Help a CBWC Church Plant Get to Family Camp

God’s House of Many Faces Church in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC, is a CBWC church plant. Many church participants are First Nations, and Pastor Jodi Spargur and her team have been doing an amazing job in helping to bridge Aboriginal culture and the Christian faith.

campAn important piece of this reconciliation process is their annual Wiconi Family Camp and Pow Wow. Jodi says, “having the opportunity to participate in this event strengthens our families, helps us understand faith in the context of our culture for those of us who are First Nations and allow us to connect with others who are on this journey as well.

Jodi has launched a campaign to raise funds to bring 40 people to the camp. Will you join us in helping this great tradition continue for another year?

Check out the campaign page here to give today!

Proclaiming the Gospel

This article is reposted from CBWC’s enewsletter Making Connections. Subscribe here.

Pastor Jodi Spargur and her congregation God’s House of Many Faces, a CBWC Church Plant in Vancouver, have been faithfully loving and serving their neighbours for several years. They recently welcomed a team from an inner-city church in California to help them practice healing prayer and proclaim the Gospel in their community. This was made all the more significant because the visiting church members had all come out of addiction or gang involvement or other cycles of violence themselves.

During this week of evangelism, God’s House of Many Faces saw five people come to faith in Christ. One of Jodi’s team members shares this story of having a friend turn to Jesus:

It was amazing for me to see a friend whom I’ve longed to see open up to Jesus for the last 2 years do just that! She agreed to receive prayer from our visiting friends and myself.

She was so surprised as we prayed and she felt warmth spread through her body as the Spirit took away the chronic pain she has struggled with for years. This led her to ask for further prayer for emotional pain she has carried for a very long time.   Feeling like now was as good a time as any I asked, “would you like to pray to receive Jesus into your life?”

She replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” I was so surprised that I asked three times to make sure she knew what it meant and really wanted to!

But God wasn’t even done then. I found out later that her husband and son were praying with another member of our team and they too were re-committing their lives to Jesus and were praying that the power of addiction would be broken in their family and that healing could come. What a day!

God’s House hosted a baptism service at the ocean on February 15 where new believers could proclaim their trust in Jesus.

Pray with us for continued transformation in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Pray that we will be able to celebrate more and more with God’s House of Many Faces as their friends and neighbours hear the Gospel and respond.


There are many ways you can take part in the exciting work of church plants across Western Canada. To find out how to offer your time, talent or treasure, contact Church Planting Coordinator Shannon Youell at syouell@cbwc.ca. To subscribe to Church Planting email updates, contact Cailey Morgan at cmorgan@cbwc.ca.

Closing the Bible a Path to Transformation

By Jodi Spargur

How has closing the Bible improved our congregation’s engagement with Scipture? Well, the journey began as we started this church when a mentor and friend asked why white people don’t believe the Bible. “What??” I asked, certain that I had misunderstood what was being said. “We take the Bible very seriously” I shot back in defense. “But you don’t know the stories,” my friend replied. “You open the book, read them. Then close the book, and forget them.” And a seed was planted in my heart and mind that I have tended now for 7 years.

Closed Bible

We have done many things over those years to think about how one gets scripture inside of us in a way that make evident that this story is the story that shapes our every moment and that is available to shape your story in every moment. Some have met with some success. Others have been abysmal failures. This journey has been further guided by the reality that literacy levels in our community are low to begin with and in any gathering there is a very wide range of comfort with print media.

So, as pastor, I have given up preaching in favour of recovering the oral tradition of scripture itself. Well, not totally given it up. I preach in a very dialogical format once a month. The rest of my time I have committed to teaching scripture by hearing and sharing what you have heard.

Currently we use a method of scripture study called, “Simply the Story” and use it as the teaching tool for our House Church gatherings.

It is a method of learning the story of scripture by hearing not seeing and then passing that on to the group as a way of getting the story “in” people’s hearts and minds. One of the guiding ideas being that one need not be literate to be a disciple of Jesus and even a teacher of the word. Our culture, however has gotten so print focused that we have unwittingly excluded many who do not learn well in that way.

