One important area of attention at Bethesda has been on truly understanding Community and what it means not only for the people we serve, but for all of us. In Jean Vanier’s book, From Brokenness to Community (p. 35-36), he explains “Community”:
Community means caring: caring for people.
We are not striving for perfect community. Community is not an ideal; it is people.
It is you and I.
In community we are called to love people just as they are with their wounds and their gifts,
not as we would want them to be.
Community means giving them space, helping them to grow.
It means also receiving from them so that we too can grow.
It is giving each other freedom; it is giving each other trust;
it is confirming but also challenging each other.
We give dignity to each other by the way we listen to each other,
in a spirit of trust and of dying to oneself so that the other may live, grow and give.
God created us to live in relationship and community with Him and with each other. As human beings we all long for community and belonging; that we are accepted for who we are, essential to the wholeness of humanity, and loved and valued as someone who is made in the image of God. “It is in community where deep inner healing comes about - when people feel loved and when they have a sense of belonging.” (Jean Vanier, Becoming Human p. 11).
With much excitement and the culmination of a long standing dream for families and the people we serve, we opened Vedder Terrace, an Intentional Community that offers affordable, flexible and individualized housing options. People with and without disabilities moved into their new homes this summer with a shared commitment to Intentional Community; “a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values and needs” (National Geographic, Mary E. Jennings).
Bethesda’s Intentional Community focus:
• A place of belonging that offers accessibility, acceptance and inclusion, authority and decision-making, supported living environments, engagement with the larger community, encouragement of personal growth through a model of compassion and interdependence.
• A community that values all people and purposefully deploys the gifts and abilities of each person to enhance the community they live in.
• An invitational and participatory community that offers opportunities for the larger community to live life together, pursuing common interests and social purposes that enhance community life (e.g. community garden, walking groups, community kitchen, common social interest groups).
Join us in celebrating community in its comprehensive and inclusive meaning. “And may you all have the power to understand [ability to comprehend], as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” (Ephesians 3:18).
the journey from a dream and vision...to home
After much anticipation, prayers and planning, Vedder Terrace finally became home. On June 1st Joanne, Jacquie, Andrew, Yoshi, Mac, Stephen and Lois – along with the care takers, Bill and Cathy and their 2 children – arrived eager to move into their new homes. The place was buzzing with moving trucks and many helping hands.
That evening everyone gathered for a shared dinner. During the meal, people sensed a deepening connection and care for each other and knew that their lives at Vedder Terrace would be filled with belonging. A few tears were shed by parents when it was time to go – some having to say good bye to their children for the very first time – but they left re-assured that Vedder Terrace would be a loving and supportive place to call home.
A few days later, the group came together for their first joint project – to create a community garden. Along with community members, the residents enjoyed planting radishes, blueberries, lettuce, peas and much more. The gardeners check on progress in the garden each day, anticipating when they will be able to enjoy the harvest.
On June 17th, we celebrated the dedication of Vedder Terrace. The residents, their families, Bethesda board members and staff, Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz and other supporters gathered to share, pray, read scripture and celebrate the opening of Vedder Terrace.
We are so thankful for the ways in which God has blessed Vedder Terrace – from the financial support and prayers of so many, to the amazing support of the families of those calling Vedder Terrace their home.
Affordable housing is part of Bethesda’s strategic plan. We are committed to providing living options that offer a respectful, dignified quality of life to individuals who live on limited incomes.
Vedder Terrace is a 9-unit townhouse complex, centrally located in the Sardis community. It is close to all amenities, providing opportunity to fully participate in community life.
The 2 bedroom units are fully wheelchair accessible and suitable for people with a variety of needs and abilities.
The Vedder Terrace townhouse units have been beautifully designed to provide housing options for individuals living with a disability.
Whether individuals are seeking Supported Independent Living opportunities, 24 hour care, or something in between, living situations can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual and adjusted as necessary.
Staff, family, friends and peers will attend to the support needs of each tenant with a disability.
Parent Testimonial for Vedder Terrace:
For years now I have prayed that somewhere or someone would be there for Joanne so I knew she would be safe and looked after. I pushed Joanne out of the nest which was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I am not here forever and she needed the skills to “survive” for want of a better word. She has been living in her own apartment which burned down in June 2015. People like Joanne are so vulnerable. Many times I had wished I had the space to bring her back home. Her older sister has always said she would be there for Joanne but her career takes her far away from Chilliwack. I do not expect Barb to have to look after Joanne but I do know she will always support her. When I was told about Bethesda I had my first ray of hope. Now that Joanne has been accepted into Bethesda, Vedder Terrace, a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Saturday October 17,15 we toured the site and met other parents and residents. There was such a feeling of love and caring it is hard to describe how moved I was. Thank you does not seem enough but I do say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. My husband feels the same way
You have our permission to use this Statement.
Flo and Frank
More Parent Testimonials for Vedder Terrace:
Andrew is excited and we his family have been praying for a miracle exactly like this, A Caring Christian Community to support his Adult Years!
As a father I have given my all , dedicated 29 years to supporting my son and have prayed for a miracle.
Andrew is excited to join his peers and new friends!
Carlton & Andrew
Other Parent Testimonials for Vedder Terrace:
My thoughts/impressions as a parent with an adult child with disabilities and his upcoming move to Vedder Terrace:
I am truly excited and grateful that the opportunity came available for my son, Andrew, to be accepted into the residences at Vedder Terrace. The concept of having a small community type housing for a diverse group of individual with various needs is wonderful.
What it means for Andrew is this will open up new opportunities for him towards independence and provide a setting for him to grow socially and emotionally. This will also give him an environment where he will feel safe and feel like home away from home for the years to come.
For me as a parent, I feel less worried about Andrew’s future knowing that he is in good hands with Bethesda Christian Association – for they have a great track record in ensuring the needs of their clients are met in the best way. I feel very confident in this organization’s ability to ensure the people they served are receiving the best care possible.
As a parent I am truly blessed to see such a project take place, not only in the building of the homes but as well as adding value to lives of the residents by providing them a truly beautiful place to live. What a gift to the parents and to the community.
2016 Vedder Terrace Movie Slideshow:
Vedder Terrace Move IN (June 2016):
Vedder Terrace is move in ready!
Andrew is moving in!
Yoshi is ready to move in!
Lois checking out her new unit!
Mac enjoying his comfy chair!
Peace from Stephen and Lucas
Kim and Stephen are all smiles
Sitting on the new swing!
Getting to know one another
Beautiful day to plant flowers
One of us likes to plant a garden!
These seeds are so small!
12 - 12
…….to all who supported our Fundraiser initiative on April 22nd!!
A special thank you to VEDDER RIDGE CONSTRUCTION, for generously sponsoring our event!!
Thank you to all of our generous donors – you are making dreams come true!