Latest News & Events

Update on what is happening at St. Barnabas

Good evening friends,

As I am sure you are aware there is no worship service at St. Barnabas tomorrow and all gatherings and activities, including our meal program, food cupboard, thrift store, bible study, social events, and all N.A. and A.A. meetings in our hall remain suspended until further notice. Please be assured that these measures are temporary and plans are in the works to return to as normal as possible operations as soon as it is safe to do so. And that my very well be a new “normal” from what we have been used to.

To that end, Rev. Mavis and the wardens will be at the church early tomorrow to attempt a test run for an online prayer meeting. (No, this is not open to the public. Yes, they will be maintaining social distancing and taking all necessary precautions.) If that goes well we will be going live to the public and a link will be posted to our website and Facebook page. Please stay tuned.

We are aware that not everyone is online or technologically savvy and we are working on ways to keep everyone connected regardless of their technical capabilities. This may include phone buddies or a phone tree, regular check ins and updates via phone and email, small online prayer groups and bible study, and other ideas. If you have suggestions please share them.

In other news, our food ministries (Wednesday Lunch and Friday Food Cupboard) remain suspended until further notice. In the meantime, both the New Westminster Food Bank at 613 Queens Ave and the Salvation Army at 428 6th St. are operating their food distribution programs.

Please take care of yourselves and be safe. Wash your hands, maintain social distancing. Know that you are being prayed for. We will get through this together.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We find ourselves in strange times as we are all grappling with the new reality in the Covid-19 pandemic. I am urging all of us, to take heart, keep ourselves and others safe and that we continue to be the close and caring community we are, even in these difficult times.

Our Archbishop Melissa has directed us to suspend all person to person services, church services,food ministries an all meetings in our buildings. This will include our Wednesday and Sunday services, our Sacred Singing Circle, our Thursday Lunch and our Friday Emergency Food Cupboard and our Thrift Store, all recovery and other meetings in the hall or church until May 6.

Please read her directive:

The wardens and leadership of the Parish will be exploring remote and virtual ways to hold church services, keep in touch, check up with everyone and respond in these challenging fast changing times.

We will be strategizing with other community groups, in the delivery of needed food to those most vulnerable in our community. Please check our website and Facebook page.Please continue in your giving by PAR or e- transfers or by mail or dropping your offering by the office mail box.

Thank you to the leadership, Wardens, Parish Council members, Terri in the kitchen, Donna in the Thrift Store and to Rev. Shannon Tennant and our United Church friends for your support and creativity this last week. You are all amazing.In Lent sometimes we use the metaphor and image of being in the desert or the wilderness to focus our devotions. This pandemic feels like the wilderness, Jesus taught us that even in his 40 days in the wilderness he was never alone… holy angels attended him and we have each other.

May Jesus and His Holy Angels attend to our small committed community,to bolster our hearts as we are called to attend to ourselves, each other and the wider community in new ways of being and and new ways of caring. Please stay safe, wash your hands, practice self isolation and take this opportunity to get out in nature and this wonderful sunshine.

Yours in Christ,

The Venerable Mavis Brownlee
(filling in for the Rev. Emilie Smith)
March 17, 2020

Important Information from Archbishop Skelton: Covid-19

Our Archbishop, The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton, has issued several statements regarding the Covid-19 outbreak and how we as a faith community can best cope. These contain guidelines and directives for us to follow in our worship, in our ministry, and as a community. The links below are to the most recent, please take the time to read them.

Issued March 12: Communique #5 – Covid-19
Issued March 10: Communique #4 – Covid-19
Issued March 7: Update On Our Churches – Covid-19

Please know that your church leadership is in constant dialogue and is keeping updated on the situation as new information emerges and is committed to maintaining a safe space for all while serving the needs of our parish, our friends and neighbours, and our community.

Ash Wednesday

Join us this Wednesday, February 26, at 11:30 a.m. for our mid-week Eucharist service when we will observe Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. The service will include the ceremony of The Imposition of Ashes in which participants receive a mark of ashes on the forehead as a token of penitence and mortality. Stay afterwards for soup and fellowship.

Sacred Singing Circle – Seeking Shelter

Sunday February 23rd at 2:00 p.m.

We gather once again to sing, share prayers, hold silence, and break bread together—to connect with our deepest selves, with our circles of community, and with the Divine. Everyone is welcome to join us and seek shelter in our sanctuary. Being a “good singer” is not required; your voice is beautiful just as it is and you are beautiful just as you are.

Friday Letter, January 17, 2020

“There he is, the Lamb of God!”

