson, will speak at the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope launch March 31 at Broadway Church.

The Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope, a partnership between the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and local churches, kicks off with a free launch event, open to all, at Broadway Church tonight (March 31), 7:30 pm.

The featured speaker is evangelist Will Graham, son of Franklin Graham and grandson of Billy Graham. Jon Neufeld, formerly of Starfield, will provide the music.

Franklin Graham will lead the way March 3 – 5, 2017 at Rogers Arena for the culmination of the year-long Festival of Hope.

The Festival is a year-long journey that includes evangelism training and discipleship events, community outreach projects and three nights of high-profile outreach March 3 – 5, 2017 at Rogers Arena.

Those who make decisions for Christ during the Festival journey will be referred to partner churches for follow-up and discipleship.

Neighbourhood Grants

greenestcityIt’s not too late to get paid for getting involved in your neighbourhood. Well, not exactly, but there are grants available for people with good ideas.

The Vancouver Foundation is offering Neighbourhood Small Grants “for residents [of several municipalities] to develop projects that meet the needs of the community,” as well as Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants, which are available “for residents of Vancouver to develop projects that contribute to the City’s Greenest City Action Plan Targets.”

Grant amounts are up to $500 and the deadline is next Monday (April 4).

Here are some examples the Small Neighbourhood Grants webpage offered “of small collaborative projects which can build community and create meaningful connections between people”:

We heard from Christine about her Stories of East Van walking tour that highlighted public art, architecture and personal experience stories from area neighbours. Chris from the Kitsilano neighbourhood enthusiastically shared information about his popular workshop – Old Bikes Back on the Urban Commute – geared towards bike maintenance and safety. Jessica and Shea talked about their initiative to empower and grow the repair community in Vancouver. The project titled Repair Matters, matches “fixers” (volunteer subject area experts) with people looking to repair their household items. It also shines a light on the tendency to dispose of old items and purchase new ones, causing more waste and a missed opportunity to learn about repair.

Greenest City grants will go to projects which meet these goals: mitigating climate change; promoting greener forms of transportation; creating zero waste; improving access to nature and planting trees; green(ing) buildings; growing and eating local food . . .

 $10 trees

vancouvertreeweek1Speaking of planting trees, the city is running Vancouver Tree Week April 2 – 10, which means you can buy trees for the subsidized cost of just $10. The purpose is to “help us grow our urban forest and reach our goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2020.”

Sales take place April 2, 9 am – 4 pm at Hillcrest and April 10, 10 am – 3 pm, at Trout Lake. Purchasers must be residents of Vancouver proper.

March 31, 2016

EFC Webinar: Worse than we thought: Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – March 31, 2016 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Festival of Hope: Pastors and Leaders Dinner – March 31, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dr. Dennis Venema: Why I Accept Evolution (And Why You Probably Should As Well) – March 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Love, Mercy & Forgiveness: Pope Francis & the Future of the Catholic Church – March 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tenth Avenue North, with Hawk Nelson – March 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Festival of Hope Launch – March 31, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 1, 2016

God's Not Dead 2 – April 1, 2016 at All Day
Vancouver Retrouvaille: A Lifeline for Marriages – April 1, 2016 - April 3, 2016 at All Day
Dr. Barry Pointon: The Human-Haunted Cosmos – April 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Journey Home Community: Annual Celebration Event – April 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Coalmont – April 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Paul Taylor: Mount St. Helens – A Message for Today – April 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 2, 2016

Church Library Association of BC Conference 2016 – April 2, 2016 at All Day
Gather – April 2, 2016 at 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Paul Taylor: How Old is the Earth? – April 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Paul Taylor: No Compromise – April 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Panic Squad: A Live Comedy Event – April 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
North Shore Chorus: Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle – April 2, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 4, 2016

Faith, Freedom & Liberty Concert – April 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

April 5, 2016

Global Day of Prayer for Climate Action – April 5, 2016 at All Day
Global Day of Prayer for Climate Action: Surrey Meeting – April 5, 2016 at 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Global Day of Prayer for Climate Action: Vancouver Meeting – April 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

April 6, 2016

OnMission Virtual Conference – April 6, 2016 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Vancouver Pastors Prayer Fellowship – April 6, 2016 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Business By the Book: Joey Horvath – April 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Wanda Nowicki – April 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

April 7, 2016

Rick Goossen: Ask the Expert - Advisory Boards – April 7, 2016 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Wenona Victor: Reconciliation Through Education – April 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Paul Taylor: Mount St. Helens – A Message for Today – April 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 8, 2016

Discerning Truth in a Complex World – April 8, 2016 - April 9, 2016 at All Day
Mining and the Common Good: A Symposium on Mineral Resource Development and Laudato SI’ – April 8, 2016 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Empowered to Connect Conference – April 8, 2016 - April 9, 2016 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
RSVP: Celebrate the Light – April 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Women's Abide 2016 Conference – April 8, 2016 - April 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 11:15 pm
Paul Taylor: Mount St. Helens – A Message for Today – April 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 9, 2016

