Around Town: Prayer for Christian Unity, VPD Chaplains, ‘On Mission’ Devotional

Aaron Miller, Minister of University Hill (United Church) Congregation, will deliver the sermon during a special service at St. Mark’s Catholic Church January 19.

This will be one of several opportunities to worship with Christians of other denominations during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18 – 25.

The Canadian Council of Churches states:

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an annual ecumenical celebration. Christians around the world are invited to pray for the unity of all Christians, to reflect on scripture together, to participate in jointly-organized ecumenical services, and to share fellowship. . . .

In the Gospel of John, Christ prays for his disciples before going to the cross. He asks that his followers “may all be one,” as he and the Father are one, “so that the world may believe” and have life in his name (John 17). Christian unity is here made central to the very being of the church and to its mission and witness.

Today, we live with divisions even as we yearn for the unity promised and commissioned by Christ.

The long and often painful history of Christianity has sundered our churches for theological, liturgical, and political reasons. Many Christians now strive to heal these divisions, yet honour our diversity, through ecumenical dialogue, common action, and relationship-building.

They also come together to pray for unity, joining Christ in his prayer to the Father.

The worldwide celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is both the seed and and the fruit of this striving for ‘unity in diversity’. This time of shared prayer, reflection, and fellowship invites Christians of different traditions to deepen our relationships and to live and witness together throughout the year.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada also supports the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Here are the Metro Vancouver churches which are hosting the joint Prayer Services:

Another excellent opportunity to meet a wide range of Christians next week will be at the Pastors and Leaders Summit, January 27 at Cariboo Hill Temple in Burnaby. See the accompanying story.

VPD Chaplain

Deacon Marty Cayer at work at the Vancouver Police Department. Photo: The B.C. Catholic

It is good to know that the Vancouver Police Department has chaplains, and that there is a possibility that the role of chaplains may expand.

A recent article by Terry O’Neill in The B.C. Catholic introduced a serving police officer who is also a chaplain:

Deacon [Marty] Cayer, 47, says his unique dual positions as police officer and Catholic deacon [at Christ the Redeemer Parish in West Vancouver] have now presented him with a new vocational opportunity, that of a police chaplain.

“Being a police member who’s served here almost 23 years and had some critical incidents in my life, as a policeman, I just thought the call – they couldn’t have blended better,” he said. “And the Holy Spirit has put me exactly where he wants me.” . . .

Chaplains have long served the Vancouver Police Department, but Deacon Cayer said he does not know when it last had a Catholic chaplain, let alone one who is also a member of the department.

The department considers the chaplaincy to be an important part not only of its ceremonial activities but also of its health-and-wellness programs. Its current chaplain, Jim Turner, is retained on contract and is nearing retirement, so the department is currently examining how the role might expand.

“What we’re hoping to do is to provide additional spiritual resources, chaplaincy resources,” said fellow officer Dave Moe, a sergeant with the department’s Employee Wellness Unit. The expansion might involve contracting a range of five or so chaplains from different spiritual groups, Moe said, or perhaps having one central chaplain “who can reach out to other churches and beliefs and utilize those people for our members.”

Go here for the full article.

Jim Turner is Chaplain for the Vancouver Police Department. Photo from the Fellowship Facebook page.

Jim Turner has a rich history as a chaplain. A February 2022 post on the Canadian Police Chaplain Association site celebrated his longevity and achievements as a National Chaplain, and his recovery from serious illness.

It noted:

Jim was first introduced to police chaplaincy on May 23, 1982, when he went for a ride along with a member of the church he was pastoring in Vancouver. It was the Friday of a long weekend, after welfare cheque Wednesday, a full moon and they were in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver.

The briefing was at 1800 hours, and it was a 12-hour shift. Jim had no idea of the way that night would change his life. The Department had an official chaplain but that night Jim became the ‘boots on the ground’ go-to guy for the Department.

Turner went on to pastor and act as chaplain for the RCMP in Alberta, then came back to pastor a church in Metro Vancouver.

He is a board member of the Police & Peace Officers Memorial Ribbon Society, which described his role in this way:

Jim has served the law enforcement community in a voluntary capacity for over 35 years. Jim served with the RCMP as Chaplain for five years in “K” Division, specifically Calgary Sub-Division. Upon moving back to BC in 1995, Jim began serving at Burnaby, Richmond Detachments and E” Division HQ.

