Churches Engage Around
Churches are invited to explore al- ternative models of justice and peacemaking in the third week of
November each year, thanks to a program
of the Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC).
National Restorative Justice Week (Nov.
15-22, 2009) is a time to reflect on values
like safety, healing, restoration, accountability, inclusion, love and respect – and
how they are displayed in our relationships,
particularly in situations involving crime.
The annual week is not organized
only for Christians but the CCJC argues
that the philosophy and values in restorative justice are deeply compatible with
biblical truth. And so the ecumenical body
develops and distributes worship and discussion resources for churches each year
to help congregations better understand
and apply restorative justice principles.
One of the more familiar types of restorative justice involves victims of crime
interacting with the person or people
who harmed them to build common
ground and to repair the harm done
Graham and Luann Snyder of Elmira,
Ont., lived out restorative justice principles as they forgave young hockey
player Dany Heatley for accidentally killing their son Dan Snyder.
In Sept. 2003, Heatley was speeding
and lost control of his car. His passenger,
fellow NHL hockey player Dan Snyder, received head injuries when he was thrown
from the vehicle. He died six days later.
Dan Snyder’s parents, who have
Christian roots, forgave Heatley. They insisted he not be sent to jail because they
felt there was no value in punishing him
that way. The Snyder family reached out
to Heatley and has an ongoing relationship with him. They are comforted by
Heatley’s remorse and know he will live
with the pain of what happened for the
rest of his life.
Heatley was charged with vehicular
manslaughter in 2005. Accountability for
his crime includes three years of probation, tight driving restrictions and giving 150 speeches about the dangers of
speeding. He could have faced 20 years
in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The CCJC resources for churches can
be downloaded free at www.ccjc.ca/
restorative_justice.html or call 613-563-
1688 Ext. 4. –SANDRA REIMER
Groups such as the Christian Reformed Church World Relief Committee continue to
assist with recovery projects in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
During the past four years, many Canadian Evangelicals have partnered with their churches
to travel to the Gulf of Mexico to repair
damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
They not only supply desperately needed
skill and materials, they also share a message of hope and renewal with people
whose lives were permanently altered by
the hurricane’s devastation.
Grace TV is the new name of The Christian Channel, a 24-hour digital channel that reaches
more than 30 per cent of Canadian
households. The channel was purchased
by World Impact Ministries (WIM) earlier
Offices for the channel ( www.grace
television.net) have moved from Toronto
to St. Catharines, Ont., home of World
Impact Ministries, a charity known for
media and international work. All are
headed by Peter Youngren.
“We are committed to programming
that will entertain, educate and encourage spiritual dialogue and growth,” says
Youngren. “We also want to rekindle
some of the initial sense of purpose that
permeated Christian TV, to present the
gospel in a way that causes Canadians
The Christian Channel Now Grace TV
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