INSIDE: First Responder BBQ • Christian Retail Closures •Afghanistan
HERALD September 2021
Pre-election Prayer rally on the eve of the vote
Plans to Prosper
Managing a Christian Business amid a Global Pandemic
A Feast to Remember ICEJ Canada invites Christians to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles alongside Israel from Sept 20-27 Page 10 SEPTEMBER 2021
Christian Herald / 1
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TABLE OF CONTENTS NEWS HEADLINES WEA expresses concern over Afghanistan; GTA’s Afghan Church prepares to assist with refugee settlement; Interfaith event aims to rally support for religious freedoms and tolerance; Christian Retail Store closures will impact Greater Toronto Area.
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MINISTRY NEWS FaithTech’s Innovation Sprint tackles ministry challenges in just four weeks; Samaritan’s Purse helps Haiti Earthquake victims; Study reveals church leaders’ attitudes on Evangelism; WEA and European Freedom Network step up fight against Human Trafficking.
EVENTS In a special online event, ICEJ Canada invites Christians to celebrate the 2021 Feast of Tabernacles alongside Israel from Sept 20-27; Mississauga and Brampton Churches to bless Police/Fire/EMS at First Responders BBQ; Pro-Life activism takes centre stage at 40 Days For Life; ELO goes National. [Community Calendar on pages 20-21]
FEDERAL ELECTION 2021 Thinking About Voting? How should Christians align ourselves politically? How can we make the most of every opportunity given to us to cast our ballot? Political Chaplain Tim Schindel of Leading Influence offers a few thoughts on getting it right.
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FEATURES Education Educator Catherine Dumé looks at how Christians can rise to the challenge and help children during the pandemic • Evangelism John Sorensen of Evangelism Explosion looks at praying strategically for evangelistic success.
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BUSINESS Managing a Christian Business amid a Global Pandemic: Burke Slingerland takes a look at how Mission Thrift Store in Oshawa tackled the Covid-19 challenge.
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18 LAST WORD After twenty years of organizing weekly summer gospel concerts for Brampton’s Inspirational Music in the Park, founder Lesley Morgan passes the baton to the next generation.
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HEAL CANADA - 2021 ELECTION PRAYER MEETING Join us live in-person or via Zoom, for an important prayer meeting on Sunday, September 19 at 6:00pm - the eve of the federal election. The soul of the nation weighs in the balance on September 20th. In these critical times, Canada needs righteous Members of Parliament to make strategic decisions which affect our health, spiritual communities, economy, and democracy. Your prayer will make a difference in this election. During our past Heal Canada calls, over 3,000 pastors and leaders gathered to beseech the Lord concerning our great nation. As a result, we have seen the miraculous hand of God move. God has heard and will continue to hear our cries and heal Canada. If not you, who? If not now, when? The meeting will be live in-person at Canada Christian College's new Truth Centre, located at 300 Water Street, Whitby, L1N 9B6. If you are unable to attend in-person, you can participate via ZOOM.
www.healcanadaprayer.ca SEPTEMBER 2021
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WEA expresses concern over Afghanistan Calls for prayer for the most vulnerable, including religious minorities and women T he World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expresses its deep concerns over the take-over of Afghanistan by the Taliban who in the past have been known for persecution of religious minorities, suppression of women, drug trade and human trafficking. The WEA calls on churches and believers to pray for the country, especially for Afghan Christians and others who are vulnerable, and those who have already fled or are trying to flee abroad. “We are very concerned about the recent developments in Afghanistan and the dire prospects for all those who do not fit within the Taliban’s view of a society. Women, who will be among those who have most to lose, will likely again be prevented from enjoying basic rights, including tertiary education, professional careers, and even freedom to move around on their own. What is less reported is the plight of religious minorities, including Christians, who have suffered severe oppression during the past twenty years and who are now at even greater risk,” said Bishop Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretary General of the WEA. “We should not pretend as if everything was well in Afghanistan prior to the Taliban taking control of the country now. Converts from Islam have been killed in areas under the former official government, and war lords who controlled part of the country, and are 6 / Christian Herald
“Join us in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ that they would be protected and comforted.”
now losing their power, were not much better,” Schirrmacher noted. “The Constitution of 2004 stated that Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic with Islam as its state religion, leaving no place for religious freedom in the country. In reality, all religious minorities suffer in Afghanistan and will suffer even more now – including Muslim minorities like the Shiites and those Muslims who have became followers of Jesus Christ.” Highlighting the complexity of the nation’s history and culture, Schirrmacher also pointed out that the media at times portray the situation too simplistically, as if the Taliban represent only a small group of insurgents imposing their will on society. “While there has been improvements for women’s rights and other developments in recent years under the official government, these changes have not been welcomed by all Afghans. Instead, it should be noted that
the backing of the Taliban in society has been much more significant than Western countries thought, with many people even voting for them in elections,” Schirrmacher said. In addition to the oppression of religious minorities and the restrictions on women that are already being felt in many of the regions that fell to the Taliban in recent days, the country will likely again see a significant increase in illicit trade and slavery. “Taliban finance themselves to a large extent through all kinds of criminal means, especially drug trade and human trafficking. Selling girls into sex slavery is no problem for them, especially if they do not belong to their faith community,“ Schirrmacher said. Calling on believers to pray, he said “our hearts cannot help but ache for the many Afghans who are longing for freedom but once again have to live in fear within their own nation, as well as the many who have fled to other countries as refugees leaving behind everything. Join us in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ that they would be protected and comforted. Scripture reminds us that we are one body in Christ and ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it’ (1 Corinthians 12:26a). And let us pray for new hope for the whole nation that is facing a very dark moment at this time.”