God's Masterpiece: All Day Event for Women – April 9, 2016 at All Day
Journey of Reconciliation: Listening to Indigenous Elders – April 9, 2016 at 9:00 am - 4:15 pm
St. Andrew's United Church Women's Book Sale – April 9, 2016 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Way of Light Morning Retreat, Part 1 – April 9, 2016 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Dr. Ross Hastings: Installation to the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Chair of Theology – April 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Paul Taylor: Mount St. Helens – A Message for Today – April 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

April 10, 2016

Paul Taylor: Creation or Evolution - Who Cares? – April 10, 2016 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Jazz Vespers: Andrea Menard Trio – April 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Karin Plato – April 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

April 11, 2016

Kairos Course (Korean) – April 11, 2016 at All Day

April 13, 2016

Jazz Evensong: Doe Bender – April 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

April 14, 2016

Pastoral Approaches: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction – April 14, 2016 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dr. Paul Rowe: Ataturk in my Pocket – a journey in religion and politics – April 14, 2016 at 1:10 pm - 2:50 pm
Dr. Paul Brown: Why I Accept Design (and Why It Is a Good Idea) – April 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph – April 14, 2016 - April 16, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

April 15, 2016

Carson Pue: Transitions - Exploring Life Changes as Maturing Adults – April 15, 2016 - April 17, 2016 at All Day
Inhabit Conference – April 15, 2016 - April 16, 2016 at All Day
Transform Conference: Raising Up Gospel-Loving Kids in a Gospel-Hating Culture – April 15, 2016 - April 16, 2016 at All Day
Relationship Seminar with Tina Konkin – April 15, 2016 - April 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 12:00 pm
Dr. Don Bartlette: What Does Reconciliation Look Like? – April 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Phillipe Herreweghe & Collegium Vocale Gent: Lagrime di San Pietro – April 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 16, 2016

Training for the Thinking Series – April 16, 2016 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Way of Light Morning Retreat, Part 2 – April 16, 2016 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Church of God Vancouver Spring Conference – April 16, 2016 at 11:30 am - 4:30 pm
The Volcano Spring Fundraiser – April 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Canadian MK Network: A Dessert Evening & Benefit Concert Featuring Carolyn Arends with Spencer Capier – April 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. Don Bartlette: What Does Reconciliation Look Like? – April 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Stronger Together: MK Benefit Concert with Carolyn Arends & Spencer Capier – April 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Pipe Organ - Pan Flute Concert, with Children's Choir – April 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

April 17, 2016

Jazz Vespers: Goby Katt & Jen Lewin – April 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jonathan Byrd & Corin Raymond (and the story of Mercy Ships) – April 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

April 20, 2016

Alpha 'Invite Canada' – April 20, 2016 at All Day
EFC Webinar: Brian Stiller – Evangelicals Around the World – April 20, 2016 at 9:00 am - 9:45 am
Alpha 'Invite Canada' – April 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Quintessential Jazz – April 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

April 21, 2016

50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner (for the annual BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast) – April 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
A Good Mother by Kathy Parsons – April 21, 2016 - April 23, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

April 22, 2016

Erin-Faye Frans: Nurturing Intimacy for a Healthier, Happier Marriage – April 22, 2016 at All Day
50th Annual BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast – April 22, 2016 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
L'Arche Vancouver: The Art Together Show – April 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. Don Bartlette: What Does Reconciliation Look Like? – April 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Steve Bell in concert – April 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Glorious Music for Trumpet & Organ – April 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Join the Reconciliation Movement – April 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Iseler Singers: Two Great Choirs – April 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

April 23, 2016

Eastside Story Guild: Old Pine – The Trial of Jesus – April 23, 2016 - April 24, 2016 at All Day
Growing In Faith Through Worship: Facing Challenges as a Family of Faith (Part III, with Marva Dawn) – April 23, 2016 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Timberline Ranch Family Festival 2016 – April 23, 2016 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Lighthouse Harbour Ministries Spring Luncheon – April 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Where is the Pro-life Movement Headed? – April 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Erin-Faye Frans: How to Talk to Your Kids About . . . – April 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

April 24, 2016

A Rocha Canada: Good Seed Sunday – April 24, 2016 at All Day
Jazz Vespers: Capilano Jazz Faculty Sextet – April 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Together: City Church Worship & Prayer Gathering – April 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Steve Bell in concert – April 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Together: City Church Worship & Prayer Gathering – April 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

April 25, 2016

Faith & Justice Roundtable: Extraction or Sustenance – Rethinking our Relationship to Land – April 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

April 26, 2016

Intelligent Love Course (Tuesday evenings) – April 26, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Poetry Reading: Sheila Rosen, Diane Tucker & Rian Lloyd – April 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

April 27, 2016

Alpha 'Invite Canada' – April 27, 2016 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Preaching Workshop: Jesus Has a Word for Your Church, with Dr. Darrell Johnson – April 27, 2016 at 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Alpha 'Invite Canada' – April 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
God, Art and the Way of Beauty – April 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel Discussion – April 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Sharon Minemoto – April 27, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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