Around Town: UGM Grants, Lent Devotional, Black History Month . . .

UGM’s Transforming Communities Grants help churches as they answer God’s call to care for their neighbours

Union Gospel Mission is again offering Transforming Communities Grants – “leveraging local congregations to better serve their neighbourhoods.”

Leslie Rosenau-Lai, Church Relations Advisor at UGM, wrote:

Congregations are acutely aware of needs in their community. As they seek to answer God’s call to care for their neighbours, this grant can help start, expand or stabilize supportive programs.

Building on the success of the previous three years, Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is again providing financial and technical support to additional congregations that partner with them to grow and replicate the good work around the city.

If your church is looking for resources to address poverty, homelessness and addiction in your neighbourhood, please apply here.

Following are two stories of how this last grant cycle has helped Metro Vancouver churches to take their part in transforming their communities.

    • Church on Five

The grant was used to assist this church in Richmond, which has seen the second greatest increase in homelessness across Metro Vancouver; it is part of the Richmond Food Aid Delivery Coalition.

This grant, in part, allows an outreach worker to deliver hot meals to 70 or more people around the most hidden parts of the city, six nights of the week. One story of that impact can be seen here.

    • Raphael House

In Langley, Southgate Church brings support behind the great work at Raphael House. They are a neighbourhood house which provides multiple supports to the community, including food security issues for over 280 families every week, often new immigrants to Canada.

One family said this: “I want to say thank you very much for everything, this year 2023 has been wonderful for me because your support work is important for my family and me. You are a great support at this time that we are in a different country with different cultures, but you make us feel like family.”

For the 2024 grant cycle, UGM anticipates partnering with up to 15 congregations which care for underserved neighbourhoods. They will also prioritize denominational and ethnic diversity. The three categories are: Small Grants (up to $2,500), Capacity Grants (up to $10,000) and Growth Grants (up to $20,000).

UGM Devotional

Last week I noted that Union Gospel Mission has again created a Lent Devotional (covering February 14 – March 30, which they are sharing freely, both online and in print. Go here to read a PDF version, or if you would like any free copies, email: [email protected]

The devotional is a rich collection, introduced by author/scholar Mark Buchanan, and with daily offerings from a diverse set of local authors, including:

  • Thomas Cooper, City in Focus
  • Cheryl McManus, Associate Director, CityReach Care Society
  • Laura Solberg, Executive Director of Kentro Christian Network
  • Craig O’Brien, Pastor and Chaplain at Origin Church at UBC
  • Andrea Perrett, church planter, works at Centre for
    Missional Leadership, St. Andrew’s Hall
  • and many others, including several UGM staff

Here Is what UGM says:

Each year, UGM’s Church Relations creates a beautiful daily devotional guide through the Lenten season and distributes it for free to local churches. This year’s theme is centred on Acts 16 and is called: Finding Freedom: The World Turned Upside Down.

This is a part of our support of the local church – and our gift to you! The guide includes stories, reflections and prayers all written by pastors, ministry workers, and community members.

This offers a creative way to minister to your congregation and community – it can be used in small groups, Sunday services, your personal devotions or to connect with neighbours and colleagues.

If you would like any free copies, email: [email protected]

Black History Month

A number of events will mark Black History Month this year:

  • Ghislain Brown-Kossi: UMOJABLACK

Trinity Western University is presenting Ghislain Brown-Kossi’s new exhibition UMOJABLACK.

Trinity Western University is hosting numerous events and activities “that honour the rich and diverse heritage of Black people and their contributions to our society” throughout February. One key feature is Ghislain Brown-Kossi’s new exhibition UMOJABLACK, on display at the SAMC Gallery February 15 – March 26.

Here is a portion of the write-up:

Brown-Kossi’s research-intensive art features symbols that appear as early as prehistoric times engraved in rock surfaces. Many of the symbols in his work have roots in African languages and cultures that pre-date Latin and English.

By drawing attention to the often unacknowledged African influences that undergird visual and symbolic language globally, Brown-Kossi challenges Eurocentric aesthetic and symbolic conventions, bringing focus to formative African contributions to global visual culture.

Keep all the connections alive by Ghislain Brown-Kossi.

“My aim is to interact and communicate with people from different cultures through my art, to arouse their curiosity and to encourage them to consider the links we share as humans,” Brown-Kossi said. “I want the audience to look, see and discover these links for themselves and to feel the joy of connecting with others through my work.”

Born in France with roots in the Ivory Coast and currently living in Vancouver, Brown-Kossi grapples with the potential for painting to transcend linguistic and cultural barriers.

Through the lens of his own transcultural upbringing, Brown-Kossi’s paintings draw together diverse visual influences from his career in design and fashion, the visual language of pop art and hard-edge abstraction, and suggestions of geography and mapping. A grid of raised symbols overlay each of Brown-Kossi’s graphic paintings. Some recognizable, others obscure, these symbols form a familiar, but indecipherable language.

