A Prayer in Preparation for Lent

A prayer has been shared in video format on our Facebook page. Please click here to view.

If you would like ashes brought to your door for Ash Wednesday, please get in touch with us at salalandcedar@vancouver.anglican.ca

Winter Market

We have some lovely community-crafted and community-driven gifts available in our online market. Click here to see the items available, and support Salal + Cedar by buying holiday gifts from us.

End of the Year Update

Our newsletter for the onset of the cold dark months is now available. There are multiple gathering opportunities between now and Christmas — and you are invited. For more information…

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Partnership with Villanova

In 2019, Salal + Cedar hosted a group of students from Villanova University in Philadelphia. This year, due to Covid19, we are unable to welcome a group; however, our friend Ed has arranged for a series of community conversations with a cohort of ministry students.

Salal + Cedar members and friends of our community are meeting by video call with the students to explore how we do the work of environmental justice. The collective goals are:

-to help the students to have a deep and transformative learning experience of a Wild Church community that seeks to follow indigenous leadership around ecological justice

-to deep our own understanding of how these core priorities of decolonization, accountability, and kinship are part of our shared identity

-to represent Salal + Cedar to the students

If you are interested in participating in the call on alternating Monday nights throughout October and November, please contact us at salalandcedar@vancouver.anglican.ca

Doing Church, Being Church

Responding to the Covid 19 pandemic taught us some important lessons about our community. Working for justice, trying to build God’s Kingdom, and showing love for our neighbours in tangible and concrete ways have always been at the heart of Salal + Cedar. But how do we do these things when it is not safe to gather in person?

At Salal + Cedar we worship outdoors, but we also harvest medicinal plants, restore wildlife habitat, run a youth camp and we have been very active in supporting Indigenous land protection campaigns, especially resistance to the Trans-Mountain Pipeline. So the pandemic impacted more than just our worship. Like churches and communities all over the globe, we struggled to figure out how to keep on being church and doing church when we could not meet face to face. We shared goods and money, we met online, we prayed for one another, we tried new things, and we made mistakes.

But one thing we did was particularly important. Because of our grassroots community connections, our flexibility, a very modest income that is not tied to a building or a collection plate we were extremely fortunate to be able to be of direct service, as a community, to some of the most vulnerable people in our area. Together with the Downtown Eastside Covid Response team, the SRO Collaborative, St. James Music Academy, and St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Salal + Cedar was part of an urban core distribution centre supplying health and hygiene items, harm reduction supplies and phones to SRO hotel tenants and homeless neighbours in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. Members of our community worked developing safety protocols, setting up a work space, soliciting donations, bagging soap, preparing safe consumption kits, bottling hand sanitizer, and delivering supplies. In the early months of the pandemic when the number of Covid deaths was relatively low, overdose deaths were extremely high so this work was especially critical.

The project is transitioning now from ad hoc volunteers responding to a crisis to more sustainable and funded model but it was a great gift to be able to work together for concrete mutual aid.  We also learned a lot about the ways that our alternative church structure can be nimble, relational, and responsive in a crisis.

Late Summer Update

Read our late summer newsletter: come to a birthday party, join us for worship online or in person, plant some pollinator seeds, share in our witness in the downtown eastside.

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Salal + Cedar is Five Years Old

Officially, that is. We’ve been a “thing” since the summer of 2015, though the groundwork was being laid long before.

Since then, we have prayed, shared meals, marched, sang, laughed, learned, planted trees, protested, been arrested and gone to jail, worshipped, redistributed money, hiked, camped, studied scripture, made jam, gardened, made mistakes, read the bible, grown, wild crafted sacramental oils, built altars, picked up litter, sat in courtrooms, lit candles, listened to ravens, blessed water, marked the changing seasons, canoed and kayaked, mentored youth, honoured new pronouns and names, made art, tended the Watch House, watched friends come and go, tried to practice solidarity and uproot racism, examined bones, picked berries, weathered injuries, illnesses and deaths, built relationships, held each other up, failed each other, tried again, watched salmon spawn, fed birds (accidentally and on purpose), built fires, baked bread, drank wine, wove cedar bark, listened to elders, scratched mosquito bites, asked forgiveness, washed dishes, rode bicycles, fed goats, told stories about Jesus, built rain barrels, paid a living wage, nurtured and supported a lot of seminarians, entertained angels, prodded starfish, showed up for our friends and allies and failed to show up for them too, defied injunctions, asked direction from the land, listened too much to our fears, helped one another be brave, sometimes asked for help, loved animals -wild and creature companions, and we were given much more than we gave.

