Toronto number four
Re: The rise and fall (and rise?) of evangeln -
icalism in Canada (Jul/Aug 2017)
I ENJOYED John Stackhouse’s brief history
of Evangelicals very much. Just one minor
quibble. Toronto recently displaced Chicago as fourth largest city in North America
(not fifth) – and that is Toronto alone, not
the GTA. When you include South America, Toronto is the 13th largest city in the
Americas due to a number of megacities
in Brazil and other large cities in Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Venezuela.
Ian Ritchie, Kingston, Ont.
Mistrust in self-preservationist
Re: Secularization in la belle province (May/
I APPRECIATE this column. There is much
the Church can learn from its history in
different parts of Canada and elsewhere.
Kevin Flatt missed a key reason for
Quebeckers turning away from the
Church: They have inherited a great deal
of mistrust stemming from the hypocrisy,
control and abuses (most notably sexual
abuse) inflicted by the historical Catholic
church in Quebec.
The generation of the Quiet Revolution
came to perceive the Church as an institution controlled by men, primarily interested in its own self-preservation, rather
than being a vehicle for the gospel.
In this there is a great lesson for all
churches today – including the evangelical church. We must remember the
Church is something we must give over
to Christ if we are to have any hope of
meaningful impact [on] our society.
He must be the head and the builder.
Any other kind of institution is doomed
to failure, even if we call it “church.” This
is an essential lesson that should be added
to Flatt’s column.
Peter Chung, Montreal, Que.
Reaching unchurched seniors
Re: Can churches do better with our seniors?
IN AUGUST 2016 two evangelical churches
in Prince Albert, Sask., came together to
see what we (Embassy Church and Under
the Juniper Tree Chapel) could do for
seniors in our community. We started by
reaching out and calling in the assistance
of a local seniors’ advocacy centre (www.
We found a fully integrated seniors’
ministry was really needed. So the two
churches started to reach out to unchurched seniors, a group apparently
overlooked by many churches.
In our first year this brand new church
called The Heart of Seniors Gathering has
seen 150 new faces and has developed 25
to 30 regular attenders – all seniors with
an average age of 75+. Some of them knew
Christ, but many did not.
Besides our regular church service on a
Sunday afternoon (specifically designed
with old-fashioned gospel music, short
devotional sermons, healthy snack lunch
following), we have now added social
We offer monthly information sessions
for seniors by seniors and about seniors
where we tackle difficult topics such as
funeral planning, estate planning, chronic illness management, etc.
We are also thinking about a check-in
system to call them regularly and see what
they need, and of course to pray, followed
up by regular pastoral visits.
All of this is far removed from the
regular Bible study in some church basement that many of us mistakenly assume
to be sufficient.
John Fryters, Prince Albert, Sask.
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