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EFC Update Newsletter - June 28

28 June 2022

A Call to Prayer for Canada

As July 1st approaches, let’s remember to pray for our country. Please pray for our political leaders, our pastors and ministry leaders, and for our neighbours. Pray for the witness of churches in our communities; may we be faithful witnesses of Jesus and the hope and peace of the Gospel.

MAiD Must Not Be Canada’s Response to Poverty or Lack of Supports

The media has been reporting on people with disabilities who are requesting euthanasia or assisted suicide because they don’t have the supports they need to live. An EFC article from June 20 includes quotes from some of the witnesses who have shared these concerns with the special committee of MPs and Senators studying medical assistance in dying (MAiD). The blog also outlines ways how you can best help.

Bill C-5 Would Reduce Sentences for Human Trafficking

Among other things, Bill C-5 would change the Criminal Code to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for some offences and to allow for greater use of conditional sentencing, including “house arrest” for the trafficking of persons for material benefit. The EFC is concerned that allowing a lesser penalty for a human trafficking offence sends the message that this offence is of lesser concern. The EFC submitted a brief to a Senate committee on June 22.

Executive VP/Resident Theologian Presents in Romania

EFC Executive Vice-President and Resident Theologian David Guretzki will present a paper on the Theology of Conscience and Law in Bucharest, Romania on July 4, at the Biennial World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy.

Canadian Christians Partner on Global Vaccine Equity (Faith Today blog)

The Love My Neighbour project is a new Canadian interfaith campaign to support vaccine access in low-income countries. Learn more in a new post at FaithToday.ca.

Be Open and Listen! (Reconciling Blog)

Be open and listen! That was the advice given to Edith and Neill von Gunten before their first ministry experience in an Indigenous community many years ago. It soon led to a valuable lesson right in their living room in Manigotagan, Man. They tell the tale in a new post in our Reconciling series at FaithToday.ca.

Seminary Student, Children’s Pastor, Survivor Winner (Faith Today blog)

Meet Maryanne Oketch, Ontario seminary student, Pentecostal children’s pastor and winner of season 42 of the TV show Survivor, in a new blog post at FaithToday.ca.

Imagining Reconciliation: Pitch a Creative Project

Submit a creative, innovative idea for a project centred on the theme “Imagining Reconciliation.” Pitch a project in the medium of your choice, such as a performing arts project, video, visual art piece, photography series, digital media project, or written work. The winner will receive up to $1,000 to complete their project and their work will be promoted across multiple platforms.

This commission is sponsored by the Creative Collective, an EFC initiative that facilitates community, networking, training and work opportunities for Canadian Christians who are performing artists, video content creators, visual artists, digital innovators and writers.

Application deadline is July 31, 2022. Applicants must be 18-35 years old. Learn more about the theme, criteria, and how to apply.

Sorry, but You’re Not My Neighbour (Faith Today column)

Have you ever felt living out your Christian faith means helping as many people as possible? Columnist John Stackhouse challenges that assumption in his latest column

This Week’s EFC Prayer Prompts 

Prayer is essential to any effective action. 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’s prayer request is on Medical Assistance in Dying. A parliamentary committee has heard that some Canadians with disabilities are requesting MAiD because they do not have the supports needed to live. The committee is studying the MAiD law and considering whether Canada should expand euthanasia and assisted suicide to mature minors and to those who can no longer consent. In March 2023, individuals with mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition will be eligible for assisted dying.

This week's EFC affiliate highlight focuses on the EFC's affiliate congregations from a wide range of traditions. In our society where many people are struggling with despair or in need of supports to live, pray that God would equip local congregations to find ways to provide support and hope. You can learn more on these issues at TheEFC.ca/Sanctity-of-Life.

The EFC continues to offer new [email protected] pandemic-focused prayer suggestions each month at TheEFC.ca/Covid-19.

Coming Events at TheEFC.ca/Calendar

→ Putin’s War on Ukraine in Theological-Ethical Perspective, online/in-person in Vancouver (Regent College), online and in-person in Vancouver, June 29
→ Voices Together from Sea to Sea (Glad Tidings Church), online, July 1
→ Summer Institute of Church Music, Whitby/Edmonton/online, July 3-7
→ Reading Romans in a Time of Upheaval (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 4
→ Reconciled to Reconcile: A Visible Witness in a Divided World (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 6
→ BC Christian Ashram Retreat, online, July 8-10
→ C. Stephen Evans: The Fear of the Lord & the Virtue of Accountability (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 11
→ The Body of Christ and the Household Codes in Ephesians (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 13
→ Sing the World God Imagines (The Hymn Society), online, July 17-21
→ Theology of the Land from a Palestinian Perspective (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 18
→ Marking Completion in Precarious Times (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 20
→ Silence, The Holy Spirit, and Music in the Processing of Traumatic Experience (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 25
→ Reimagining Humility (Regent College), online/in-person in Vancouver, July 27

In Case You Missed It

Job openings: Justice and mercy coordinator; leadership centre director of programs; pastoral leader; director of philanthropy; pastor; director of human resources; and more (FaithToday.ca/Classifieds)
Bringing the good news home: church-friendly resources for hosting refugees (EFC blog article)
Summer Challenge: Make One Positive Contact With Your MP (EFC blog article)
Time to refocus (Faith Today column by Bruce Clemenger)
How does clergy sexual abuse keep happening? (Faith Today podcast)