Go here for the full presentation and here for all TWU Black History Month events.

  • Shaka Fonderson: Beyond the Game

Shaka Fonderson

Lululemon in Surrey will host Take Space: Celebrating the Miracle of Enduring Black Joy, February 21.

Shaka Fonderson, owner and founder of Beyond the Game, will be one of the presenters:

“Sports are a means to the end, not the end in itself.” Beyond The Game is a mindset. It is the mindset that all athletes, regardless of level or age, must have: At the end of the day, when we step off the field of play, we have skills that will take us beyond the confines of the game.

Transferrable skills are so important in life and, for athletes, there is no better teacher than their sport. None bigger than leadership. Leadership is a trait that can be taught, practiced, and honed. We are leaders in developing leaders.

Fonderson, who is also Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Legacy Church of the Nazarene, was featured in a September 24, 2023 CBC News story: ‘Youth find purpose, mentorship in Surrey mentorship program.’

  • Jazz Evensongs

Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Burnaby hosts Jazz Evensongs every Wednesday night. During February the shows will all be related to Black History Month.

The first one has passed; still to come are:

  • February 14: Marcus Mosely & Michael Creber with the reflections by Chris Wong
  • February 21: Phyllis Adelyne & Don Hardy
  • February 28: Dutch Robinson & the Marcos Flo Group
  • Black History Night Gospel Music

Emblaze Ministries is inviting everyone to a Gospel Night at Sonrise Church in Surrey February 17: “We’re combining the celebration of Black History Month with a mission to support orphans and widows in Ethiopia.” For more details and to confirm attendance contact [email protected]

Feb 2024

Body Prayer with Ingrid Hauss – February 10, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with the Diane Lines Quartet – February 11, 2024 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Jesus Christ Superstar Sing-along – February 11, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Gloria Wong: sik teng mm sik gong (pardon my chinese) – February 14, 2024 at All Day
Kentro Webinar: Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing – Nice to Have or Need to Have? – February 14, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Christopher Watkin: The Bible as a Tool for Changing Culture – February 14, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Movie Showing: The Great Debaters – February 14, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Marcus Mosely & Michael Creber with the reflection by Chris Wong – February 14, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Black History Month: Ghislain Brown-Kossi’s new exhibition UMOJABLACK – February 15, 2024 - March 26, 2024 at 12:00 am
Mission Fest Vancouver 2024 – February 15, 2024 - February 17, 2024 at All Day
Tax Clinic – February 15, 2024 - April 30, 2024 at All Day
Tax Program – February 15, 2024 - April 30, 2024 at All Day
The Chosen: Season 4 – February 15, 2024 - March 10, 2024 at 12:00 am
Salvation Army Gateway of Hope Tax Clinic – February 15, 2024 - December 30, 2025 at 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
The Craft of Spirit: BC Liturgical Textiles – February 15, 2024 - March 31, 2024 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Discern: Recognizing God's Presence – February 15, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
UMODJABLACK: Art Exhibition Opening – February 15, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
CHILD-ish – February 16, 2024 - March 9, 2024 at All Day
Black History Month Festival of Praise – February 16, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Canadian L'Abri Lecture Series (Friday evenings) – February 16, 2024 - March 22, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
TobyMac Hits Deep Tour – February 16, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Loreto Aramendi : The Virtuoso Organist Returns – February 16, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
God & Sex: Gospel Conversations on Gender, Identity & Sexuality – February 17, 2024 - February 18, 2024 at All Day
Bible Saturday: Jesse Nickel: A Revolutionary Jesus – Violence and Peacemaking in the Kingdom of God – February 17, 2024 at 9:30 am - 11:45 am
Workshop with Loreto Aramendi In collaboration with the Vancouver Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists – February 17, 2024 at 10:30 am - 11:45 am
Loreto Aramendi : The Virtuoso Organist – February 17, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Empowered to Influence: Lunch and Learn (4 Sundays) – February 18, 2024 - May 26, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Vocational Discernment Mini-Course (4 Sunday afternoons) – February 18, 2024 - March 10, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Taizé Contemplative Service – February 18, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Advance Summit – February 20, 2024 - February 22, 2024 at 5:00 pm - 12:00 pm
Reading the Psalms: a Lenten series (4 events) – February 20, 2024 - March 19, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Why Catholics Need Literature – February 20, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Alpha Canada: Come & See – February 21, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Art for Peace, Shalom, Salam (Wednesday evenings) – February 21, 2024 - March 6, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Phyllis Adelyne & Don Hardy – February 21, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Marketplace Mornings: Everything You Want Is Not Enough with Jeff Mayhew – February 22, 2024 at 7:00 am - 8:30 am
Prayer Ministry and the Weekend – February 22, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Serve Our Schools Network – February 22, 2024 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Prayer & Fasting Gathering: Loving Muslims Together Network – February 23, 2024 at All Day
North Shore Night of Worship – February 23, 2024 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: A Tribute to Nina Simone – February 23, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Suzie Ungerleider & Veda Hille – February 23, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year 2024 – February 24, 2024 at All Day
The Long, Long Night of Hope – February 24, 2024 at All Day
Bridges: Christians Connecting With Muslims (6 Saturday mornings) – February 24, 2024 - March 30, 2024 at 7:00 am - 9:00 am
iParent | Navigating the World Our Kids Live In with Dr. Dave Currie – February 24, 2024 at 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
GO 2024 Missions Conference – February 24, 2024 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cross Cultural Ministry Training (three gatherings) – February 24, 2024 - October 19, 2024 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
The Prophetic Vision of Bishop Remi De Roo: A Symposium – February 24, 2024 at 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Tomorrowland: How to Understand and Navigate Artificial Intelligence from a Biblical Perspective – February 24, 2024 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Inspired Arts Missions Fundraiser Gala | Photographic Journey Through Israel – February 24, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
My Cousin's Wedding – February 24, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Black History Month Service – February 25, 2024 at 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Jazz Vespers with Joelle Lush – February 25, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Colin Linden – February 25, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jonathan Anderson: The (In)visibility of Theology in Contemporary Art – February 26, 2024 at 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Let's Talk About: Women in Ministry – February 26, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ron Dart: Reading George MacDonald’s Lilith with Dante – February 26, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Contemplative Ecology with Dr. Jason M. Brown – February 27, 2024 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Black History Month Richmond Social – February 28, 2024 at 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Dr. Hans Boersma: Love – Why God's Most Appropriate Name is Creation's Deepest Ground – February 28, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong @ Brentwood: Dutch Robinson & the Marcus Flo Group – February 28, 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Business as Mission Leadership Lunch – February 29, 2024 at 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Vulnerable & Fierce Fundraising Dinner – February 29, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Papal Visit 2022: The Catholic Church and the Four Steps of Reconciliation – February 29, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Paul Nedelisky: Can Science Show Us the Good? – February 29, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Speed Dating: Christian Singles (Ages 27-47) – February 29, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
All of Life Interview with Dr. Arnold Sikkema – February 29, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Mar 2024

