Around Town: St. Joan’s mother, church plants, Human Sexuality, Mission Central

I’ve never been quite sure how Joan of Arc became a saint. Lives of the Saints, for example, includes her life as one of their 365 daily readings, noting that while a young teenager she heard voices from God telling her to go to the King of France and help him reconquer his kingdom from the English. Many warriors have claimed that God was on their side.

But what is undeniable is that Joan was brave, stalwart and certain – which led to her being condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in 1431. And those qualities were eventually recognized. She was exonerated 25 years later, made a saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and is a patron saint of France.

An article in The New Encyclopedia of Christian Martyrs concludes that Joan “is honoured by the Church, not for winning military victories, or even because her visions were necessarily authentic, but because, being persuaded of the will of God for her life, she responded in faith and obedience to that will as she understood it.”

This rare combination of faith with strength of character gives life to Pacific Theatre’s new play, Mother of the Maid, directed by Kaitlin Williams. Here is how they introduce it:

Isabelle Arc knows what her teenage daughter Joan needs: discipline, a loving husband, and to stop communing with God. As Joan hurtles toward her destiny as the Maid of Orleans, Isabelle must care for the extraordinary child who belongs not just to her, but to all of France.

Are our destinies determined for us?

Anita Wittenberg and Shona Struthers in Mother of the Maid. Photo: Chelsey Stuyt

Shawn Conner interviewed actors Anita Wittenberg and Shona Struthers about playwright Jane Anderson’s work (which was described as “a triumphant blend of sharp sense and passionate sensibility.” in The New York Times). Here is a portion:

Q: In your research, what was the most surprising thing you found out about the real Joan?

Anita: Finding out just how horribly she was treated and how strong she was through that, and also how human. You think of her being a martyr but she did what she thought she was supposed to do then tried to escape. She wasn’t willingly going to be burnt. She kept herself so strong without any support, with no one to defend her. The details of how she was mistreated are deeply disturbing and shocking. And I never knew the extent of it.

Shona: Also, how self-assured she was, and how early she had her visions. She was 13 when she first had them, and she went off when she was 17. There were four years where she was building up this confidence and this power. And also, finding out how many people she visited and how many times she was rejected at first. And then still having the tenacity to say, No, I am this person, and I can do this thing that I’m saying I will do.

Go here for the full Province interview.

But as Pacific Theatre’s founding artistic director Ron Reed points out on Soul Food Vancouver, the play is largely about Joan’s mother:

It brings us the stirring and ultimately heart-breaking story of Joan herself, but the impact is deepened by focusing on the untold tale of her mother. It is as though Joan provides the strings for playwright Jane Anderson to play, but it’s Isabelle who serves as the body of the instrument, the resonating chamber that amplifies the sound and gives it richness and depth.

Go here for the full comment. Soul Food Vancouver also features an introduction to Jane Anderson, and a portion of her Vanity Fair interview, here.

Mother of the Maid runs from September 15 to October 5.

Three new churches

James Fam will pastor the Coastal Church Richmond Campus.

Three thriving churches are planting new churches this month. All have held meetings over the summer but are holding their official launch this week:

Tenth Church UBC Pt Grey

Tenth Church has been in existence since 1935, but has grown dramatically since lead pastor Ken Shigematsu joined in 1996. There are now seven services at four locations – Mount Pleasant, Kitsilano, East Vancouver and, as of September 8, UBC Pt Grey. Anthony and Michele Yackel are co-leading. Santa Ono, president of UBC, will speak at the church September 29.

Coastal Church Richmond Campus

Coastal Church is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – and planting a new church this Sunday (September 15). The Richmond Campus will join the home church in downtown Vancouver and three other locations – Commercial Drive, Crosstown (at the Cineplex Cinemas on Pender) and Pitt Meadows. Coastal’s pastor of campus development James Fam will be pastor for the Richmond Campus, which will meet at the Silvercity Riverport Cinemas.

Christ City Church East Vancouver

Christ City Church only started six years ago (with some significant help; it’s an interesting story), but it has already planted another church in Kitsilano (also birthed from a unique partnership) and will be launching Christ City Church East Vancouver this weekend. Jake LeFave is lead pastor; the church will meet at 2605 East Pender, two blocks east of Nanaimo.