Turning five is kind of a landmark birthday –riding a two-wheeler, starting kindergarten. And it deserves a big celebration. Watch our events page on this site, and our Facebook page, for information on how to participate.

Birthday Gifts
Salal + Cedar tries to practice a gift economy: sharing, offering, and asking, to meet the needs that we have. If this community has been a gift to you, by our presence or by knowing that we exist in the world, we invite you to pass that gift along making a contribution of time, money, or some concrete item to Salal + Cedar AND a gift of equivalent worth for mutual aid and solidarity to someone else who needs it. The youth from Sacred Earth Camp suggest bail funds for Black Lives Matter groups, support for people who are unhoused, support for Trans folks especially Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

Re-opening guidelines

In June, Salal + Cedar was cleared to re-open for worship gatherings in person. Here are the specifics of our application to the Diocese of New Westminster.


Have you reviewed the following documents, and considered how this guidance may impact your plan to re-open to in-person worship and other gatherings?

“The Re-Opening of Churches in the Diocese of New Westminster” (the full document to which this questionnaire is attached) (the “Re-Opening Plan”)


BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance for Faith Organizations (link here


Parish Authorization and Approval

Have the “Responsible Persons” of your Parish (as defined in the Canons of the Diocese) reviewed and approved your proposal to initiate this plan. (For incorporated parishes: Priest-in-Charge, Church Wardens, and Trustees; for non-incorporated Parishes, Priest-in-Charge and Church Wardens. In addition, it may be appropriate to consult with your parish’s Parish Council.)


Please list the names of the “Responsible Persons” who have reviewed and approved your plan.

Priest In Charge: Laurel Dykstra

Wardens: Lini Hutchings, Caitlin Beck

Date for Re-opening

On which date are you applying to re-open?  Saturday, June 27

Preparing the Church Building for Re-entry

What (specifics) will you do to prepare the church building for re-entry at Phase II and wider use at Phase III? Who will do this work?    Not Applicable 

Sunday Worship

What is your Sunday worship plan for Phases II and III? What form(s) of worship and how many Sunday worship services do you intend to offer (in-person or online) for Phases II and III?

We worship most often on Saturday afternoons. During Phase II we plan to meet for in person outdoor worship no more than twice a month in locations where there will not be casual passers by. In Phase III we plan to meet in person for outdoor worship in low-traffic public locations no more than three times a month. At our outdoor worship will make use of technology to include those who are not physically present. The weeks that we do not meet in person we will gather online.

We will take a no-contact record (photo if people consent) of those who attend each service as a means of documenting attendance for future contact tracing.

How many people can your worship space or the space(s) where you intend to hold worship accommodate while complying with the requirements set out in the Re-Opening Plan, in households sitting two metres apart in all directions? (Must be no more than 50, including clergy or laity serving). Worshipping outdoors means that space is not a limiting factor, however our gatherings are usually fewer than 10 and almost never exceed 20 persons.

Will it be necessary to modify where you worship, the position of furniture in the worship space or the way the space is marked to assist those attending in maintaining social distancing? If so, how? No

How will you undertake training with your Greeters and what will you train them to do? We do not have designated greeters, training and communication for all members will include instructions regarding
principles: harm reduction, informed consent, risk assessment, prioritizing vulnerable members
and practices: distancing, sanitizing, congregating and the use of masks.
These protocols will be communicated through our newsletter, facebook page and website. Relevant information will be reiterated verbally at the beginning of each gathering and persons in leadership will model best practices. An experienced community member will be identified at each gathering to engage with and establish physical distancing bounderies in the event that we are approached by any passers by. 

What is your music plan for worship during Phases II and III?

We will not resume congregational singing until Phase IV. In Phases II and III music may included recordings, (non-woodwind/brass) instrumental music, a distanced soloist facing away from the gathered community. 

How will you ensure cleanliness and sanitization in regard to the following items and spaces?

Worship leaflets/bulletinPrayer Books, Hymn Books (if used)Physical items such as pews, the altar, pulpit, lectern, kneelers, communion rail.


