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Catching up With Staff: James

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This week we hear from James Cox! James is what we affectionately refer to as a "lifer" here at SDBC. He was born and raised at SDBC and is now on staff! James is an awesome part of our team and his love and passion for the youth is very evident in his life and ministry!

What is your role at SDBC and how long have you worked here?
I am the youth intern here at SDBC! I have been an intern for five and a half years, with my role and responsibilities changing over the years. For the past year, specifically, I have been given the opportunity to lead both the Gap (grades 8-12) and Gap Jr. (grades 5-7) ministries.

What is something about you that people in the church might be surprised to discover?
Before planning on going into ministry, I went to Kwantlen for their drafting program. I studied there for a year with the dream of one day being an architect but then felt the call into ministry.

What are some of the things you love most about being part of the SDBC community/family?
I have been a part of this church my entire life, and love everything about our community here at SDBC. People in our congregation are so generous and supportive of each other. My wife, Lauren, and I really experienced this love and commitment of the church community when we were sick with COVID in September and received constant prayer and support.

How has your role shifted and changed since the start of COVID-19?
Leading youth ministry through the pandemic has certainly been interesting! As of March last year, I began working from home and all activity had to transition online through Zoom meetings, social media presence, and intentional connection from leaders and students. Throughout the spring, I worked through a Q&A sermon series with pre-recorded messages and live Zoom sessions to reach out to our youth and answer their questions on faith and life. When slight changes were made to restrictions in the summer, I was able to move our Gap program to in-person events. We got together two nights a week in order to engage our high-school-aged youth as much as we could while restrictions allowed. At that time, I continued to engage the Gap Jr. ministry through our online format. By the fall, I was able to launch in-person gatherings for both Gap and Gap Jr. which was a huge blessing to the group. However, since November, we have been back online and will continue to engage this way until it is safe for us to gather together again.

What are some of the challenges and triumphs you have encountered in your life and work since the beginning of COVID-19?
My wife, Lauren, and I have had quite an eventful time since the beginning of COVID-19. The restrictions and safety concerns caused us to re-plan most of our wedding and guest list. We had to work through Lauren's changes to her school schedule as clinical work and exams were shifted to account for the virus. During her nursing clinical, she was exposed to COVID-19 and, unfortunately, both of us then caught it and had to quarantine for nearly a month at the beginning of fall. This was a challenge for leading youth ministry, but through the grace of God, Bowen and Hannah Bakken chose to volunteer above and beyond in order to lead the youth group on Sunday nights while Lauren and I recovered. Through this time, all our youth leaders did an amazing job, each taking on extra responsibilities and putting in the effort to continue engaging with our youth.

For me, personally, all of my schooling has been online for a few semesters, which has meant adjustments and extra discipline to continue excelling in school. I am very extroverted, so having all my work, school, and personal connection moved online for so long has been challenging. However, I am thankful even in this season of COVID-19 as it has truly shown me the goodness of God in the midst of challenges and how he will always provide for us.

How can we pray for you in this season of life?
Through this season of life, I would appreciate prayer for our youth. Please pray that they would continue to engage and not suffer from "Zoom fatigue" as we continue meeting online. I also ask that you pray for those not regularly attending our online meetings, that they would not lose motivation and would continue to connect with those in our group when they need community. Also pray for the health and safety of this community as we wait in anticipation for the day we can meet in person again!

Click here to email encouragement to James.

Posted by Mary Grierson

Catching up With Staff: Ryan

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Ryan Choi is truly fantastic! We can all honestly say that if Ryan was not on our team this year, the tech advances we were able to achieve and the content we were able to create would be very different. Not only does Ryan help us make Sunday morning live-streaming possible, but it is his creativity and giftedness that has allowed us to watch the beautiful drone countdown videos every Sunday. The hours Ryan has put in creating and editing content are countless. Ryan is an amazing team player and we are very thankful that God has placed him on our team!

What is your role at SDBC and how long have you worked here?
I have been on staff for three years as the Visual Communications Director. This means that I film interview and ministry promotion videos, film the Sunday morning live-stream services, and create special content like the drone footage countdown videos. Another aspect of my role is photography; I take pictures at church events and on Sunday mornings. Basically, I make and edit most of the SDBC videos you watch!

What are some of the things you love most about being part of the SDBC community/family?
I would say the thing I love most about being part of SDBC is working with the staff members. After working with them for three years, I know that they do their best to live by God's Word. They are not just working at the church, they are practicing living the Word. The SDBC staff try really hard to be good Christian role models, and I see them practice loving like Jesus. I dare say that they are the frontline workers in spiritual warfare.

Also, enjoying Korean food with my half Korean friend, Richard Staples, is a pleasure!

How has your role shifted and changed since the start of COVID-19?
My role is quite different since COVID-19 began. Since we moved to an online platform, I have learned how to pre-record services, like we did for the first few months, and now we continue to learn and grow with our live-streaming services. Learning live-streaming has been a bit of a challenge, as no one on our team had ever done this before. Previously, most of my work was recording events, but now we produce content almost like a broadcasting station.

What are some of the challenges and triumphs you have encountered in your life and work since the beginning of COVID-19?
Since the only way we can worship together is through the online platform, we had to upgrade all our equipment, apply new technologies, and learn new skills. We are using five cameras all together on Sunday morning. It was not easy to learn all of this, however, our team had precise goals from before we started, and we have achieved them through a lot of hard work and teamwork. I think our Christmas Eve service was the result of the team's hard work. 2020 was not easy, but it was a year of growing in everything.

How can we pray for you in this season of life?
Please pray for continued guidance for the Visual Communications Ministry. Our worship service has moved from the sanctuary to an online platform. So many people gather together each Sunday online to worship God. Please pray that I will be used as a tool of worship, part of worship, and not just a content creator.

I also have a personal prayer request as I have started a video production company. Please pray for me as the company moves forward and grows.

Click here to email encouragement to Ryan.

Posted by Mary Grierson

Serving KinVillage

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When we heard about the outbreaks at our local senior homes in South Delta we reached out to see if there were any tangible ways that we could help and support them. Last week, we were able to bless The Waterford and this week we are asking our congregation to partner with us to serve KinVillage.

We have prepared cards for their residents and will be raising funds so that we can treat their staff to a lunch. Our goal is to raise $1000.00 for the staff at KinVillage. As Pastor Paul mentioned previously, God has blessed us beyond measure and loved us extravagantly, so we may be able to love and bless our community in this way.

If you are able to donate to the lunch for KinVillage you can do so by bringing a donation to the lockbox at the 56th Street entrance or by donating online here. Whether you donate online or in-person, please make sure to mark your donation as "KinVillage staff lunch." Any funds raised over $1000.00 will go towards our Share Fund. The deadline for donations is Monday, February 1st.

May we joyfully serve our community of South Delta together.

Posted by Mary Grierson

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