Human Sexuality

A Sunday evening Human Sexuality Series focusing on ‘Following Jesus With Our Bodies: Conversations on Human Sexuality’ will take place over five weeks at three Burnaby Churches:

* Good Bodies, Good Sex</span
Date: September 15 | 7 pm
Facilitator: Pastor Mary-Lee Bouma
Location: New Westminster Christian Reformed Church

* Current Sexual Practices: pre- and post-marital sex, polyamory and dating
Date: September 22 | 7 pm
Facilitator: Pastor Mary-Lee Bouma
Location: New Life Community Church

* Gender Matters: homosexuality and transgender
Date: September 29 | 7 pm
Facilitator: Pastor Mary-Lee Bouma
Location: Nelson Ave Community Church

* Porn and the Kingdom of God
Date: October 6 | 7 pm
Facilitator: Pastor Mary-Lee Bouma
Location: New Westminster Christian Reformed Church

* Made in God’s Image: God’s intention for relationships and sexuality followed by personal stories of hope
Date: October 20 | 7 pm
Facilitator: Scott Neufeld, Journey Canada
Location: New Life Community Church

Mary-Lee Bouma is a pastor with the Christian Reformed Church and has worked with REED (Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity). She is a member of the Christian Reformed Committee to Articulate a Foundation-Laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality, which reports to the General Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Missions Fest to Mission Central

John Hall, executive director of Missions Fest – until this week – has released this announcement:

On September 7, 2019 members of the Missions Festival (Missions Fest) Society met together to vote to change the name of the Society from Missions Festival (Missions Fest) Society to Mission Central Christian Society.

Over the last several years our ministry has expanded beyond an annual conference. Today we provide year-round activities and resources which are better represented under the banner Mission Central.

Our vision remains unchanged – to inspire all Christians to find their place in Christ’s mission. In 2020 our annual discipleship and mission conference will still be called Missions Fest Vancouver. We will be developing a new conference name for 2021. In the future you may expect to see the conference and other events prefaced by “Mission Central presents.”

Hall would welcome any questions at jhall@missioncentral.ca.

September 13, 2019

MCC Festival for World Relief – September 13, 2019 - September 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm - 2:00 pm
An Evening With Malcolm Guite (An Inklings Institute of Canada Coffee House Event) – September 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Norm Strauss – September 13, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

September 14, 2019

Alzheimer Café – September 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Celtic Lasses Concert – September 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Faces of Dignity: Vancouver Art Showcase – September 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Peter La Grand EP Release Show – September 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

September 15, 2019

World Day of Migrants and Refugees Mass and Celebration – September 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Steve Bell Solo Concert – September 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 17, 2019

Deborah Stephan: Shellseekers Art & Soul Life Writing (4 evenings) – September 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

September 19, 2019

Freedom Session (series beginning at many local churches) – September 19, 2019 at All Day
Integrating Business, Life and Faith – September 19, 2019 at 6:30 am - 8:00 am
Bringing the Gospel to Mongolia, Tanzania & Ukraine – September 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 20, 2019

John Weston, former MP: General Voter Issues – What to Look For – September 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Modern Prophetic Tour with Shawn Bolz – September 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Matthew Bates: Book Launch & Three Public Lectures – September 20, 2019 - September 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 1:00 pm

September 21, 2019

GCMM Golf Tournament – September 21, 2019 at 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Courageous Christianity Conference – September 21, 2019 at 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
60th Annual Country Fair – September 21, 2019 at 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Reformed: Confessions of a Preacher's Kid – September 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Songstage with Ivan Boudreau – September 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

September 22, 2019

Taizé Contemplative Service – September 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Interdenominational Hymn Sing – September 22, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

September 23, 2019

"C.S. Lewis and the Jewish Imagination": An Inklings Institute Coffee House Event – September 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
ARPA Canada's Fall Tour: Politically Engaged Christians – Reclaiming Progress – September 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

September 24, 2019

Gracias Christmas Cantata – September 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

September 25, 2019

VST Chancellor's Dinner: Keynote Speaker Ray Aldred – September 25, 2019 at 5:15 pm - 8:00 pm

September 26, 2019

Journey with God Prayer Retreat – September 26, 2019 - September 28, 2019 at All Day
Webinar: How to be a more politically engaged, active citizen – September 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Modern Technology and the Diminishment of the Human – September 26, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Does Immigration Matter?: Douglas Todd – Is Unity Possible in a Metropolis of Enclaves? – September 26, 2019 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

September 27, 2019

Multiplying Authentic Disciples (video transmission) – September 27, 2019 - September 28, 2019 at All Day
Christian Workplace Kitsilano – September 27, 2019 at 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Global Climate Strike (at Christ Church / march from City Hall) – September 27, 2019 at 12:10 pm - 3:10 pm
Jim Byrnes – September 27, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

