Page 1

spring 2018

newsletter Page 02 | Who We Are

Page 24 | India Reflections

Page 04 | A Writing About Hope

Page 26 | 2018 Coldest Night of the Year

Page 08 | Hope Has An Address

Page 28 | New People!

Page 14 | Red Couch Gallery

Page 29 | Financial Update

Page 21 | The Metro Visual Identity

Page 30 | Get Involved

Page 22 | Rome VBS 2017


who we are Metro Community is a group of individuals from all levels of society learning to do life together. We seek God, pursue truth, in an atmosphere of love, where judgment is left at the door. We believe in the power of relationship, because every person is worthy of being known. We try to live in relationship by encouraging one another to operate by a common set of values: dignity, safety, respect, and acceptance. At our core, are the vulnerable, the homeless, excluded and addicted. A study done in Vancouver, BC across 124 emergency shelters showed that many who used these services did not finish High School, often suffered from mental or physical challenges and had a high degree of distress associated with shelter life and marginalization. This is why it’s so important for us as a community to embrace, welcome and intentionally reach out to our friends at street level.

‘To know and be known’ - that is what ministry looks like in our community. We want you to get involved, not because we need people to do things, but because it is in the journeying together that we allow our lives to be intertwined. It’s in the beautiful chaos of that journeying that we encounter the character of God, as we share our lives, and as we discover, that we were never intended to make the pilgrimage alone. “Christian community is only this. We belong to one another only through, and in Jesus Christ.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘Life Together’.

“God the Creator arranged things so that we need each other.” - Basil the Great Theologian (c. 330-379AD) We tend not to think of ministry at Metro being about serving so much as we think of it as journeying together. The reality is, that in our individualistic society, we have created compartmentalized lives. What if the posture to our lives, was to know the One who made us, and to love and be loved by those around us?


a writing about hope beirut and beqaa valley, lebanon


we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope

– Martin Luther King Jr.



In January, as part of my work with a UK-based foundation, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of projects in Lebanon and border areas with Syria, among refugee communities. More than half of Lebanon’s population are refugees and the country is split between Christian and Muslim factions. In the midst of this, in the inner city of the capital city, Beirut – an incredible initiative I have the privilege to be working with - provide after-school mentorship for up to 2000 kids each week, working to bridge the divide between faiths, economics, and a war-torn history, advocating for peace and reconciliation. What does this have to do with Metro? Well, part of the story of our community is that it has attracted attention nationally and beyond, and we are invited to participate in conversations and initiatives where our experience can be of value to others. In turn, I am able to bring back the variety and richness of perspective to our little community and share it with our tribe. If there was a pervasive and a common thread that runs through these experiences and ties them to our street-level ministry at home, it would be hope. During some time with a refugee community, one million strong, in the Beqaa Valley bordering Syria and Lebanon; being invited into people’s tents, being offered tea, hearing their stories of exclusion

the presence and practice of hope continues to challenge and inspire me and hardship for over 6 years, one thing that what was always present, was hope. Much like many members of our community who have faced persecution, exclusion, hardship and poverty, the presence and practice of hope continues to challenge and inspire me. I hope you enjoy our latest newsletter. There is much for us to be excited about. God is on the move! We hope you’ll partner with us into this new and hopeful chapter in our history, and discover with us that ‘Hope has an address’. Laurence Lead Pastor


hope has an address words by laurence east

there is something overwhelming about watching miracles happen before your very eyes. We’re not exactly strangers to the miraculous in our community. We’ve seen people healed, rescued from addiction, relationships restored from absolute devastation, and others come back from certain death. But over the years in the life of Metro Community, perhaps one of our deepest cries to God has been for a home. Not specifically a building….but a home. One in which the Kingdom justice of Shalom is practiced; where wrongs are made right, where sorrow turns to joy, where isolation and loneliness are washed away in the beauty of relationship and being known, and where, despite our brokenness, and possibly because of it, we can truly discover the joy of being the Beloved of God.

