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Message from the Pastor - Ken Radant

Happy New Year—again!! 

I think most, if not all of our church family will be aware that this Saturday marks the official turn of the New Year for those of Chinese heritage. It’s a huge, impossible-to-miss event for our Mandarin brothers and sisters, some of whom have travelled to China to share the event with friends and family, and all of whom are ramping up to celebrate this very important season on the calendar. The rest of us are aware as well, to one degree or another, thanks to personal conversations, a steady stream of messaging in the media, and even the “Happy Chinese New Year” banner below on this newsletter. It’s a significant time of year, and I’m glad we have the opportunity to remember it together.

This week reminds me a little of Christmases when I was growing up. We had friends who, for various cultural and family reasons, used to celebrate Christmas not only on the 25th but usually at least 3 other times between December 20 and 31. Our family celebrated with them on one of those days, which was fun. But it became a running joke that they were the family that enjoyed celebrating so much that they weren’t satisfied until they’d eaten 3 turkeys, opened 4 sets of stockings, and visited with various groups of friends and relatives on multiple occasions. 

It was probably a lot of fun for the kids and an exhausting marathon for the mom!

Well, I’m not suggesting that we pick up that same habit at WVBC. One set of Christmas services is sufficient. And two New Year's events are OK, especially since there is some time between. Maybe someday we’ll add a Farsi New Year at the March equinox, and that will really be enough.

But there is something fun about having several opportunities to celebrate: to eat together; to reflect on the previous year and anticipate the new year with prayer and excitement. To share each other’s traditions and joys.

It’s a great reminder to me of the richness that comes with being an intercultural community. Not only do we get to do special events like New Year more than once, complete with food, music, and other elements. But we gain perspective as we live and serve together. Our ability to reach out to our community is multiplied and broadened. And of course, we have practical reminders each week that we are part of a global Church gathered together by Jesus from every tribe and nation and language and background, worshipping the One who is so worthy that He unites those who might otherwise be divided.

This Sunday we’ll have some concrete reminders of our church’s intercultural nature as we gather for worship. The Chinese choir will be singing for us. We’ll have a joint service with a translated message—and this time around the message will be given in Mandarin by Pastor John and translated into English for those of us who need it. (What a great opportunity to understand better the experience of our Mandarin-speaking brothers and sisters, while we hear God’s Word presented!)  Our Mandarin community will supply treats after the service to help round out the celebration. It should be a delightful time together.

In the meantime, have a wonderful week—and again, a very Happy New Year to all who are celebrating in Lunar fashion.  Richest blessings!


Special Announcements

MEMBERSHIP RECOMMENDATION: The Council warmly recommends the following three people for membership in West Vancouver Baptist Church: Asty Yuan Yuan Ma, Yan (Carrie) Liu, and Xiaotong (Lily) Dai. If anyone has any questions regarding these recommendations, please contact Hilary Blair, Church Clerk.

NIGHT OF WORSHIP:  A North Shore Night of Worship on Friday, February 23 from 6:30 pm – 8 pm at Lionsgate Christian Academy.  Entrance by donation.  Neil Bell will be using his musical gifts and joining their worship team for this event, hope you can make it out and enjoy a special night of worship on the North Shore. See More