For those of us with higher levels of literacy it has been a challenge to abandon comfortable and familiar ways of learning and communicating. And we find ourselves engaging scripture anew as we learn these new (but very old) skills.

Our prayer and conviction is that God’s Word never returns void.

Share your thoughts on Jodi’s approach by commenting on this blog or sending your response to cmorgan@cbwc.ca. Jodi Spargur pastors God’s House Of Many Faces in Vancouver. This article is reposted from Jodi’s blog.

Unity

Here’s a great article we’re reposting from CBWC Church Planter Jodi Spargur’s blog. Talk to us to find out about supporting God’s House of Many Faces.

The drum beat reverberated off of the ceiling and walls, it echoed through my body. This sound I have come to associate with our church gathered and it directs my attention to God’s presence among us. This afternoon though we are in a very atypical space for us and my heart is praying that this familiar sound is putting some at ease in what is otherwise an uneasy space.church-eagle

Usually we gather outside on the grass and the drum echoes off the buildings around. Other times we gather in a small hall and the drum dominates because of the small space no other conversation is possible. Today we are gathered united in worship though diverse in our expressions, our ethnicities, our styles and our communities of faith. Today we are gathered with our neighbours, both friends and strangers to worship together and to look around the room, reminded of what the body of Christ looks like in our neighbourhood, at least somewhat.

One friend in the midst of conversation with me exclaims, “oh, I had no idea they were follower of Jesus” as a family from another congregation walks through the door. “We walk to school with them every day. My son will be so encouraged to know that he is not alone in his class.”

We are gathered in what is now known as Strathcona Church (funny since that is the name we chose for this blog 5 years ago). Up until a year ago it had been a Korean Foursquare Church with a mostly commuter congregation. Then, last spring it was purchased by a private family with a vision of stewarding this space for the use of various churches in a shared way. While conversation is still ongoing about who all will use the space on a regular basis this joint service was the first event held in the space. For almost a year pastors of incarnational churches in the neighbourhood have been gathering to pray and ask God if there are ways we could work together more intentionally.

God’s House has had a practice of inviting other churches to join us for Good Friday, Easter Sunrise and Christmas services. The Salvation Army had also been spearheading a month of prayer that we would all participate in, but we felt it was also time to gather collaboratively for worship and fellowship. Strathcona Church was a good venue for that and allowed us to all come into the space afresh. The service was organized by Strathcona Vineyard, Mosaic (Alliance), God’s House (Baptist) and we invited The Salvation Army 614, friends who live in the neighbourhood but are attending church outside of it. We also invited churches that are newly planted and anticipated or had just launched; Coastal (non-denominational) and Vancouver Foursquare Church.

On Good Friday we look forward to accepting the invitation from the Chinese churches in the neighbourhood (Mennonite and Church of Christ China) to expand our fellowship further, gathering again in the Strathcona Church space. Jesus prayed that we would be one.

While we all have distinctive contributions it is encouraging to move toward greater unity in these gatherings. In fact it was a goal when we set out at God’s House as a metric of health that we would see greater unity in the whole body of Christ. As with any sign of health, this is God’s doing as we try and lean in to his heart.

Join us in Prayer

Pray for God’s House of Many Faces in Vancouver, BC. Pray for discernment and wisdom going forward, and for the Holy Spirit’s strength and comfort to sustain Pastor Jodi Spargur and her team as they tirelessly work to bring the Good News of Christ to their neighbours through word and deed.

Pray also for CBWC Staff and all those involved in preparing for The Gathering, the CBWC Assembly in Calgary. Pray for efficiency, clear communication and joy in serving the CBWC Family.

Read all prayer requests, or let us know how we can be praying for you.

Pray for our Planters

Community Garden

God’s House of Many Faces’ Community Garden

Pray with us for our church planters in British Columbia.

Click a church name to learn more about the church plant and read prayer requests:

• Pastor Peter and Jen Chong with Rising Sun Christian Fellowship, Burnaby

• Pastor Janet and Gerry McBeth with Emmaus Community Fellowship, Burnaby

• Pastor Jodi Spargur with God’s House of Many Faces, Vancouver

• Pastor Hizon and Grace Cua with Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Vancouver