Around Town: Reimagining, Blessed is the Spot, Bible Saturday: Darrell Johnson

Melaney Gleeson-Lyall welcomed the 150 participants on behalf of the Musqueam Nation. Photo: John Carr

How should we use our church properties? The opportunity to consider that issue drew 150 people together March 12 – 13 at First Christian Reformed Church of Vancouver. A rich combination of story-telling, expert advice and round-table discussions meant that participants left with plenty to think about.

Rosa Warkentin told the first story, describing some exciting potential developments at Neighbourhood Church (formerly Southside) in the densely populated Edmonds area of Burnaby. She said a major multi-storey project will likely take the place of the aging church building.

Their church has bought the adjacent property and may acquire two others. Affordable housing, an arts centre and an enhanced neighbourhood hub are all envisioned. The church has a long history of focusing on the neighbourhood; they offer public showers, a food pantry, community dinners and health care from their neighbourhood hub.

Rebecca Pousette, Director of Strategy and Operations for Co:Here Housing, described how Grandview Church’s parking lot at 1st and Victoria was transformed into a four-storey, 26 unit building housing 36 residents. Co:Here, originally developed from the church, now “provides not-for-profit development consulting services to faith-based organizations seeking to unlock the latent affordable housing potential in their land assets.”

Jamie Braund, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army in British Columbia, said the group has asked itself questions about what to do with some of its property – should they sell? move? do nothing? He acknowledged that doing nothing has often been the answer in the midst of all their ministry. But they are now contemplating a couple of large projects, one on the Island and one in White Rock.

Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle between Lisa Helps and Michael Guenter. Photo: John Carr

Several experts offered advice as well, including Lisa Helps, Executive Lead for BC Builds (much in the news lately related to its plans to provide housing for middle income households), Nicholas Lai, retired Senior Planner for the City of Surrey, and Michael Guenter, Vice President, Development at Concert Properties and Board Chair of Co:Here Foundation.

Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle, who took part in one panel, said, “I feel so at home” in this intersection of faith and housing. She encouraged faith communities to:

  • reach out to city planning staff;
  • also to neighbours, “so you have allies and supporters in the neighbourhood”;
  • work with non-profit housing developers: “Don’t sell off; that land never comes back.”

She remembered very positively a situation where members of Grandview Church turned up to support a new housing development which was facing opposition, despite the fact that they were not directly involved: “This is us living into where we are meant to be, it’s faithful public witness.”

David Ley, second from left, leading one of the round-table discussions.

David Ley, an urban geographer and author of several influential books such as Housing Booms in Gateway Cities (Wiley, 2023), said, “I just want to say how inspiring it is to hear what churches are doing in the city and beyond.”

Citing passages from Isaiah and Micah, he said Judeo-Christian scriptures do say something about the kind of ethic that ought to inform building policy – one which focuses on the poor and needy, widows and orphans.

Tim Dickau, Director of CityGate Vancouver, was a key organizer of the gathering. He said:

The highlight for me of the conference was the energy with which church and denominational leaders engaged in collaborative dialogue with people from so many different sectors – government, planning, development, architecture, research – around potential paths for better utilizing and developing underutilized church lands.

I believe that the energy came in part by the Spirit-led words of Adrian Jacobs and Jason McKinney on the first night of the gathering by which we were challenged to recover a treaty orientation to each other and the land fitting a theological vision of sharing God’s earth – this vision of “holding” rather than “having” or “possessing” the land. I hope that churches will be proactive in stewarding the land and buildings by joining in this conversation.

Jacobs, a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario, is a senior leader for Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation with the Christian Reformed Church in Canada. McKinney is an Anglican priest working with a team of researchers exploring new models of theological education through Tyndale University in Toronto.

This report is briefer than it should be, but I have come directly home from the gathering to finish off my weekly update. However, there will be ways to follow up. A video of the proceedings will be up on the CityGate site in the next couple of weeks, and I’m sure Tim would be happy to hear from anyone who finds themselves inspired, or at least intrigued, by what they see. There will be more meetings on these issues across the nation over the next few years.

Blessed is the Spot

Ned Vankevich, Jef Gibbons and Tara Martin; photo by David Clements.

A documentary which highlights a blending of Indigenous wisdom and science will premiere next Monday (March 18). The Martin Conservation Decisions Lab at UBC posted this announcement:

We are thrilled to announce the premiere of the documentary, “Blessed is the Spot: The Wounding and Healing of the Garry Oak Ecocultural Landscape,” directed by TWU Associate Professor of Media + Communication, Ned Vankevich, in partnership with Professor of Biology, David Clements, and with filming and post-production by Jef and Becca Gibbons.

Centred on the Garry oak ecosystems on Vancouver Island, the theme of the documentary is that native wisdom and contemporary science can work together to understand and preserve this invaluable ecocultural landscape.

Presented by Trinity Western’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture together with the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, this event will feature a panel discussion with esteemed guests including a Vancouver Island Cowichan Elder, an Indigenous scholar, scientists engaged in studying and protecting the unique Garry oak ecosystems, and filmmakers Ned Vankevich and Jef Gibbons.