GTA’s Afghan Church prepares to assist with refugee settlement The Government of Canada has announced that Canada will be taking in at least 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, and the Afghan Church in the GTA is readying to help. The Afghan Church of the GTA is the only local Afghan church in the entire GTA. The church’s vision is to reach out Afghans, Iranians and Tajiks and to plant new churches all over the GTA and Canada. The Afghan Church currently has two worship meetings in Mississauga and Scarborough. Working with the Jesus Network, the Church is raising funds to support 20 refugee families from Afghanistan. To learn more or donate towards the Afghan Refugee Helps Fund, visit www.jesusnetwork.ca Comedian plans on helping Afghanis fleeing Kabul acclimate to the U.S. Comedian Nazareth has always seen his comedy as a means to an end. For nearly three decades, he has used his platform to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Voice of Refugees, a non-profit organization in Southern California that serves the needs of thousands of people fleeing Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran. Nazareth is co-founder of the organization and currently is the Board chair. “Many of the 640 Afghanis fleeing Kabul will end up here in California,” says Nazareth. “We look forward to helping them acclimate to America just as we have done with other families since 2009.” Since the pandemic began, Nazareth has helped deliver canned foods, fresh meat, and produce each week to refugee families, half of which he estimates have been from Afghanistan. In addition to supplying food, Voice of Refugees provides free English as a Second Language classes, free furniture, day care and many other services that refugees need. SEPTEMBER 2021
Christian Retail Store closures will impact Greater Toronto Area
St. Andrew’s Anglican church in Muncey, Ontario was burned November 1, 2020 in a “suspicious structure fire”, according to the Ontario Provincial Police. [Photo courtesy OPP]
Interfaith event aims to rally support for religious freedoms and tolerance Saturday, September 18 at Mississauga’s Celebration Square
aith leaders, government officials, and concerned Canadians will all be on hand for the Interfaith Peace Rally to be held on Saturday, September 18 at Mississauga’s Celebration Square. With a spate of arson attacks targeting Christian churches across the country, and graffiti attacks against Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques, Pastor Pat Francis of For A Better Canada thought the time was right to build an interfaith coalition to stand up for freedom of religion and religious tolerance in Canada. Speakers at the Interfaith Peace Rally will include: Pastor Pat Francis, Indigenous
Chief Reggie Neeposh, Pastor Randy Neilson, Jamil Jivani, Charles Sathmary, Imam Shaykh Imran Ally (Muslim), Samurai Zenji Nio (Buddhist), Bishop Lennox Walker, Shri Chander Khanna (Hindu), and Bishop Ransford Jones. Others invitees include Mayors, Pastors and Faith Leaders, Indigenous Leaders and concerned Canadians. Francis says that the targeting of Houses of Worship is a gross violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which includes freedom of conscience and religion, and freedom of peaceful assembly. People of all faiths must feel safe in their churches, synagogues, mosques, and
temples without fear. The event aims to condemn the widespread desecration, vandalism and burning of places of worship across Canada and to appeal to the Government of Canada to enforce its Charter of Rights for freedom, peace and safety for all Canadians. The rally is an in-person outdoor event, and organizers will adhere to all COVID-19 current safety protocols. The event will take place from 11:00am to 12:30pm at the downtown Mississauga plaza, next to Square One shopping mall. www.forabettercanada.ca
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hen Oakville’s Good Books closes on October 9, the Western GTA will lose one of its last Christian retailers, meaning that there will hardly be a neighbourhood store between Pearson Airport and the city of St. Catharines. Good Books, which has been serving Oakville for three decades, is closing on Thanksgiving weekend because the store’s building is being expropriated by transit builder Metrolinx and is scheduled to be demolished. On the store’s website, owner Shirley Kiervin reminisced about 30 years of serving the community and noted that they leave “with warm memories and a deep satisfaction.” In recent years, a number of Christian retailers in the region have also shut their doors. Burlington’s Family Christian Bookstore, which served that community for more than 60 years, closed in August. Mississauga’s Ontario Christian Books closed in 2019, and multiple Gospel Lighthouse stores, including one in Hamilton, have closed as well. In the eastern side of the GTA, a similar void has opened as Scarborough’s Faith Culture closed in 2018, and no stores remain in Pickering, Ajax or Whitby. Closures have also happened in the north markets of Barrie and Newmarket. Why store closures matter It’s obvious that online competition is largely responsible for the hardships that many Christian retailers are feeling. Christian store owners do not simply have to contend with competition from Amazon, but also from their own ministry partners. An increasing number of publishers and wholesalers are selling products direct-to-consumer, at prices that retail stores are hardpressed to match. Whole product categories, like music and movies, have moved to streaming. And a worldwide pandemic has certainly not helped. But with the move to online retailing, the local Christian community loses an important source of Christian resource curation, knowledge and experience. Some online stores sell ‘inspirational’ products as a category, and new or inexperienced believers can find products ‘suggested’ to them that do not conform to Christian worldviews. Neighbourhoods now lack a trusted source for non-Christians, who might not yet be ready to attend a church, to ask questions or attend a book club. Christians have one less local hangout where they can to meet with each other across denominational lines. Christian stores that currently remain include Agape Marketplace, Cornerstone Bookshop and the Canadian Bible Society in Toronto, Attwell Books in the Pearson Airport area, Durham Christian Bookstore in Oshawa, and Heritage Christian Bookstore in St. Catharines. Christian Herald / 7
Study Reveals Church Leaders’ Christian HERALD Attitudes on Evangelism Volume 28, No. 2 • September 2021
Alpha Canada conducted State of Evangelism Research, in Partnership with the Flourishing Congregations Institute
ixty-five percent of Church leaders said that evangelism is not a priority, according to a recent survey conducted by Alpha Canada and the Flourishing Congregations Institute. The study revealed some surprising insights about how Pastors and Church leaders in parts of North America view evangelism, the importance placed upon it and how it is defined. The research was formally presented at Alpha Canada’s virtual Life Shared Summit on September 9. “We know that our mission is to make the last command given by Jesus -- to make disciples -- our first priority,” said Senior Vice President of Alpha International Shaila Visser. “Evangelizing should be at the forefront of all we do and it is shocking to see that among some North American Church leaders this is not the case. I hope the research conducted will encourage people to go out and share the good news of Jesus Christ.” Another key discovery from the study is that the understanding of and approach to evangelism has shifted as culture, perceptions and society have changed over time. COVID-19 served as a catalyst for ministry innovation and made church leaders shift and adjust to the unprecedented times. The emphasis on evangelism remains shockingly low as the study revealed only 40% of church leaders claimed to increase prioritizing evangelism during the pandemic, while 50% say they adapted their approach as a result of COVID-19. These numbers are put into perspective as it was shown that considering this increase, there was still a mere 34% of churches stating evangelism is a priority. Reservations of sharing one’s faith are outlined in the research and reflect how the Church approaches evangelism. These findings include: 45% encourage their congregations to evangelize by sharing faith through actions; 40% say that evangelism involves inviting people to church;