1262 St Paul street In His abundant generosity, God through His loved ones, gifted us a building to use and base ourselves out of. Our new home was 1262 St Paul street. We moved in, and were grateful! We began to plan for Metro Central 2.0, and I’m excited to report, that as you read this, renovations are complete and our coffee bar and ministry space is open again! Those who have no where to go during the day in our city, now have a place, and furthermore, as a community we have a home. Freshly painted, with new windows, and renovated within, our weekday home will soon have an enclosed courtyard in the summer, and will no doubt be a hub of activity and life.


metro central 2.0 1262 St Paul Street V1Y 2C9 Kelowna, BC

Metro Central Exterior

Metro Central Boardroom

Metro Central Meeting Area

Metro Central Drop-in Centre

Metro Central Community Computers



but wait! the story gets better!


1265 Ellis Street After a number of years in the French Cultural Centre on Sundays, we now faced the reality of two full services and a growing kids’ ministry. By Fall 2017, we could see the writing on the wall. It was time to move! But where could we go? Who would have us. It seems that God has always gone before us in the history of Metro, and this was no different. Despite the hot property market, and highly sought-after location, somehow God saw it fit to grant us the opportunity to buy the adjoining property on the corner of Ellis Street and Coronation Street! The deal is secure, we have purchased the building, and we are faithfully pursuing donors, partners and asking you – will you prayerfully consider participating in a sacrificial way, above and beyond your regular giving?!

2018 holds a brand new chapter for Metro Community. A purpose-designed renovation, with 10,000 sq. feet of space for ministry and community life, the arts, events, eating together, a commercial kitchen and a coffee bar for the weekdays. We’re seeking a partner to run a social purpose diner, which might train and employ members of the community. And on Sundays, we will have capacity for almost 350 people to gather and worship together, and for the first time in our church’s history, a purpose-designed space for kids’ church! This is nothing short of miraculous, and the significant cost will require a faith journey that stretches us, like never before. We are unlikely to be able to sustain a mortgage as a church, so we must raise the entirety of the funds required to build and renovate. But God has brought us this far, and we believe with all of our hearts as a leadership team, that he has opened the door for this to take place. He has always gone

this is nothing short of miraculous, and the significant cost will require a faith journey that stretches us, like never before.


before us, and He is preparing the way, once again.

It is no mistake, that God has brought Metro community to this new location, and as is his custom, gives us something smaller to work on, before giving us the stewardship of something larger! His imprint is on this block of the city, and he has raised His church for a time such as this!! With 5000 people moving into the immediate vicinity in the next two years, and with four condo towers going up within 100 yards of us, we know that He has placed us in the heart of a newly growing, vibrant and diverse neighbourhood. A new chapter is upon us; an exciting adventure and challenge. We’re moving – with God before us, behind us, among us and within us. And if He is for us, who can be against us? Invite your friends, invite your family, invite your neighbours to join us! God is on the move!

metro’s future home 1265 Ellis Street V1Y 1Z7 Kelowna, BC


red couch gallery words by lesley-anne evans

red couch, a doorway? Red Couch: Art by Metro, opened in June, 2017. Since that date we have hosted the artistic beauty of Metro Community artists and friends Liz Ranney, Chrisen Stober, Kirsten Petersen, and Dena Milanese, in our little street front gallery. As is our custom, we hold a launch party for each artist. On December 6, 2017 from 5-7 pm we gathered with friends from Metro and Karis to celebrate Dena’s journey leading to her first art show.

We are convinced that God is up to something through Red Couch. I’d like to share what that means on a personal level.


Almost two weeks ago I sat with Jeff Simla and said, “How are we going to deal with safety and security in Red Couch? A lock on the inside door is a must!”

and pays Dena.) So, yesterday morning I wrote a letter to ten men in my leadership circle. I told them I had a piece of the puzzle on my desk.

