Vancouver, B.C.: Celebrate ‘Salal and Cedar’

Laurel Dykstra at ordination
Laurel Dykstra at ordination

My friend Laurel Dykstra in Vancouver, B.C., has joined with others for a new church plant in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster on Coast Salish territory where the Fraser River meets the Salish Sea.

By “new” I mean revolutionary and visionary and ancient and deeply now. This is an example of how the church can still offer new wine skins for prophetic new wine — and how our salvation comes from God through the margins and marginalized.

Thank you, Laurel. May we all offer a prayer for Salal and Cedar! See Laurel’s epistle below:

Hello Friends and Fellow Travellers,

I am incredibly excited to introduce Salal and Cedar, a new environmental justice ministry in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster on Coast Salish territory where the Fraser River meets the Salish Sea.

After months of planning scheming and preparing with collaborators near and far we are starting a church plant/watershed discipleship community for Christians in and around Vancouver who:

• have a heart for creation
• feel most connected to God in ocean, forest, river and field
• are deeply concerned about global climate change
• want to bring their faith to work for ecological justice
• are environmental activists but keep they faith quiet
• believe racial justice, economic justice and environmental justice are connected

Rooted in the Anglican incarnational theology, we are part of a growing commitment to the Fifth Mark of Mission “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”

Ecumenically we identify with the Watershed Discipleship Movement: communities that are asking, “what does it mean to be a follower of the Jesus Way here, among the land, water, creatures and people of a particular place?”

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Over the summer we will be gathering community, dreaming dreams, sharing food and exploring the lower Fraser watershed through hikes, reservoir tours and worship outdoors. Later in the year we will host a workshop on confronting oppression with compassion, make wine from local grapes, and gather for an Advent retreat.

Throughout the year we will be hosted in different churches to offer worship rooted in the ecological justice themes in scripture and the geography, land, water, species and people of our particular place. We will partner with different environmental groups and projects through the year for mutual support and learning. In 2016 we are planning a camp for youth to build environmental justice leadership skills, strategies and communities. In an effort to be a place for all bodies, all ages, all families, and all genders we post accessibility information about all our events. Stay turned for more details as we develop our web presence.

Some of know that plans for this project have been underway for nearly a year, some of you have been advisors in the process, and for some of you this will be completely new information. All of you have been supporters of me and my work in different ways and I am grateful for your caring, your challenges and your prayers.

This new project has the potential to be a catalyst for change in my church, to be transformative for the people involved and to have a real impact on environmental justice where we live. For me, this involves many new challenges and developing skills that I have previously left to others. This is not my “new job” but a primary way that I will be living out my vocation for the next few years.

I invite you to support this new ministry and me in it. Please include this growing community and our work in your prayers. Please consider attending our Commissioning Service on the Autumnal Equinox Sept. 21, there will be light and water, soil and forest and we guarantee you’ve never attended an “installation service” like this before. If you are planning a trip to lower mainland British Columbia let me know so that we can include you in our activities.

If you would like to make a financial contribution. write a cheque to Diocese of New Westminster, 401 W. Georgia Street #508 Vancouver, BC, V6B 5A1, with Salal and Cedar in the memo line.

We have funding to launch this program and but in order to offer programs and build skills we need to raise If you would like to support this ministry, please, pray for us as we begin this new thing.

Blessings,
Laurel Dykstra and the Salal and Cedar team.

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