“North America is becoming less Christian today than it was generations before, which goes to show the importance of church leaders equipping congregants for...evangelism” 35% encouraged inviting a person to a program or class, something like Alpha; 33% claim verbally sharing the gospel was a common method encouraged among their congregation. “Through the research, we see how there is no unified goal or even language surrounding evangelism,” said Visser. “North America is becoming less Christian today than it was generations before, which goes to show the importance of church leaders equipping congregants for, and encouraging them in evangelism” The surprising State of Evangelism research was presented at the Life Shared Summit on September 10. The conference was put on by 19 partnering organizations and hosted by six Canadian evangelical leaders: Danielle Strickland, Jean-Philippe Beaudry, Simon Lobo, Darrell Johnson, Patti Miller and Jon Thompson. “The opportunity of gathering Church leaders from across Canada to reimagine evangelism in our nation will be impactful,” said Visser. “The summit will allow a time to celebrate the work of God in this country and pray for all Canadians to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to make Jesus’ last command, our first priority.” To learn more about Alpha Canada and the Life Shared Summit visit, www.alphacanada.org
WEA and European Freedom Network launch new global network to step up fight against Human Trafficking
he World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the European Freedom Network (EFN) have announced the launch of a new global network to fight human trafficking. An estimated 43 million people worldwide are caught up in this modern form of slavery, in which women, men and children are exploited, bought and sold for economic gain. The newly formed World Freedom Network (WFN) will bring together a variety of organizations and experts with a specific focus on how churches can get involved and play a unique role in addressing this issue in their own local contexts. Leanne Rhodes who has served as Executive Director of the EFN has been appointed as the new network’s Global Director. “Human trafficking is a global organized crime and needs a global response to combat it. I am excited to see the World Freedom Network become an integral part of the solution through equipping and connecting Christian professionals working in this space as well as engaging churches across the globe to act locally and nationally. We can achieve so much 8 / Christian Herald
more when we all work together.” Rhodes said upon her appointment. Human trafficking is a complex problem that outworks differently across the world. In some regions the main focus is trafficking for labour while in others it is trafficking for sexual exploitation. Other countries contribute more to the problem through consumer purchases. In the European context, EFN, which is part of the European Evangelical Alliance, has run a high-profile campaign called “Don’t Shut Your Eyes” that highlights how pornography fuels human trafficking, educates churches and the public on how to identify signs of trafficking and also helps people become free from addition. The WFN’s aim is to build autonomous regional networks that engage with the problem in their context whilst also joining together with other regions to represent the global Christian response to human trafficking. In many places, the WFN will be able to build upon the existing
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FaithTech Innovation Sprint
Tech teams tackle challenges - from problem to prototype - in four weeks I n June, FaithTech ran an Innovation Sprint, where volunteer teams responded to ministry pitches focused on helping the marginalized, the local church, and sharing the Gospel - sprinting from problem to prototype together in just four weeks. Centred around a weekly meet-up, the 41 participants were guided through the design thinking method—discovery, ideation, building, and prototype—to use technology to solve real-world problems presented by partner organizations. In the process, participants were also equipped to base their tech development on intrinsic Biblical principles. In less than one month, the teams took six projects from pitch to MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage, creating new technology for Kingdom impact. The projects engaged with a variety of needs, and employed different tech solutions to: • Leverage tech to end social isolation by re-imagining the organization’s website to engage volunteers and clients. • Help churches deal with mental health through digital resources by developing a geo-locating app for people to find nearby courses. • Reimagine a philanthropic platform to enable people to give of their time, treasure and talents to current needs. • Create an automated scalable website infrastructure to meet people at their deepest point of need while they are searching for answers online. • Help sex addicts find routes to recovery when searching online, by building an AI Chatbot to start conversations with sex purchasers and guide them to resources to help them recover. • Inject the Bible into browsing, by developing a prototype Chrome extension giving
FaithTech’s mission is to bridge the gap between faith and technology, helping people in the tech ecosystem find community and steward their skills to glorify God.
context-based scripture linked to keywords on the page.
and problem statements received technical solutions that once felt largely out of reach.
More than simply building and prototyping, the teams were led through a Biblically rooted product development process, which was novel for the participants. One person shared that it was “Really cool to integrate Biblical concepts with an incubator-type tech sprint” and another remarked that “I didn’t expect the level of spirituality and Biblical context that could be applied to tech and the Sprint, and was both surprised and pleased to see it. And my eyes (and heart and mind) were opened more to it.” The partners that provided the pitches
One partner shared after the event: “Participating in the FaithTech hackathon in June was an eye-opening experience for what the Lord can do when we allow Him to ride shotgun on a technology project. Ahead of the sprint, I had an abstract idea of a Christian browser extension — but no technical skills to pull it off. I prayed for a programmer, someone who could help on the data side, and someone who could eventually help market this. In Week One on the first sprint night that prayer was answered: I got a programmer fresh out of coding boot-
camp, a data scientist, and a digital marketer on the project team. Within four weeks, the coder built a working proof of concept that we now want to refine until Christmas time.” Some of the projects have already been deployed and are in use by the partner organizations seeing real-world impact, and others will continue to be developed through the FaithTech Labs program. FaithTech’s mission is to bridge the gap between faith and technology, helping people in the tech ecosystem find community and steward their skills to glorify God. You can find out more about their ministry at www.faithtech.com.
Samaritan’s Purse helping Haiti earthquake victims
Relief ministry airlifts critical relief supplies to battered Caribbean island
fter last month’s 7.2 magnitude Haiti earthquake killed more than 1,200 people, injured at least 5,700 and caused severe damage, Samaritan’s Purse immediately began to mobilize staff and relief supplies. The Christian relief organization has flown 13 disaster response specialists (two of them from Canada) and 31 tons of emergency relief, including shelter material, medical supplies and two community water filtration units, to Haiti. Each unit can proSEPTEMBER 2021
vide clean water to 3,500 people each day. A medical team will also deploy to provide basic medical care and begin health assessments. If needed, a second airlift will transport an Emergency Field Hospital, surgical teams, and other medical personnel to serve patients. “This massive earthquake has devastated Haiti—it’s left many families homeless and searching for their loved ones,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.
“We are responding to help meet needs in Jesus’ name. Please pray for Haiti and all those who are suffering.” “Our hearts break for the people of Haiti, who have to endure yet another natural disaster,” said Ian Stokes, Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s international disaster response director. “With the partnership of our Canadian supporters, we’ll do everything possible to help them through this difficult time.”
