Around Town: The Creator’s Sacrifice, HAW grants, Time in the Trees . . .

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Among the more creative online gatherings planned for this season is the Holy Week of Prayer:

The Vancouver DTES [Downtown Eastside] churches, in partnership with Jacob’s Well and 24-7 Prayer Vancouver, are hosting a Holy Week of prayer at Jacob’s Well, with a special focus on the Stations of the Cross.

Artists from the DTES churches contributed to this project, and we are blessed to also be guided into prayer through the artwork of The Creator’s Sacrifice, by Ovid Bighetty.

Go here for some background on First Nations artist Bighetty, who painted Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The Creator’s Sacrifice, a series of paintings depicting the Easter story – along with “some prayerful reflections from Indigenous elders on the pieces from The Creator’s Sacrifice. Contributors include Chaplain Lauren Sanders, Cheryl Bear, Joyce Robinson, Phoenix and Eun Jung Oh (in Korean).”

Catholics discouraged

Roman Catholic churches jumped into action when Dr. Bonnie Henry announce last week that they could hold indoor services on four days between March 28 and May 13 – and were discouraged when she revoked that modification March 29.

Upon hearing that indoor worship would be allowed, Archbishop Michael Miller immediately announced that Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, and Divine Mercy Sunday would be the indoor Masses.

A report in The B.C. Catholic noted:

Two hours after St. Joseph’s Parish in Langley opened registration for Holy Week and Divine Mercy Sunday services, all 525 available seats across 11 services were booked up. St. Matthew’s Parish in Surrey had at least 90 percent of its seats (representing an estimated 1,500 people across several locations and services) snatched up in 12 hours.

At St. Patrick’s in Vancouver, a congregation accustomed to participating in Mass by parking their cars outside the church and watching priests celebrate Mass on the concrete steps heard plans were being prepared to finally allow some of them back inside.

By March 29, all those plans were undone. . . .

Go here for the full story.

Continue online

By no means all churches had shifted so promptly to indoor gatherings; many were working on a continuation of Zoom meetings, combined with some outdoor and drive-through gatherings, for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Thus the quick reversal didn’t have quite the same impact on most Protestant churches. Here are a few of the current plans:

  • Broadway Church, Vancouver: online services
  • Artisan Church, Vancouver: online services (DTES churches Good Friday service)
  • First Baptist Church, Vancouver: online service
  • Johnston Heights Church, Surrey: online services; Easter Hunt drive-in
  • Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church: online services
  • Christian Life Assembly, Langley: online & drive-in services
  • Tenth Church, Vancouver: online services
  • Jericho Ridge Community Church, Surrey: online service; Drive In Gathering
  • Pacific Grace MB Church, Vancouver: online services
  • Simple Churches / Cap Church, North Vancouver: Good Friday walk, online services
  • St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Anglican Church, Vancouver: online services

Easter services will carry on; churches and Christians are resilient.

Homelessness Action Week grants

Homelessness Action Week itself doesn’t come around until mid-October, but applications for grants related to the week must be in by April 23.

Here is the overview:

Does your non-profit organization have innovative ideas to build the capacity of individuals and communities to raise awareness about and respond to issues of homelessness in Vancouver?

If so, you may be eligible for a Homelessness Action Week (HAW) grant and Supportive Housing grant.

Grants are intended to support Vancouver-based non-profit societies that want to host an event or do a project in Vancouver that keeps within the spirit of HAW and supports residents living in supportive housing.

For 2021, projects that are designed to directly respond to HAW goals in light of COVID-19 response, COVID-19 recovery or events aligned with current public health requirements will be considered.

Go here for more information and for eligibility criteria.

Time in the trees

Leah Kostamo, co-founder of A Rocha Canada, posted ‘Time in the trees is good for the soul’ on the Christ & Cascadia site March 25.

Here is how it begins:

I step off the northeast corner of our little farm and into a forest. It’s just a copse really; semi-trucks can be heard barrelling down the roads that border two sides of this small Eden in the midst of Surrey, British Columbia. But despite its diminutive size this woodland packs a biodiverse punch.

On my arboreal path I have encountered white tail deer, an American beaver, red-legged frogs, river otters, rough skinned newts and birds of copious variety from owls to warblers to heron flying in cruciform overhead. And then there are the trees – magnificent Douglas firs and towering western red cedars whose branches drape like shawls on the shoulders of giant women.

I spend time in this forest to fulfill a vow – a vow to map my place with my walking. To wake every day to the gratuitous wonders served up by the hand of a generous Creator. To breath in creation, and in that breathing find myself restored, recalibrated, more like the Christian I want to be – calm, centered, kind.