“And a panic button, I think we need a panic button! We can’t host open hours until we deal with this.”

So when I saw this piece of art made of puzzle pieces, I knew it was from God, for me.

God must have belly laughed at that point. I didn’t see my departure from the tattered red couch, and philosophy of radical welcome. I was on a sidetrack heading to locked and guarded exhibition space! What about the artwork, what about the volunteers, what about me, said logic and fear. And God began to put things in place to change my heart.

(Dena and I are speechless! Tears.)

Over the next few days, working in the gallery, door unlocked, taking down Kirsten Petersen’s art show and installing Dena Milanese’s work, the gallery door opened, and in walked; Gerard: Can I come in and get warmed up? I’ve been out all night. Yes. Of course you can. (sits down on the floor) Can I make you some tea? That’s OK, I’m good. Whose dog is this? Kirsten’s dog, Olive. (Proceeds to pet and fuss over the dog for several minutes, and the dog loving every bit of it, responds.) OK, I’ve got to go check my cart. Thanks. Alan: I used to draw Viking ships and Vikings and I forgot about that until now. I haven’t been able to draw since I got shot. I got shot three times in Iraq…(stays and talks and laughs and shares and then goes off into the day.) Stan: How much is that painting? (he asks Dena who had not yet priced it, or hung it on the wall. It was still sitting on the gallery floor.) I’ll give you [$]. I’m going to bank to get you cash, and then I’ll tell you the back story.” (He comes back in 20 min

Couple #1: (upbeat, curious, and engaging) So what is this space all about? I proceed to share about our current artist Dena, and our social gallery that invites community artists to show their work and celebrate the beauty of image dei in their lives. No commission. Support. Relationship. And then I say, can I tell you a God story? And it morphs from there.

“They pray over each artist that has shown and will show here, they pray over the space which they declare is “A doorway”” They pray over me, tears, hugs, conversation and alignment. (and they go out into the day.) Couple #2: (interested, questioning, about 30 min after couple #1) We were just walking by, and saw the gallery and wondered. They look at Dena’s art while I explain.

She says oh, is it like helping hands for artists.


Yes, I say, it’s a bit like that. Do you know this person and that program and they should know about you and Red Couch, he says. He leaves me with names and takes a brochure. They are smiling as they walk out the door. Gentleman and his dog: (locking the door, full to overflowing, I am going home. He crosses the street to see me.) I’ve not walked this far down St. Paul in years he said. Is this your gallery? We chat, he is intrigued by what we do, he asks if we need volunteers, he takes down Dena and my contact info., I tell him about the launch event on Dec. 6th, and we shake hands and part ways. Several days pass, and I am still pursuing a lock on the inner door of Red Couch to keep the art and volunteers “safe.” I bring in a bell and hang it on the door, so I know when someone comes in. God ramps it up a notch, smiling, like the daddy who finds his child so delightfully naive, he reaches out, offering himself. Back at Red Couch yesterday, God sends; Dena, for a launch party planning meeting, and chat.

Teresa, for a divine encounter with Dena, after not seeing her since Dena was in her addiction, living on the street.

Lynda, for a reminder of my shared experience with her in The Journey, 2006 to 2008. Ryan, for a cup of tea and a chat. Michelle, for a cup of tea and a chat. Jeff, for a pass through and a kind word. Heather, for a tour, and a bite to eat, and a chat. A group from CMHA spontaneously coming through to see our progress. Al, who is busy working away on Metro Central renovation, says,

“Sorry for dragging everything through here like this but there’s no way to get out into the street right now, and I feel bad for going through the gallery…” BOOM…RIGHT THERE…God touch, God revelation, rightsizing, heart shift: Ah, Al, I say, that’s exactly what is supposed to happen. What do you mean, he says? It is supposed to be a walk through, just like this. Oh, so you can see the art, he says? Yes, that too, I say.

