Stephen Rathjen

For the past 14 years, by the grace of God, I have been called to live among my neighbors in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancouver, a community known for facing significant challenges. In my journey, I've been blessed with the opportunity to work both as the program director for a local nonprofit that provides free music lessons to low-income families and, more recently, as a technology consultant four days a week. Through this work, God has used my gifts to enable me to assist many nonprofits. These organizations have been empowered to leverage innovative tools and processes to amplify their missions.

Presently, I work at Salesforce as a Solution Architect.

For the last seven years, God has humbled me with the opportunity to serve on the board of Strathcona Vineyard, a small local missional church. This experience has deepened my conviction that God’s love, expressed through our relationships, is the most powerful agent for change in our world. As someone who identifies as gay and affirming, I've been particularly drawn to bridge gaps on divisive issues within the Christian community, including abortion, politics, race, and sexuality. By God’s grace, I've found a home within a non-affirming denomination, holding onto the hope that God will unite us as one family across all parishes, echoing the Apostle Paul’s plea for unity in 1 Corinthians 1:10.

On Fridays, or “FIMBY Fridays” as I fondly call them, I dedicate what would typically be a workday to nurturing the FIMBY project (visit fimby.ca for more info). This initiative has been a way to use my system-building talents to foster connections among Christians in neighborhoods, encouraging us to come together as one body in Christ, beyond our common divisions.