Resolution on Homelessness passed at 2021 Diocese of New Westminster Synod

Synod is the Annual General Meeting (convened every two years) of the Diocese of New Westminster. The Bishop is the Chair of Synod. Chaired by Bishop John Stephens, Synod 2021, the 121st, took place on May 15, 2021.

The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry Board of Management proposed a resolution on housing affordability and homelessness in the Lower Mainland, which was passed by Synod delegates with a vote count of 224 in favour, 16 opposed, 10 abstentions (out of a total count of 250 voting delegates).

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COVID contemplations that provide a balm for the spirit

By Joan Stewart                               

The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry’s (WANM) retired deacon and clergy lead the Reverend Dr. Pitman Potter has prepared a timely new book of contemplation and reflection, which is being used as a fundraiser for the WANM.

Entitled Fever Dreams: Contemplating Corona Virus, the book presents 52 spiritual texts selected from Judeo-Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions, as well as poetic and lyrical voices.

Each selected text is accompanied by suggestions for quiet contemplation, through which readers are invited to engage in Lectio Divina (a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with, and increased knowledge of, God’s word), and to consider the meaning and application of the texts in their lives.

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Food and Clothing Drive Continues to Serve

By Beth Vondette 

The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry has allied with other community partners to continue serving the homeless and vulnerable community with a clothing and food drive. Please view the attached flyer for further details.

From May 25 – Jun 8, 2020 please drop off donations to St. John’s Shaughnessy only.  St. Philip’s is currently a construction site as the roof is replaced. For your safety, we ask that all donations be directed to St. John’s Shaughnessy (1490 Nanton Avenue).

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Neighbourhood Ministry Programs Suspended

Posted by Beth Vondette       

On March 17, 2020, Archbishop Melissa directed that most church activities, including outreach, be suspended in light of the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation.  As such, the Neighbourhood Ministry will suspend the Street Outreach and Mobile Care Unit activities effective immediately.

This is an incredibly difficult time for our homeless and vulnerable neighbours. They are in our thoughts and prayers.

Building community at Dunbar Apartments BC Day BBQ Seasonal Event

Neighbourhood Ministry (NM) volunteers help build community at the Supportive Housing apartments at 17thand Dunbar.NM Pix

Dunbar Apartments offers housing to formerly homeless people from the area—some of whom were referred by the Neighbourhood Ministry—as well as those suffering from mental illness. Volunteers at Dunbar serve dinner on the weekends and offer four annual seasonal celebrations for the residents.

NM Pix 2On Monday August 6, BC Day, NM volunteers hosted a seasonal BBQ celebration. The event began with a prayer, after which more than 50 residents were served traditional BBQ fare, which included beef, salmon and veggie burgers, hot dogs, sausages, an assortment of salads and casseroles and, most importantly, a selection of home-made desserts and fruit.

NM volunteers provided food, assisted with on-site cooking, serving, set-up and take-down. Along with the delicious food, residents especially enjoyed the opportunity for fellowship and conversation with the volunteers during the 3-hour event.

A special thank-you to volunteers Karen Cooke, Jane Davis, Jane Dunlop, Louisa Farrell, Irene James, Marian Slater, Patrick Stewart and Shirin Theophilus who made the event a success.

In addition to the special seasonal events, NM volunteers also offer one-on-one assistance throughout the year, which range from accompanying residents to medical appointments to pastoral care.

The Neighbourhood Ministry also contributes funding toward a breakfast program for Dunbar residents.

To learn more about NM volunteer opportunities at Dunbar or to participate in dinner service or seasonal activities, contact Joan Stewart via email at jstewart@westerndriver.com.

Photos: Joan Stewart

Neighbourhood Ministry Training

Hello Everyone,

We will be holding a Zoom training series on Thursday November 26th and on Thursday December 3rd, from 7pm – 8:30pm.  Everyone is welcome, whether you intend to volunteer or not, or are already a volunteer and want to refresh your skills.  Both of these sessions are required for any new volunteers for a Street Outreach Team, to serve at the Dunbar apartments , or to participate in the Mobile Care Unit.  Please note, both the Dunbar apartements and Mobile Care Unit are on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Topics include the theology of our ministry; Street Outreach; Service at Dunbar; and our Angels program.  We’ll cover information about safety, confidentiality, protocols and procedures, and, technology allowing, engage in some role playing.

Please RSVP to Liz at ministrymcu@gmail.com. You will receive a Zoom link after you have rsvp’d.

Hope to see you there!