On October 23, 2000 Jim left full time pastoral ministry in a church setting and was appointed as the first Divisional Chaplain for “E” Division. In February of 2001 Jim was appointed as Chaplain at Delta Police. In February of 2003 Jim was appointed as the Chaplain at Vancouver Police. In 2004 Jim was appointed to serve Transit Police as well.

The Canadian Police Chaplain Association article, last February, quoted Turner:

At 75 years of age, I feel the passion and call as strongly as that Friday night in 1982. I have also had the privilege of serving Delta Police Department, Vancouver Police Department and Transit Police. In my new role I will continue to serve Vancouver and Transit Police. The honour of serving for so many years and still have the ‘fire in my belly’ to continue is due solely to the grace of God.

Turner is part of the national Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada, having served as Director of Fellowship Chaplaincy for several years. An interesting note from their history page is that “From 2012 – 2022 Fellowship Chaplaincy grew from 27 to 136 chaplains in 14 different areas of chaplaincy ministry.”

On Mission Devotional

The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) has just produced On Mission: A 30 Day World Missions Devotional, which is available as a free download:

This year’s book profiles 30 global mission projects by our ANiC churches.  The light of Jesus is being shed abroad in the far corners of this world.

If you begin the On Mission 2023 book on January 23rd you will have 30 daily readings prior to Lent.  Each day of the book you will be transported to an ANiC global mission project. 

Each day there is a Bible reading plus a special prayer composed by Canon Garth Hunt.  Not only will you learn about these global mission projects but you will also learn about our ANiC congregations.

Several local churches are profiled. For example:

  • Day 2: Langley to Uganda: Church of the Ascension
  • Day 5: Richmond to Cambodia: St. John’s Richmond
  • Day 17: Vancouver to China: Church of the Good Shepherd
  • Day 21: Vancouver to Cambodia: St. John’s Vancouver
  • Day 24: Vancouver to Uganda: St. Matthias & St. Luke, Vancouver

Admittedly, the book draws on just one denomination, but their focus on missions is admirable, and could be profitably adopted by other groups. Their website has an ‘On Mission’ page which spells out where their priorities lie:

ANiC congregations are committed to being Gospel sharing communities making a global impact. Our commitment to being ON MISSION extends to the furthest corners of the globe.

Global missions is transformative. We have the opportunity to share our resources with those in other nations. We share the love of Jesus in word, deed and substance. But we are also recipients. We are inspired by the faith and vitality of believers in other nations. World missions is a transformational partnership. We are calling for all of our ANiC congregations and members to be ON MISSION globally.

I am sure the good ANiC folks won’t mind others availing themselves of their materials.

Jan 2023

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – January 18, 2023 - January 25, 2023 at All Day
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 19, 2023 at 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 19, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Documentary Screening: Coded Bias – January 20, 2023 at 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 20, 2023 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Mother Teresa: No Greater Love – January 22, 2023 - January 23, 2023 at All Day
Living Well Mental Health Workshop – January 22, 2023 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Taizé Service – January 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Backyard Pilgrim Webinar – January 23, 2023 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 24, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 25, 2023 at 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Praying for Unity – January 25, 2023 at 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Freedom Session Small Group Mass Public Launch – January 25, 2023 at 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
The Toxic Drug Poisoning Crisis: Where we're at in 2023 – January 25, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Ben MacRae & Friends Play Robbie Burns – January 25, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Paul Spilsbury: Chasing the Light (final day) – January 26, 2023 at All Day
Dr. Michael Ward: C.S. Lewis on Appearance and Reality in the Christian Life – January 26, 2023 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Mission Central SERVE – January 27, 2023 - January 29, 2023 at All Day
Pastors and Leaders Summit: Collaboration for City Reaching – January 27, 2023 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Navigate Bible Conference: Covenant – God’s Means of Grace to Reach a Broken World – January 27, 2023 - January 28, 2023 at 6:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Scientists and the Church Conference – January 28, 2023 at 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Scientists and the Church (2023 Winter Symposium) – January 28, 2023 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Robert Mann: To Infinity & Beyond – 50 Years of Exploring Science & Faith – January 28, 2023 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Robert Mann: Time and Eternity – January 28, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Worship Invades Langley – January 28, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 29, 2023 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with the Leading Ladies Little Big Band – January 29, 2023 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Jazz Vespers with Angela Verbrugge – January 29, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Prayer Service – January 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Celebrating Thomas Merton – January 31, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Feb 2023

