What’s in a Name?
Our church is called the Fujian Evangelical Church, (“FEC”) but that doesn’t mean only Fujianese are allowed in our midst (see History). In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we welcome everyone, young or old, whatever ethnicity or race, new to Canada or long-time residents. Check us out. Come and worship with us.
Nisi Dominus Frusta (“without God we cannot succeed”)
The FEC was founded in 1985. It began with a vision – a need for a Fujian fellowship as Minnan-speaking Christians arrived in Greater Vancouver in increasing numbers in the late 70’s. A pioneering group started a once a month fellowship at individual residences for the many Fujianese who had found spiritual homes in different churches – in time morphing into an organized congregation. On November 25, 1984, the FEC celebrated its first Sunday service at the gym of the Grace International Baptist Church in Vancouver. On January 27, 1985, the FEC completed its constitution and by-laws and was incorporated under the Society Act of BC; shortly thereafter also obtained its registered charity status under our Canadian tax system.
On September 23, 1987, the FEC unanimously approved a denominational affiliation with the Reformed Church in America, whose missionary ministry in Southern Fujian at the turn of the 20th century many of our earlier members could trace their Christian roots to.
As for the FEC building, we moved from a small single building church located at Granville near Garden City in Richmond to our present location – a strawberry patch rezoned for institutional use. At the end of February 1994, after two long years of planning, zoning change applications and city council hearing, coordination with architect and contractors, financing arrangements, our new sanctuary on our new site on Blundell Road, was completed. Along with our sanctuary comes the support addendum of classrooms, food prep kitchen, washrooms, staff offices, prayer room, library and gym.
During our building planning, we reflected upon the idea of a unifying theme for the interior artwork and pulpit fixtures and pews. We called to mind our identity and what God had done to gather us as a people. Psalm 139:9-10 spoke to us. Truly, as new Canadians from Asia (Fujianese from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mainland China, and Philippines) we have taken the wings of dawn and have settled on this far side of the sea.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10 NIV
We have since expanded our facility to include a connected annex to accommodate a chapel, more Sunday school rooms, staff rooms, and a large but cozy Fellowship Hall.
So, what are we about?
We are just your eager story teller, excited to tell you this story – we think it is the greatest story ever told – that is not just told but lived – the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We firmly believe that the gospel (“good news”), promised through the prophets in the Holy Scripture, regarding his Son and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 1:3-4), is to be proclaimed to all people.
For the gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes – it is the righteousness of God that is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last. Rom 1:16-17
Accordingly, we are living in the joy of the gospel and in our desire to share this wonderful good news to all. Simply put, we are a people of the gospel.
So come and let us explore together the meaning of this Good News.
We are passionate about music: sacred music that connects us to a deeper understanding of God and faith formation. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the FEC boasts of 4 choirs – the Chancel (which sings in Minnanese and Mandarin), the Cherubim (all English choir), the Children Choir, and the Handbell Choir.
During Sunday, we precede every scripture reading and sermon with an offering of participatory worship songs, mostly in the contemporary style–led by a worship team of our young adults.
Concerts, whether presented by our choirs, or by invited international groups, are our ever-present diet. Over the years, we have hosted Hong Kong based handbell choirs, Ukrainian Christian choir, Taiwan blind Christian singers, local pianists and others. We never commemorate Thanksgiving, Maundy Thursday, Easter and Christmas without a repertoire of music, rendered in classical, jazz, a capella or contemporary style.
The family is ordained by God. In fact, we are baptized to belong to the family of God – as adopted sons and daughters who live in the presence of God in all His Trinitarian omnipresence. In the Confucian legacy of many of our members, there is a saying, “Where the family goes, so goes the State”–affirming the importance of family as foundation for the stability of society.
Hence we orient our activities to the holistic family while being sensitive to age-related programs. On some Sundays, the whole family stays in the sanctuary as we honor the parents among us (Father’s Day, Mother’s Day). Our many concerts are always planned with the family in mind. We offer workshops, whether presented by guest speakers or own in-house resource, to equip and strengthen the family.
We have a vibrant preschool to Grade 12 Sunday School program (as of 2017, number at over 70 strong) cared for by a group of dedicated Sunday School teachers, administrators and helpers, overseen by a Children Ministry Pastor.
We complement this passion for children with our many family-oriented activities – picnics (or BBQs), Hallelujah Night (in lieu of Halloween), Children Choir concerts, fellowship nights, and so on.
Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the littlechildren come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17)
The Great Commission, as articulated in Matthew 28:18-20, (Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”), is always before us. We see a world in need and we respond to it by our monetary support to a large number of mission organizations. We have also organized and sent our own short missionary teams to Asia.
In addition to our usual missionary support, we designate the offering of our Thanksgiving Sunday Service to various relief causes (aid to victims of hurricanes and earthquakes, feeding the poor, etc.)
On the home front, we continue to support the various organizations that assist the needy of the DTES (“Downtown East Side) and other charitable causes.
Friends and Fellowship
Visitors have commented on how great our brewed coffee is. Well, many of us do like our java! Every Sunday without fail, we congregate after service in our Fellowship Hall to connect with one another over a cup of java or tea. Every month and on special occasions (Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Chinese New Year, Christmas, e.g.) we even provide snacks.
We have luncheons and dinners on special occasions – where most often we even give out door prizes! An RCA guest to our 30 th Year Anniversary when we celebrated with a ten-course Chinese banquet dinner remarked that we loved partying – a hyperbole, for sure! But no doubt food forms a means by which our community gels.
Youth, Young Adults… and the Young at Heart
One FEC goal is to engage our young people, whether from church or non-church backgrounds. We hope that through meaningful activities we are integrating them into our church life. In FEC, for instance, our worship team which leads Sunday participatory singing is composed of youth and young adults. The passion, optimism and gifts the FEC young people bring is cherished and affirmed in our many activities.
Under our Youth Ministry Pastor, we have various youth leaders helping out at our Kairos Fellowship. Our youth meets every Friday for various activities (bible studies, resource speakers, bowling, art, etc.).
Our young adults connect with one another in their small groups and once a month, come together for an activity, organized by the planners of PLUG our umbrella young adult leadership group.
The FEC is a welcoming community of adventurers and explorers sharing life together in the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ for spiritual transformation and mutual caring.