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EFC Update Newsletter September 28, 2021

28 September 2021
 

EFC Submits Brief on Protection from Sexual Exploitation

The EFC has submitted a brief to the Canadian Heritage department that recommends ways to increase protection from online sexual exploitation. One recommendation is for the government to require pornography sites to confirm a person’s age and consent before posting their intimate images online.

Deconstructing Faith: New Article and Oct. 5 Webinar

Religion’s failures are pushing some Evangelicals to change — but into what? Faith Today recently published Peter Schuurman’s analysis of the trend of Christians “deconstructing” their faith.

It examines Christians "who doubt that the faith they have received is the fully refined good God intends, and are seeking to sift out the dross and keep what is most precious." Christians who use the term deconstruction today are either shifting from one Christian tradition to another or else they are leaving Christianity entirely, suggests Schuurman.

In addition to his article now on the Faith Today website, Schuurman will be the special guest at a webinar on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. Eastern hosted by Faith Today editors Karen Stiller and Bill Fledderus. Another guest who has just agreed to join us is Blessing Oluloto, who is mentioned in Schuurman’s article.

Register today to join this webinar discussion live at FaithToday.ca/Webinars.

After Voting, We Pray and Reach Out

Voting is an important way we make our voice heard in how we want our country to be governed. But even after the votes are cast and counted, there’s more we can do. Read more in the EFC’s new blog.

Faith Today Writers Awarded

The Word Awards were announced on the weekend, and five of the wins went to Faith Today writers (seven if we can count Carolyn Arends for songwriting and Preston Pouteaux for best book cover)! See the updated blog post. Congratulations to all the many contest winners across Canada. In particular the Faith Today team is celebrating with Meagan Gillmore, Carolyn Arends, Sherman Lau (and his co-writers), and Jenna Smith.

What is Reconciliation Anyway?

God has made a reconciliation with us, and now we're invited to participate in God's work of reconciling the world, writes Phil Wagler in the latest post at www.FaithToday.ca/Reconciling. This series is produced in cooperation with the World Evangelical Alliance’s Peace and Reconciliation Network.

The Lessons of My Grandmother (Faith Today column)

“I believe reconciliation must be distinguished from forgiveness. Forgiveness is always possible without reconciliation. Reconciliation matters though because it is the coming back together of multiple sides of a dispute is a far greater sign of the Kingdom of God than a collection of people who have privately forgiven others.” Rev. Cristino Bouvette reflects on the lessons he learned about reconciliation from his Indigenous grandmother, “Kokum.”

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

Churches Can Observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Starting this year, Canada will have a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. The new federal statutory holiday honours the survivors of residential schools as well as their families and communities. It’s an opportunity for all of us who call Canada home to reflect, learn and act. A new post on the EFC website offers four ideas about where to begin.

Pray With Us: This Week’s Prayer Prompts

This week’s prayer request is about education. You can learn more on these issues at TheEFC.ca/Education. Pray for parents, who have the privilege and responsibility of leading their children to know God and his ways, as well as the world around them. Pray for Christian teachers and educators, as they seek to instil knowledge of God and his world in their students. Pray for students, who are often confronted with a secular worldview, that they may also learn about the world from a perspective which recognizes God as Creator.

Each week at TheEFC.ca/TakeAction we rotate through a prayer request from each of these five areas: Sanctity of Life, Care for the Vulnerable, Church and Mission, Family and Community, Religious Freedom. We also list an EFC affiliate group to pray for.  

This week, we highlight International Student Ministries Canada, a ministry in Canada focused on ministering to international students, empowering them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus and to reach out and minister to those God has placed in their lives, whether in Canada or in their home country.

Covid 19 and the restrictions have a significant impact on our lives. The EFC continues to offer new [email protected] pandemic-focused prayer suggestions each week at TheEFC.ca/Covid-19.

Time to Plan for Day of Prayer for the Persecuted

The International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church is a day set aside by Christians around the globe to collectively pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer because of their faith. Each year in early November, ministry partners collaborate to produce and share (free of charge) helpful resources to encourage the body of Christ to engage in active prayer for those experiencing persecution. This year’s countries of focus are India, Algeria and Cuba. Many churches will observe this event Nov. 7, but your group can do it anytime. To download your free resource kit, visit www.IDOP.ca.

The EFC Has Been Granted Intervenor Status in B.C. Case

The EFC has been granted intervenor status in a BC Human Rights Tribunal case to argue for the ability of religious groups to rent their facilities in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. This case involves a Catholic parish that refused to rent out their meeting facility for a fundraising event by a group whose purposes were deemed to be in conflict with church teaching.

Coming Events at TheEFC.ca/Calendar

→ 40 Days for Life (40 DFL), online and various locations, Sept. 22-Oct. 31
→ Conversations with Carol Graham (Women Together), online, Sept. 29
→ Inscribe Fall Writers Conference (Inscribe), online, Sept. 30–Oct. 2
→ Atlantic Church Leaders Roundtable (Kingswood University), Moncton, N.B., Oct. 1
→ Life Chain (Campaign Life Coalition), online, Oct. 3
→ Hayward Lectures: Anna Robbins on Nostalgia (Acadia Div), online Oct. 4-6
→ Faith Deconstruction: Faith Today webinar with Peter Schuurman, Oct. 5
→ Cdn Indigenous Realities and the Cdn Church: Master Class with Ray Aldred (FFTH), online Oct. 6 and alternating Wednesdays
→ The Jesus-Centred Way in a Polarized World (Jesus Collective), online, Wednesdays Oct. 6-Nov. 27
→ EFC Zoom Prayer for Thanksgiving and Newly Elected Government and Officials, Oct. 7
→ Overcoming Hunger: How FH Addresses Food Security, online Oct. 7
→ Watercooler Break for Communications Workers (CCCA), online, Oct. 8
→ EFC Speaker at Calvary Pembroke Church, Pembroke, Oct. 10
→ Heritage Preaching Lectures, with Darrell Johnson (Heritage Seminary), online Oct. 14
→ Change Conference 2021 (Change Conference), online, Oct. 15
→ Called 2021: Relentless Online Conference (Women Together), Oct. 16
→ Global Leadership Summit (GLN Canada), online, Oct. 21-22
→ Courage and Calling: A Christian Response to Medical Assistance in Dying (CMDA and EFC), online, Oct. 23

Save the Date: Join the EFC’s Online Book Discussion

On Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern, we’ll be hosting a discussion on what it looks like for a congregation to flourish. It will draw on the book Signs of Life: Catholic, Mainline, and Conservative Protestant Congregations in Canada (Tyndale Academic, 2021). Plan to join co-author Joel Thiessen of Ambrose University in Calgary, engage in a live Q and A, and take part in breakout group discussion. Order the book today from your local bookstore so you can read it by November.

In Case You Missed It 

→ The Joy of Multi-Cultural (Faith Today podcast)
→ Our Election Posture (Faith Today column by Bruce Clemenger)