Hastened Death for Mental Illness Delayed Until 2024
A bill has passed that will delay MAiD for mental illness from taking effect for one year, until March 2024. Hastened death with mental illness as the only medical condition was passed in 2021 with a built-in delay, so that it would have come into effect this week. The Justice Minister introduced the bill (Bill C-39) to delay the change in order to give doctors more time to prepare. The Senate passed the bill last week on March 9. The EFC welcomes the delay but does not believe a delay is enough. The EFC is asking for MAiD for mental illness to be stopped altogether.
A new post on the EFC website highlights excerpts of a public letter by doctors, disability activists and experts that critiques the parliamentary committee report on hastened death. Please continue to pray and ask your local MP not to expand the assisted dying law.
The EFC supports a new private member's bill that would reverse the law allowing MAiD for mental illness alone. MP Ed Fast introduced Bill C-314 in the House of Commons in February. See the EFC's letter of support and a sample letter you can use to contact your MP at TheEFC.ca/C314.
EFC President David Guretzki to Speak in Mississauga and Toronto
On March 19, EFC President David Guretzki will preach at Mississauga City Baptist Church. He will then speak at the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada National Leadership Dinner in Mississauga on March 20. On March 21, he will speak at "Hope in the face of Hate," a Cardus sponsored networking reception to connect faith communities with provincial leadership at Queen's Park (Toronto).
Ignite Prayer Summits in April at Ottawa, Calgary and Kelowna
Christians in four regions will hold Ignite Prayer and Worship Summits this April and May to pray for unity, spiritual awakening, church vitality and healing. Earlier the same day, pastors and other church leaders will gather in a seminar to focus on cultivating a strong culture of "prayer" in each local church.
Join us in Ottawa (April 14), Calgary (April 20), Kelowna (April 28) and Regina (May 5). There are no fees for the seminar (which concludes with an evening meal for registrants) or the evening public gathering. Co-hosts include the EFC, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, National House of Prayer, Peace & Reconciliation Network, and Vineyard Canada.
For more details and to register for the afternoon seminar/dinner, visit TheEFC.ca/Ignite. Ottawa registration deadline is March 31.
EFC Researchers Interviewed about Small Church Study
Rick Hiemstra and Lindsay Callaway have given an interview on the "This is us!" podcast about the Significant Church report, an EFC survey of Canadian evangelical small churches. Learn more about this study.
EFC Senior Ambassador at Leadership Day
March 30 is the annual Ministry Leadership Day at Heritage Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Ont. This year’s keynote speaker is EFC senior ambassador and president emeritus Bruce J. Clemenger. He will discuss Pluralism, Secularism, and the New Orthodoxy: Christian Witness amidst Canada’s Emerging Civil Religion. The EFC’s director of research Rick Hiemstra will also be presenting at the conference. Pastors and ministry leaders are invited to Heritage for a day of encouragement and equipping or to join online for the livestream.
Will You Pray for Muslims During Ramadan?
March 22 will mark the beginning of Ramadan this year when Muslims in Canada and around the world will begin fasting and praying. Cristina Boersma of Loving Muslims Together suggests some reasons for, and resources to enable, praying for Muslims during their month of fasting.
Interfaith Conference on Politics and Religion
Miroslav Volf, Kathleen Wynne and EFC senior ambassador Bruce J. Clemenger will be speakers at the upcoming Our Whole Society Conference being held May 7-8 by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation. 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. The registration page includes more details (two days of keynote addresses, plenary panels, workshops and lunches for $125). Student rate is $65. There's an online option with limited access. In-person events are at Martin Luther University College, Waterloo, Ont.
Faith Today Podcast: Seasons of Sorrow
In November 2020, Toronto writer Tim Challies and his wife Aileen received the call that is every parent's worst fear. Their 20-year-old son Nick had died mysteriously and suddenly on a field at the seminary he attended in the States.
Listen to Faith Today's Karen Stiller speak with Tim Challies about the pain of grief and loss and his book Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God.
Not Without Prayer
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by obstacles to the gospel? In a new column for Faith Today, EFC President David Guretzki reminds us, "Spiritual breakthrough and gospel progress only happen with prayer. Always have, always will."
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.
This Week's Prayer Prompts
This week's prayer request is about citizenship. Pray for all leaders, regardless of their party policy or stances they hold. Pray that leaders would make decisions that contribute to the peace of all those under their authority. Pray that political authorities who are brothers and sisters in Christ would be able to stand firm in their Christian beliefs and convictions. Pray that all political leaders would do their jobs well, and that they would come to a realization that they are God's servants. Pray that political leaders would be able to balance their time between their position and their families and make decisions that allow the gospel to be freely shared.
Catch up with some of the EFC's latest initiatives in this area at TheEFC.ca/Citizenship (click What's Happening).
This week's EFC affiliate highlight focuses on the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in Canada. The Lausanne Movement Canada unites Christians to participate with the whole church, taking the whole gospel to the whole world.
You can always find the week's prayer prompts at TheEFC.ca/TakeAction.
→ How Can Churches Support Parents Raising Children with Disabilities (Martin Luther University College), online, Mar. 15
→ Undivided: Leadership Conference 2023 (Steinbach Bible College), Steinbach, Mar. 17-18
→ EFC Denominational and Congregational Affiliates Prayer, online, Mar. 22
→ Preserving Biodiversity: Creation Care from Faith to Action, (Citizens for Public Justice; For the Love of Creation), online, Mar. 23
→ Young Adults Making Impact Toronto / Send Me (Church on the Queensway), Etobicoke, Ont., Mar. 24-25
ReBoot Men's Event (UCB Canada), London, Ont., Mar. 25
→ Commissioning Service and Reception for the EFC's New President, online or in-person in Mississauga, Ont., Mar. 27
→ Ministry Leadership Day 2023 (Heritage Theological Seminary/Bruce Clemenger), online or in-person in Cambridge, Ont., Mar. 30
→ Business as Mission Global Summit (BAM) Earlybird Deadline March 31 (event is Apr. 27), online
→ Christian Communicators Regroup Retreat and Awards (CCCA) Earlybird Deadline April 1 (event is May 25-27), online
→ Ignite Ottawa: Registration Deadline for April 14 Afternoon Prayer Seminar and Dinner for Pastors and Ministry Leaders, March 31
→ Ignite: Evening Prayer and Worship Summit for Unity and Spiritual Awakening (no registration required), Ottawa, April 14
In Case You Missed It
→ Job Openings: Vice president academic (Hamilton); pastor (Lethbridge, Montreal, Brampton, Toronto, Ottawa, Sault Ste Marie); Montreal director of leadership programs; and more (FaithToday.ca/Classifieds)
→ We Need More Christians in Movies, Theatre and TV (Faith Today podcast)
→ Focused or Fractured (Faith Today blog)
→ Freedom from Worldly Shoulds (Faith Today blog)
→ Appreciating small churches (Faith Today article)