RED COUCH is a pop-up visual arts gallery celebrating the art of Metro Community artists and friends. We don’t take a commission, instead we support, honour and share our community artists works in hopes they will find a way into the lives of others. The retro up-cycled couch in our gallery has a new home with us, just like many people we welcome into Metro Community; the burnt out, vulnerable, disenfranchised and overlooked. Within our community are artists, and those who haven’t yet discovered their creative spirit. Still, we believe everyone is capable of great acts of beauty because we have Creator God’s creative DNA within us all. Beauty is all around us in nature, in art, in each other, and even in old red couches. Welcome. Lesley-Anne Evans, Curator, Red Couch: Art by Metro


Liz Ranney’s Artwork


The Red Couch Gallery

Kirsten Petersen, Artist


Kirsten’s Artwork

Dena Milanese, Artist

Chrisen’s Artwork



the metro visual identity words by alecia dyck

the metro marker A brand or a logo is a symbol; a visual representation of a meaning. Every colour, texture, typeface and image all with meanings of their own, combine to create one big visual story. Metro’s mission is this, “We seek God; pursue truth, in an atmosphere of love, where judgment is left at the door.” Ensuring that the mission is visually represented by a brand identity is one of the big projects on the go in recent months at Metro. The brand can be broken down into 3 main elements: the marker, the material, and the moments. Here is a bit of the story behind Metro’s new brand called “The Metro Marker”.

the marker

the material

the moments

Think of a big, black marker, like a sharpie. What do you use it for? Probably not writing an essay. No, more like making a sign, writing letters that need to be visible from far off, making your mark. It’s permanent. You don’t see marker work in a corporate space, you see it in street art. A marker stroke embodies something casual, noninstitutional, permanent, bold, and loud

Brown paper, marker swooshes and image cut outs. Anything come to mind? These are not the kind of materials you interact with if you’re filling out official feeling documents. Brown paper is a soft, raw material associated with thoughtful notebooks, packages and used out of necessity.

What could better represent a diverse community doing life together than the actual images of that all happening!? This brand will put all graphics aside to feature a photograph. In some cases the marker pieces are infused into the photograph. This is an expression of all that metro stands for, the meaning of the symbol, being smashed together with the actual community!

and that is why the logo is rendered as lowercase, marker letters.

Marker swooshes and image cut outs; there’s no perfect, sharp corners or straight lines in these. These visuals are passionate, artistic and part of something expressive!

The brand aesthetics are raw, authentic, bold and people focused to represent a Jesus centred community who is that as well.


rome vbs 2017 words by loralea butikofer

Both adults and kids had a blast at Rome VBS! We started every Sunday morning in August with an Early Christian church meeting in the “catacombs” including a visit from a puppet, then we crawled through a secret catacomb tunnel to visit Paul and Peter in prison, finished the morning with games in the park, then back for lunch. We spent every afternoon with a great video about Christian kids living under Nero’s persecution in Ancient Rome, more Bible learning, worship, games, great crafts and of course, prizes! Throughout, the kids were encouraged to deepen their relationship with Jesus in spite of the persecution they might experience at school or on the playground, and learning to put on the full armour of God daily. Many thanks to all the adults who helped this come together!

we are in need of volunteers!


If you are interested in serving in our Kids Ministry please email Tobi Walker at tobi@metrocommunity.ca


india reflections Color, contrast, congestion, castes, curry, and comfort zone (not!) sums up travel in India. Unlike the construction trips set with a specific task, going on a ‘Prayer and Awareness’ team initially felt nebulous, undefined and unnecessary. Our two week trip was defined into three parts. The first week was to encourage and support the staff in the Child of Mine (COM) homes; Dar-Ul-Fazl and Shanti Niketan, and to encourage through testimony and presence, a church of Indian believers, which impacts 50 villages. Knowing you are being prayed for, tangibly supported and most importantly not alone, made a world of difference to the staff and church. Their worship is passionate, colorful and from the soul. The second week was an exposure to the culture into which the COM graduates enter, and to expand our awareness of the COM post-secondary initiative. Both weeks found us intentionally interceding for our Indian brothers and sisters and experiencing an explosive awareness of the joy and beauty, the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the COM community and culture at large.