Samaritan’s Purse has worked in Haiti for more than a decade—responding to disasters and maintaining a permanent country office based in Port-au-Prince. In 2010, the international Christian relief organization responded to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent cholera outbreak. In 2016, Samaritan’s Purse responded to Hurricane Matthew and provided life-saving relief supplies in the hardest-hit areas. www.SamaritansPurse.ca Christian Herald / 9
A Feast to Remember
ICEJ Canada invites Christians to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles alongside Israel from Sept 20-27
Photo: Worship on the Southern Steps in Israel [Courtesy ICEJ]
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16
he Bible describes the Feast of Tabernacles as the third of the three annual feasts which the people of Israel are commanded to celebrate in Jerusalem. During this Feast they recall the 40 years in the wilderness, as well as celebrate and rejoice over the ingathering of the harvest. Traditionally, the Jewish people identify the Feast of Tabernacles with the coming of the Messiah. And they welcome non-Jewish (Gentile) participation, according to the prophetic word in Zechariah 14 that all the nations would come up to Jerusalem to
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celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. In the late 1970s, a gifted Canadian couple living in Jerusalem, Merv and Merla Watson, received from the Lord a vision to invite Christians from around the world to come join them in celebrating Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles. They were inspired by the promise in Zechariah 14:16. In 1979, a few hundred Christians responded to the invitation. But the next year, more than 1,000 believers from some 32 nations arrived for this unique Christian gathering in Jerusalem. This year with the online global celebration, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is believing over 100,000 believers will be participating either on their own or with groups at their churches and other locations. Since its inception in 1980 the Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles,
sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, has been a vital and central part of the ministry of comforting Israel (Isaiah 40:1). When God said, these Feasts are “appointed times” (Leviticus 23:4b), ICEJ believes He is calling His people to assemble on these appointed times to meet with Him. These appointed times are God’s open invitations or “seasonal portals” to receive His blessings. John 7 records that on the last, great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood up in the Temple and declared that rivers of living water would flow from the innermost being of he who believes in Him. For Christians, the Feast is therefore a celebration of joy, but also a time of deepening their relationship and walk with God. The Christian celebration has become known for the splendour of
its presentation, and for the powerful times of praise and worship, as the participants are led by an international worship team of gifted singers, musicians and dancers. What happens at the Feast of Tabernacles? • Eight days of LIVE worship services from Israel • Over 100 seminar teachings • 22 virtual tours of iconic Israel sites • Israeli and International Speakers and worship artists • 24/7 prayer watch streamed from Jerusalem The Feast usually begins with an outdoor worship celebration. The word of God is preached nightly and is central to the evening meetings. Praise and worship led by SEPTEMBER 2021
EVENTS an international team of singers, musicians, dancers and other artists. Special musical guests from the Jewish community are also regularly featured in the spectacular evening celebrations. The music and worship from the Feast Celebrations in Jerusalem has had a major impact on the Christian world in its understanding of “Davidic Worship.” Opportunities for prayer with fellow believers from around the world who have a heart for Israel is a vital part of the Feast programming. In what has become a Feast tradition, pilgrims walk to strategic points to pray over the City. The opportunity to cover Jerusalem in fervent prayers of agreement is a privilege that Feast participants take seriously. It gives opportunity and expression for the nations to literally be “watchmen on the walls” of Jerusalem. During the week, there will be in-depth seminars, bringing balanced teaching from carefully selected teachers, scholars, and public figures. The seminars seek to offer a broad, yet interwoven impartation of revelation truth, and have annually become a forum for the expression of “present day truth” from Jerusalem to the nations. Varied subjects and themes are presented, with a special focus on the prophetic perspectives of Israel, the Church and eschatology. Each daily celebration is a two-hour broadcast at 16:00 (4:00 PM) Israel time, with simultaneous language translation. The daily celebrations also will be viewable on-
demand afterwards. The Feast will include programming from these amazing locations: • • • •
Desert Celebration at Qumran/Dead Sea Roll Call of the Nations at Southern Steps in Jerusalem Jerusalem March Special Prayer Service at
the Western Wall • Communion at the Garden Tomb • Worship Concert at the Sea of Galilee Your invitation to host a “Watch Party” You can host a special group celebration at your church or home with a “Watch Party” for one of the special evening events or more. Three packages to choose from, starting at only $50 USD. Watch parties are a great
way to celebrate the Feast together with only one registration, however, love offerings and attendance taking are appreciated. There Are Three Registration Options To Choose From: • Basic Package @ $50 USD • Elijah Package @ $100 USD • First-Fruit Package @ $150 USD Register Today for the Feast at on.icej.org/FOT2021
Churches to bless First Responders with BBQ
hurches in Brampton and Missisauga will come together to bless local First Responders on Saturday, September 25, when they prepare BBQ lunches for giveaway to local Police, Fire and Paramedic workers. The event is spearheaded by lawyer Brian Prill, who organized the first such event in 2020. Prill notes that even before the pandemic, first responders regularly deal with high-stress situations. He hopes the event will build bridges of trust and communication between Police/Fire/EMS and the faith community, as both work for the good of society. The outpouring of appreciation at the First Responder BBQ for Police, Fire and Paramedic personnel has one general rule: No hot dogs or hamburgers. Church teams will purchase and prepare the foods they plan to serve (with donations raised from members and local businesses) and bring them to their reserved BBQ space at the event. The plan is for each group to prepare to serve 150-200 people. Last year’s event featured a variety of BBQ foods, including meats, veggies and salads prepared and served in culturally diverse ways. Prill hopes that the event will continue to grow and spread to other cities in the coming years. Registration, sponsorship details and more can be found online at www.1strespondersbbq.org
Pro-Life activism takes centre stage at 40 Days For Life This Fall, there will be hundreds of communities in North America, including several Canadian cities, simultaneously hosting a 40 Days For Life campaign from September 22 October 31, 2021. 40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses. Each day during 40 Days for Life, individuals, churches, families, and groups will be asked to join together in prayer for a specific request so the entire Body of Christ can unite around a common focus. People of faith are also invited to fast throughout the campaign. The visible, public centerpiece of 40 Days for Life is a focused, 40-day, non-stop, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside a single abortion facility in your community. It is a peaceful and educational presence. Those who are called to stand witness during this 24-hour-a-day presence send a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion. It also serves as a call to repentance for those who work at the abortion centre and those who patronize the facility. During 40 Days for Life, the message is taken proactively to every corner of your community.
A door-to-door petition and education drive reaches out to every household in your town or city. People visibly show their support for 40 Days for Life by wearing wristbands, placing signs in their yards, or displaying bumper stickers on their vehicles. If your community has a college campus, many students can be impacted through an intense 40-day campus outreach. This can consist of flyer raids, public witness, petition drives, table displays, and much more. If you wish to join 40 Days For Life in your community, please visit www.campaignlifecoalition.com/40-days-forlife and find out how you can join a prayer vigil. If you wish to bring 40 Days for Life to your community go to www.40daysforlife.com to apply to host a campaign. ELO goes National The Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization (ELO) has announced it is bringing together its Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto communities for a first-ever “national forum” on November 30th, 2021. The 2021 ELO National Forum will integrate “in person” and virtual components, in compliance with current regulatory requirements. www.entrepreneurialleaders.com
Christian Herald / 11
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FEATURES FEDERAL ELECTION 2021
Thinking About Voting
How should Christians align ourselves politically? How can we make the most of every opportunity given to us to cast our ballot? by Tim Schindel
’ve been a political chaplain for almost 15 years. It’s the most exciting work I’ve ever done. One of the benefits of this role is that it’s given me a tremendous opportunity to learn, grow and think about faith and politics and the need for Christians to become politically active. There are many ways for that to happen. Voting for your preferred candidate is an excellent first step. Beyond that, supporting a candidate’s campaign, preparing to run or actually running as a candidate yourself are additional critical steps to meaningful political engagement. The relationship between Christians and politics is complicated. The reality is that we are citizens of Heaven and this world at the same time. It’s a given that there is constant conflict between the values of Heaven and the values of this world. Navigating that conflict is a lifelong challenge. While we need to be intentionally and purposefully engaged in this world, our hope is always in what Heaven will bring and not in what our political leaders will promise us. Navigating that within the political dynamic is a constant challenge. This tension has created some interest-
14 / Christian Herald
ing dynamics in our thinking. There are Christians who intentionally don’t vote as a matter of principle. For some, it’s a matter of not engaging in the affairs of this world. That is their right and privilege. I believe that Christians should vote and that we should prayerfully and thoughtfully. Voting is a privilege and an expression of good citizenship. We need to take advantage of every opportunity given to us to cast our ballot. There’s a diversity of opinions on how Christians should act/align politically. Some of it is sound advice coming from deep thinking. Some of it is shallow populism summarized in broad statements that we should ignore, and some of it is just funny. Under the ‘funny’ category, here’s what I mean. One time, a pastor friend became pretty ‘fired up’ about the election as he was preaching. In a moment where inspiration overtook forethought, I heard him say that we should only vote for Christian candidates. (If you’re a pastor reading this, turn to your neighbour and say, ‘I’ve done stuff like that too!’) Thankfully, I didn’t burst out laughing, but only because I was so shocked that he said it OUT LOUD while holding a microphone! Some of my Christian brothers and
sisters are skilled and competent leaders. Voting for them (if they’re on your ballot and you agree with their platform) could be a good choice. At the same time, I have other spiritual brothers and sisters who are probably good at many different things, but they should never be elected to office. Just because someone loves Jesus doesn’t mean that they will be a good politician. Use your vote wisely! Under ‘sort of funny,’ some people will encourage you to ‘Vote for Jesus’. I know it’s a euphemism, but it’s mostly an attempt to be cute and spiritual simultaneously. Jesus isn’t looking for your vote. He wants your love, life and loyalty, but that’s a conversation for another time. Jesus has a kingdom that surpasses political ideology. Jesus doesn’t run for office. Plan to vote for someone else. Under the ‘not funny at all’ category: In every election campaign, someone in the average Christian’s world will say or post, ‘This election is about life’ in an attempt to sway/encourage people to vote a particular way. Elections are never about just one thing; they are always about many things. The person in your riding who is running on a life issue might be your best choice to represent you politically, or they could be
entirely out of their depth. If you agree with them on multiple topics, then vote for them, but they shouldn’t get your vote, nor should they be cancelled based on their stance on a single point. Vote thoughtfully towards the big picture. This is a critical time in our nation. As Christians, we need to respond with purpose and clarity. Here are 4 simple steps that you can take that will help you do that. 1) We’ve created an Election Prayer Journey that will help you pray with purpose and focus about the upcoming vote. Register with us to receive regular updates for the duration of the campaign. Click here, and ‘like/follow’ if you’d like to participate through social media. 2) Encourage your friends, family and church to participate with us. 3) Take time to hear God speak to you. 4) Plan to vote! You’ll find voting options here. Tim Schindel is President and National Director of Leading Influence
www.leadinginfluence.com SEPTEMBER 2021
FEATURES FEDERAL ELECTION 2021
Election Engagement Kit 2021 ARPA: Using legislation that Provides Resources to Christians restricts fundamental freedoms as a partisan political tool A puts Canadians at risk. s Canadians prepare to vote in the upcoming Sept. 20 federal election, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has compiled a variety of practical resources to help inform and equip Christians as they engage in the electoral process. Churches can, for example, engage in the election process, but must proceed with caution, following the guidelines laid out by the CRA. At TheEFC.ca/Election, we provide information on what churches can and cannot do during an election – including by way of a short, lively video. The EFC Election Engagement Kit includes issue summaries and questions voters can ask candidates, as well as information on how to host an all-candidates meeting.
WNAL: Liberals push abortion policies at the expense of helping women
he Liberals finally released their election platform on Sept. 1, and for a party that is constantly demonizing the Conservatives for even allowing discussion on things like sex-selective abortion, they spill a considerable amount of ink themselves in doing that very thing – discussing abortion. The 86-page platform, titled “Forward. For Everyone.” includes numerous commitments to expanding so-called “reproductive health” services across the country. The Liberals fixation with the targeted killing of pre-born children is so entrenched in their vision for this country that Canadians can safely assume this party under the leadership of Justin Trudeau is pro-only-one-choice: abortion. While their leadership is having tragic consequences for the 100,000+ pre-born children who are removed from their mother’s wombs every year in Canada, equally concerning is the Liberals antagonistic approach to pregnancy care centres. “It was disappointing to read in the Liberals’ platform that they intend to remove charitable status for centres focusing on helping women facing an unintended pregnancy,” said Tabitha Ewert, spokesperson for We Need a Law. “These pregnancy care centres are on the frontlines of assisting some of the most vulnerable people in society and regularly help women make
“Our participation in politics, like our engagement in all other areas of life, is an essential part of our witness. It is one of the ways we love our neighbour and seek the well-being of our country,” says David Guretzki, EFC vice-president and resident theologian. “With these resources, we are trying to encourage Canadian Christians to be as fully engaged as they are able, with as much practical, non-partisan helps as we can help provide.”
he Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) hoped that with the calling of the election, Canadians would enter a vigorous debate on numerous pieces of legislation that were left on the table due to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to send us to the polls on September 20.
