Around Town: Water Bash, Restorative Justice, Extreme Weather, VST opening

Nine million people in Uganda do not have access to clean water.

Nine million people in Uganda do not have access to clean water.

“The Vancouver Water Bash is an event where we mobilize our community in Vancouver to transform communities on the other side of the world.” So says ACTS executive director, Nate Lepp as he prepares for their second annual event, next Tuesday (November 24) at Heritage Hall on Main Street.

Nine million people in Uganda don’t have access to clean drinking water, and Lepp leads a passionate group of Vancouverites who want to do something about it.

“Today, over 13,500 people in the communities of Bwirambere and Nkomero collect drinking water from streams or swamps, which inevitably makes them sick. At the Water Bash, our goal is to raise the support to change that.”

Nate Lepp is executive director of ACTS.

Nate Lepp is executive director of ACTS.

Harnessing gravity flow system technology, ACTS has provided access to clean water to more than 160,000 people over the past 22 years.

The 2015 Water Bash is especially important to ACTS because earlier this year the Canadian government changed its foreign aid policies; as a result Uganda is no longer eligible for funding. Almost $500,000 in funding has been cut, representing 40 percent of ACTS’ annual budget.

Nate Lepp says:

It’s an unexpected challenge for us. But it’s also a great opportunity to reimagine how we fund these life-changing projects. The Water Bash is an interactive and impactful way for everyone in Vancouver to be connected to our friends in Uganda, to make a massive difference, and to help bring clean, safe water to thousands.

The Vancouver Water Bash will be hosted by comedian Clifford Prang, with music by the Nelson Boschman Jazz Trio.

Restorative Justice Week / VOMP’s 25th

restorativejustice1 November 15 – 22 is Restorative Justice Week across Canada, and its theme resonates in the church. Consider its purpose, from the website of Correctional Service Canada:

Restorative justice is a philosophy and an approach that views crime and conflict as harm done to people and relationships. It is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, accountability of offenders and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities. The goal is to reach meaningful, satisfying and fair outcomes through inclusion, open communication and truth.

There has been considerable Christian participation in restorative justice over the years.

One great example is the Victim Offender Mediation Program, which is celebrating 25 years this year. Run by the Langley-based Community Justice Initiatives Association (CJI), it assists people affected by serious crimes in ways which benefit both victims and offenders. Though not a Christian program, it has benefited from the work of many Christians over the years, particularly from the Mennonite community. Congratulations, in particular, to CJI executive director Dave Gustafson, who developed VOMP and other related programs.

Also worth checking out are:

* M2/W2 Association, whose “vision is to reflect God’s restorative and inclusive love within the criminal justice system and wider society.” Based in Abbotsford, it has for many years run a prison mentorship program with those incarcerated in both federal and provincial institutions. M2/W2 is holding a volunteer training session this Saturday (November 21)

* The Roman Catholic Diocese of Vancouver is marking Restorative Justice Week by highlighting Catholic Charities Justice Services (CCJS), its prison ministry.

* The national Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC) is presenting a five-part infographic series to encourage the community to imagine a justice system that integrates restorative justice principles.
 
Extreme Weather Response Shelters

extremeweather1It’s good to see a number of churches and ministries providing Extreme Weather Response Shelters in various cities throughout Metro Vancouver:

* Abbotsford: Cyrus Centre, Centre of Hope (Salvation Army);
* Burnaby: Westminster Bible Chapel (Lookout), Burnaby Alliance Church (Lookout)
* Chilliwack: Ruth and Naomi Centre, Brigadier Arthur Cartmell House (Salvation Army), Cyrus Centre
* Langley: Gateway of Hope (Salvation Army)
* Maple Ridge: Caring Place (Salvation Army)
* Richmond: Richmond House (Salvation Army), St. Alban’s Inn From the Cold
* Surrey: Cloverdale Community Kitchen (Pacific Community Church), Legacy Church
* Tri-Cities: Coquitlam Alliance Church, Trinity United Church
* Vancouver: Belkin House (Salvation Army), Men’s Hostel (Catholic Charities), First Baptist Church, Harbour Light (Salvation Army), St. Mark’s
* White Rock: First United Church
 
The Salvation Army is certainly living up to its reputation! Other Extreme Weather Response Shelters are not connected to churches.

