by Alastair Sterne
March 12, 2013
5 min read
From day one, we realized this calling to start a church in downtown Vancouver is not something we want to do alone (nor can we do it alone!). If we want to seek the renewal of Vancouver, which we do, then we need to be a part of something much larger than ourselves: we need to be a part of a gospel movement. So, we formed partnerships to help us in this journey. Summit Church in Orlando sent us, Redeemer City to City trained us, C2C Network have coached and supported us, and as of most recent St. John’s Vancouver has joined us in our work. You can learn more about each at our Partnerships page.
We’re happy to announce the details of our partnership with St. John’s Vancouver. St. John’s is now our “mother church.” Over the past year, we have developed our relationship with their leadership, staff, and community. Julia and I have been so warmly welcomed and received into the community, and are amazed at their hospitality. We call them our mother church because in a very real way they have adopted us. St. John’s is planting St. Peter’s with us. Through much prayer and reflection, we have cultivated a detailed plan for our partnership, and now the leadership team have formally commissioned us to plant a church out of the St. John’s community in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Members from St. John’s will join St. Peter’s and our existing launch team as we seek to join God in the renewal of all things.
I am grateful—very grateful—for the support of St. John’s. I am humbled by their partnership and their belief in, and enthusiasm for, our vision. God has been evidently at work in bringing us together in more ways than I can recount (or even know). Below is a letter from David Short, the senior pastor of St. John’s, to the community at St. John’s:
Ten years ago a small group at St. John’s began praying about planting a new church under the leadership of Sean Love. Initially there was a strong desire to begin a new church fellowship in downtown Vancouver, but through the process of prayer the group discerned that they should plant a new church in Richmond. So in 2008 St. John’s Richmond was born. They moved in 2012 to a larger facility to accommodate their growth. Have a look at their website, stjohnsrichmond.ca
God is now giving us the opportunity to be a sending church—to partner with Alastair and Julia Sterne to plant a new ANiC congregation in downtown Vancouver. As you know, Alastair grew up in Victoria, studied communication design at The Art Institute, worked in Florida and was invited onto staff at the large church he was attending. He studied at seminary, married Julia (to his lifelong credit) and attended the church planting ‘boot camp’ at Redeemer Church in New York. We have been working with the Sternes for the last year, thankful for their energy, humility, and God-given desire to plant a contemporary Anglican Church in downtown Vancouver.
Over the past seven months the Sternes have become part of our St. John’s community. They have been recommended for ordination to ANiC through our St. John’s ordination discernment committee. They have made our evening service their home, bringing their core team also to make St. John’s their home. Together with Ryan Cook, Alastair has started a men’s downtown Bible study, and the Sternes host two home groups.
I am delighted that God is giving us this opportunity to partner with Alastair and Julia to plant St. Peter’s Fireside church downtown. We are formally endorsing Alastair, and St. Peter’s Fireside will be a church plant of St. John’s. God is very kind to us. As we have settled in to OAC and developed a vision for our future, this is an exciting confirmation that God is very much at work in Vancouver and that we can partner with him in this gospel initiative.
Over the next few months there will be opportunities to learn more about St. Peter’s. However, the first thing we need to do is pray. This next month will be one of prayer for St. Peter’s.
Our hope is to plant St. Peter’s later this year with between seventy and one hundred people committed to reach downtown. What can you do?
PRAY – this initiative will attract much opposition; so we need to look to God and hold the Sternes before God.
LEARN – during April and May, there will be a number of opportunities to learn about this opportunity and the vision for St. Peter’s.
PARTICIPATE – pray about your participation. Would you consider being part of the planting group?
Please join us—our launch team and St. John’s—in this month of prayer! Pray that God would be with us, guiding us, shaping us, and calling us as we find our place within His incredible story.