Heal Canada Prayer Rally scheduled for Election’s Eve
Non-partisan prayer gathering hosted by Rev. Charles McVety will be held in-person and online
r. Charles McVety, President of Canada Christian College, will host a non-partisan prayer gathering on the eve of the 2021 Federal Election to pray for the future of the country. Pastors and leaders from ministries across the country are expected to participate. The meeting, to be held on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 6:00pm, will be held in-person at Canada Christian College’s new Truth Centre (300 Water Street, Whitby, L1N 9B6). While the auditorium normally seats 4,000, the event is restricted to 1,000 attendees to maintain social distancing. To ensure safety during this time, masks and pre-registration will be required for all attendees. Those unable to attend in-person can participate online via Zoom teleconferencing. During the pandemic, McVety has
led several Heal Canada online meetings, with over 3,000 pastors and leaders taking part. For the Heal Canada Election Prayer Rally, pastors and leaders from across the country will participate, and local congregations can gather in-church or in homes to watch and pray together for Canada. (Subject to local health guidelines.) McVety says that in these critical times, Canada needs righteous Members of Parliament to make strategic decisions which affect our health, spiritual communities, economy, and democracy. Congregations and individuals are welcome to invite as many pastors, community leaders, family and friends as they can to attend this free prayer meeting in-person or via zoom. To register your attendance, or for more information, visit www.healcanadaprayer.ca.
informed choices that set them on the path to a better life,” said Ewert. Pregnancy care centres can be found in both large and small cities across the country and are at ground zero for women who experience an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. “These much-needed centres receive no government funding and rely solely on donations from individuals who also care for women and children,” continued Ewert. “They are staffed mainly by volunteers. And the care they offer extends well beyond pregnancy or the moment of birth, miscarriage, or abortion. In very practical ways they come alongside people in need to enable them to transition well into motherhood.”
Pregnancy care centres need our support as they provide real help to women facing unplanned pregnancy. Abortion is a bandage solution to many deeper problems faced by women; problems pregnancy care centres meet with real solutions and meaningful options. Rather than taking the aggressive approach that the Liberals have in their election platform, we need party leaders who take a compassionate, clear, and caring stance on supporting vulnerable women who are making important decisions concerning their personal health as well as that of their pre-born child. “The Liberals have presented the other parties with an opportunity to come out in support of women and children who
The election pulled the plug on legislation that raised serious concerns among many Canadians. “The Liberal government has systematically undermined the fundamental freedoms we have come to cherish in Canada,” said ARPA’s Executive Director Mark Penninga. “We’ve been disappointed by the steady stream of bills that bring in disrepute principles of freedom of expression, parental rights, and even the inviolable right to life in this last parliament.” In particular, ARPA Canada is very concerned with the Liberals trio of ongoing and highly politicized bills which all tread on the fundamental freedoms of conscience and free expression: Bill C-6 banning so-called ‘conversion therapy’, Bill C-10 regulating online content, and now Bill C-36 targeting expression vaguely described as ‘hate.’ “Under this current government Canadians have observed attempts to pass legislation that undermines the foundation upon which Canadians of all backgrounds can pursue a life of freedom and true human flourishing,” continued Penninga. “In addition, we will be anticipating Erin O’Toole to clearly outline what he will do if given the mandate to govern, specifically as it relates to the rapid expansion of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada,” said Penninga. The passage of Bill C-7 in March, which expanded Canada’s medical assistance in dying regime, extended euthanasia to people with disabilities and mental illness. “These issues are far from settled in the minds of Canadians and it is our hope and prayer that through the course of this election campaign we will see clearly how each of the political parties wants to shape Canada,” concluded Penninga. ARPA (Association for Reformed Political Action) Canada has a mission to educate, equip, and encourage Reformed Christians to political action. We also take a biblical perspective directly to our elected leaders and the courts. ARPA is non-partisan and does not promote or oppose any party. rely on these centres for help,” said Ms. Ewert. “Women need to know that their government cares about real choice for women, not only a single choice.” concluded Ewert. www.weneedalaw.ca Christian Herald / 15
Rising to the Challenge
For our kids’ health and success, we all have a part to play by Catherine Dumé T he school bells ring to beckon all to its doors. Although it’s great to see old classmates and teachers again, for many families the learning through this pandemic has been a nightmare. The COVID-19 crisis hits students to varying degrees leaving casualties as if on a battlefield. Teachers will need to do much more to find and fill gaps in the classroom. Parents will need to jump to the rescue, and you cannot wait for the storm to pass in order to ensure lives are saved. Children may look resilient and easy to bounce back. However we can’t assume everyone will be ok. Report cards will be vague and unable to tell parents the whole story. Falling through the cracks at any grade can hurt even the child who wasn’t struggling before. Jonny’s case: Just looking at him you couldn’t tell that his academics would slip as he hid behind his giftings. He was the captain of his soccer team but, missing the team and competitions, he began to become very disheartened. During the lockdown and isolation Jonny started to slip and he missed 16 / Christian Herald
many days of school. Curiosity for learning begins to wane and frustration is cloaked in the iPad and video games where he turns for socialization and escape. Susan’s case: Due to pandemic fears the family pulled her from kindergarten online because this sudden change was impossible for this energetic child. She wasn’t struggling before but since lockdown she missed much of her foundations for learning to read or write. Learning gaps begin to make deep cracks and some are hard to see. Parents have no idea what to do and for these young students, gaps become harder to fill if they go without diagnosis and remedy. Researchers speak of this time being filled with new levels of “mental health issues“ being noticed in students of all ages. Our students who never had these challenges before now face a pandemic in their learning. Just how learning gaps are handled and how fast repairs are done will have a direct
effect on the child’s mental outlook. With a resilient will and hope in God a focused synergy of like-minded community members will be needed to save the next generation of learners. In the book of Exodus, someone had to save the children! Someone had to save that little one who God would use later to save the entire generation! Moses. It was crisis upon crisis and the Hebrew boys were being massacred with no hope in sight. The midwives were on the job and although the king’s order was to kill the boys when they were born, they feared God and they strategized to save them. Teachers like nurses have to do what they can to save our next generation. Parents too! The mother of Moses, Jochabed, strategized to make the basket for him as she hid him in the river. It was the same river in which all the other babies were drowning but that mom’s basket kept her son afloat. Not a mom? Not a nurse/teacher? Even his sister Miriam had a hand in Moses’ life being spared. She watched over the hidden basket and saw her brother being taken out
by Pharaoh’s daughter. She wisely kept her identity quiet and offered a Hebrew nurse, who was actually their mom. So, there is a role to be played by the young people in rescuing the future generations. From Elementary to Tertiary levels our children have challenges, be they whether the death threats of an evil pandemic or the repercussions that cause them to be hidden in “lockdown” situations. They have to handle the stench of death all around them and still rise through above mental health issues to rule and to conquer. We all have our parts to play. There is no way we can leave the children to languish and drown in the pandemic waters. There are medical and diagnostic solutions to which we may need to access. And beyond that we may even need more intricate instructional designs to help our students make it through. So, let’s encourage each other, know it’s a battle but be wise and strategize as we save our children. Catherine Dumé is the Principal of Signet Christian School in Toronto.
www.signetschool.ca SEPTEMBER 2021
Prayer Opens Hearts Do you pray strategically for changed lives?
hether we realize it or not, prayer is one of the most effective tools we have in the battle to win people for Jesus Christ. The problem is, we often don’t engage in strategic prayer. Our prayers are centered around ourselves instead of others. We may ask that God gives us the strength to be a witness for Him—and that is good—but we fail to pray in a way that God can use to open people’s hearts.
hope? Pray. Spend time every day praying for the hearts of those who don’t yet know Jesus. Mention them by name to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts towards Him. Intercede on their behalf; then pray for opportunities to share God’s love with them.
Prayer opens hearts. The first thing we must realize is that the Holy Spirit draws people to salvation, not us. He speaks to hearts and woos them to Himself. He is the One who convicts us of sin and leads us to repentance. Jesus told us in John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (NIV). Do you know someone who doesn’t know Jesus? Pray. Are you burdened for people around you who are lost and without
Prayer changes us. As we begin to pray daily for the hearts of those around us, our own hearts begin to change. The Holy Spirit works in us and deepens our compassion for the lost. He breaks our hearts for the people we are lifting up in prayer; then He compels us to act. When our hearts are broken for the lost, we cannot sit silently and watch the people we love die without the hope of knowing Jesus Christ. Ask God to open doors and give opportunity to share His love with the
by Rev. John B. Sorensen
people we are praying for. God desires that we spread His Word. He commanded us, as believers, to share it (Matthew 28:19-20). So we can be confident that He will provide those opportunities. We just need to open our eyes and watch for them. Prayer gives us boldness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be My witnesses…” (Acts 1:8, NIV). Opportunities to share our faith are everywhere around us. But when we start praying for them, we
Prayer cannot be separated from witnessing. It is the essence of sharing our faith.
begin to see them clearly. Don’t stop praying. Invite the Holy Spirit to join the conversation. He will give you the words to say. He will continue to work on the heart of the person who is hearing about God’s love. Pray that He will intervene in that person’s life and change it for eternity! Prayer cannot be separated from witnessing. It is the essence of sharing our faith. We cannot reach someone’s heart without the Holy Spirit, and we reach the Holy Spirit through the power of prayer. So, I invite you to begin praying strategically for those around you. Rely on the Holy Spirit to open doors and guide you into conversations. Then share the Gospel with boldness! Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/ CEO of Evangelism Explosion International. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org.
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Christian Herald / 17
FEATURES League of Canada. Due to lockdown, MTS was closed for March, April, May and some of June 2020, but miraculously they still managed to make $701,000 of the $930,000 projection for that year. However, due to the influx of expenses related to COVID, including adherence to all necessary protocols, MTS Oshawa was only able to provide $50,000 to the Bible League of Canada. Government benefits such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and job placement programs through the YMCA have helped MTS remain financially stable. Unfortunately, the store was subjected to another lockdown in the first quarter of 2021. The regrettable designation of thrift stores as “non-essential” caused MTS to close for several weeks this year. As a result, only $50,000 in revenue was earned for the first two and a half months of the year, a fraction of the $160K- $175K projected for this time period.
Plans to Prosper
tinues, “though most of our customers are decent, we are getting a lot of people that are waiting to yell at someone and release their tensions.” Another challenge Mr. Woodcock has experienced this past year is staffing. By majority, Mission Thrift Stores are run by volunteers and prior to COVID times, the store had up to 140 people actively serving. Woodcock says that the volunteer-run aspect of the store creates a unique ability to minister as only about 35% of volunteers are Christians. The number of volunteers dropped to 60 after the first lockdown and after the lifting of the second lockdown in the Durham Region, 20 volunteers returned. This drastic drop in volunteers is partially due to the fact that many are long-time servers who fall into a vulnerable age category. Additionally, Woodcock adds that “many of the volunteers are stressed and worried over COVID as if they have no sense of eternity.” The lack of volunteers has forced the management team to hire younger staff members in order to keep the store running.
Embracing Innovation In response to the pandemic, Mr. Woodcock and the rest of the management team have chosen to look ahead and embrace innovation, a concept foreign to a lot of thrift stores. Despite some seemingly insurmountable hardships, faith and adaptability laid a clear path to prosperity. During the lockdowns, the store made use of online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace curbside sales and MaxSold auctions to generate revenue. The second lockdown allowed for the store to embark on a $65,000 renovation which included the creation of an additional 1000 square feet of sales floor, shifting cash tills to allow for better access and flow, as well as other cosmetic upgrades like painting and shelving. Contemplating the highs and lows of this past year Mr. Woodcock concludes that “The most trying aspect has been dealing with people...People are so unstable right now. In all of my shelter and ministry work, I have never seen people so volatile and hateful. I have grown in the area of knowing when to step back and let others do their thing...Sadly, our culture is so into this individuality and we boast of our individual feats. It destroys the community. But when two or more people come together all for the common goal, amazing things take form...Sometimes we just need to step back and watch what God does.”
