Diocese of New Westminster ACW pushes Say Yes! to Kids Campaigns closer to their goals
The Anglican Foundation of Canada’s (AFC) Say Yes! to Kids 2022 campaign received a $5,000 donation from the Diocese of New Westminster ACW giving a major boost to the two fundraising teams in the Diocese of New Westminster and bringing the national total to close to $25,000.
“We are deeply moved by this support from the New Westminster ACW,” says Dr. Scott Brubacher, Executive Director, AFC. “ACW groups across the country have been staunch supporters of the Say Yes! To Kids movement, and the Diocese of New Westminster ACW, in particular, has shown extraordinary generosity, providing leadership gifts to the campaign in both 2021 and 2022.”
“On behalf of the ACW Executive Board, of the Diocese of New Westminster,” says Gail Revitt, President, “we are pleased to be able to assist Say Yes to Kids to help youth build their connection to the church and the broader world and to help support related services for children in our Diocese.”
There are close to 20 fundraising teams nationwide in this year’s Say Yes! to Kids campaign. Fundraising goals range from $2,500 up to $25,000, and programs include: dramatic arts, student bursary funds, revamping youth spaces, and support for young people who are experiencing homelessness, just to name a few.
In the Diocese of New Westminster there are currently two teams who have joined the Say Yes! to Kids family.
Lauren Odile Pinkney, Children Youth & Families Minister at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver is looking to the Say Yes! to Kids campaign to fund a new dramatic arts development program for 2022-2023. “The Cathedral’s vision is to create a program where youth can meet regularly in an informal way, learn and gain a broad range of skills under the umbrella of dramatic arts,” says Pinkney. “Be it acting, improvisation, stand-up comedy, musical theatre, playwriting, production, or set and stage design, this program need not be limited in the areas it can explore.”
Pinkney, who has a background in theatre, is hopeful the program will result in variety of performances and showcases, and the development of partnerships, both within the Cathedral and the broader community. “Most importantly, I’m hoping to see a group of young people emerge as leaders in dramatic arts, with new skills that will carry them through adolescence and beyond.”
During the last eight years a significant group of families from the Chaldean Christian community, as well as other newcomer children, have joined Church of the Epiphany in north Surrey, contributing to its development as an integrated community of Arabic and English-speaking followers of Christ.
“During the pandemic most of the children and young people did not come to church,” says the Rev. Stephen Rowe, Rector. “However, in recent weeks they have begun to return.” Rowe says the church plans to use proceeds from this year’s Say Yes! to Kids campaign to rebuild a children and youth program—Sundays and a midweek meeting for teens—with staffing support.
“These children and young people have left their homes in Iraq and elsewhere and come to Canada, often as refugees,” explains Rowe. “As they have made a new life in our community, we want to build on the deep faith of their families now as part of the Anglican tradition.”
Diocesan & National Partners
For every $10 donated to the New Westminster teams, $4 will be shared between youth-focused ministry at the diocesan and national levels.
This year the diocesan share of Say Yes! to Kids campaigns in New Westminster will support the Diocesan Youth Movement (DYM). “Of significant benefit to young people in our diocese is the DYM Annual Retreat,” says the Rt. Rev. John Stephens, Bishop of New Westminster. “What better way to Say Yes! to young people than to bring them together: engaging their hearts and minds, increasing their sense of belonging, and contributing to their journey of self-discovery. I am grateful to both our Cathedral and Church of the Epiphany for their support and leadership in this Say Yes! To Kids initiative.”
Nationally, funds raised through Say Yes! to Kids will support Indigenous youth initiatives that are national in scope, and that complement the transformational work being done at both the local and diocesan levels. Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Chair of AFC’s Board of Directors, says, “Our Say Yes! to Kids champions are wonderful examples of sacrificial love and service, showing us in ways large and small how to be adaptable, how to persevere, and how to keep the faith amid uncertainty.”
To find a team to support or to make a shared gift—to teams in a particular diocese, or to all teams—contact Michelle Hauser at [email protected].