Pastoral Letter to our Family (Spring, 2021)

Publish Date

Dear VCBC Family,

The first half of 2021 has been a very slow, mundane, but hopeful time for our church family thus far. We have been through the trough of COVID case numbers in BC, and we have experienced the blues of physical distancing in our church life. However, we are grateful that God has continued to be gracious to us throughout this journey. Just as we are excited to see the provincial efforts in restarting life in the “new normal,” our church community is also working on preparations and plans for our gradual re-opening in a cautious, yet optimistic manner. As such, we would like to provide you with a recap on what we have experienced together in the past season at VCBC:

Continuation of our Ministries
We want to extend our appreciation to everyone who devoted time and energy to uphold our core ministries during the pandemic. From the preparation of Zoom casting for Sunday Services to the provision of nurturing, prayer, fellowship, and children’s programs, the volunteers and leaders have been vital in continuing our mandate to make disciples and to nurture the different demographics in our community. At the same time, we are still in need of others who may join our ranks to serve alongside our community and to experience the joys of exercising their gifts and talents for God. We hope to get in touch with you to find an area of ministry that you may feel passionate in!

Young Adults Forum
We had an opportunity in May to invite the young adults from our church community to have a chance of dialogue. From the forum, we not only listened to their concerns and challenges in their faith or in staying connected with VCBC, but we also received useful feedback on how we may better serve this community moving forward, especially when we return to in-person gatherings. Given the successes of this opportunity, we hope to host another forum in the near future to discuss and brainstorm on some possible initiatives to empower and serve our young adult generation.

Intergeneration-Eats (IG-Eats)
Since March, we have launched multiple monthly rounds of intergenerational eats with members from our community. Through the mingling and engagement over a meal, participants from different generations were able to get to know one another more in a casual and warm environment. Those who have participated found the event to be very positive and helpful. We hope to provide more avenues and more opportunities for intergeneration interactions in the coming months.

Total Growth Discipleship Program
Thanks to Pastor Paul and others who supported the weekly TG meetings, we had recently completed a very successful 27-week discipleship program. Those who attended the Total Growth Program praised the support and nurturing it provided in their faith walk. We look forward to let the fruits of their growth make an impact in the participants’ lives as well as those in their circle of influences.

Joint Service with UVC
Through the blessings of technology, we had the privilege to engage in a virtual joint service with Urban Village Church on Pentecost Sunday. We were glad to serve alongside brothers and sisters from a church community with close ties to us and had Pastor Dan Louie reminded us about the importance of taking on God’s challenge and responding to the Spirit. With a kingdom vision in mind, we look forward to other opportunities to partner with other churches in the city in the future.

Looking Ahead This Summer
With the end of the school year and the summer approaching, VCBC is shifting to a different rhythm to best serve our community. With the support from our Children Ministry leaders, our annual VBS program will be made available virtually again this year to serve children from VCBC and beyond. Thus far, over 100 children have registered for the 5 full day program which will happen from July 26-30. We are still open for registrations and we are still seeking volunteers to help make this a successful and fruitful experience for the campers and their families.

After positive feedback from previous year’s multi-track Summer Conference, we are planning to host a similar event this year. While not much information are available at the moment, we hope to provide an opportunity for individuals or small groups of peers/family to engage in growing and fellowshipping once more before reconvening in a multi-day in-person retreat in the coming years. Please stay tuned for more details!

Another topic that many of us are anxious and excited to find out is the status of a reopening plan for in-person gatherings. We want to assure you that a plan is in the works. The Board of Directors and the Health and Safety Committee are working closely to come up with a plan that both complies with provincial guidelines and deems practical and feasible for our current situation and needs. The Board intends to announce our re-open plans when we feel comfortable and safe to execute such arrangements. We want to ask for your patience and prayer as we seek God in guiding us through these crucial and necessary due diligence.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 31:8

In closing, our God from the Bible has demonstrated to be the God who delivered His people in the right time without ever lacking, even if His plans may not come to fruition until the 11th hour. This God is the same God who has been gracious and steadfast to us, the one who has sustained us in our ups and downs in the past 51.5 years. As we are awaiting for the next steps, may we be actively hopeful and may we prepare our hearts, so that we will be ready and in sync with God wherever he will be bringing us next, whenever we may return to see one another face-to-face in fellowship, in worship, and however he wishes us to serve and witness to the world around us!

In the Love of Christ,

On behalf of the Pastoral Team