The third component of the Prayer and Awareness team was intentional team touch points. We had daily time together as we read through and discussed Henry Nouwen’s book, ‘Life of the Beloved’. It was an excellent counterpoint to the Indian religions of Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism and fed our souls with the glorious freeing practical truth of what it means to be God’s Beloved. We also spent time unpacking, debriefing and praying through and over, the moments of impact, both beautiful and distressing in our day. Part of our second week, after visiting the Golden Temple of Sikhism, and Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhism, was to visit Varanasi; considered the Hindu holy city of India with over 2000 temples tucked in amongst the dark narrow maze of alleyways and streets. Always attentive to avoid the many cow dung, we also had to contend with how to navigate around a cow blocking the alley, the sacred processions of orange robed priests, the throngs of curious western visitors and the mass of Hindu pilgrims. Finally breaking out to the open river’s edge , I anticipated relief, but instead was awash with sadness. I had this moment and saw all of this as a completion of a metaphor for life; people wander in the dark confusing paths filled with distractions, temples and options

to travel down -never sure - but always hoping to emerge into a place of peace. And when they finally make it to the open river they are met with chaos, confusion and still no hope. That’s their life. I was heartbroken. Despite the colorful sarees, sacred spaces and the confusion of bathing in water to find freedom that is filled with death, they are still lost in a city dedicated to the god Shiva, the Destroyer. It was a maze of dark confusion that culminates without true hope. The hopelessness was even more impacting the next morning. It was surreal, as our wooden row boat silently slipped along the Ganges River in the smoggy sunrise light. We were seemingly invisible to, yet mesmerized by, the Hindu pilgrims who travelled long hard dusty journeys by train and foot to Varanasi, to bathe themselves in the holy Ganges River. They came to wash away their sins. To those living nearby it’s a regular pilgrimage. For others it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong desire. The ghats, or riverfront steps, are the sites for the low castes to do laundry, daytime religious cleansing, evening ceremonies and the ever-present funeral pyres. At the funeral ghat, besides all the cow dung, we avoided clumps of dark human hair as we observed the male mourners, with their heads all ceremonially, freshly shaved, except for one little

tag in the back. Here they watch their loved one burn on the bamboo litter before tossing the ashes into the same Ganges River with the false hope that in so doing, their loved one avoids the cycle of rebirth. The smoke burned our nostrils as the dark spiritual oppression weighed heavy in our hearts and we ached for them to know the True and Living God. Our Uncontainable God is building HIS church in India and we were humbled to be a small part of where He is working. The culmination of all three components , visiting the kids homes, experiencing the culture and team building, has moved our team out of their comfort zones of easy, may I even venture to say, challenged our western faith. We saw not only India’s desperate need of Christ’s Love, but also felt individualized calls to action, such as the simple monthly support of one COM child, joining a construction team, but also to a deeper daily awareness of His Love.

words by sandy shier

To learn more about Child of Mine, visit their website at www.childofmine.ca



Coldest Night Kelowna was a great success again this year; thanks to stellar leadership, inspired community members and of course, a pivotal awareness of those experiencing homelessness, hunger and other vulnerabilities, and the passion to do something about this collectively. Our gracious host Sandhill Winery, once again set the stage for an easy launch to the walk by offering a warm and friendly staff , use of effective space creating a great flow to the event from start to finish, and by truly sharing the heart with us to create a healthier Kelowna. A shout out to our championing sponsors; Thomas Alan Budd Foundation leading the way in generating awareness and funds for this notable cause, to the many hands that made this light work filled with contagious momentum; Refresh Financial, SunRype, Cherry Hill Coffee, our local Fire Department, and the many walkers and team leaders that worked alongside to impact our city in a positive way. Team Kelowna at large collected close to $50,000 in donations with funds still trickling in. WOW! We beat our $40,000 goal and hope this momentum will carry on to the next walk in 2019. On a personal note, the actions that made this event in Kelowna set apart from a National Walk are the people and some of their stories.