It sounds very Walden-Pond wonderful, doesn’t it? So much so that even I, an everyday forest walker, am tempted to roll my eyes and get on with my daily work of making the world a better place. Get on with the task of becoming more like Jesus. Yet the truth is: Time spent in nature can make us better people – and ultimately better influencers for good in the world.

While many who live in Cascadia recognize this as truth, there are no doubt skeptics among my readers as well. To them I contend that both science and Jesus back me up on the restorative power of nature. Studies have shown that walking in woods lowers the stress hormone cortisol in the brain, increases cerebral blood flow, strengthens immunity and improves overall mental health. Health benefits, I might add, that the same amount of walking on a treadmill do not confer.

Go here for the full reflection.

The vision of Christ & Cascadia is to be “A renewed and expanded presence of Christ followers in Cascadia, discovering purpose and identity in diverse, contextualized communities, reflecting the values, culture and dreams of their localities, discerning and engaging the deep needs of their people and dwelling in right relationship with their ecologies.”

Leah Kostamo lives with her family on Kingfisher Farm in Surrey, not far from A Rocha’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre, where she provides mentorship and spiritual direction to staff, visitors and interns. She is the author of Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community.

April 1, 2021

A Conversation with John Inazu – April 1, 2021 at 11:15 am - 1:30 pm

April 2, 2021

Clark Elliston: Work and Leisure in a Technological World – April 2, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

April 3, 2021

Pacific Theatre: Testament – April 3, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

April 8, 2021

Reading the Bible Right Now with Dr. Mariam Kobalishyn – April 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

April 9, 2021

Michael Mawson: Living in the Midst of Death: Theological Reflections on Aging and Technology – April 9, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

April 11, 2021

Kairos Course (Sunday evenings) – April 11, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

April 14, 2021

Al Massira Online Training Event (Wednesdays) – April 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Refugee Sponsorship: Building Friendships – April 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Addressing Grief + Loss in Community Programs – April 14, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Human Flourishing with Jaron Lanier – April 14, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

April 15, 2021

Addressing Grief + Loss in Community Programs – April 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

April 16, 2021

Communication(s) and Mission: Virtual Conference – April 16, 2021 at 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Brent Waters: Remaining Focused: Human Flourishing in the Emergent Techno-Culture – April 16, 2021 at 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Bill C-7 (MAiD): What Will Happen Now? – April 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

April 21, 2021

Mission Central: Church Leaders Roundtable – Refuge Reimagined with Mark and Luke Glanville – April 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

April 22, 2021

Beyond Housing to Homefulness: A Symposium (four Thursdays) – April 22, 2021 - May 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Understanding Our Muslim Neighbors – April 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

April 23, 2021

George Grant and the Nature (and Loss) of a Moral Tradition – April 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

April 24, 2021

Imprisoned for Christ – April 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

April 25, 2021

Good Seed Sunday, Delivered by A Rocha – April 25, 2021 at All Day
Al Massira Online Training Event (Sunday & Monday evenings) – April 25, 2021 - May 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

April 27, 2021

John Stott, Pastor, Leader and Friend: Global Overview of Stott’s Influence – April 27, 2021 at 8:00 am - 9:00 am

April 28, 2021

Reading the Gospels While Black: A Conversation with Esau McCaulley & N.T. Wright – April 28, 2021 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Who Will Determine the Course of Human Genome Editing? – April 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

April 30, 2021

Himalaya: A Drive-in Film Festival (two shows) – April 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm - 11:50 pm

May 1, 2021

When the Best is Corrupt: Strategies for Living in Integrity – May 1, 2021 at 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Perseverance Conference – May 1, 2021 at 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Himalaya: A Drive-in Film Festival – May 1, 2021 at 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm

May 3, 2021

God is for the Birds: Celebrating a Creation Care Champion – May 3, 2021 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

May 4, 2021

Our Whole Society: Free to Believe, Responsible to Act – May 4, 2021 at 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Every Moment Holy, Vol. 2: Death, Grief & Hope – May 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

May 5, 2021

Healing in Colour: Stories of Race, Faith & Mental Health – May 5, 2021 - June 11, 2021 at All Day

May 8, 2021

SIM 2021 Virtual Banquet: Changing Times, Unchanging God – May 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
SIM Banquet: Changing Times Unchanging God – May 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

May 12, 2021

Keeping an Open Heart in Troubled Times – May 12, 2021 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am

May 13, 2021

Sikhs: A Forgotten Community Among Us – May 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

May 16, 2021

AC Literary Expedition: Discussing Critical Race Theory – May 16, 2021 at 12:00 am
AC Literary Expedition: Discussing Critical Race Theory – May 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

May 25, 2021

Religion & Thoughtful Activism – May 25, 2021 - May 27, 2021 at 12:00 am
Religion & Thoughtful Activism Conference – May 25, 2021 - May 27, 2021 at 12:00 am

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