Beginnings as a Publication
Calling Ministries began as Calling Foundation. Calling Foundation started with the publication of the magazine “Calling” in December 1958. The first edition was edited by J.R.E. McLaren and included articles such as “The Call of Canada’s Growing Cities” by Dennis Clark and a report on the first Young Peoples’ couples Conference at Anvil Island.
Origins of “Calling”
The name “Calling” was suggested by Joanna Kent and was based on the idea that God was always calling individual men and women to Himself and His service.
From Writing to Caring for Seniors
The first editorial of “Calling” spoke about the need to “do good to all men, especially to the household of faith”. In January 1960, a group of 6 men became the first directors of Calling. Their aims included constructing, equipping and operating homes for the aged, providing loans to congregations to buy, build or renovate churches, halls or camps, publishing periodicals, supporting missionaries and evangelists as well as establishing camps and schools.
Parkdale Manor, Calling’s First Building
The first building project completed was Parkdale Manor at King Edward Avenue and Macdonald Street in 1963. Initially, Parkdale consisted of bachelor suites for singles and small units for couples. In 1994 much of the property was redeveloped to increase the number of units as well as the variety of layouts and sizes of units and to update the facilities.
Over the years Parkdale has delivered many programs that meet the spiritual and physical needs of the residents. Hundreds of people have truly appreciated and benefited from the efforts of the original Calling Board during their time at Parkdale Manor.
Blenheim Lodge opened in 1969 as a facility that could provide more support to elderly residents than Parkdale Manor. Initially, Blenheim Lodge provided Room and Board and Personal Care. Today Blenheim Lodge provides a higher level of care and is designated as a Complex Care Facility.
While Calling Ministries continues to own the land and building, it rents the space to a separate organization, Calling Foundation, that operates the facility’s 98 beds of long term care.
The Missionary Home, located on the Parkdale property, has four, two bedroom floors. Many of those who serve in the lower mainland supporting churches and from overseas have enjoyed these facilities during short stays. Mature students attending classes at UBC also appreciate the affordability, and they participate in seniors care.
For many years Missionary Home was operated by the Vancouver Missionary Home Society. It was turned over to the Calling Foundation in 1996.
Calling Ministries has been fortunate to have benefited from the work of many committed and dedicated Board members, volunteers and employees during its first 50 years of existence. Calling Ministries is very thankful for the many hundreds of people who have given time and talent to the work of the Lord as carried on by Calling.