There is rarely a dull day at Jacob’s Well. In addition to our weekly rhythms there are many things we are involved in on a monthly and yearly basis.
We highly value working with other organizations in the downtown eastside to better serve our neighbourhood. We have often collaborated with our sister communities at Servants, St. Chiara’s, and Salvation Army 614 in a yearly “month of prayer,” and in events around Welfare Wednesday. Other organizations we have partnered with or participated in include The Lookout Society, BOB, Strathcona Mental Health, the Pender Health Clinic, UGM, Carnegie, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council, the DTES Local Area Planning Process, God’s House of Many Faces, Strathcona Vineyard Church, and Mission Possible.
Immersion learning is a week-long experience we offer to teams of people visiting from outside Vancouver, or outside the DTES. Through classes taught by different people on our team, the use of film, and hands-on practice, students are challenged and equipped to engage their lives with marginalized people, and to consider authentic ways to show God’s love in a broken world. Groups of 12 or less are welcomed to apply to join us for a week of study. Please contact us for more details.
Three times a year, we hold a weekend workshop where we invite people to join us in exploring God’s heart for people on the margins of society. We examine stories from the Bible and share our experiences from life in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Together we wrestle with questions like:
Who are the marginalized?
Is God biased toward the poor?
Are we called to save people?
What is the difference between mercy and justice?
What is the gospel?
Through this workshop, we hope to spark people’s imagination as they live out God’s call to love marginalized people in their own neighbourhoods, schools, churches, and workplaces.
Our annual Jacob’s Well holiday has become one of the most anticipated week of the year. Since the summer of 2003 we have caravanned to the Okanagan to have a working holiday together, at the Okanagan Gleaners in Oliver. This week sees anywhere from 10-40 of our community – adults, youth and children – camping out in a plum orchard! We spend our mornings prepping vegetables, which would have made it to a compost or dump if not for this initiative. After the vegetables have been cleaned and chopped they are dried and made into 100 serving soup mixes, which are shipped 70 bags to a barrel, all over the world. In the afternoon we play…sightseeing, hitting the beach, going for walks, napping, reading and even rafting. Our evenings see us gather around the table for feasting, songs, and sharing, which leads to worship, prayer and often games. Our gleaning holiday, as you can imagine, is our favourite week of the year, full of community strengthening life and joy! To learn more about the Okanagan Gleaners please visit www.okanagangleaners.ca
Several times a year we gather all committed members of our various “teams”, so they can interact and meet one another, and together we celebrate what God is doing among us. These are very rich times! We have an annual Harvest Party, Christmas Brunch, Annual General Meeting in late winter, and our summer Gleaning trip. These larger gathering are characterized primarily by excellent food, worship, and hearing stories from our life in community.
We had the privilege of founding Red Clover Farm in 2005, as a prophetic announcement of God’s new life breaking into abandoned, dead spaces. After four years of fruitful gardening, our two head gardeners moved back to the USA. We were so pleased to pass on the care for this land to a local church. Our community still participates in the gardening and shares in the produce. You can read all about the farm here. You can also watch an interview with former Red Clover Urban Farm founders Tom & Dave here.