Around Town: Rising Eagle, Maple Ridge homeless, John Conway . . .

Churches in the Tri-Cities area are supporting an initiative which draws inspiration from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), July 7 at Lafarge Lake Amphitheatre in Coquitlam.

The Rising Eagle Reconciliation Concert “will include apologies, speeches [Kenny Blacksmith], celebrations, music [Art Lucier and the Reviver Band, with special guest Brian Houston from Belfast] and dance.”

Associate pastor Anena Simpson of Hillside Community Church and president of Rising Eagle is behind the free event. She says:

We want to use the marker of Canada’s 150th birthday to acknowledge the past and to celebrate the work of reconciliation that has been done to date, including the apology of the federal government, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the many actions and efforts of many others. This is the time to reflect on our past, celebrate the progress we have made as well as to strive toward a more inclusive reconciliation for our future. . . .

This event began with God dropping the idea into my heart.

It is my people, my Christian tribe, who committed massacres, murders, segregation, child abductions, abuse, theft and cultural genocide. Some of my ancestors in the faith perpetuated these crimes, others watched in silence and indifference. We failed as humans, and more profoundly we failed as followers of the way of Jesus. This is not His way. . . .

As a pastor in the Tri-Cities, I am inviting all pastors, church leaders and Christians to join me in apologizing to the First People of this land. In ourselves we don`t even have the right to apologize for what we have done. But there was a Son who died for our sins, and on the basis of his sacrifice and his provision for forgiveness, we seek forgiveness. . . .

It is my hope that this concert and apology will be more than a gesture. It will be a step towards a new relationship between the church and the First People – one that is based in honour and respect for the First People of this land.

I know we have a long way to go. But one step at a time, we can continue to move forward in expressions and acts of reconciliation. I believe that in so doing the people and the land will be healed and God will hear our prayers.

Anena Simpson of Hillside Community Church initiated the Rising Eagle Concert.

Stephen Quinn interviewed Simpson June 27 on CBC Radio’s Early Edition. Asked about reaction from the churches, she said:

When I spoke to the ministerial, I saw some were very interested right away. I saw others weren’t as interested, but I see that we’re going to all be on this journey together, of awakening, and I saw that many of them are stepping up.

I spoke recently to one pastor who said, “I think I’d better move this up to the front burner from the back burner.” And then he said, “Well actually, it’s not even on my back burner.”

There’s so many that this important matter is not even on the back burner. We’re trying to get it all the way up to the front burner – and we’re having a great response.

For the full interview go here.

Homeless in Maple Ridge

There appears to be a temporary lull in the turmoil and polarization over a tent city in Maple Ridge. A June 28 CKNW AM980 report noted:

Residents of a controversial tent city in Maple Ridge have earned a temporary reprieve as the city presses “pause” on a pending injunction.

The city had served the camp, known as ‘Anita’s Place,’ with a notice of injunction at the end of May, and was due back in court for a two-day hearing on Wednesday and Thursday.

But it now says that hearing has been adjourned after campers agreed to “stabilize the situation in the camp,” and work towards voluntarily moving out. . . .

Pressure has been building on the homeless issue in Maple Ridge for several years now, with campers forced out of another tent city on Cliff Avenue in 2015, and subsequent heated public meetings over the establishment of a temporary shelter.

A June 28 report in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News noted that ‘everyone [is] waiting for Victoria to stabilize”:

The citizens committee that had the difficult job of trying to find a place for a homeless shelter and supportive housing complex in Maple Ridge has made its case to the new New Democratic MLAs, Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare.

It was encouraging to see a June 21 article in The Abbotsford News about the response of some Maple Ridge Christians:

After a few nights at the Anita Place Tent City, Bradley Christianson-Barker and Nathan Sands agree – the time spent there was quieter than many a night Golden Ears Provincial Park campground.

They didn’t see, for those few days at least, drug-fueled rages, fights, mayhem or chaos.

Christianson-Barker is pastor at the Open Door Church in Maple Ridge and Sands is one of the congregation. Both spent Saturday to Tuesday at the camp, hunkered down in their tents, in the mud beside the Haney Bypass in an attempt to show support to those staying there. . . .

Religious convictions meld with political perspectives.

“The early church took people in and cared for one another. It was a true community. This is what the early church would like,” the pastor said.

He wants his small church, with its few resources, to do more and plans on returning to the tent city.

“These are the people that Jesus talked about,” Sands said.

Larger churches in Maple Ridge with land, money and power, should speak out as well, he added, and help where they can.

For the full interview go here.

Remembering John Conway

John Conway played a significant role with UBC, Regent College, the Anglican Church and beyond.

I well remember John Conway from my first year at UBC (1970), striding around campus in his long black academic gown – no doubt adopted during his days at Cambridge. It was a brave nod toward tradition in those anti-establishment times. I enjoyed his history course that year, and ran into him from time to time over the years at various events.

So I was sorry when I heard that he passed away June 23. His interests were broad and humanitarian; he influenced many people. He will be missed.

Here is a portion of Regent College’s remembrance:

Dr. Conway taught in the University of British Columbia’s department of history for nearly 40 years, specializing in the study of the German church during the Nazi era. He authored numerous publications, including The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933-45, one of the seminal books on the topic. Dr. Conway is remembered by generations of students as an engaging and challenging teacher who fostered independent thought.

Dr. Conway contributed richly to Regent College’s community life, serving as a guest lecturer, friend and mentor. . . .

Born and raised in London, England, John Conway was conscripted into the British army in 1948. He first learned German while posted to the Intel branch in Austria, near the Russian line. He was excused from service six months early due to his admission to Cambridge. . . .

