Assisted Dying for Children and Teens Recommended by Committee
A committee of MPs and Senators recommends making children and teens who are considered mature minors eligible for assisted dying. It recommends this change be limited to mature minors whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable. It says parents should be consulted “if appropriate” but that the final decision belongs to the minor. It also recommends making MAID available to people who are no longer able to consent by advance request. The committee report doesn’t change the law itself, but it recommends that the government make the change. Please pray and ask your local MP not to change the law.
Leaders of Christian Organizations Lament Assisted Death, Commit to Show Care
More than 50 leaders of Christian organizations have signed a statement declaring lamenting assisted death. The leaders affirm the sanctity of life and dignity of every human being. They commit to show the love of God to those who feel abandoned and alone. They resolve to mobilize their communities to care for those who are suffering and isolated. The EFC encourages churches to use the Declare and Resolve statement in local congregations. See it at TheEFC.ca/DeclareAndResolve.
Supporting Canadians to live: An update on MAiD and how the Church can engage
What’s happening with MAiD in Canada? Is there anything individuals and churches can do? In this webinar recording, hear from the EFC and the Christian Medical and Dental Association of Canada about advocating for changes to the law, supporting alternatives to MAiD and practical ways to reach out.
Interfaith Conference on Politics and Religion (Earlybird Reg. Feb. 28)
EFC Senior Ambassador Bruce J. Clemenger will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Our Whole Society Conference being held May 7-8, 2023 by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation. This year’s theme is Finding Common Ground in a Time of Polarization. Participants will explore how to address the causes of division within our society and how to foster dialogue, justice and find common ground in Canadian civil society along with academic, community and religious leaders. Keynote speakers include Miroslav Volf and Kathleen Wynne, and other speakers include Mohamed Hashim and Jaspreet Bal
The registration page includes more details. The early-bird rate is $99 by Feb. 28 (for two days of keynote addresses, plenary panels, workshops and lunches). Starting March 1 cost rises to $125. Student rate is $65. There is an online option with limited access. In-person events are at Martin Luther University College, Waterloo, Ont.
What One Person Can Do to Help a Community Address Our Laws on MAiD
Read what happened when a woman phoned the EFC asking how she could raise her concerns about Medical Assistance in Dying laws at a local church board meeting. This blog post also links to the EFC’s new six-minute video update on MAiD.
“Trauma-Friendly Church” Mini-Course
Our neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces and churches are filled with people who have experienced large and small traumas. Are we equipped to welcome them? Are our churches equipped to love, serve and disciple them? The Peace & Reconciliation Network invites you and your community to learn the posture and attitude of Christ toward the traumatized through our "Trauma-Friendly Church" self-directed mini-course with trauma therapist Brenton Diaz.
To access the course and get started simply click here. We encourage you to walk through it with a small group or team. If you take the course, you'll also have an option to be part of a Zoom Q&A with trauma therapist Brenton Diaz.
Bill C-311: Violence Against Pregnant Women Act
A new bill would make knowingly abusing or harming a pregnant woman an aggravating factor for judges to consider in sentencing. MP Cathay Wagantall introduced Bill C-311 in the House of Commons on January 31, 2023. For more information and a sample letter you can use to contact your MP, see TheEFC.ca/C311.
The Story Behind EFC’s New Resource Life Together
EFC policy director Julia Beazley tells the story of why and how the EFC put together its new resource on disability and belonging. Life Together: Disability and Belonging in the Church is now available online and in print. It touches on important issues including human dignity, discrimination against people with disabilities and the impact of Canada’s MAiD laws. Find out the story behind the resource.
Putting God’s Glory Ahead of Avoiding Lawsuits
Christians today are confronted with many controversial issues that have the potential to divide the church. Columnist John Stackhouse advises us to listen to Scripture by promoting love and unity but also truth: “There are worse things than losing face, money, property or power. We must tell the whole truth and we must tell it out of love.”
Sign up at FaithToday.ca/SubscribeFree for a print subscription to read more articles like this. A sampling of articles from the latest issue are also available at FaithToday.ca.
We‘re Hiring a Research Assistant
The EFC’s Centre for Research on Church and Faith is hiring a research assistant to work in our Ottawa office. The application deadline is March 8. Learn more at TheEFC.ca/Jobs.
