Joining God in the spiritual, social and cultural renewal of our city, through communities transformed by the gospel, all to the glory of God.
Who We Are
We are all about Jesus.
Why on earth are we so captivated by him? Because, in Jesus, God was reconciling the world to himself (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). God is reweaving the fabric of the universe back into harmony with his inexhaustible and steadfast love. Abraham Kuyper once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ does not cry, ‘Mine!'” We want to see our small part of the world, the city of Vancouver, reclaimed and renewed by Jesus.
What is Equip & Build?
In the NT, in Ephesians Ch 4, St Paul says that Christians are on a journey towards unity of faith, knowledge of God, and to mature personhood. In other words, Christian life is about growing. It is an endeavour by which the saints—the people of Jesus!—are ‘equipped and built up’ in the faith. The ministry of Christian Education at St Peter’s Fireside takes its name from this passage of Scripture. Equip & Build is a targeted, essential ministry of our church, through which we aspire to mature as people who love, know, and live for God.
The Equip & Build ministry is premised on four core commitments:
Christianity does not shy away from tough questions about God, theology, spirituality, and ethics. The church has long laboured to address points of confusion, misgiving, and struggle that are a familiar, even normal, feature of Christian existence. St Peter’s is committed to stand in this tradition of engagement. Equip & Build is one of the ways we do this. Many of the sessions touch upon difficult topics associated with Christian faith. In classical Christianity, “faith” does not refer to something that is ignorant or simplistic. Faith is something which seeks understanding. Or, to echo St Anselm, ‘we believe in order to understand’.
Christian formation is profoundly connected to the life of the mind. In Matthew 22, Jesus says this to his followers: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” At St Peter’s Fireside, we embrace a spirituality that values knowledge & understanding of God and creation. Moreover, we do not believe that this is opposed to Christian living and activism! Rather, the two go hand-in-hand, complimenting and supporting one another.
Christians should not have to attend seminary or theological college in order to grapple with the deep and tough questions of biblical interpretation, church history, theology, and ethics. While theological colleges serve an importance function, this function is not to displace the church itself as the foremost centre for Christian eduction and formation. St Peters considers it a privilege and responsibility to provide quality education about Christianity without charging tuition along the way!
The work of witness and mission is enhanced when Christians know their story. Its increasingly embarrassing that many people in Christian churches can barely explain—in a winsome and thoughtful way!—the distinctive features of Christian life. In the NT, St Peter urges followers of Jesus to be prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…and do it with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3). The importance of this summons cannot be understated. Even in an experiential culture such as ours, we still need to communicate the nature of Christianity in a manner that is clear, coherent, and compelling. This takes effort and practice. We believe that Equip & Build is part of this equation.
WHAT IS EQUIP & BUILD LIKE?
Equip & Build sessions typically take place twice per month. They are promoted in advance on our website and at our Sunday services. They run roughly an hour in length. They are taught by our pastoral staff, members of our community, and even guest speakers with expertise on a topic of interest. Speakers have different backgrounds, coming from the academy, City Hall, the counselling clinic, and even prisons. Equip & Build sessions aim to be meaty, thoughtful, and engaging. Most sessions consist of a formal presentation, followed by a time for questions and discussion. Reading recommendations, for those who seek further understanding, are usually provided.
WHAT TOPICS ARE COVERED IN EQUIP & BUILD?
The topics for Equip & Build are grouped in four categories: theology, church history, Christian life, and Bible. In any given season, each of these areas will be represented by at least one session.
Topics are selected in several ways. Some correspond to our sermon series. Others are developed in response to requests from those involved with St Peters. And many are in response to a need we have identified in our community.
WHEN IS THE NEXT EQUIP & BUILD?
To see when the next Equip & Build takes place, head on over to our Events page.