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.
閩南堂於1985年創立，本會的創立始於一個異象 – 就是大溫地區自1970年代後，說閩南語的基督徒越來越多，而他們需要一個用母語聚會的團契。一開使我們只有一個月一次的小組聚會，後來人數逐漸增加，於是在1984年11月25日，閩南堂在溫哥華恩典國際浸信會的體育館舉行第一次主日崇拜，並在隔年1月27日完成了其章程及註冊，成為BC省社團法和加拿大稅制下立案的慈善團體。
在1987年9月23日，閩南堂全體會眾一致通過本會加入美國改革宗(Reformed Church in America)，這個決定源自於本會與美國改革宗的淵源，因為在二十世紀初期，閩南地區許多教會的建立與美國改革宗在當地的宣教事工有關。
閩南堂教會的建築物也有其故事。本會是從列治文Granville Ave上靠近Garden City的舊址搬到了我們現在的位置，現址在過去是個草莓園，後來變更用途供機構使用。 1994年2月底，經過兩年多的規劃，歷經用途變更申請、市議會聽證會、與建築師和承包商的協調、融資安排等眾多工作，我們在Blundell Rd 新址上的禮拜堂終於完工。除了禮拜堂之外，教會建築還包括了教室、廚房、洗手間、職員辦公室、祈禱室、圖書館和體育館等。後來我們更增建了副堂、交誼廳、詩班室和數間主日學教室。
在本會建築的規劃中，我們室內外的設計有一個統一的主題，為要反映出神聚集我們、使我們成為一群屬祂子民的奇妙作為。詩篇139篇9-10節好比是在描述我們這群從亞洲各地- 新加坡、香港、馬來西亞、台灣、中國大陸和菲律賓華僑- 而現在立足於加拿大的信徒： 我若展開清晨的翅膀，飛到海極居住，就是在那裡，你的手必引導我，你的右手也必扶持我。
雖著時間的變遷，現在的閩南堂是一個多世代，多職員，多文化的教會，目前有四堂主日崇拜 – 普通話與閩南話各一堂，另外有兩堂是英語。我們不再是單一語言的教會，也不再是純粹的福建話教會，而是一個多語言的教會(多數會眾以英語為主要語言)！
因為福音是神的大能，要為所有相信的人帶來拯救- 因為神的義正在這福音上顯明出來，信的人要因著他們的信心而稱為義。 (羅馬書1:16-17)