Panelists include: Robert George (Cowichan First Nation Elder), Dr. Jennifer Grenz (Indigenous Ecology Lab, UBC Faculty of Forestry), Dr. Tara Martin (UBC Faculty of Forestry), Genevieve Singleton (Nature Interpreter, Duncan, BC), Dr. David Clements (Department of Biology, TWU), Jef Gibbons (School of the Arts, Media + Culture, TWU), and Dr. Ned Vankevich (School of the Arts, Media + Culture, TWU).

Filmed in three main locations – the Cowichan Garry Oak Reserve, the Crow’s Nest Ecological Research Area on Salt Spring Island, and the islet Tara took us to by boat – this documentary promises to be an enlightening and captivating exploration of the Garry Oak Ecocultural Landscape.

The event will be held in the evening at the DeVries Centre on the TWU campus.

Another environmentally-oriented event will take place on the TWU campus Saturday morning (March 16). ‘Climate change, eco-dread & Christian wisdom: a crisis in search of a hope-filled perspective’ will be held at Northwest Seminary & College, and online. 

Bible Saturday: Darrell Johnson

Darrell Johnson will speak on John 17 at Regent Bookstore’s Bible Saturday.

We’re fortunate to have widely known and respected author/speaker Darrell Johnson as a fellow resident in Metro Vancouver. This weekend will offer a great opportunity to benefit from him in person. The Regent Bookstore will be hosting him for their Bible Saturday gathering Saturday morning (March 16).

He will speak on John 17 and resting in Jesus’s intercessory prayer for us:

In chapter 17 of his gospel, the Apostle John records for us the prayer Jesus prayed in the presence of his disciples the night before he went to the cross. Many have called this chapter “the Holy of Holies,” for in it the Son of God opens his heart to his Father. Jesus’s prayer for us is his invitation to find rest in the midst of the unrest of our time.

Darrell Johnson is a Teaching Fellow and former full-time faculty member at Regent College. He has authored eight books, including The Glory of Preaching and Discipleship on the Edge: An Expository Journey Through Revelation. He currently serves as a pastor at The Way Church and Canadian Church Leaders Network. Learn more at www.darrelljohnson.ca.

Darrell and his wife Sharon have been married for over 50 years. Together they have raised four children adopted from four different countries of the world, and now enjoy loving 11 active grandchildren.

Don’t forget to check out Regent Bookstore, which has an excellent selection.

Mar 2024

Black History Month: Ghislain Brown-Kossi’s new exhibition UMOJABLACK – March 7, 2024 - March 26, 2024 at 12:00 am
Canadian L'Abri Lecture Series (Friday evenings) – March 8, 2024 - March 22, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
My Little Plastic Jesus – March 10, 2024 - March 15, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – March 12, 2024 - March 23, 2024 at All Day
Kentro Webinar: Anti-Racism From a Jesus-Centred Perspective Part 1 – Terminology 101 – March 14, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Brandon Lake: Tear the Roof Off Tour – March 14, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Speed Dating: Christian Singles (Ages 34-55) – March 14, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Opening to Compassion Ignatian Retreat – March 15, 2024 - March 17, 2024 at All Day
River Spring Conference (with Marc Dupont) – March 15, 2024 - March 17, 2024 at All Day
Climate change, eco-dread & Christian wisdom: a crisis in search of a hope-filled perspective – March 16, 2024 at 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Bible Saturday: Darrell Johnson – Resting in Jesus's Intercession (John 17) – March 16, 2024 at 9:30 am - 11:45 am
MAID Seminar – March 16, 2024 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Neil Osborne – March 16, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with Nick Apivor & Friends – March 17, 2024 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Say Yes: a Liturgy of Not Giving Up on Yourself – March 17, 2024 - March 18, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Premiere: Blessed is the Spot: The Wounding and Healing of the Garry Oak Ecocultural Landscape – March 18, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
What is Prayer? – March 20, 2024 at 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Dr. Chad Bauman: Anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary India – March 20, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Jillian Lebeck & Friends – March 20, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Céilidh – March 21, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Planetary Health: Protecting and Sustaining the Well-being of our Ecosystems – March 22, 2024 - March 23, 2024 at All Day
Public Talk & Retreat on Thomas Merton – March 22, 2024 - March 23, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Thomas Merton, Hermann Hesse and the Israel-Palestinian War – March 22, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Miles Black Trio – March 22, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Easteravaganza – March 23, 2024 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Selections from St John Passion, BWV 245 and St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 , Johann Sebastian Bach – March 23, 2024 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Haydn's 7 Last Words of Christ - An Easter Concert – March 24, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Taizé Contemplative Service – March 24, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The 7 Last Words Of Christ – March 24, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thinking Through the Arts (three events) – March 25, 2024 - March 26, 2024 at All Day
Thinking Through Music & Fashion – March 25, 2024 at 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Town Hall to Discuss Bill S-210 with MP Garnett Genuis, MP Arnold Viersen & Frm – March 25, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Thinking Through the Arts: Conherence & Wholeness in Music – March 25, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thinking Through the Visual Arts – March 26, 2024 at 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Bringing Hope To Newcomers & Refugees in Canada – March 26, 2024 at 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Moral Machines: Social Values, Technology & Critical Constructivism – March 26, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Kentro Webinar: Time to Take a Stand – March 27, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Speed Dating: Christian Singles (Ages 27 - 44) – March 27, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
'Working for Beauty' by Dr. David Henderson – March 27, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Sam Ellington Quartet – March 27, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Free Documentary Screening Online: The Story of Euthanasia – March 28, 2024 - March 31, 2024 at All Day
The Craft of Spirit: BC Liturgical Textiles – March 28, 2024 - March 31, 2024 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Seven Words, Composed & Performed by Jonathan Saunders – March 28, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Prayer & Fasting Gathering: Loving Muslims Together Network – March 29, 2024 at All Day
Good Friday @ CLA: Churches of Langley (2 services) – March 29, 2024 at 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Good Friday Art Exhibit – March 29, 2024 at 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Bridges: Christians Connecting With Muslims – March 30, 2024 at 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage (4 stops in Vancouver) – March 30, 2024 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Bach St John Passion – March 30, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Worship Invasion Loves Easter! – March 30, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Jazz Vespers with Marcus Mosely – March 31, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Apr 2024