VST grand opening

vstnewbuildingVancouver School of Theology was actually able to move into its new home in late September, but the grand opening celebration was held just last weekend (November 14).

Principal Richard Topping said on his blog

This blessed place on Walter Gage Road is a locale for promise keeping. It is a place where significant and weighty matters take place. Lives are changed here through encounters with people and texts and teachers and scriptures.

Richard Topping

Richard Topping

Learning is a brave endeavor if you do it right; it involves what John Calvin called a ‘teachable spirit.’ That means laying your life open to God knows what, to listening and meditating and lingering, to welcoming otherness into your life.

All of that means you will be changed. Our hope and prayer is that this building becomes a place where people are porous to scripture and scholarship and example and pain and joy and most of all to the Holy Spirit so that no one leaves the way they came.

We don’t just want to lay out a few principles for people to consider at a dispassionate clinical distance; we are looking to form lives for service and ministry in this world to which God sent Jesus Christ. We are not doing safe autopsies on dead letters, we’re engaging with the living Word that challenges and changes and renews. We are a theo logical college.

The new building isn’t far from its old quarters on the UBC campus. Go here for some background regarding the move.

September 28, 2015

Speaking My Mind Toastmasters Club – September 28, 2015 - December 14, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

November 12, 2015

Dan Law: Visions from the Slash - Sculptural Meditations on Heaven & Hell – November 12, 2015 - November 19, 2015 at All Day

November 15, 2015

Restorative Justice Week 2015 – November 15, 2015 - November 22, 2015 at All Day

November 16, 2015

Samaritan's Purse National Collection Week – November 16, 2015 - November 22, 2015 at All Day

November 18, 2015

Christmas Shopping and Fireside Chats – November 18, 2015 - November 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

November 19, 2015

REconneXion – November 19, 2015 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Climate Conversations – November 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey – November 19, 2015 - November 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

November 20, 2015

Al Massira Training Event – November 20, 2015 - November 21, 2015 at All Day
Worship Central Conference: Tim Hughes, Christy Nockels and more – November 20, 2015 - November 21, 2015 at All Day
REconneXion – November 20, 2015 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Alexandra Maillor / Luca Fogale – November 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Vicki Thorn: What Makes Them Click - The Science of Human Attraction – November 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
White Rock Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship: Mike Zachman – November 20, 2015 - November 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim: Book Launch – November 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

November 21, 2015

M2/W2 Volunteer Training – November 21, 2015 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Restoration Saturday – November 21, 2015 at 9:15 am - 12:30 pm
Rev Dr Richard Topping: What's God Got to Do With It? - Theology for Non-theologians – November 21, 2015 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Christmas Shopping and Fireside Chats – November 21, 2015 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Prayer Canada: Official Retirement of Arne Bryan & Recognition of Kelvin Beckstead as New President – November 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Gloria Dei Chorale: Of Light and Love – November 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Hudson Taylor Legacy Series: Reaching the Hard Places – November 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Fauré Requiem: A Choral Masterpiece – November 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Christian Advocacy Society Celebration Dinner Banquet, with Dr. Margaret Somerville – November 21, 2015 at 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm

November 22, 2015

Vancouver Oratorio Society: Gloria & Sacred Choral Selections – November 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

November 23, 2015

Contemporary and Pentecostal Approaches to Biblical Texts – November 23, 2015 at All Day
Fauré Requiem: A Choral Masterpiece – November 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

November 24, 2015

Public Lecture Series: Competing Paradigms: Christianity and Naturalism – The Shroud of Turin (illustrated talk) – November 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Vancouver Water Bash – November 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

November 25, 2015

C2C Network Fall Celebration Banquet – November 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Climate Convergence – November 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thomas Merton on Art as Truth – November 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Lorraine Foster – November 25, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

November 27, 2015

Chapel North Shore – November 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chapel Vancouver – November 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Puttin' on the Ritz – November 27, 2015 - November 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Chapel Tri-Cities – November 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

