Our Blog

Filter By:

Cultivating Relationships While Gardening

main image

Before God made man he made him a garden, including fully formed fruit trees. It was to be the perfect place for social interaction, first of all with his Creator, then all those animals he was told to name, and finally, with the woman of his dreams. It was an ideal place for God, man, and his wife to converse while taking an evening stroll through the garden of Eden.

Problems came but gardening continued in spite of weeds, thorns, and hard ground as families learned to work together in less than ideal conditions. Today, sweat equity stocks the pantry and freezer and freshly furnishes a well laid table at mealtime. We all benefit from the ground.

Over the last few months, while respecting physical distancing, Donna and I have enjoyed many social engagements afforded to us by gardening. It started with helping an Indian family across the street redesign their floral island in their front lawn. That was worth five afternoons of mentoring and friendly chats. Another neighbour came over to borrow a soil sieve which led to a visit a few days later. Then a pastor's wife needed a few trees and bushes pruned and that included an afternoon snack and a most enjoyable visit on her back deck. Lately a valued congregant that lives in a basement suite near us, started a plot in a section of our garden. How many visits will that yield over the coming months as relationships form?

God took dirt and formed the first man. God continues to use dirt to form relationships and teach us many transferable principles. Many of Jesus' parables used agricultural illustrations. He prayed in a garden and it certainly is a great place to meditate. A garden is a wonderful place to dig into God, cultivate community with others, rake over personal issues, and plant biblical disciplines. Get some ground and try it! It'll grow on you.

Posted by Gerard van Dop

SDBC Frontline Worker Highlight

main image

The Przybylski family has been attending SDBC since 2013. Matt is a teacher at Richmond Christian School and Andrea is the Director of Professional Practice for Nursing and Allied Health for Richmond with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. We reached out to see how Andrea, as a frontline worker, has adapted to COVID-19. Her story is below.

I began attending SDBC in 2013, along with my husband Matthew, our young son Carter and baby daughter Abby. In 2015 we welcomed Brandon to the family who was dedicated at SDBC early in 2016. We quickly got involved in a community group once we decided to regularly attend the church and have made lasting friendships. We currently serve with SDBC Kids by welcoming families in the morning and registering their children in the Sunday School Program at the Bus. Since the COVID pandemic declaration and related social distancing measures, what we miss most about church is the worship and connection with others.

I am the Director of Professional Practice for Nursing and Allied Health for Richmond with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and have been in this position for five years. I started my career as a Registered Nurse in 2003, first working at St. Paul's Hospital. In 2006, I completed my Master's Degree in Nursing from UBC and moved into nursing education, followed by administration. I am responsible for care models and skill mix, scope optimization, performance management, clinical practice leadership, and the implementation of evidence-based best practices and related education strategies for nursing and allied health professionals for acute, community, and long-term care.

I have never before worked in such a stressful and fast-paced environment.  The first few weeks of the crisis are a blur--a flurry of constant activity, back-to-back meetings, long hours, and quick decisions. Uncertainty and anxiety were everywhere and there was a huge need to support and communicate with our staff. We quickly set into motion preparations for the large volumes of critical care patients seen in Italy and New York. Some acute services were reduced (such as surgeries and ambulatory care) which freed up staff who required education and orientation to new areas in order to be ready for the anticipated influx. There were new PPE guidelines to implement and related education needed. Emergency responses were changed, ethical decision-making frameworks developed, capacity planning conducted, daily symptom assessments put in place, testing centres set up, controlled access implemented, and screening, contact-trace mapping, and testing workflows created. Now we are entering the "recovery and restoration" phase of work. We are starting to resume services that were previously reduced, but at a "new normal" with new guidelines, restrictions, and processes. The work seems endless and overwhelming, but it has been encouraging and energizing to see how everyone has come together to meet the needs.

Our son Brandon has a respiratory condition and Type 1 Diabetes and we are most concerned about his health, should he become infected with COVID-19. Our prayer request is that he would remain healthy and protected.

Please join us in praying for the Przybylski family, as well as Andrea and her colleagues as they work on the front lines during this pandemic.

Tsawwassen Community Church Update

main image

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities all across the country and it has impacted the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) as well. We applaud the leadership of TFN who have wisely taken steps to protect the wellbeing of those living and working on their land. Fortunately, there have been no reported cases of the virus. The TFN Executive Council is doing a tremendous job of prioritizing the health and safety of its members and communicating what efforts are being taken to do so.

Tsawwassen Community Church (TCC), as an ongoing ministry of SDBC which operates within the TFN community, has obviously needed to adapt to the restrictions put in place. In mid March our ministry team respectfully initiated contact with TFN to ensure we were responding appropriately. They replied with a very polite and caring email instructing us to indefinitely suspend our usual Sunday evening gathering in the Little White Church on Tsawwassen Drive. So, for two months now, we have not met together and we miss it dearly. One of our team members commented, "I am sure there is a silver lining here - I just haven't discovered it yet." Well, we've since discovered some of the silver lining and it echoes Pastor Paul's recent message from Philippians on the gospel advancing despite obstacles.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, God has been faithful and good has happened. We've been able to continue a version of our Sunday evening dinner by delivering meals directly to homes along with an encouraging word or card, and an offer to pray for needs. The doorstep delivery, using proper protocols, has been very well received. We're grateful that we're at least able to offer this neighbourly gesture. In fact, it has turned out to be a wonderful way for us to connect, build relationships, and express care. There's something warm and amiable about visiting people at their homes. Another silver lining has been the privilege of making several new contacts along the way. We value the opportunities that have arisen as we seek to gain trust, make connections, and build friendships. It has been a time of good exposure within the community in a meaningful and respectful way, and we thank God for the "silver lining." Please continue to pray for us and the wonderful community of people at TFN whom we have the pleasure of serving. It continues to be a challenging time for all.

With gratitude,
The TCC Ministry Team

Posted by Terry Weatherly

12345678910 ... 8081