This Week’s Prayer Prompts
This week’s prayer request is about international religious freedom. Pray for boldness, strength and help for those persecuted; for repentance and redemption of the persecutors; for laws that protect religious freedom to be passed and upheld; for Christians to care and act on behalf of the persecuted; and for Canadian government officials to take action on behalf of those persecuted around the world.
Catch up with some of the EFC’s latest initiatives in this area at TheEFC.ca/Topics/Religious-Freedom-Internationally (click “What’s Happening”).
This week's EFC affiliate highlight focuses on Voice of the Martyrs Canada, whose purposes are to encourage and empower persecuted Christians to fulfil the Great Commission; to provide practical relief and spiritual support to the families of Christians martyrs; to help equip persecuted Christians to love and win to Christ those opposed to the Gospel; to help believers rebuild their lives and Christian witness in countries where they have formerly suffered oppression; and to promote the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of the faith and courage of persecuted Christians.
You can always find the week’s prayer prompts at TheEFC.ca/TakeAction.
→ Love Ottawa Easter Blood Drive Info Meeting (Love Ottawa), online, Feb. 21, 23
→ EFC Prayer for Education and Ministry Organization Affiliates, online, Feb. 22
→ Indigenous People and Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (Salvation Army), online, Feb. 22
→ Running an Alpha Program Q&A (Alpha), online, Feb. 23
→ Shaping Disciples Who Practice the Jesus Way in a Judgmental World (Jesus Collective), online, Feb. 23 and Mar. 2
→ PowerUp Gospel Music Workshop (Toronto Mass Choir), Toronto, Feb. 23-26
→ Theology Pub Night (Wycliffe College), online or in-person in Toronto, Feb. 23
→ Coldest Night of the Year Fundraising Walk (nationwide), Feb. 25
→ Worship and Prayer Night for Türkiye and Syria (World Vision), Thornhill, Ont., Feb. 25
→ Today’s Teens Conference (Youth Unlimited), online/Markham, Ont., Feb. 25
→ Developing Pathways to Jesus for Immigrant Neighbours (LMT), online, Feb. 25
→ Business as Mission Vancouver 2023 Conference, Feb. 25
→ A Christian Scientist in a Secular University: Gary Partlow’s Faith Journey (CSCA), Waterloo, Feb. 26
→ Polarization: Get Over It! (CMU), online/Winnipeg, Feb. 27
→ Spring Charity & Not-for-Profit Law Webinar (Carters), online, Mar. 2
→ MAiD in Canada: Have We Lost Our Way? / Legal Update / Q&A (Apologetics Canada), online/Langley, B.C., Mar. 2
Discounted Tickets for Outpour YA Conference in Ontario
Know someone who’d love to attend a Christ-focused young adult conference on March 4 in Scarborough, Ont.? Love Is Moving (the EFC’s publication for young adults) is offering 50% off tickets for Outpour (formerly Fluid). Young adults attending a church affiliated with the EFC can purchase tickets using the discount code LOVEISMOVING23. Find out if your church is an affiliate by searching for your church’s name on this list.
In Case You Missed It
→ How to Help with Earthquake Relief in Turkiye and Syria
→ New Research Highlights Unique Aspects of Small Canadian Churches
→ A Free New EFC Resource on Disability, Belonging and Ableism in Churches
→ Parking Lot Disaster Showed God at Work (Faith Today blog)
→ Job Openings: Vice president academic (Hamilton); pastor (Lethbridge, Montreal, Brampton, Toronto, Ottawa, Sault Ste Marie, Uxbridge); Toronto congregational justice and mercy coordinator; Montreal director of leadership programs; and more (FaithToday.ca/Classifieds)
→ New Podcast Episodes Reflect on Reconciliation
→ Do You Know What Is Happening in Armenia? (Faith Today blog)
→ Israel’s Sabbath Year and What It Can Teach Us About Rest (Faith Today blog)
→ The Spirituality of Caregiving (Faith Today podcast)
→ Mental Health and the Church (Faith Today podcast)
→ Ignite Prayer and Worship Summits Coming to Four Cities