September 28, 2019

LifeWay Living Proof Simulcast – September 28, 2019 at 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Rummage Sale – September 28, 2019 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Mission Champions Orientation & Development – September 28, 2019 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
St. Agnes Community Day – September 28, 2019 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Walk the Wall Vancouver – September 28, 2019 at 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
By the Grace of God (VIFF) – September 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Christian Forum: Climate Crisis – September 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
DVD Meeting: Egyptian Chronology and the Bible – September 28, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Infinitely More: The Blessings Tour – September 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Federal Election and a Christian Conscience – September 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Early Music Vancouver: Le Concert Spirituel – Baroque Orchestra Suites featuring Jeanne Lamon – September 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Fort Night Comedy Presents Saturday Night Improv (two shows) – September 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Happy 22 Years Worship Invasion! – September 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Joan of Arc (VIFF) – September 28, 2019 at 9:00 pm - 11:15 pm

September 29, 2019

Infinitely More: The Blessings Tour – September 29, 2019 at 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Casting Crowns: Only Jesus Tour – September 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
A Hidden Life (VIFF) – September 29, 2019 at 8:45 pm - 11:30 pm

October 1, 2019

Church Renewal Round Table – October 1, 2019 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am
By the Grace of God (VIFF) – October 1, 2019 at 8:15 pm - 11:30 pm

October 2, 2019

EFC Webinar: Things Change! Reviewing Your Charitable Purposes & Activities – October 2, 2019 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Mission Pastors Roundtable: Martha Stewart Style or Jesus Style Hospitality – October 2, 2019 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Pastor Luncheon by Answers in Genesis Canada – October 2, 2019 at 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Joan of Arc (VIFF) – October 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Tapas & Table Talk: a Guided Conversation with Dr. Kent Anderson – October 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Water for Life Initiative – October 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Alpha @ Fairview (Wednesday evenings) – October 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Bursting Your Bubble Training: Integrating Business, Life & Faith – October 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Newman: a Saint for Our Times – Panel on the Life & Thought of Cardinal Newman – October 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 3, 2019

Karina Svalya: On the Sixth Day – October 3, 2019 - October 9, 2019 at All Day
Mother of the Maid by Jane Anderson – October 3, 2019 - October 5, 2019 at All Day
Federal Election Debate from a Catholic Perspective – October 3, 2019 at 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Bursting Your Bubble Training: Integrating Business, Life & Faith – October 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Speaking Against the Systemic Oppression of Uyghur Muslims – October 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Water for Life Initiative – October 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

October 4, 2019

Hope for the Future: Gen Z in Our City, with Shaila Visser (Alpha Canada) – October 4, 2019 at 7:15 am - 8:30 am
Leverage Leadership Summit Tsawwassen – October 4, 2019 - October 5, 2019 at 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Holy Spirit in the Now Conference – October 4, 2019 - October 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Marcus Mosely Ensemble – October 4, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

October 5, 2019

Ride for Refuge – October 5, 2019 at 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Blanket Exercise – October 5, 2019 at 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Of Games and God: Thinking Critically About God, Faith, Video Games & Gaming Culture – October 5, 2019 at 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Seminar with Iain Provan – October 5, 2019 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Connecting with God: A Half-Day Retreat – October 5, 2019 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Life, Together: Strengthening Our Small Group Gatherings – October 5, 2019 at 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
Empowering Family Caregivers EXPO – October 5, 2019 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Michael Park: Music for Your Soul – October 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Harriet (VIFF) – October 5, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Lennon Wall & Rally – October 5, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
St. John the Evangelist Café Church: Peter Haigh, North Shore Rescue Team – October 5, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Taste of Cambodia: a Film and Food Experience – October 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Evening of Hope (Villages of Hope Africa) – October 5, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

October 6, 2019

Pray for Our Political Leaders – October 6, 2019 at All Day
The Two Popes (VIFF) – October 6, 2019 at 2:30 am - 4:30 am
Vancouver Life Chain – October 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Blessing of the Animals – October 6, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

October 7, 2019

The Two Popes (VIFF) – October 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Memorial Service for those who have died recently in Hong Kong – October 7, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 9, 2019

Metro Vancouver LeaderImpact Forum with Don Van Meer – October 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
All Candidates Meeting – October 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 10, 2019

Langley / Surrey LeaderImpact Forum with Don Van Meer – October 10, 2019 at 7:00 am - 9:00 am
South Surrey Christian Women's Annual Fall Fair Banquet – October 10, 2019 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Pipe Organ & Politics: All Candidate Debate – October 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

October 11, 2019

True Girl: Pajama Party Tour 2019 – October 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Cathy Peters: Anti-Child Sex-Trafficking – October 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Eisenhauers – October 11, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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