Ghislain Brown-Kossi: Future Artifact II – February 1, 2023 - March 8, 2023 at All Day
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Dalannah Gail Bowen & Michael Creber – February 1, 2023 at 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Ghislain Brown-Kossi: Future Artifact II - Opening Reception – February 1, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Can I Trust the Bible? – February 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Chosen: Season 3 Finale – February 2, 2023 - February 6, 2023 at All Day
The Chosen: Season 3 Finale – February 2, 2023 - February 6, 2023 at All Day
Public Lecture & Panel Discussion: Euthanasia in Canada with Dr. Brian Bird – February 2, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Workshop and Performance with Louise Rose – February 3, 2023 - February 4, 2023 at 12:00 am
Raise, Raise the Voice – February 3, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Strategy Seminar: Youth Ministry Training – February 4, 2023 at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
2023 Canadian Religious Freedom Summit – February 4, 2023 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Loreto Aramendi: The Virtuoso Organist – February 4, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Songs of Freedom – February 4, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
An Evening with Bruce Cockburn – February 4, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Tony Furtado Acoustic Trio – February 4, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Numbers in the Bible: A Learning Retreat – February 8, 2023 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Book Release Lecture by Dr. Andrew Kaethler: The Eschatological Person – February 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Working Towards Freedom Webinar - Anti-Human Trafficking – February 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Marcos Flo & Friends, featuring Dutch Robinson – February 8, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Joy Banks: Waymarkers – February 9, 2023 - March 16, 2023 at All Day
Restoring Mental Health in the Church – February 9, 2023 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Brian Bird: Conscience and Democracy – February 9, 2023 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
4th Annual Jesuit Scotch Tasting Reception: City in Focus – February 9, 2023 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Joy Banks: Waymarkers – Reception + Artist's Talk – February 9, 2023 at 6:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Book Launch: George Guthrie – Reading the Bible Better – February 9, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Importance of Being Earnest – February 9, 2023 - February 11, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Gesualdo Six Return – February 10, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Being a Church in a Time of Sexual Questioning: A Day with Bruce Miller – February 11, 2023 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Refugee Claimants & Your Church: Discovering Transformative Ways to Welcome – February 11, 2023 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Reconciliation & Deeper Hospitality – February 11, 2023 at 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Testimony of Hope: Piano Recital with Julia Lowe – February 11, 2023 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sam Rocha Trio at St. Mark's Chapel (featuring Kevin Eng) – February 11, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with the Marcus Mosely Ensemble – February 12, 2023 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
The St. Francis of Assisi Exchange with Sultan Malek Al-Kamil – February 13, 2023 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Diane Stinton: Musings on the Magnificat – from 21st Century World Perspectives – February 15, 2023 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Contributions of Religions to Modern Japanese Identity – February 15, 2023 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Care for the Sick in Catholic Health Care – February 15, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Fr. Harrison Ayre – Mystery and Modernism: The Sacramental Foundations of Human Existence – February 15, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Company B for St. Valentine's Day – February 15, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Under the Needle – February 16, 2023 - February 18, 2023 at All Day
Joy Banks: Waymarkers – Lunch Time Talk – February 16, 2023 at 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Spiritual Formation in the Life of the Local Church – February 17, 2023 at 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
#HackPoverty 2023 – February 18, 2023 - February 25, 2023 at 12:00 am
Gospel Music Workshop – The Best of Mahalia Jackson – February 18, 2023 at 9:00 am - 9:30 pm
Meaningful Aging: Finding Hope in Later Years – February 18, 2023 at 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
The Best of Mahalia Jackson – Concert – February 18, 2023 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Paul Stevens: Preparing for the Ultimate Transition – February 20, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Candus Churchill Sings Nina Simone – February 22, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
WomanCare Pregnancy Centre: 12th Annual Trivia Night – February 24, 2023 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Healing and our Bodies with Hillary McBride – February 24, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Long, Long Night of Hope – February 25, 2023 at All Day
Business As Mission Conference 2023 – February 25, 2023 at 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: Cloverdale Community Kitchen – February 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: Langley (Salvation Army Gateway of Hope) – February 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: Vancouver Broadway – February 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: Vancouver DTES – February 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Help. Thanks. Wow: A Benefit Night for Pacific Theatre – February 25, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Small Glories – February 25, 2023 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with the Dan Reynolds Band – February 26, 2023 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Church Earthkeepers Meet-Up (last Tuesday of each month) – February 28, 2023 - June 27, 2023 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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