Around Town: Prayer Gathering, First United, Malcolm Guite, Tap: Flourish

It is not often that Christians from a really wide range of denominations and persuasions have the opportunity to worship and pray together.

So thank you 24-7 Prayer Canada and partners for inviting us to Prayer Gathering, tomorrow night (May 27, 6 pm) at Westside Church downtown.

24-7 Prayer Canada is part of a 20-year global movement of non-stop prayer. They “help churches and organizations cultivate a deep and comprehensive culture of prayer, mission and justice that impacts their cities for the Gospel.”

Doors open at 5:30, with auditorium doors opening at 6. Here is the schedule:

  • Welcome Host Pastor Chris Karuhije (Coastal Church)
  • Call to Worship Dorielis Friesen, National Director, 24-7 Prayer Canada
  • Worship is provided by The Way Church Vancouver
  • Testimonies – Why Prayer rooms
  • Intermission
  • Main speaker Danielle Strickland: Why Pray, Why Now?
  • The Lord’s Prayer examination led by Aaron White, Communities Director, 24-7 Prayer Canada

The Prayer Gathering event will include a prayer room and free prayer resources; it will close at 10 pm.

Organizers would like you to register. Go here to register for in-person participation, and here to attend online.

Two other prayer events are coming up soon:

* The Prayer Walk will take place in Burnaby, Ridge Meadows and Abbotsford May 29 – June 4.
* The 55th Annual BC Prayer Breakfast featuring Jim Pattison is June 10, though it is sold out both in-person and online.

First United demolition / plans

First United Church (Facebook)

By the time you read this, demolition of the old First United Church building should be well under way.

The church has been a fixture on the corner of Hastings and Gore for ages, so many will miss it – but there are big plans for a new building and more community support in the Downtown Eastside.

Here is their announcement from earlier in May:

It’s finally here! After years of planning and weeks of meetings, inspections and renovations, we’re prepared to begin demolition on our building at 320 East Hastings Street. On May 24, staff will clear out of the building for the last time as crews enter to begin their remediation work.

It’s with a mix of emotions that we arrive at this point. We are proud to realize a redevelopment project of this size. It is a tremendous feat and is moving forward thanks to the overwhelming support of our community.

And yet, the current building has been our home since 1965. It has weathered both heartening and sorrowful moments for the organization and community.

As we dismantle, brick by brick, we do so with respect to the memories held within these walls. We will celebrate the work that was done, reflect on our successes and failures, and embrace the opportunities for growth that lie ahead.

We have a number of key dates coming up, and want to ensure that all community members, supporters, and allies can continue to find us.

Key dates

Artist’s rendering of the proposed development site.

May 13 marks the official close of services at 320 East Hastings.

The week of May 16 we’ll be assisting our shelter residents in moving to the new shelter location nearby. In conjunction with the shelter move, we’ll be moving our kitchen to its new commissary location on Clark Drive. Once the kitchen is moved, we’ll be working to get our community meal service up and running again through the First United Food Truck!

May 16 – 20 is move out week! Staff will be on site to help direct community members to our service satellite locations in the surrounding neighbourhood.

On May 24 demolition and remediation work begins, and staff will be doing community outreach on the day. The demolition is expected to take approximately three to four months, with construction commencing in the fall.

On June 23 at 4:30 pm we will host the summer edition of our regular Toast Talks and offer some exciting construction and First Forward capital campaign updates. Community members, donors and the public are all invited to attend!

Go here for information on where First United has temporarily moved its administration, programs and services. They hope to move into the new building in 2024.

First United says, “We are honoured to have received project contributions and pledges totalling over $7.4 million from United Church congregations to date and are currently 80 percent of the way towards our $30 million goal.”

Several United churches – Mount Seymour, Crossroads, West Point Grey, West Vancouver and Shaughnessy Heights – have raised $284,000 of the $750,000 sought in the current campaign.

Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite

I have heard Malcolm Guite a couple of times, and he is worth the trip out to Regent College, where he will speak next Monday (May 30) on ‘A New Orientation: Insights from the Poets on What it Means to Turn to Christ.’

