Fifteen years ago, our founding pastor, Jerry Conner, had a vision to plant a network of neighbourhood churches in Vancouver. Today, The Bridge is excited to announce that God is giving us an opportunity to turn that vision into a reality. In the Spring of 2017, a group will be sent from Christ City Church to partner with us in the mission to reach people for Jesus in Kitsilano. By God’s grace, we will begin meeting together on Sunday mornings at Fifth Avenue Cinemas, Palm Sunday, April 9th, 2017.
Through this partnership, we seek to establish a church large enough to meet the challenges of ministry in Vancouver, but small enough to maintain community. We believe this will be a healthy context for making, maturing, and multiplying disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. By the grace of God, our partnership with Christ City will enable us to plant additional churches in Vancouver neighbourhoods in the coming years.
Christ City’s Story
In September of 2013, Westside Church sent out a group of people led by pastor Brett Landry, to plant a church in South Vancouver. While they had initially planned to start in the Marpole area, they were soon approached by South Hill MB Church in Vancouver’s Sunset neighbourhood. In a remarkable display of God’s grace, South Hill gifted their building to Christ City and many of their congregation joined in the new work. Since 2013, the Lord has added many people to Christ City. Last year they had the privilege of baptizing 14 new believers. In the fall of 2016, they were forced to go to three Sunday services in order to accommodate everyone.
The Bridge’s Story
Founded in September 2001, by pastor Jerry Conner, and miraculously sustained by God, The Bridge has slowly but faithfully built relationships with and within the Kitsilano community. Her people seek to live out authentic Gospel centred community. While attendance has varied for much of her history, the congregation began to grow steadily in numbers and maturity over the past few years. Seven were baptized in 2016, and small groups have multiplied organically. Under the stewardship of Fred Eaton, God has blessed The Bridge with a core group of committed believers ready to make, mature and multiply disciples of Christ for the glory of God.
Growing faith in what the Lord is about to do in Kitsilano
Like Jerry’s original vision for The Bridge, Brett Landry began Christ City with a desire to establish a network of neighbourhood churches in Vancouver. Therefore, as Brett and the elders of Christ City talked about how to steward the growth they were experiencing, they began praying about when and where they might plant another church in Vancouver.
This past September, Fred met and began getting to know Brett through some mutual friends. It was obvious that they shared similar passions for the glory of God, for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the mission and ministry of the local church. At the end of that meeting, Fred asked Brett if he and Christ City would consider some sort of partnership in Kitsilano. They agreed to pray about it.
Thus began a three month process of thinking, praying and talking about what a partnership between Christ City and The Bridge might look like. As Brett shared this idea with his elders and Fred shared it with Jonathan, all began to experience growing faith and a real sense of the Lord’s leading. This was further confirmed when the Bridge elders spoke with the directors of The Bridge.
So, in faithful obedience to what we believe God has called us to do, The Bridge and Christ City are partnering together in 2017 to plant Christ City Church Kitsilano. At the same time, Christ City Church will be renaming themselves to Christ City Church South Vancouver, solidifying the vision of neighbourhood churches planting neighbourhood churches.
Fred will be serving as the Kitsilano neighbourhood pastor and will also be a part of a combined eldership. During this Advent season, Brett and the elders of Christ City are encouraging people in their congregation to pray about joining with us in this new work.
On February 19th, we will gather for our last Sunday together at our present location. This will be a time of celebration and gratitude for the faithfulness of God over the past fifteen years. The following four Sundays, we will begin gathering together with those from Christ City at a temporary location (TBD) in order to prepare for our public launch at Fifth Avenue Cinemas. This will be a time to get to know one another, to pray together, and to gather around our shared mission, vision, and values.
In many respects, Christ City Kitsilano will be a continuation of The Bridge’s fifteen year history. Much of what makes The Bridge beautiful, warm, relational and unique will be transplanted. Many of our outreach ministries such as Sports Camp will continue. But at the same time, it will be a new beginning: one better positioned to reach Kitsilano for Christ.
While change can be uncomfortable, it is also an opportunity to grow and experience the grace of God in fresh ways. As Jonathan and Fred have shared this partnership plan with various people at The Bridge, we have been consistently encouraged by the responses we have heard. Everyone we have spoken with has been entirely supportive and full of faith! This is further evidence of God’s gracious hand at work.
In the next few weeks, we will post an FAQ document on this website. As well, we will host a Q&A time after our AGM next Sunday. Should you have more detailed questions, Fred or Jonathan would be happy to meet with you.
Here are some specific things that you can be praying about:
- Pray that we would walk in a manner worthy of Christ through our unity, humility, and faith. Change is never easy; we need to know that the Lord is leading and providing. Ultimately, it’s His mission before it is ours.
- Pray for those who are being sent from Christ City. This is a big step for them. Pray that The Bridge would be ready to warmly welcome brothers and sisters in Christ as they partner with us to reach our neighbours with the good news.
- Pray for the many details that need to be worked out between now and April 9th and about how you might be involved to help us get prepared.
- Pray for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit that we might boldly proclaim the gospel to those in our city.
- Pray for those in Kitsilano who have not yet found their hope in Jesus Christ. Pray for your neighbours, your schools, your coworkers, that they might come to know and love Him.