After teaching for two years in Manitoba, Dr. Conway took a position in the Department of History and International Relations at UBC, where he taught full-time until his retirement in 1995. . . .

For the full comment go here. A requiem mass was held at his home church, St. James Anglican, June 28. More information on his life is available in the obituary.

Jun 2017

Eastside Story Guild: Women at War – June 29, 2017 - June 30, 2017 at All Day
Vancouver International Jazz Festival: Jazz Vespers at St. Andrew's-Wesley – June 29, 2017 - July 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea – June 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Jul 2017

Lamenting Canada's 150 Years of Colonization – July 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Voices Together 2017 – July 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Canada 150 Parade: Russ Rosen & Band – July 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Athletes in Action: Tsawwassen Alliance Church Soccer Camp – July 3, 2017 at 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Athletes in Action: Richmond Baptist Church Soccer Camp – July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty – July 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Krish Kandiah: Spirit of Adoption – The Forgotten Gospel Treasure – July 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Business By the Book: Neil & Sharol Josephson – July 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Formation and Vocation: Christian Spirituality as it Relates to Vocation – July 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
In the Garden: Beauty Bears Witness - Opening Reception – July 5, 2017 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Soong-Chan Rah: Prophetic Lament – Moving from Triumphalism to Truth – July 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Choir of Christ's College, Cambridge – July 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Scorsese's Silence and the Revelation of God – July 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Annual Merton Lecture: Western Monastics Look East – July 6, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Watoto Choir free concert – July 6, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Problem Child – July 6, 2017 - July 8, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Rising Eagle Reconciliation Concert – July 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Watoto Choir free concert – July 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge – July 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Carolyn Arends & Christopher Hall: John 17 - Praying Like Jesus (Summer Prayer Retreat) – July 8, 2017 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Earthkeepers: Clean Up New Brighton Park – July 8, 2017 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Watoto Choir free concert – July 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Kickers Soccer Camp – July 10, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
New Christian Reformers and the Jews – July 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Susan Phillips: Retrieving the Ancient Practice of Spiritual Direction in an Age of Self-help – July 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ashley John Moyse: The Art of Living for a Technological Age – July 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Rikk Watts: Steve Jobs, Jony Ive and the Gospel – Reading Mark with Leading Edge Designers – July 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
BC Christian Ashram Retreat – July 14, 2017 - July 16, 2017 at All Day
The Small Glories – July 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Athletes in Action: Richmond Baptist Church Multi-Sport Camp – July 17, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
FLO Summer Soccer Camp 2017 – July 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin: The Bible in the Modern Artistic Imagination – July 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Loren Wilkinson: Imago Mundi Poetry Reading – July 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Prospera Valley Granfondo – July 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Malcolm Guite: The Truth's Superb Surprise – How Poetry Can Open Your Eyes and Deepen Your Thought – July 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
In the Garden: Beauty Bears Witness – July 20, 2017 - August 4, 2017 at All Day
Yaletown Art Seen – July 20, 2017 - September 4, 2017 at All Day
Prospera Valley Granfondo – July 20, 2017 at 10:00 am - 6:30 pm
Songs & Sonnets: An evening of music and poetry with Steve Bell & Malcolm Guite – July 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Film & Faith Evening: Luther – July 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Marjorie Suchocki: Does God Go to the Movies? – July 21, 2017 - July 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm
David Ley: Postmodern Urban Spaces - A City Tour – July 22, 2017 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Christian Music Concert: The Day of the Lord – July 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lunchtime Concert: The Exquisitrio – July 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Mark Noll: Martin Luther and the Dilemmas of Sola Scriptura – July 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Mark Noll & Paul Pearce: Assessing the State of the Church in Canada – July 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Scot McKnight & Dennis Venema: Adam and the Genome – Rethinking the 'Historical' Adam – July 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Film Screening: Between a Shoe and the Roof – July 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
2017 Summer Conference – July 28, 2017 - July 30, 2017 at All Day
Pause for Perspective: Deepening Our Awareness of God – July 28, 2017 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
REED Summer Film Fest – July 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Regen: Nathan Betts – July 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ezra Kwizera – July 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Pacific Coast Gospel Music Festival 2017 – July 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Armi Grano & Miles Black Trio – July 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: LJ Mounteney Quartet – July 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lunchtime Concert: Asher Graieg-Morrison – July 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Jeffrey Greenman: Lived Faith – the Challenge of Christian Ethics – July 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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2 comments for “Around Town: Rising Eagle, Maple Ridge homeless, John Conway . . .

  1. It is really disappointing that in reporting on the homeless camp in Maple Ridge, there was no effort to record or present the voices and perspectives of the homeless people who live there, or those who have been organizing there from the beginning.

    As usual, we only hear from the main stream media and church folks who occasionally drop in to promote their street cred. The hegemony of white patriarchal power continues to operate; the voices of those with power and privilege are the only ones that count. Colonialism is alive and well, and the church is happy to play along.

    • Legitimate points. I have noticed the important work by Ivan Drury, yourself and others. Thank you for that, and I’m sure you’re right that it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

      I suppose the main reason I missed out the voices from the street is that I post four stories each week, which means that I rarely interview anyone, mainly relying on published reports – especially in the ‘Around Town’ column. Not adequate, but the best I can do.

      I don’t apologize for focusing on the church. On the one hand, I like to point to examples of Christians who are trying to work for the good of the community – as an example for the rest of us. On the other, I think the good works of church people often get overlooked, even within the church (something just noted in the new Angus Reid poll), so I like to point them out.

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