UBC’s board of governors announced August 11 that Santa Ono has been appointed to a second five-year term as president and vice-chancellor. On the 20th, Vancouver School of Theology principal Richard Topping interviewed him on issues related to leadership and faith.
Following is the portion where Topping asked Ono about his faith:
RT: The other question I had is that you’re a person of faith. You said when you first arrived at UBC that you are not a stealth Christian, but someone who feels free to exercise your faith in public and live out its implications in public. How has your faith helped you, during the current circumstances, both personally and in your work as a leader?
SO: I’m very fortunate that the number of opportunities to engage have increased during my several years here at UBC. Many of those places where I attend church are now virtual. I still attend them whenever I can, on a Sunday.
For example, the past couple of Sundays I’ve tuned in remotely to Tenth Church; they have a presence at UBC, as you know. It’s a virtual presence right now, but it’s just as important as being able to go to Tenth, face-to-face with Ken Shigematsu or someone else.
This has been difficult; managing an institution of this size, with this much transition, this much uncertainty; it weighs on me and the leadership of this institution. I’m sure you and leaders at all post-secondary institutions are under quite a bit of duress – not only because of the challenge, but also because of the financial impact of the pandemic and having to navigate that.
So for me, that time with the Lord, with a community, even though it’s virtual, is critical to renewing my belief in humanity, in energizing me for another week and for giving me perspective.
I think that one of the beauties of Christianity is that you learn through the life of Christ that everyone suffers, including Jesus. All of us need each other to sometimes carry us through difficult times. So for me, that’s why my faith is so critically important, especially in difficult times such as this.
Particularly on Santa Ono’s mind right now is the “integrated renewal of our systems, which is supposed to happen on November 2nd . . . . it’s a gigantic initiative that we’re involved in – I pray every night that it will go well.” He concluded by asking God to bless VST.
I have posted several stories about Santa Ono, including one shortly before he took office.
A new role
The Homelessness Services Association of BC (HSABC) has chosen the director of Catholic Charities Shelter Services as its new board chair. Scott Small has taken over from founding chairperson Randy Benson.
The B.C. Catholic recently posted an article about Small’s new role with HSABC:
“It’s a nod to the Church from others outside of the Church, understanding we have a history. We have a tradition of not only being associated or affiliated with the poor, but in being with the poor in a way that is meaningful, measurable and not always obtainable through other agencies,” said Small.
For more than a dozen years Small has served at the 102-bed Catholic Charities Men’s Hostel, which has been offering 90-day stays, meals and other supports for homeless men in Vancouver’s downtown core for 60 years.
His connection to the HSABC stems from before the agency was created. The HSABC has its roots in two organizations, Shelter Net B.C. and the Greater Vancouver Shelter Strategy . . .
The HSABC runs homeless counts across the province (in collaboration with the BC Non-Profit Housing Association) and offers training for volunteers and staff, including courses on managing hostile interactions, how to de-escalate conflict, understanding mental health and addiction, and self-care.
Go here for the full story.
St. Paul’s sold
This happened while I was taking a break, but it needs to be mentioned. The Vancouver Sun posted a story about it August 12:
The St. Paul’s Hospital site on Burrard Street in Downtown Vancouver has been sold for nearly $1 billion to developer Concord Pacific.
Providence Health Care, which operates the hospital, says the money will be put toward the construction of the new St. Paul’s Hospital and other facilities at the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, which is expected to open in 2026 next to the Via Rail station.
The current hospital will continue to operate until the new hospital is operational.
Providence says its spending will be the largest non-governmental contribution to a capital health-care project in B.C. and, likely, Canada.
St. Paul’s Foundation has committed to raising $125 million for the new $1.9-billion hospital, with $75 million of that coming from a 2017 donation from B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison. The provincial government is spending $1.158 billion on the project, while the rest will come from proceeds of the Burrard land sale.
Go here for the full story.
The Providence Health Care website says it has been providing “compassionate care for over a century.”:
Providence Health Care’s commitment to serving those most in need began 125 years ago when the Sisters of Providence came to Vancouver and opened St. Paul’s Hospital, a 25-bed “cottage” on the path to English Bay.
Now operating 17 sites, Providence Health Care is a health and wellness resource for families, patients and residents from all parts of British Columbia.
Providence Health Care was formed in 2000 through the consolidation of CHARA Health Care Society, Holy Family Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital, and is now one of the largest Catholic health care organizations in Canada.