Here is the plan and a brief introduction to the speaker:

In this talk, poet Malcolm Guite will draw on works by John Donne, C.S. Lewis and Seamus Heaney, and some of his own poetry, to explore what it means to reorient our lives back to Christ.

Malcolm Guite is a former chaplain and Life Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge. He teaches and lectures widely on theology and literature. His publications include Faith, Hope and Poetry (2010); The Singing Bowl: Collected Poems (2013); Waiting on the Word (2015); Parable and Paradox (2016); Mariner (2019); After Prayer (2021); and Lifting the Veil (2021).

Interviewed by host Mary Hynes on CBC Radio’s Tapestry last year, Guite said:

Fortunately, what we have is the most wonderful medicine cabinet that’s been carefully kept and preserved for us in the whole body of English literature.

And one of the things that poetry can do is not only enrich your language, it can suddenly make you see the world in fresh colours, and get a sense of the height and depth.

And one of the things that I find most demeaning and difficult about the flat screen world, where we’re having to live even more and more during this [pandemic], is that it is literally flattening everything out. We trip from one thing to another. We hardly take in the full resonance of a word, before we move on to the next one. And then you know, we’re scrolling on.

One person defined poetry as language slowed down. So if I’m going to prescribe you a medicine of good words — I’m going to also have to say to you take it slowly, a spoonful at a time. This is sweet medicine, so savour it and really rest your mind in the beauty of language.

It’s not that we don’t ever think about or confront violence or difficult things, and that sometimes we need the words that are adequate to that as well. But a great poet will bring words together in such a way that they bring you up short. And you suddenly have to think about something in a new way.

The Regent College event will also be streamed online.

Tapestry: flourishing

Tapestry members have gotten to know their neighbours in a not-for-profit housing project.

Faith Today magazine recently featured The Tapestry Church in Richmond, describing their creative efforts to love their neighbours, a not-for-profit housing project.

Here is a portion of the article.

Team leader Akiko Holz explains:

This whole ministry is about coming alongside and listening. We invited the not-for-profit who was building housing in our community to come to our church to share what they were doing.

We got to know them and asked what kind of support they might want. They welcomed our donations because they knew that the residents would appreciate them. So that’s how Flourish began.

We are the guest. We always respect we are visiting their space. I text the building manager first and ask permission. At the beginning we noticed there weren’t flowers or anything outside the building. We cleaned up outside, created gardens and dropped off goods from local bakeries.

It was just very simple. In this housing complex residents receive dinner. Breakfast is whatever they have on hand. We started donating cereal and other food for them.

Go here for the full story.

May 2022

Digital Evangelism 101 – May 26, 2022 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Harnessing Conflict for Change (two-day workshop) – May 26, 2022 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Raymond Tallis: The Houston Centre Presents – 'Why We're Not (Just) Beasts' – May 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
'Everything But the Closet' Sale – May 27, 2022 - May 28, 2022 at 12:00 am
Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation 2022 – May 27, 2022 - May 29, 2022 at All Day
Prayer Gathering, by 24-7 Prayer Canada – May 27, 2022 at 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Impact Conference – May 27, 2022 - May 28, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 2:00 pm
musica intima: NAGAMO (sings) – May 27, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Spring Fair at St. David's, Delta – May 28, 2022 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Lion's Gate Brass Quintet Ukraine Fundraiser – May 28, 2022 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Behold Israel – May 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Rise Above, with the Amabilis Singers – May 28, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Prayer Walk: Burnaby / Ridge Meadows / Abbotsford – May 29, 2022 - June 4, 2022 at All Day
Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir Concert – May 29, 2022 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Rejoice! A Performance with The Gallery Singers – May 29, 2022 at 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Royal Jubilee Proms Concert – May 29, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Malcolm Guite: A New Orientation – Insights from the Poets on What it Means to Turn to Christ – May 30, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – May 31, 2022 - June 1, 2022 at All Day

Jun 2022

The Artistic Process, with Malcolm Guite & Steve Bell – June 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Douglas Moo: The Never-Changing Word of God in Ever-Changing Modern English – Perspectives of a Translator – June 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Blessing of the Bicycles – June 2, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Nations2Nations Conference – June 3, 2022 - June 5, 2022 at 12:00 am
Business As Mission Conference 2022 – June 3, 2022 at 8:00 am - 4:15 pm
Refresh Your Leadership Luncheon – June 3, 2022 at 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Refugee Support and Volunteer Training – June 4, 2022 at 8:45 am - 3:00 pm
The Meaning of ‘Magdalene’: Mary the Tower – June 4, 2022 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Indigenous Realities in Canada, with Rev. Dr. Ray Aldred – June 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Karen Swallow Prior: The Evangelical Social Imaginary – the Images, Ideas & Metaphors that Made a Movement – June 6, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
City Impact Tour: Langley, Surrey & Abbotsford – June 7, 2022 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Krish Kandiah: Let Your Light Shine – Changing the Public Perception of the Christian Faith in Media & Politics – June 8, 2022 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Creative Mornings: Lance Odegard – June 8, 2022 at 8:15 am - 10:15 am
Alpha Masterclass Premiere with Pastor Dave Koop & Pastor James Fam – June 8, 2022 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Union Gospel Mission: Summer Connect – June 8, 2022 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Faculty Roundtable: Puritan Wisdom for Today – June 8, 2022 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Toast Talks – June 8, 2022 at 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm
Krish Kandiah: The Ukrainian Refugee Crisis – a Practical & Theological Response – June 8, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
SIMinar: ECWA Hospital Egbe, Rural Medicine Revitalization Project – June 9, 2022 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Mountaintop – June 9, 2022 - June 11, 2022 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The 55th Annual British Columbia Leadership Prayer Breakfast – June 10, 2022 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
WestCoast Miracle Healing Conference – June 10, 2022 - June 12, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Cleanest Day of the Year – June 11, 2022 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Artist Talk: Kate Miller at the Dal Schindell Gallery – June 13, 2022 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Kate Miller: Kaleidoscope – June 16, 2022 at All Day
New Roots Festival: Works in Process – June 16, 2022 - June 19, 2022 at All Day
City Impact Tour: Vancouver – June 16, 2022 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Where Are the Churches in China? And Why? – June 16, 2022 at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
A Slain Lamb Standing: Remembering The Future of Religion – June 16, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Implications of Bill C-4 on Families and the Church – June 16, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Welcome Home: Dessert Night for Neighbours of New Hope – June 16, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Nowheresville, BC by Chantal Gallant – June 16, 2022 - June 18, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Anton Dolfo-Smith: The Long Goodbye – Opening Reception – June 17, 2022 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Pathways to Reconciliation – June 18, 2022 at 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
A Concert for Peace: Fundraiser for Ukrainian Refugees – June 18, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
VOS 2022 Summer Concert: Our Heavenly Father《天父我神》 – June 18, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
World Refugee Sunday 2022 – June 19, 2022 at All Day
Juneteenth with Marcus Mosely Ensemble – June 19, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm
SIMinar: Explore Cote d'Ivoire – June 23, 2022 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Wolves are Coming for You – June 23, 2022 - June 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Worship Central Conference 2022 – June 24, 2022 - June 25, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Brandon Isaak & the Saints of Swing – June 24, 2022 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tax Clinic – June 25, 2022 at All Day
One With Them: A Day for Christian Captives – June 26, 2022 at All Day
KAIROS Blanket Exercise – June 26, 2022 at 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
AC Literary Expedition: Revelation – The End of the World as We Know it? – June 26, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Ron Rittgers: 'You Have Torn Away a Piece of My Heart': A Widower's Lament from the Christian Past – June 27, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Faculty Roundtable: Leading in Difficult Times – June 29, 2022 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Jeffrey Greenman: The Perverse Logic of Evil – Putin's War on Ukraine in Theological-Ethical Perspective – June 29, 2022 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
A Rocha Talks: Responding to the Groaning of Creation in a Changing Climate – June 30, 2022 at 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
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