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EFC Update Newsletter June 23, 2020

23 June 2020

Register Now for Next Tuesday’s Webinar on Reopening Churches

Reopening churches: What we do know so far, and what can we learn as provinces reopen? On June 30, join us for our webinar with Dr. Kami Kandola, chief public health officer, Northwest Territories; Bruce Clemenger, president of the EFC; and pastors Dan Cochrane of CrossRoads Church, Red Deer, Alta., and Roger Berg of Church on the Queensway, Toronto.

This interactive webinar will explore and assess where churches are now in their reopening and what we are learning so far in the journey of regathering. We will take your questions live. 

Join us at www.TheEFC.ca/Live on June 30 at noon Eastern / 9 a.m. Pacific / 10 a.m. Mountain / 11 a.m. Central / 1 p.m. Atlantic / 1:30 p.m. Newfoundland. Visit our webinars page to watch our previous June 3 webinar on Reopening Churches: Sharing ideas, advice and experience.

Peaceful Assembly, Large Gatherings and the Local Church

In a June 22 blog post, EFC President Bruce Clemenger considers how to evaluate whether pandemic restrictions have infringed on religious freedom.

Send Us Photos of Your Church Reopening

We’d love to see what your church is doing! Send us a photo of your regathering so we can share it on social media.

Join Us in Supporting a Bill Against Forced Labour

Bill S-211 is a private member’s bill in the Senate that would require large corporations to report on what they are doing to make sure their supply chains are free of slavery, forced labour or child labour. The EFC supports this effort to reduce forced and child labour and to raise awareness about human trafficking. See the EFC’s letter sent in support of this bill plus a sample letter you can use to communicate with your MP at TheEFC.ca/S-211.

Engage on These Three Current Bills

Bill C-219 is a private member’s bill that would increase the penalty for sexual exploitation of a person with a disability. Take a few minutes to let your MP know you support this bill. See the EFC’s letter of support plus a sample letter you can use to communicate with your MP at TheEFC.ca/C-219.

Bill C-233 is a private member’s bill that would prohibit medical practitioners from performing an abortion knowing that the abortion is solely due to the child’s genetic sex. Contact your MP to communicate your support for the bill, using a sample letter prepared by the EFC. See the EFC’s letter of support to the bill to the MP who proposed the bill. See TheEFC.ca/C-233.

Bill C-7 would bring changes to Canada's euthanasia law. Learn more and ask your MP to make changes to the bill, using the sample letter and other helpful resources at TheEFC.ca/C-7.

Update on Supreme Court Aga Case

The EFC is pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada agreed last week to hear a case about whether ecclesiastical decisions about membership and discipline are outside of the scope of judicial review. The EFC made written submissions supporting the challenge of The Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Canada to an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which permits courts to judicially review a dispute between members of the church and their bishop on a theological and disciplinary decision. This conflicts with an earlier decision of Canada’s highest court that ruled the courts will not “become the arbiter of religious dogma,” a case in which the EFC intervened. The EFC plans to seek intervener status in this case in the fall. See TheEFC.ca/Aga.

Coming Events at TheEFC.ca/Calendar

→ Wesley Hill on When Christians Disagree (Regent College), online, June 24
→ Christian Communicators Awards of Merit 2020, online, June 26
→ Men Under Construction: Rebuilding the Foundation (COG Ontario), online, June 27
→ Flannery O’Connor & the Sin of Sentimentality (Regent College), online, June 29
→ EFC Webinar: Reopening Churches Part 2, June 30
→ Worship Night Across Canada (Youth Alive), online, July 1
→ Malcolm Guite on Poetry and Prayer: A Mutual Inspiration (Regent College), online, July 6
→ Opportunities to be the Church in Uncertain Times (Missional Commons), online, July 7
→ Krish Kandiah on Hospitality as Hopeful Resistance (Regent College), online, July 8
→ B.C. Christian Ashram Retreat Weekend, online, July 10-12

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 at TheEFC.ca/Calendar. Be sure to check the website of your preferred institution for more opportunities. Or visit www.checonline.ca to search a database of Canadian Christian online courses.  

EFC Speakers in Your Online Gathering

The EFC has local ambassadors in many Canadian provinces and expert staff on a variety of topics. One of them would be delighted to make a live presentation during an online gathering of your community, or to record a video for your online church service, conference or small group. Select from popular topics or request a new one at TheEFC.ca/Speakers.

Here’s a recent preaching example from David Guretzki, the EFC's executive vice-president and resident theologian, at Whistler Community Church in British Columbia. His presentation based on Ephesians 6:12 ("Not against flesh and blood") starts about 25 minutes in.

In Case You Missed It

Dispatch from WEA Global Ambassador: Hope in Crisis—Episode 6
→ New Indigenous Relations page on the EFC website
→ Faith Today blog: More profiles of ministry pivots in the pandemic
→ Free subscriptions to Faith Today and Love Is Moving.New home addresses only, please.
→ Get your message out at FaithToday.ca/Classifieds. Contact [email protected]