In step with the gospel
Dance studios often push sensual boundaries, creating a delicate
situation for aspiring evangelical dancers. Two professional dancers
provide an alternative in Ottawa through the Arise School of Dance – a
Christian school founded in 2010. Not only has it become one of Ottawa’s
top ballet studios, they also have a blatant missional goal. The school
started a youth dance company that tours evangelistic performances at
schools, churches and other locations. www.SpurOttawa.com
Capturing a song
Musician Nancy Gallant had help working on her latest album (titled
He Knows My Name), but from an unlikely source – inmates at Nova
Institution for Women. She connected with the women while teaching a
workshop at the institution about connecting with God through music.
She says she wove many of their words and interactions with God into the
songs. Her new album is the first CD released inside a Canadian federal
Making the change visible
Winnipeg’s Whyte Ridge Baptist Church believes in the power of
testimonies. They encourage congregants to share stories of how God is
working in their lives. Not only do they provide the opportunity to share
these testimonies on Sunday mornings from the front of the church, they
also post them on their website so they can be shared more easily.
Studying community engagement
A group of 12 francophone churches from Sherbrooke, Que., and
students from Parole de Vie Québec came together to explore ways to
better engage their community. After a packed day of biblical and practical
training hosted by Christian Direction, participants sat down for dinner at
the Salvation Army food bank. Many reported that having dinner with the
homeless confronted them with local poverty and was the most impactful
experience of the day. www.Direction.Nationbuilder.com
Understanding each other better
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops want their parishioners
to better understand evangelicalism. To facilitate this they wrote a 12-
page report detailing key beliefs and characteristics of Evangelicals. It
also talks about how Catholics typically view Evangelicals and vice versa.
It ends by highlighting ongoing ways Catholic and Evangelical groups are
collaborating and bridging the 500-year-old divide.
www.ChurchForVancouver.ca —CRAIG MACARTNEY
Visit www.Faith Today.ca/InspiringIdeas for more. Does your church or organization have
great ideas to share? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEANE PROCTOR IS a pastor of Queensway Baptist
Church in Brantford, Ont., who lives with depression, something he admitted to his congregation
from the pulpit while preaching from Psalm 22.
“I saw descriptions of the highest of the highs and
the lowest of lows, and it looked just like mental
illness,” says Proctor. He asked his congregation,
“How would you feel if you had a pastor who had
mental illness? Because you do.”
Although revealing “my mental illness closed some
doors for ministry to certain people, it opened doors
for others,” says Proctor. The church leadership has
supported their pastor and his efforts to promote
conversation about mental health, resulting in a
podcast called Mind Matters cohosted by Proctor.
It’s a conversation about mental health and re-
ducing the stigma around mental health issues.
Proctor says listeners from around the world are
able to hear two Christians wrestling with what it’s
like to live with depression and anxiety. They share
their struggles with the health care system and the
Church, and reflect on what it means to find God in
the darkness. Queensway Baptist Church demonstrates their commitment to this conversation by
linking to the podcast on their homepage
( www.queensway.org). –STEPHEN BEDARD
Pastor launches podcast
about mental health
Helping Christians get honest about
depression and more
Pastor Deane Proctor’s personal story helped launch the
podcast Mind Matters.