Apologetics Canada Conference 2024: Can I Trust the Bible? – March 1, 2024 - March 2, 2024 at All Day
Business As Mission Vancouver Conference 2024 – March 1, 2024 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
March Art & Prayer Retreat – March 1, 2024 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Black History Month Closing Celebration Concert – March 1, 2024 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
G. Peter Kaye Lectures: Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa: The Listening Society: Religion, Music & Democracy in Resonance (2 events) – March 1, 2024 - March 2, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Our Lady of Good Counsel Tax Clinic – March 2, 2024 - April 28, 2024 at 12:00 am
Peace Portal Alliance Church Tax Clinic – March 2, 2024 - May 30, 2024 at All Day
Re-imaging the Church Choir – March 2, 2024 at 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Books & Bistro – March 2, 2024 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Spring Small Business Fair – March 2, 2024 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Trace Bundy's Acoustic Spring – March 2, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:45 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley with The Ruby Lane Organ Trio – March 3, 2024 at 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
The Laing Lectures: George Yancey – Christian Racial Reconciliation – March 5, 2024 - March 7, 2024 at 12:00 am
Kentro Webinar: Applying Violence and Harassment Legislation in a Practical Way? – March 5, 2024 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Imagination Retreat – March 6, 2024 at 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Listening to Indigenous Voices (Wednesday evenings) – March 6, 2024 - June 12, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Vulnerable & Fierce Fundraising Dinner – March 7, 2024 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
March Art & Prayer Retreat – March 8, 2024 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Understanding Abuse Training – March 8, 2024 - March 10, 2024 at 1:00 pm - 12:30 pm
A Music Night with Jon Bryant: Fundraiser for Jacob's Well – March 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
North Lonsdale United Church: Worship Concert Fundraiser – March 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
ReFrame Dance Production – March 8, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Tenth Tax Help – March 9, 2024 - June 29, 2024 at All Day
Business As Mission Breakfast – March 9, 2024 at 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Co-creating Plausible Futures for the Canadian Church – March 9, 2024 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Abendmusik Vesper Choir: Lent 2024 Vespers – March 10, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
My Little Plastic Jesus – March 10, 2024 - March 15, 2024 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Church Redevelopment and Reconciliation: An Indigenous and Settler Perspective – March 12, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Reimagining Church, Land & Community – March 12, 2024 - March 13, 2024 at 7:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Abigail Favale: Examining the Sources of Gender – Why Sexual Difference Matters – March 13, 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
  

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