it all came together in 1971....
Who we are:
Bethesda Christian Association is a non-profit registered charity that provides an array of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Bethesda provides services throughout British Columbia including: Supported Independent Living, Home Share, Bethesda Homes, Intentional Community, Affordable Housing, Community Inclusion, Employment Services, Family Support Services and Summer Camps. Bethesda is known for the quality relationships we share with those we serve. We recognize the God-designed necessity and value of each person and understand the reciprocal nature of service – of giving and receiving from those in our lives.
Vision: People of all abilities belonging to interdependent communities where they are valued and empowered to share their essential God-given skills and abilities.
Mission: walking alongside families and serving people of all abilities, experiencing the joys and challenges of life together.
History: 46 years ago, Bethesda began its vision of serving people with disabilities. In January 1971 parents, people with disabilities and interested others gathered for the 1st Annual General Meeting. On May 13, 1971, there was great joy and gratitude to God as Bethesda was officially formed. Founding parents wanted support for their sons and daughters with disabilities rooted in the Christian faith. They embraced Jesus example of how to love and serve others in serving people with disabilities and their families.
Continuing the Journey: We continue to celebrate God faithfulness in sustaining and growing that vision to create a ministry that impacts so many lives. We are deeply grateful for the many people and partners who have walked alongside us in our journey. We are richer for the relationships we have shared. It continues to be such an honour to share life with the people we serve, and to walk alongside staff and volunteers who live out Bethesda’s vision and mission in very real, day-to-day ways.
At the core of our beliefs and values is a shared heart to serve others. It is through service, and our steadfast belief in the mutuality of the relationships we share, that we are blessed. People with disabilities have much to teach us about life and service. We are reminded daily of the truth that when we serve, we gain more than we give. We are thankful for the immeasurable ways we are all impacted by this reality.
Statement of Faith & Community Good Neighbour Commitment
Members, Board Directors, Employees, Volunteers and Direct-Care Contractors strive to implement Bethesda's vision in supporting individuals with disabilities and their families with a Christian spirit of love, compassion, respect and with excellence to the glory of God. As a community of believers, each person embraces Bethesda's Statement of Faith and the agency's Community Good Neighbour Commitment...
Individual Rights & Freedoms
Bethesda recognizes that people receiving support have the same fundamental rights and freedoms as all Canadian citizens including freedom from unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, citizenship, national origin, sex, age, religion, illness or disability. We are committed to assisting each person exercise these rights and accompanying responsibilities. Our policy on Rights and Freedoms can be found here .....
The "Good Samaritan Rule"
Become a Member
The "Parable of the Good Samaritan" is quite a familiar story, even for people who haven’t read the parable. People generally understand that the parable's central theme is to do good to their neighbour, who is identified as someone in need. While this perception is true, there is a greater sense of what Jesus meant in telling his listeners the story.
The Good Samaritan was a person who showed mercy and who provided more than just "helping" the person, he provided a refuge for him. At the time the "Good Samaritan" went to the aid of the beaten man, he probably didn't realize the full measure of how involved he needed to be nor did he appear to be concerned about it. The Good Samaritan's frame of reference was to provide refuge, or in other words, to do whatever it took, within his abilities and resources, to meet the man's need. The man in need welcomed the Good Samaritan's unconditional help and entrusted himself to his care.
Bethesda's mission is to support people with disabilities and their families with the attitude and motivation like that of the Good Samaritan. Primarily, Bethesda supports individuals who have developmental disabilities. In keeping with the "Good Samaritan Rule", Bethesda will act, within its abilities, to support persons with varying disabilities.
"Refuge" is synonymous with "support", "protection", "security", "shelter" and "haven". Refuge may be short-term (e.g. foster care, respite care) or it may be permanent (e.g. adoption, residential).
A Member is a person who is interested in supporting the work of Bethesda Christian Association and who has a personal faith in Jesus Christ as presented in our Statement of Faith.
You can fill out a online membership form on our Donations and Membership page here.... or call our Head Office at (604) 850-6604 or e-mail us at Life@BethesdaBC.com to request a Membership package. Membership fee is $5 per individual and requires an annual renewal.
Your support as a Member enables Bethesda to:
• Helps to support individuals with disabilities and their families
• Strengthens Bethesda’s profile as a Christian service provider in British Columbia
• Entitles you to voting privileges on matters brought forward by the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting, including the election of Board Directors
As a Member, you are entitled to:
Thank you for your interest in Bethesda's work, it is gratefully appreciated.
Elected by the Membership, Bethesda's Board of 10 Directors govern the Association. Each Director serves for a 3-year period and can be re-elected for a second 3-year period. A Self Advocate also serves on the Board and is appointed by the Directors.
The Board meets regularly with its manager, the Executive Director, to review such information as necessary to ensure that the mission of Bethesda is being carried out throughout the agency. The Board is also involved in quality improvement initiatives and in futures planning. Directors highly value the input of individuals receiving services and their families.