Other common spaces or high-touch areas

We will provide sanitizer at all in person events. We will not share phones or pass books or paper for readings. Any worship content involving written material will be provided electronically before the services and readers can bring their own device, print copy or bible. Wearing masks will be encouraged and modeled. During Phase II those attending outdoor worship will be asked to arrive independently, during Phase III limited carpooling can occur between households who have intentionally added each other to their “bubble.” Locations will be chosen with a view to making it feasible for people to get there by the safest means possible.

How and who will you sanitize worship and other spaces between any worship services?
Not applicable 

Other Forms of Worship or Prayer

What other forms of worship or prayer do you intend to offer in Phase II and III (weekday in-person worship or online worship)? How will you provide for physical distancing in any in-person weekday worship? 

We will resume monthly contemplative walks for healthy/low risk members in Phase II when coordinators feel safe to do so. Participants will observe 2m distance from others and be encouraged to wear a mask. Sanitizer will be available.

Office Building Use

What is your plan for those working in the Church Office during Phases II and III?

Not Applicable

What is your plan for meetings of Parish Council and other parish working groups during Phases II and III?

We will continue to meet via Zoom

What are you doing or will you be doing in Phases II and III to support financial giving to your operating fund or towards special needs?

Giving during or connected to worship has not been a part of our model so we are not currently seeing diminished income (although we expect to in the future). With less frequent program activity and community engagement our spending is reduced. Our very small operating budget and experiments in economic alternatives and mutual aid make us ready and responsive. We are monitoring our bottom-line and will begin our planned online fundraiser earlier than planned if needed.


Phase III – Introducing in-person Holy Eucharist
What is your plan for introducing and managing Holy Eucharist (should you choose to do so in Phase III), paying particular attention to sanitization and physical distancing?

We do not plan to reintroduce Eucharist until Phase IV. 

Phase III – User Groups and Rentals
What is your plan in Phase III for re-opening the building to any user groups? 

Not Applicable

What is your plan in Phase III for re-opening the building to rentals?

Not Applicable

Phase III – Formation, Fellowship and Pastoral Care

What is your plan for any in-person formation activities/offerings for adults?
We will continue our monthly bible study online.
We will begin our Action for Climate Justice training online over the summer and review protocols for distanced indoor training in the fall.
Any other offerings will take place outdoors with social distancing and sanitizing protocols in place and masks encouraged

What is your plan for any in-person formation activities/offerings for children or youth?

If our Canada Summer Jobs employee feels comfortable doing so and families of youth permit it we will have socially distant in person gatherings for youth out of doors.

What is your plan for hosting in-person fellowship?

Any in-person fellowship would happen out of doors, socially distant, masks encouraged, sanitization protocol observed, and if food is consumed people will bring their own.How will you be handling any in-person pastoral care in Phase III?

Pastoral care meetings will happen out of doors, socially distant, masks encouraged and sanitization protocol observed. 

Service and Outreach

What is your plan to support existing or re-open outreach programs in Phases II and III? Have you completed and submitted the appropriate material for approval to the Synod Office? 

We do not have outreach programs or service as such but have been actively involved in a variety of community organizing an events. During Phase II, healthy and willing individuals may wish to resume some of these activities as private individuals. During Phase III carefully considered outdoor events with appropriate protocols may be added promoted through our community networks. Collective participation in community events will not resume until Phase IV with appropriate protocols in place as per diocesan recommendations. We would exercise particular caution regarding indoor events. 

For food ministry programs, have you completed and submitted the appropriate forms for approval to the Synod Office? (Please see here)

If someone who has attended in-person worship at your Parish contracts COVID-19, how will you communicate with your congregation and members who may have come into contact with that individual, while remembering privacy and pastoral care?

Priest or wardens will inform those people who attended the event(s) in question  that they have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with C-19. Contact will be made by phone or e-mail depending on preference of individual. Each person contacted will receive the most up to date provincial info on what to do if you have been exposed. This contact will be followed by a pastoral check-in to see if additional supports are needed, and to ensure that if they are diagnosed further contacts can be made.

What practical support do you need from your Regional Archdeacon or from the Synod Office to help with the implementation of these plans? 


In Person Worship Protocols

Attending in person worship with Salal + Cedar? Please read and observe our group protocols to help limit the spread of Covid19.

Meeting in Person, Meeting Online

Salal + Cedar will resume meeting in person on June 27th, but online gatherings will also continue for the time being. And we are so pleased to have Rachael working with us again this summer! Have a look at our latest newsletter for all the latest, and scan the events section of this website for more details on how to meet with us.

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