We had individuals who once experienced homelessness serving at the event. We had a young woman chronically visually impaired inspired to walk in rain, sleet or snow with a huge smile on her face. Our city Mayor spoke the vision to the crowd before the countdown, expressing genuine care and the value of togetherness solving this issue in Kelowna and across Canada. Our lead Sponsor, Tom Budd got personal and opened the hearts of the crowd and broke down barriers to stigma and stereotypes regarding our street entrenched community. Families came together, babies to seniors, bringing an atmosphere of intimacy and legacy. We had a future shining star in broadcasting speak on Castanet’s “Kid’s Report”, proclaiming out loud the need for all of us to GET INVOLVED and enjoy being a difference maker in our city. It is a beautiful expression of what makes us unique as a community, as we share the collective vision of solving the homelessness challenge across the country.

words by wendy delcourt


new people! the metro team has expanded! we would like to introduce you to our new team members...

email geoff@metrocommunity.ca favourite ice cream Hot Fudge Sundae why you’re excited to join the metro team? I feel it is a great opportunity to further serve our community. one unusual fact about yourself I used to be on the other side where I struggled for over 35 years with addiction and now I’m happy to say that on Sunday April 15th I will be 7 years completely clean and sober and I love working with those that are struggling in one way or another!

tobi walker | volunteer coordinator

devon siebenga | metro initiatives

email tobi@metrocommunity.ca

email devon@metrocommunity.ca

favourite ice cream Coconut

favourite ice cream Well depends on where from… but Pralines and Cream from Haagen-Dazs is the top of the list

why you’re excited to join the metro team? To build relationships with people from all walks of life. one unusual fact about yourself Early mornings are my favourite time of the day. Either to hike as the suns rises or to take time to read or write.


geoff haney | metro central coordinator

why you’re excited to join the metro team? The team itself, the people connected to Metro and the opportunity to be a part of the lasting impact that Metro has on our City. one unusual fact about yourself I survived a plane crash.

lukas ord | admin assistant

alecia dyck | designer

email lukas@metrocommunity.ca

email alecia@metrocommunity.ca

favourite ice cream I like Vanilla Ice cream. Especially Chapman’s!

favourite ice cream Lemon Sorbet

why you’re excited to join the metro team? I can’t wait to be around all the people in the community.

why you’re excited to join the metro team? Metro is such an artistic and creative community! I am so excited to be inspired and create alongside Metro.

one unusual fact about yourself I played Shrek in a musical, and put on a Scottish accent and a mean, green attitude.

one unusual fact about yourself I love cathedrals! I love to just sit and imagine new designs and sketch them out for fun.

net gain or loss


Designated Funds




Wages & Salaries





$578,356 Spent

$469,001 Budgeted

(India Funds)


(Ellis Deposit)




$307,600 $276,594

(exp. on St Paul & Ellis buildings)

$105,901 $152,542







$627,910 Received

$469,001 Budgeted




(India Funds)










Capital Projects

Designated Funds

Government Grants

Gifts From Denominational Support

Gifts From Charities

Gifts From Businesses

Gifts From Individuals

$255,000 $237,693

revenue Budget Actual


Budget Actual



be a part of the story All the different ministries at Metro represent excellent ways to get involved with our growing community. One of our community pastors will be happy to meet with you to discuss what areas at Metro would be most fulfilling to you and most meaningful to the community. Getting involved with Metro can be as easy as a clothing donation or as involved as a regular volunteer position. In either case we are excited to have your partnership and support.

To start the conversation, email info@metrocommunity.ca





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Metro Community Newsletter - Spring 2018  

Metro Community Newsletter - Spring 2018