Metro Vancouver Churches Addressing the City’s Heart
On Sunday, June 12th, churches across Metro Vancouver will address one of the great challenges of living in our region: social isolation.
The idea for One City, One Message came as a friendly but passionate challenge from Vancouver City Councilor Andrea Reimer during a panel discussion among civic leaders at the Vancouver Consultation’s City Summit in November 2016. Taking a cue from the Vancouver Public Library’s longstanding annual initiative “One City, One Book,” Reimer encouraged church leaders to use our moral authority to catalyze public conversations that matter by promoting an agreed-upon topic in our various congregations one Sunday each year.
Pastors and leaders at the Summit, and more at a follow-up meeting in February, embraced the suggestion as the first of numerous action items proceeding from the Consultation, selecting the following theme and tagline:
theme: Welcoming the Stranger
tagline: I was a stranger and you invited me in. (Matt. 25:35)
Welcoming the Stranger is a timely theme: research by the Vancouver Foundation in 2012 revealed that Vancouverites are experiencing a crisis of social isolation. Catholics will hear resonance with the Archdiocese’s strategic priority (#1B) of “Welcome Like We Mean It.” Pastors following the lectionary will note June 11th is Trinity Sunday. The topic of divine hospitality can go in many different directions – from settling refugees to sheltering the homeless to befriending the isolated elderly to peacemaking and reconciliation.
Participating in One City, One Message can take any form. For instance, you may decide to
- post the tagline on your church’s signage
- preach on a specific passage of scripture
- have parishioners share how they welcome the stranger or have been welcomed
- use one of the Welcoming the Stranger Bible Studies created by Dr Mark Glanville of Grandview Calvary Baptist church
- host a local “town hall” discussion or community potluck/BBQ
- get creative with your congregation’s already well-developed gift of divine hospitality or use the time to brainstorm together how to get better at it.
Much the power of One City, One Message comes from being seen as a collective effort. Let us know your church is participating. Then tell us how your community is welcoming the stranger; we want to share your stories at ChurchForVancouver.ca.
Participating Congegrations and Organizations
Anglican Network Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver
Crossroads United Church, Delta
Faith Community Christian Church, Vancouver
First Baptist Church, Vancouver
First Christian Reformed Church, Vancouver
First United Mennonite Church, Vancouver
Fleetwood Christian Reformed Church, Surrey
Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, Vancouver
Granville Chapel, Vancouver
Immanuel Church, Vancouver
Killarney Park Mennonite Brethren Church, Vancouver
Marineview Chapel, Vancouver
Roman Catholic Archdiocese, metro-wide
Sojourn Church, Vancouver
South Burnaby Church of Christ, Burnaby
Southside Community Church, Surrey and Burnaby
St Andrew’s Wesley United Church, Vancouver
Tenth Church, Vancouver
Union Gospel Mission, Vancouver
University Chapel, Vancouver
Urban Village Church, Vancouver
Vancouver Eastside Vineyard Church, Vancouver
Vancouver First Church of the Nazarene, Vancouver