Over the years many of those who
did not attend church still affirmed
basic Christian beliefs, but increasing numbers no longer do so. Now
those who seek to live out our
Christian faith beyond our homes
and churches are met with indifference and sometimes hostility.
In 1967 the official celebration of
Canada’s 100th birthday on Parliament Hill included hymns, Scripture readings and the recitation of
the refrain, “We rededicate ourselves to you, O Lord.” The premise
was that God had given Canadians
a rich land and had blessed us.
Canada is still a land of tremen-
dous promise. Many continue to
come here to find refuge, peace and
hope. We must not take for granted
the opportunities and freedoms we
enjoy. It makes sense we exercise
and defend them – we Evangelicals
are as diverse ethnically, actually
more so, than other Canadians, and
are more accepting of the public
display of non-Christian religious
symbols. We understand and re-
spect deep religious conviction in a
Many around the world marvel
at our diversity and relative peace.
We are known as irenic collaborators and generous problem
solvers, able to navigate diversity
and manage difference well. Evangelicals find ourselves positioned to
mediate between people of different faiths, including people of little
faith. We respond generously to the
needs of others.
And certainly we need peace-
makers and caregivers in our soci-
ety. The Truth and Reconciliation
Commission’s report, the beginning
of the murdered and missing In-
digenous women’s investigation,
the warnings and pleas in the re-
ports of the provincial advocates
for children and youth, our society’s
willingness to provide assistance in
killing when we have yet to provide
good quality palliative care, caring
well for a slowly aging population,
increasing mental health issues
among our youth – all these point
to systemic issues which require
focus and resolve.
In caring for others what institution is better poised to make a difference in people’s lives, and address both the presenting issues
and underlying problems?
In Canada’s 150th year our best
gift is a fully engaged church –
communities of grace and truth,
love and compassion, forgiveness
and redemption, bearing witness to
the Good News of the gospel which
offers healing and restoration. /FT
Bruce J. Clemenger is President of
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
Please pray for our work and support us at
www.TheEFC.ca/Donate or toll-free 1-866-302-3362.
conscience case, youth ministry,
Parliament’s report on the harms
of pornography, a campaign to
get five Canadian businesses to
reduce the harms of porn, and
pregnancy care centres.
Two more Canadian
studies on missions
The EFC and the Canadian
Missions Research Forum have
released two new reports.
Canadian Evangelicals and
Mission Promotion in the
Local Church examines how
churches promote and educate
their people about missions.
Canadian Evangelicals and
Mission Priorities looks at how
church budgets and spending
demonstrate local church
priorities. A forthcoming report
in this series will look at mission
definitions and geography.
Read the executive summaries
and download free copies of
this groundbreaking series of
five reports from the Canadian
Evangelicals Mission Engagement
Study at www.TheEFC.ca/CEMES.
Since 2015 the College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Ontario has
required medical professionals
to provide referrals or conduct
procedures that violate their
consciences. A constitutional
challenge to this policy launched
by the Christian Medical and Dental
Society of Canada and other groups
led to a court case heard in June.
The EFC intervened jointly with
the Assembly of Catholic Bishops
of Ontario and the Christian Legal
Fellowship to protect freedom of
conscience. The court decision
was not available at press time.
Get the latest news at www.
Dealing better with
In May, as Canada’s 150th
anniversary of Confederation
neared, the EFC partnered in a
conference called Our Whole
Society. It continued a series
of conferences from 2013 and
2015 focused on ways of talking,
thinking and acting together
so Canada’s religious diversity
can become a resource for our
Key questions this year
addressed: How can an inclusive
society provide space for diverse
perspectives and practices to
be welcomed into the public
sphere? Can we advance beyond
simple toleration of religious and
other differences to embrace a
wider respect for all citizens?
How can we draw upon Canada’s
religious and cultural diversity as
a resource for strengthening civic
engagement and fostering a more
mature collective life?
Watch addresses by keynote
speakers John Borrows and
John Ralston Saul, and read
other presentations at www.
EFC community calendar
B.C. Christian Ashram, Langley,
Hymn Society Annual Conference,
Waterloo, July 16–21