November 28, 2015

Biblical Interpretation Course – November 28, 2015 at 8:00 am - 1:30 pm
Christmas Bazaar at St. Thomas – November 28, 2015 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Annual Christmas Bazaar – November 28, 2015 at 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Holly Bazaar – November 28, 2015 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra – November 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Fundraising Dinner for Eastside Story Guild & the Unistoten Healing Centre – November 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Give Love: An ADRA Canada Christmas Concert – November 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra – November 28, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Bridge Between: Stories of Samson, Delilah and the Unistoten Resistance – November 28, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

November 29, 2015

Online Video Advent Series with Dr. Darrell Johnson – November 29, 2015 at All Day
Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas with The Jerry Granelli Trio & The Coastal Sound Children's Choir – November 29, 2015 at All Day
Global Climate March – November 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Advent Carol Service – November 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Advent Lessons and Carols Service – November 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
God Wakes a World: Call to Prayer – November 29, 2015 at 6:15 pm - 9:15 pm
United in Prayer, United in Mission – November 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
A Caelestra Christmas – November 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Advent Vespers – November 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

November 30, 2015

City in Focus Awards Ceremony – November 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

December 1, 2015

Public Lecture Series: Competing Paradigms: Christianity and Naturalism – Modern Visions of Jesus – December 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

December 2, 2015

Christmas Artisan Fair – December 2, 2015 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Business By the Book Christmas Luncheon: Stockwell Day – December 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bev Ellis: Splendour of the Raw & Flawed - Opening Reception – December 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Mission Possible Gala – December 2, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Sandra Mae – December 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

December 3, 2015

Lilian Broca: Heroine of a Thousand Pieces - The Judith Mosaics of Lilian Broca – December 3, 2015 at All Day

December 4, 2015

Perogy Night in Vancouver – December 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saint James Music Academy Christmas Concert – December 4, 2015 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Climate Change and the Church: Faithful Responses to Global Warming – December 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm - 9:00 pm
Christmas for Kenya Concert – December 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Vancouver Chamber Choir: Christmas in the Orpheum - Renaissance, Baroque & Carols – December 4, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

December 5, 2015

Chor Leoni: All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 – December 5, 2015 at All Day
Fair Trade Fair – December 5, 2015 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
St. Stephen's Fall Fair – December 5, 2015 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Winter Treasures Marketplace – December 5, 2015 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
St. Christopher's Christmas Bazaar – December 5, 2015 at 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
St. Nicholas Fair – December 5, 2015 at 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Advent Art Exhibit and Jazz Vespers: Repeat, Repeat the Sounding Joy – December 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Firs Noel – December 5, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
With One Voice, a Winter Concert – December 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Coquitlam Chorale: A Child is Born – December 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Gloria Dei Chorale: Handel's Messiah – December 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

December 6, 2015

St. Faith's Christmas and Bake Sale – December 6, 2015 at 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Christmas with the Bach Choir – December 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Coquitlam Chorale: A Child is Born – December 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Winter Harp, with the Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir – December 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Christmas at the Chan – December 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Christmas Benefit Concert presented by L’Arche Greater Vancouver – December 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Ecumenical Advent Service – December 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mighty and Beautiful: A Christmas Jazz Vespers – December 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Music at Queen's: 18th Annual Carols & Bells – December 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Gloria Dei Chorale: Handel's Messiah – December 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

December 8, 2015

Public Lecture Series: Competing Paradigms: Christianity and Naturalism – The Future of Christianity and Naturalism – December 8, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Let the Bells Ring! North Shore Housing Centre and Shelter Fundraising Concert – December 8, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

December 9, 2015

Archie Spencer: The Future of Evangelical Theology – December 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
#Welcome Refugees: Town Hall Forum – December 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jubilee Christmas Tour: Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five – December 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Jaclyn Guillou – December 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

December 10, 2015

Bev Ellis: Splendour of the Raw & Flawed – December 10, 2015 - December 18, 2015 at All Day
Let There Be Light! – December 10, 2015 at 12:00 am
Timberline Country Christmas 2015 – December 10, 2015 - December 20, 2015 at All Day
A Christmas Carol – December 10, 2015 - December 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Many Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton – December 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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