Abigail Favale: Examining the Sources of Gender – Why Sexual Difference Matters – April 3, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Linda Szentes & Jazzlinks – April 3, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The Inklings Institute of Canada hosts a table-reading event of Dorothy L. Sayers’ Easter play, 'The King Comes to His Own' – April 4, 2024 at 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Canadian Regional Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS) gatherings – April 5, 2024 at 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Art Installation and Artist Talks at Tapestry Mundy Park – April 5, 2024 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Pacific Life Bible College Annual Fundraising Dinner – April 5, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Brian Doerksen: The 'Come, Now is the Time to Worship' Tour – April 5, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mercy Me: Always Only Jesus Tour 2024 – April 5, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Book Launch: Improvising Church, by Mark Glanville – April 5, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
O Let Me Rise and Sing: TWU Choral Concert 2024 – April 5, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
TWU Chamber Choir and Masterworks Chorus Concert – April 5, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Kym Gouchie Trio – April 5, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Emotions Education 101 – April 6, 2024 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Columbia Bible College Presidential Installation Service – April 6, 2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
PCMA Spring Fundraiser Concert – April 6, 2024 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
TWU Chamber Choir and Masterworks Chorus Concert – April 6, 2024 at 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Help. Thanks. Wow: A Benefit Night for Pacific Theatre – April 6, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sweet Sounds on Sussex with Michael Friedman & Kerry Galloway – April 6, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with the Inlet Jazz Band – April 7, 2024 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
With Them | A Ukraine Documentary Showing – April 7, 2024 at 6:45 pm - 9:00 pm
Exodus & Beyond: A celebration and symposium in honour of Larry Perkins – April 8, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Book Launch: Incarnational Humanism (2nd Edition) by Jens Zimmerman – April 9, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Awakening to my Neighbourhood: an evening of sharing stories and practices – April 9, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
5th Annual Charity Scotch Tasting Reception – April 10, 2024 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Jazz + Renaissance Night – April 10, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Gabriel Hasselbach & Friends – April 10, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Peace Portal Alliance Church Tax Clinic – April 11, 2024 - April 30, 2024 at All Day
Tax Clinic – April 11, 2024 - April 30, 2024 at All Day
Tax Program – April 11, 2024 - April 30, 2024 at All Day
Tenth Tax Help – April 11, 2024 - June 29, 2024 at All Day
The Trip to Bountiful – April 11, 2024 - April 14, 2024 at All Day
Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life – April 11, 2024 - April 13, 2024 at All Day
Salvation Army Gateway of Hope Tax Clinic – April 11, 2024 - December 31, 2024 at 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Kentro Webinar: Elephant Hunting – April 11, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Speed Dating: Christian Singles (Ages 27-44) – April 11, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mental Health First Aid: Supporting Youth – April 12, 2024 - April 13, 2024 at 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Created for Connection: Hold Me Tight® for Christian Couples (2 Saturdays) – April 13, 2024 - April 20, 2024 at 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Service of Lamentation for the Victims of the Opioid Crisis – April 14, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Bruce Hindmarsh: Holy Club 2.0 – Early Methodism in the Young George Whitefield’s Diary, 1735–36 – April 15, 2024 at 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Loaves and Fishes: Vancouver's Hidden Helpers – April 17, 2024 - June 7, 2024 at All Day
Loaves and Fishes: Vancouver's Hidden Helpers – Presentation / Reception – April 17, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Listening to Indigenous Voices (Wednesday evenings) – April 17, 2024 - June 12, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Nancy Newman & Friends – April 17, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Big Picture – April 18, 2024 - April 20, 2024 at 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Paul Stevens: Book Launch & Lecture – What I Have Learned About the Faith & Work Connection – April 18, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Brentwood Katz, with Rhian Walker – April 19, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
1Life Foundations Conference: Called to Lead –stewardship, leadership & the generosity of God – April 20, 2024 at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Together for Good Marriage Workshop – April 20, 2024 at 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Earth Day Event – April 20, 2024 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  

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