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National Advisory | StreetLevel
Tim Dickau has been the pastor of Grandview Calvary Baptist church for the last 24 years.
The full-house event was hosted by ...
The full-house event was hosted by UBC professor of geography David Ley and featured three panelists: Joan Seidl of 127 Society for Housing, Tim Dickau of Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, and Robert Brown of Catalyst Community Developments.
David Ley, Joan Seidl, Robert Brown, Tim Dickau
The second panelist to present was Tim Dickau, the long-time pastor at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, a congregation known for its active engagement in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood.
attributes the housing crisis in part to "a failure of imagination and courage at the individual, communal and systemic levels.
encouraged churches to build on the uniquely creative and fruitful vision of community in the gospels.
In identifying this vision, Dickau
church congregation have been led by two particular narratives.
The first is the story of the banquet found in Luke's gospel, in which Jesus encourages his
followers to imitate God's unbridled hospitality: "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.
That imperative, states Dickau
, "has challenged, stretched, infuriated and inspired [Grandview Calvary] over the years."
Tim Dickau (Ken McAllister photo)
Tim Dickau (Ken McAllister photo)
This can be lived out on a small or large scale.
Dickau's own family has shared a home with more than 46 individuals over the years.
highly recommends the practice of shared life, suggesting that "one of Vancouver's main housing problems is that it has too many empty bedrooms.
Tim Dickau, pastor, ...
Tim Dickau, pastor, Grandview Calvary Baptist Church
Tim Dickau, pastor of ...
Tim Dickau, pastor of Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, showed me a condemned house on a piece of property the church bought for $80,000 decades ago.
Some of that attitude is displayed by Tim Dickau
at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church
grew up among quite conservative Baptists on the Alberta prairie.
For him, attending Regent
, the evangelical seminary in Vancouver, was a stretch to the left.
At Regent he
developed a love for
N. T. Wright's biblical scholarship and for Catholic spiritual traditions.
found that he
was indeed a Baptist.
"I've always said that if you combined Anabaptists' stance over against the world with a Reformed desire to transform society and Catholic spiritual practice, you'd have a church."
ministry in Vancouver began when he
was asked to explore new options for ministry at a long-established church.
found a congregation that had quit.
The Sunday school rooms had garbage in them.
Members commuted in from the suburbs, and they had already decided to close the church but hadn't told the new pastor.
got to work interviewing neighbors for six months.
What was missing in their lives? he
And what would they wish for from a church like GCBC?
Most had no idea the church existed, but they told him that they needed space for community events.
So the church opened its doors for everything from salsa dancing to a hip-hop opera.
One woman Dickau
met at the park lamented her
, "Want to be in a new small group?"
"I remember reading that it would take ten years to get the church healthy," he
says, looking back.
doesn't align the church with the culture.
critiques Canadian consumerism and individuality.
That emphasis led to the creation of an intentional Christian community.
The church owns some 17 houses in which members live in community-some with refugees, some with addicts.
The church has also raised some $9 million to build affordable housing in a city in desperate need of it.
Units will go up this spring to house some 20 families in need, and families from the church will be involved to help foster community.
explains this ministry with a quote from Jean Vanier: "In the past, Christians
who wanted to follow Jesus opened hospitals and schools.
acknowledged one key asset: a wealthy family in the church that knows how to give money away creatively.
was ticketed for DUI a few years ago.
Some leaders at the church wanted to keep it quiet, but he
needed to confess publicly at a Sunday service.
processed to the center of the church, where church members laid hands on him and prayed for him.
Then others started to confess their own sins.
can do it, I can too," they said.
Revival broke out where there could have been a cover-up or a scripted confession.
"For those of you not normally here, we don't do this every week!
Story - Tim Dickau: "Transforming a Neighbourhood: Story of Grandview Calvary"
Tim is the Senior Pastor of Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in Vancouver.