Sunday, February 3, 2013

                                                                                   February 3, 2013

185 East Keith Road-2013

North Shore Bethel Christian 
             Mennonite Brethren Church
North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

"North Shore Bethel Christian Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church held its first meeting in Sutherland Bible Chapel on 19th Street in North Vancouver in September 1997 as an expansion from Bethel Chinese Christian MB Church in Vancouver.

630 East 19th Street
Sutherland Bible Chapel

"The church began with 20 members from the Vancouver church, with Alan Choi serving as pastor. The church officially organized in January 1999 and joined the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in May the same year (the 1998 BC MB Conference report stated that the congregation had joined the conference in 1998, but that must have been an error). By the end of 2001 it had about 70 people attending the Chinese worship service, 20 attending the English worship service, and another 20 attending children’s worship.
"In February 2001, the church moved its meeting place to Capilano United Church on Philip Avenue with both Chinese and English worship services.

2260 Philip Avenue
Capilano United Church
"On 4 January 2008 the congregation purchased the 83 year-old First Church of Christ, Scientist building on East Keith Road, and held their first service there on 9 March 2008. (Link 1.)


North Side of Sanctuary-2013
The sanctuary is  on the upper floor with large simple rectangular paned windows.  The chancel is at the east end with a single lecture in the center. The cross is on the front wall to the north of the chancel.  The ceiling is outlined in large squares. 
Sanctuary Ceiling-2013

The pews are set at an angle to the center aisle.  Glass panels are set in the upper sections of the double doors leading to the entrance narthex.  Offices have been added to the downstairs fellowship hall where the kitchen has been maintained.
"The North American Mennonite Brethren (MB) church is changing, developing into a new community and beginning a shift in composition that makes it look much different than it did 148 years ago when it first began. 

"Founded in southern Russia in 1860, the MB church comprised almost entirely German-speaking Mennonites from South Russia (the Ukraine)—known as Russian Mennonites—who, 60 years earlier, had emigrated from the Vistula Delta (modern-day Poland). Some of the first changes in composition occurred shortly after the church was formed. Lutherans and Baptists began to join the church around the time of the first North American immigration in the 1870s...

"The following two migrations of Mennonites from Russia to North America in the 1920s and 1940s did little to change the composition of the MB church... For political reasons, the language of worship gradually moved from German to English.

"A significant influence occurred with the post-Vietnam War influx of refugees from Southeast Asia, which turned the MB church’s face of refugee assistance from post-Second World War German-speaking Mennonites toward these newcomers...

"Today, the MB church in Canada worships in around 20 different languages. Nineteen Chinese congregations, mostly in B.C., are rapidly expanding and worship in either Mandarin or Cantonese...

"We view the world through the eyes of Jesus, who came to unite us to God through him. Our declaration as MB Christians is that we are a new people in a new relationship with each other and a common mission to build a new community under the lordship of Christ to which all are freely invited." (Link 2.) 

Note: For more about the 83 year old First Church of Christ Scientist building
see Blog Post for January 27, 2013.
Thank you: To members of the congregation for sharing information
about the church.
Photos: Year 2000 photo from project Your House/Our Home by SW. Other photos taken in 2013 by SW.
Link 1:
Link 2:

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