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EFC Update Newsletter May 25, 2021

25 May 2021

The EFC Welcomes Verdict in Religious Freedom Case

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled May 21 that matters of membership and discipline within a voluntary religious community are outside the jurisdiction of the courts. The EFC was an intervener in the “Aga” case (Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada St. Mary Cathedral v. Aga) and has released a statement welcoming the ruling.

The EFC Signs Faith Leaders Letter to Ontario Premier Regarding Restrictions

EFC President Bruce Clemenger was one of the signatories of a May 20th letter to Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford on restrictions placed on places of worship and part of an ongoing dialogue with the Premier’s office. The letter was signed by Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders.

EFC President Interviewed for Maclean’s

EFC President Bruce Clemenger was interviewed for Maclean’s for an article, “The Vaccine Resistance Problem in Canada, and How to Confront It.” Although the article mentions his “lingering heath issues,” the interview was conducted many weeks ago and Clemenger has since recovered and returned to work full time.

New EFC Weekly Prayer Prompts

Prayer is absolutely essential to any effective action. At our webpage TheEFC.ca/TakeAction each week we rotate through one prayer request from each of these five areas: Sanctity of Life, Care for the Vulnerable, Church and Mission, Family and Community, Religious Freedom. We will also list an EFC affiliate group each week to pray for.

This week's specific prayer need falls under Sanctity of Life. A private member’s bill that would ban sex-selective abortion is likely to be debated on May 28 and voted on June 3. Pray that God would bring change in Canada to reduce and end the practice of people aborting children due to their gender. You can learn more about Bill C-233, introduced in 2020 by MP Cathay Wagantall, at TheEFC.ca/C-233. This week’s EFC affiliate to pray for is Pregnancy Care Canada (PregnancyCareCanada.ca).

The EFC also continues to offer additional “[email protected]” pandemic-focused prayer suggestions at TheEFC.ca/Covid-19. The EFC is also hosting a one hour prayer gathering on impact of Covid 19 on June 16

Submission on Human Trafficking in Canada to Indigenous and Northern Affairs

In a new brief to a parliamentary committee studying the sex trafficking of Indigenous peoples, the EFC describes the intersection of prostitution, human trafficking and the demand for paid sex. The EFC brief asks for the current prostitution laws to be upheld and for provision for culturally informed, survivor-led support and exit services.

Assisted Dying: Submission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

The EFC made a submission to the CPSO consultation on its Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) policy. The EFC’s submission shares our concerns about conscience protection and care of those who are vulnerable and recommends specific changes to the policy.

Act Now on Conversion Therapy Bill

Your contact with your local MP is needed to bring clarity and changes to Bill C-6 on conversion therapy. MPs are in the final stages of debating the bill. This is a crucial time to contact your MP to ask for a more precise definition of conversion therapy and for protection for religious instruction and parental guidance. See EFC.ca/C-6 for more information.

Living Well After the Pandemic: Faith Today Webinar

Join our June 8 Faith Today conversation with Carolyn Arends, April Yamasaki, Ken Shigematsu and Danielle Strickland. We’ll discuss what we've learned from this challenging, weird, difficult pandemic experience as Canadian Christians individually and as the Church. Our panel will share insights and experiences in spiritual health and wellness and how we can live even slightly tweaked lives based on our Covid-19 experiences. Bring your questions and observations to share about what we can bring forward in our personal and communal lives as good, healthy practices. Register now.

Living With Dying: Faith Today Feature Article

What does the body of Christ look like after medical assistance in dying (MAiD) has been legalized in Canada? A theological ethicist offers another, ancient way forward in this Faith Today feature article.

Get more unique Canadian Christian journalism like this by signing up at FaithToday.ca/SubscribeFree.

Support Canada’s Christian Conversation This Week

Faith Today magazine is calling all readers who have not yet made a supporting charitable donation in the past 12 months to consider making one before the end of May at TheEFC.ca/FTdonate. Our readers and advertisers enable this important, subscription-free ministry. Thank you! 

Online Generosity: Celebrating the Virtual Offering

How can a church celebrate the offering in an online worship service when there is no plate to be passed? We just posted some wise and humorous advice from Lori Guenther Reesor, a giving and fundraising consultant in Mississauga, Ont., at FaithToday.ca.

Bonus book giveaway: Faith Today will give away three copies of her imaginative new book Growing a Generous Church: A Year in the Life of Peach Blossom Church by drawing three random names on May 31. Submit your name to the draw at [email protected].

Coming Events at TheEFC.ca/Calendar

→ Conversations with Craig and Medine Keener (Women Together), online May 26
→ National Prayer Breakfast / Christian Youth Summit (Ottawa Parliamentary Prayer), online May 27
→ Following in the Footsteps of Jesus (The King’s University), online May 27
→ Christian Higher Education Conference (CHEC), online May 31-June 3
→ Une soirée au sommet (La Rencontre au Sommet), en ligne 1 juin
→ Dealing with Dementia in Your Parish (Novalis), June 2
→ Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope (NAITTS), online June 3-5
→ Discovering God at Work in Your Neighbourhood (Forge Canada), online, June 3, 17
→ Loving Muslims Together Bridges Course (LMT), online Thursdays June 3-July 8
→ Working for God and Sustainability: Tales from Two Continents (The King’s University), online June 3
→ Spiritual Parenting: Raising Disciples at Home (Tyndale SFC), online June 5, 12, 19, 26
→ Celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (CCC), online June 5
→ Discovery Course (Pioneer Bible Translators), online June 6-8
→ Living Well After the Pandemic, with Carolyn Arends, April Yamasaki, Ken Shigematsu and Danielle Strickland (Faith Today), online June 8
→ Ageing and Spirituality Conference (Conrad Grebel University College), online June 10
→ Astronomy and the Muse (The King’s University), online June 10
→ Watercooler Break for Communications Workers (CCCA), online June 11
→ EFC online presentation at Abbotsford Church, online June 15
→ How Mission is Flourishing During the Pandemic (Wycliffe College), online June 15
→ EFC Prayer Gathering for Covid-19, online June 16
→ Why are Women Still Among the Most Vulnerable Among us? (P2P), online June 17
→ World Refugee Sunday, worldwide, online June 20
→ National Indigenous People’s Day, June 21, Canada-wide
→ The Timothy Trust Summer School (Metropolitan Bible Church), June 21-24
→ Recognizing and Supporting Vulnerable Men (Plan to Protect), online, June 21-24
→ One with Them: A Day for Christian Captives (Canada-wide), online, June 21-24
→ Connect with the Jesus Collective, online, June 22
→ Wilderness Reboot for Missionary Kids, SW of Calgary, June 27-July 3

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

In Case You Missed It

Bill C-268 Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act to Be Debated Soon
Dispatch from WEA ambassador: Meet my friend, Henri Nouwen
Lynda MacGibbon: How to love our actual neighbours (podcast)
Submission to the CPSO consultation on MAID policy
The pastoral imperative (Faith Today column by EFC President Bruce Clemenger)
When spoken words give life (Faith Today blog on Talking Book Library)
A story of forgiveness from a Uganda mission trip (Reconciling blog at FaithToday.ca)
Interview with Faith Today senior editor (from The 700 Club Canada)
Invitation to create (Faith Today call for homemade art, deadline June 30)
Nouvelles ressources en français / New French-language resources (on EFC website)