The Vancouver City Summit

November 24 – 25, 2016

This two-day City Summit was an invitation-only gathering of 90+ senior clergy and leaders representing a very wide range of denominations, ministries and other Christian groups.

The City Summit was not a conference. It was a space for exploring what God is doing in our city – encountering local signs of Christ’s Kingdom – and for prayerfully discerning how the Holy Spirit is inviting us to join in God’s work by cooperating with each other and with people of good will, so that we become catalysts for shalom in our neighbourhoods and city.

Download the Executive Summary of Consensus Priorities and Next Steps from the Summit.


8:00       Registration (coffee/tea)
8:30       Indigenous Protocol & Welcome: Rennie Nahanee, Squamish Nation, Archdiocese of Vancouver
8:40       Welcome & Introduction to the Summit
9:00       Civic Leaders Roundtable: Hope for the City

  • Andrea Reimer, Vancouver City Councilor
  • Deb Bryant, CEO of Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC
  • John Neate, Owner of JJ Bean Coffee Houses
  • Q&A from Bakke, Smith, Dickau & audience

10:30      Glenn Smith: Pluralism, Secularity, and the Shaping of Canadian Urban Places, Q&A
11:15      Tim Dickau: Spiritual Formation within the Social Space of Vancouver, Q&A
12:00      Table Talk Lunch in small groups for moderated discussion of the morning’s topics
1:30       Jonathan Bird: Vancouver demographics and trends; summary of the Consultation’s Focus Groups
2:00       Signs of Hope: short talks by champions on key topics and signs of hope
3:30       Break
3:45       Worship & prayer
4:15       Ray Bakke: global & historical contexts for Vancouver as ideal laboratory for urban mission and theology
5:00       Adjourn


8:30       Ray Bakke : Orientation to site tours and Ministry Model Matrix
9:30       Site tours: small groups visit one site, with two organizations presenting at each
12:00     Groups debrief over lunch back at Glad Tidings
1:00       Break Out Session 1: “From the perspective of the Church as a whole in Vancouver, how can we most bless the city   given what you know about your own ministry context and what we’ve heard the last two days?”
1:45       Break Out Session 2: “What are the major barriers to the Church blessing the city in these ways?”
2:30       Break
3:00       Panel: brief final observations and exhortations from Bakke, Smith, and Dickau
3:30       Group consensus about next steps: “Given the pattern that we see in your individual responses, what would be ways to support and encourage you and your group as you move forward? What does it mean to do this together?
4:40       Worship and prayer
5:00       Adjourn

City Leaders Roundtable: Deb Bryant, CEO, Assn of Neighbourhood Houses of BC

Thursday, June 16th, 4:00 – 5:00pm
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, 6470 Victoria Dr
RSVP through Eventbrite

Several of the focus groups of pastors and Christian ministry executives we conducted during January and February pointed to their local neighbourhood house as a sign of hope which churches would do well to emulate or partner with. A Neighbourhood House is a “welcoming place where everyone, all ages, nationalities and abilities can attend, participate, belong, lead and learn through programs, services and community building.” Seven of the eleven Houses in Vancouver, plus an outdoor centre near Buntzen Lake, reside under the umbrella of The Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, one of the oldest charities in the province. (There are four more independent Houses in Burnaby and North Vancouver.)

In our Roundtable with Deb Bryant, CEO of the ANHBC, we will

  • get an overview of the association’s history, values and range of services
  • hear Deb’s hopes and heartache for the city
  • discuss how congregations might work with local Houses on community initiatives.

Although the mainstream neighbourhood/settlement house movement is secular, Christian social reformers played vital roles in launching it in England, the US, and Canada during the late 1800s to help the rural and foreign poor who were migrating to cities in search of work. The movement strongly impacted social policy and urban development in the first half of the Twentieth Century (see brief histories here and here). And its influence can be seen today among Christian missions such as Catholic Worker Houses and the New Monastics.

A Catholic-Protestant Conversation: Seeking Unity in Our Common Faith in Christ

One of the signs of hope in Vancouver is the way the Holy Spirit is helping Catholics and Protestants to find inspiration and insight in each others traditions. From monastic spiritual disciplines to the Alpha Course, from a sacramental view of the cosmos to charismatic worship, from Catholic teaching on social justice to Protestant “missional” parish renewal – we are learning the joy of following Jesus together in a culture increasingly antagonistic to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

To explore this, we held a free public panel discussion at Coastal Church on March 1st, 2016 for people who wonder if it is possible to bridge the Protestant – Catholic divide and are curious about what difference that could make for their life of faith and for the mission of Jesus in metro Vancouver.

The session featured Dr Brett Salkeld of the Archdiocese of Regina, Dr Jeff Greenman of Regent College, and Dr Ray Bakke of Bakke Associates.