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I pray that this week you were able to stay warm and dry, that you weren’t stuck in the white stuff, or pushing your car out of a snow bank. It almost always snows in Vancouver, at least once a year. But somehow we seem to forget, and it catches us by surprise. I am looking out this morning to a real winter wonderland. The sun is shining brightly on the heaps of snow in our church courtyard, the walkways have been shovelled and salted, and then shovelled and salted again – and again. We work hard to make sure this place stays open, so that our neighbours can come in out of the cold. This week we had our regular food cupboard, and our community meal. Now the community choir is raising the roof over in the sanctuary. The show is going on!

This coming Sunday we will be marking and remembering the Second Sunday of the Epiphany. We will sink deeper into our story of faith, and wonder with the disciples, what does it mean to follow Jesus? What does it mean to take this commitment to heart and the live our lives as if all Jesus taught was true? What would it mean to love our neighbours, to set the prisoners free? What would it mean to live in right relationship with the earth, and the creatures of the earth? There is much trouble and strife around us: we mourn with the families who lost loved ones in the terrible air crash, we mourn with the people of Australia, watching their beloved forests burn. My heart broke when I heard that there may be no more koala bears living in the wild. Dear Lord! What are we to do?

This Sunday’s reading from the prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are God’s own from before we were born. As God has sent the prophet to preach truth to the people, we are invited to live boldly. To be unafraid. To recognize the work of God all over the world: in peace, in restoration, in reconciliation. This is our moment, our time here on Earth. Let us pray:

Do not, O LORD, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.

Friday Letter, January 10, 2020

You are my child, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.

Beloved friends,

This date is important to me. On the 10th of January, 1999, I was baptized. I was 35 years old, and the summer before, after many long days of questioning and struggle, I had decided that I could indeed say, “Yes.” I could become a Christian. I wasn’t raised in a Christian household, though my grandmother, Marjorie Benson, had been a Catholic, and had thrown her lot in with Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement. She had lived a life committed to justice and challenging all ways of human cruelty. Grandma Benson was the person who had the greatest influence on me as a girl.

This Sunday, January 12, we will mark and remember Jesus’ baptism. It may seem a strange thing: indeed it was strange to John, when God, in Jesus’ flesh, came to him for baptism. Who is he to be the one to baptize Jesus? But, no, Jesus’ baptism marks his beginning, the start of something new. Jesus is now ready to embark on his journey: his life and example will overturn the world as it was, structures of exclusion, rejection, injustice have met their match. That’s what Jesus’ baptism means. What our baptism means is that we have thrown our lot in with this simple carpenter, who was also the King of the Universe. Our baptism means that we have said Yes to love and belonging, no matter what our history has been. 

This Sunday we will renew our baptismal covenant: our commitment to be that love in the world. We will promise to a) love God  b) love our neighbours c) love ourselves. Are your ready? I’ll see you Sunday!



Friday Letter, January 3rd, 2020

New Year, New Beginnings, New Friends

It was silly — as I cycled through the sloshing rain on my way to church I was inexplicably singing: Overtures! Curtains, lights! This is it, we’ve hit the heights, and oh what heights we’ve hit. On with the show this is it! 

Many of us who grew up in Canada in the 1970s would know the opening theme song for the Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour on Saturday afternoon television. We’ve been busy at St. Barnabas: Advent, Christmas, the services, the giant meal, our Sacred Singing Circle, and now: our January 5 Epiphany service for neighbours, friends and newcomers. We have been working, a small team of us, Bruce, Bill, Martha and myself, to put together a special “teaching service”. And now everything is ready. 

This Sunday, at our regularly scheduled time, we will be celebrating the sacred meal, and while I preside over the service, our good friend Martha, will be narrating what I am doing. Have you ever wondered: why is she doing that now? What does this word mean? We are hoping that all will be revealed! And you, and all our guests, will be invited to stay for a meal and talk more over in the hall afterwards. 

We have the words of eternal life! Let’s share them with everyone we know! 

I hope you will be able to come to church this Sunday. And bring a friend.

And as we keep busy in these days of chill and damp, there are two Saturday activities tomorrow that will warm our hearts: our Holy Felters group meets at 1pm. And in the evening, at 6pm, we will be showing the film: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. These are both activities for all ages and varieties of people.

Our prayers continue for our neighbourhood and the world:

Fall on us Heaven from on High
And let the skies rain down your righteousness.


New Year, New Beginnings, New Friends – Join us for a special service January 5th

New Year ~ New Beginnings ~ New Friends

Are you curious about Church?

Join us for a special service, where we will explain what’s going on

Sunday, January 5th at 10:00 am

Come and experience church in a beautiful, welcoming setting.

Explore spirituality, learn about what we do. Make new friends. Stay for lunch!

Families, seniors, singles, doubters, wonderers, wanderers, seekers…