Providence sites include two acute care hospitals, five residential care homes, an assisted living residence, a rehabilitation centre, seven community dialysis units, a hospice, an addictions clinic and a youth health clinic.
Go here for more about Providence Health Care.
Heritage Vancouver tweeted August 14: “St. Paul’s Hospital site sells for almost $1B – what will the future hold for the historic Burrard Building (1912, 1930s)?”
It takes this position:
Heritage Vancouver supports the commitment by Providence Health Care and the Province for an extensive public process to determine the future of the existing St. Paul’s site.
During the recent studies for the hospital’s future, the potential loss of St. Paul’s from its historic location has been of great concern to many, and community groups such as “Save St. Paul’s Hospital” were formed to keep the hospital in the West End. The new public process may lead to some health-care and/or community uses remaining on site and these might be accommodated in the Burrard Building.
Therefore Heritage Vancouver urges that the maintenance, retention, seismic upgrading and restoration of the historic Burrard Building be included in the planning process for the future use of the existing St. Paul’s site.
The new St. Paul’s on Station Street just east of Main is expected to be completed in 2026.
September 1, 2020Season of Creation – September 1, 2020 - October 4, 2020 at All Day
September 17, 2020Journey With God Prayer Retreat – September 17, 2020 - September 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 5:00 pm
September 18, 2020CIFF 2020 (Virtual) Film Festival – September 18, 2020 - September 19, 2020 at All Day
The Convergence: An Ishmael and Isaac Reunion – September 18, 2020 - September 20, 2020 at All Day
September 19, 20208th Annual Hope Run for H2O – September 19, 2020 - September 26, 2020 at All Day
MCC Festival for World Relief – September 19, 2020 - September 20, 2020 at All Day
September 21, 2020Human Sexuality and Christian Ethics Discussion Series – September 21, 2020 - November 23, 2020 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
September 22, 2020Into the Neighbourhood: Practicing Hospitality, Patience & Mutuality – September 22, 2020 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
September 23, 2020Ideas that Matter: Embodying God's Justice – September 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
September 24, 2020First United Housing Fall Cleanup – September 24, 2020 - September 25, 2020 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
September 25, 2020UBC Chapel: Online – September 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
September 26, 2020Altitude: The Ride for Himalayan Life – September 26, 2020 - September 27, 2020 at All Day
Walk the Wall – September 26, 2020 at 12:00 am
Ending Poverty Together Workshop – September 26, 2020 at 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Great Commission 2020 Golf Tournament – September 26, 2020 at 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
September 27, 2020Abbotsford Neighbourhood Prayer Walk – September 27, 2020 - October 3, 2020 at All Day
The Gathering: A Virtual Event – September 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Awaken BC: Arise and Seek the Lord – September 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
September 28, 2020Cross the Line: Extending Christ’s Welcome in a Divided World – September 28, 2020 - October 2, 2020 at All Day
Ideas that Matter: The Black Experience in Biblical Interpretation – September 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Interface: A Scientist's Journey from Atheism to Faith – September 28, 2020 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
September 29, 2020Journey Canada Webinar: Relationships, Sexuality & Identity – September 29, 2020 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
A Shared Table: Food, Culture & Identity, by Flavours of Hope – September 29, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
September 30, 2020Canadian Society of Church History Book Launch: After the Revival – September 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
October 1, 2020A Rocha Talks: Alone in a World of Wounds – Living with Ecological Grief – October 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dr. Sy Garte: A Sense of Wonder – the Long Journey of a Scientist to Faith – October 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
October 2, 2020Elevate Conference – October 2, 2020 - October 3, 2020 at 6:15 pm - 4:00 pm
October 3, 2020Ride for Refuge: Journey Home – October 3, 2020 at All Day
Ride for Refuge: Kinbrace – October 3, 2020 at All Day
October 4, 2020Vancouver Life Chain – October 4, 2020 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
October 6, 2020Postponed: The Gospel & Our Cities Conference, with Tim Keller – October 6, 2020 - October 7, 2020 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
October 8, 2020Christian Schools Canada Virtual Conference 2020 – October 8, 2020 at 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
October 15, 2020The Global Leadership Summit – October 15, 2020 - October 16, 2020 at 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Kairos Online Western Canada (Thursday evenings) – October 15, 2020 - December 10, 2020 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Somerville Lecture: Artist James He Qi – October 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
October 16, 2020Change Conference 2020: Free Online Canadian Youth Conference – October 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
The Unchained Gospel Heart for Asia Youth Celebration – October 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm