EFC Update Newsletter April 14, 2020

14 April 2020

Religious Freedom: The EFC Seeks Intervener Status in Church Dispute Case at Supreme Court

Last week the EFC filed its arguments for intervener status in an application for leave to appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Canada is challenging an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that permits courts to judicially review a dispute between members of the church and their bishop on a theological and disciplinary decision. This decision conflicts with a previous Supreme Court decision (in which the EFC intervened) that ruled the courts will not “become the arbiter of religious dogma” and that ecclesiastical decisions about membership and discipline are outside of the scope of judicial review. The upcoming case is known as Aga v. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada

EFC President Attending Virtual Denominational Meeting

This week EFC President Bruce Clemenger is giving a report to the Regional Synod of Canada of the Reformed Church in America. The RCA is one of 45 denominations affiliated with the EFC and, as with other denominations’ annual conferences planned for the spring and early summer, this meeting will be held by video conferencing.

New Podcast: Being Church and Neighbour in the Pandemic

Preston Pouteaux is an author, beekeeper and pastor of Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere Alberta. He shares deep encouragement for the Canadian churches finding their feet in this strange and difficult time.

Bill C-7 Puts Lives on the Line: New Canada Watch

“We’re at the point where our lives are on the line.” EFC staff recently heard this from a woman with disabilities. She was expressing her deep concern about the new bill that would expand euthanasia. She shared the need to use every means possible to challenge this bill, Bill C-7. Read more in the latest Canada Watch about Bill C-7 and other issues the EFC is working on.

Hope in Crisis Video and Algeria Persecution Article from WEA Global Ambassador

You’ve probably heard about persecution in countries like China and Iran, but did you know Algerian Christians are also being shut out of their churches? “Algeria, one of the early Arab Spring countries, continues to send its police to rout Christians from services of worship, padlocking their church doors,” writes Brian Stiller, global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance.

He also released a five-minute video called Hope in Crisis. Watch and be encouraged.

Stand Up Straighter

Were you ever told by your parents to “stand up straight?” Faith Today columnist Carolyn Arends reflects that just like our physical posture often needs correcting, we are also born “spiritually bent” and in need of spiritual formation. “My best teachers in the Christian life remind me spiritual formation is the slowest of all possible human movements. Jesus will unbend us, if we’ll let Him, but it will take surrender, practice and time.” Read more in the latest Faith Today.

Support the production of more uniquely Canadian Christian journalism like this by donating or subscribing to the EFC magazine Faith Today.

Coming Events at

→ Fridays Webinars: Preparing your church for coronavirus (Wheaton/NAE), online, noon Central time, April 17, etc.
→ Missional Commons, online, April 16
→ Watercooler Break for Communications Workers, online, April 17
→ Good Seed Sunday (A Rocha), nationwide, April 26
→ Ending Poverty Together Online Workshop, April 30

Publicize your event for free on our calendar and we will also share it in this email newsletter.

An Online Seminary Course? Why Not?

Online course registrations are now open for many seminaries and Christian postsecondary institutions. Several are listed on our online calendar (

→ Trinity Western University online summer courses (courses starting April, May, June, July)
→ Briercrest Seminary Summer Courses (courses starting April 16)
→ Booth University College Online Courses (courses starting May 4)
→ Master’s College & Seminary (courses starting May 4 and June 22)
→ Providence College & Seminary (courses starting Sept. 17)
→ Horizon College (courses starting April, May, June, either free to audit or discounted prices for credit)

Be sure to check the website of your preferred institution for more learning opportunities. Or visit to search a database of Canadian Christian online courses and choose for example from 118 undergraduate courses available in summer 2020.

In Case You Missed It

Holy Week reflections from EFC leaders
→ Resources for churches: Your contributions of articles, event notifications and other resources can be submitted there.
A matter for equal protection: Advocating for our neighbours with disabilities (Faith Today column by Bruce Clemenger)
Canadian churches and COVID-19: Three churches respond (EFC podcast)
WEA Global Ambassador on how early Christians handled their ‘COVID-19’ (Dispatch from Brian Stiller)