Despite these hardships, Mission Thrift Store has experienced unprecedented prosperity. When asked if this was the case for other MTS stores Mr. Woodcock replied, “No, most MTS stores are struggling more than us. Some have even closed but most are only running at 50% right now.” In 2019, MTS Oshawa made $870,000, allowing for them to donate $260,000 to the Bible
The Future Looking ahead, Woodcock shares the store’s hopes post-COVID. He states that “we are actively looking at locations in the Ajax/Pickering area to work on a store plant.” Woodcock also says that the store will stay active online and they will eventually create a full-time position dedicated to this revenue source.
Managing a Christian Business amid a Global Pandemic by Burke Slingerland
s Canada reached the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 precautionary measures this past spring, the effects of the pandemic had seen 116 million cases of the virus recorded worldwide with over 2.58 million deaths, according to Google Statistics. In addition to the devastating loss of human life, businesses as a whole had been met with what seems to be an insurmountable struggle. These concerns weighed heavily on Chris Woodcock, manager of Mission Thrift Store (MTS) located at 1300 Simcoe St North in Oshawa. Woodcock has been the manager of Mission Thrift Store for three years. Supplementing his role as manager at Mission Thrift, Woodcock is a husband, father of three, and a bi-vocational pastor. Woodcock adds that he has a special interest in marketplace ministry which he describes as “a special avenue that shows God’s saving grace.” In addition to the business perspective on managing a local business during a pandemic, Woodcock can also speak to the spiritual aspect and how it has shaped his and his team’s outlook and decisions in this difficult time. The national MTS website outlines how “each store provides used goods to allow for value-conscious shoppers to find deals they can feel good about.” MTS stores convert donated goods into cash, and the 18 / Christian Herald
net revenue is devoted to the joint ministry of Bibles for Missions Foundation (Canada) and Bible League of Canada to support leadership and literacy programs in over 43 countries — giving people access to the lifegiving, life-changing, Word of God. Woodcock states with enthusiasm that between the fifty-three Mission Thrift Stores across the country, $11 million was raised for the Bible League of Canada in 2019, then in 2020, $4 million was raised despite the pandemic. Mission Thrift Store has been serving Oshawa for over 15 years. In addition to their global impact, MTS Oshawa works with approximately 20 local charities in the Durham Region including The Refuge, The Denise House, Gate 3:16, and Simcoe Hall Settlement House. The store coins the phrase “green for the gospel” and partners with recycling programs for electronics and textiles. Woodcock says that the ministry within the store is his passion, “we run the store as a way to share the Gospel with both customers and volunteers.”. The store welcomes over 240 customers every day with a line up at the door each morning. Challenges Woodcock comments on the spiritual struggles he has witnessed in this environment of fear and uncertainty, stating “it has shown the sinful state of people as they are so easily angered.” The dynamic of the store has definitely seen a shift. Woodcock con-
ON SCREEN MOVIES/TV/STREAMING
God’s Not Dead 4 hits U.S. theatres
Fourth installment of popular franchise tackles parental education rights and will soon be available for church screenings in Canada
he latest installment of the God’s Not Dead movie franchise will premiere in U.S. theatres as an October 4-6 special event. At presstime, no Canadian theatrical release has been announced, and the film will likely be available for church showings simultaneously with the U.S. God’s Not Dead: We the People centers around a riveting fight for freedom that starts in the heart of the U.S., and runs to the corridors of Washington, DC. The plot parallels current news headlines regarding the challenge against the freedom of speech and religious liberties with respect to the fundamental right to educate children. The popular God’s Not Dead franchise started in 2014. That film became one of the most profitable faith films with a $1.5 million-dollar budget and grossed over $65 million dollars at the box office. (All figures USD) The film is produced by Pinnacle Peak Entertainment, formerly known as Pure Flix Entertainment. (The studio’s name was changed after the Pure Flix streaming service was sold to Sony’s Affirm Entertainment division in 2020. God’s Not Dead: We the People stars the returning David A.R. White as Reverend Dave and former Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington as Congressman Daryl Smith. The inspirational drama also stars Christian music songstress Francesca Battistelli, Antonio Sabato Jr., and Judge Jeanine Pirro. “We feel honoured to provide our faithful audience another installment in the God’s Not Dead franchise that provides a compelling, timely, and convicting mes-
sage,” says Pinnacle Peak Pictures founding partner Michael Scott. “The themes in this film reflect news headlines and encourage
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New global network to fight against Human Trafficking Continued from Page 8
structures and efforts among WEA’s constituency of regional and national Evangelical Alliances that bring together churches and ministries in 143 countries. “As followers of Jesus, it is our mandate to engage in anti-trafficking efforts. With over 600 million evangelicals spread over every region of the world, I am excited about the good that can be achieved to turn this crime against humanity around,” said Rhodes. The WEA has been responding to the issue for a number of years through its Human Trafficking Task Force and its work at the United Nations. The new network seeks to widen the scope and bring together the many facets and components of what is being done at the global, regional and country levels and ultimately at the grassroots in the neighborhoods. “Evangelicals have been engaged in a vast number of local, national and transnational organizations against racism, slavery and human trafficking. They advocate for stronger laws, better protection and also run safe houses for those exiting from forced prostitution around the globe,” Schirrmacher said, and expressed: “I am very pleased that all these aspects can now be visibly brought together and networked, so that we strengthen our global advocacy on this issue and can better assist national Alliances to address their governments and fellow citizens with one voice.” “While we know that the fight against human trafficking is not a sprint but a marathon, as evangelicals we will continue to be at the forefront of advocating for those who have fallen victim to the evil of modern believers to remain strong in their fight to slavery and stand up for their freedom and protect their spiritual rights and God-given restoration,” he concluded. freedoms.” www.GodsNotDead.com
We’re almost there! With more church re-openings under current health guidelines, we hope to return to print in November 2021! Ready to re-engage with the wider Christian community? Contact us today to book your organization’s Christmas and Winter 2022 advertising campaigns.
email@example.com or 905-874-1731 Christian Herald / 19
COMMUNITY CALENDAR Southern Ontario’s most comprehensive guide to Christian events
| BUSINESS | CONCERTS/MUSIC | CONFERENCES/MEETINGS | PRO-LIFE | SUPPORT GROUPS | TV | WOMEN| YOUTH Events listed with ‘In-person’ attendance may be subject to change due to changing Covid-19 restrictions. Check with event promoter for latest information.
Canadian Christian Business Federation Monthly Morning Meetings Local chapters of The Canadian Christian Business Federation host monthly morning breakfast meetings for Christian business and professional leaders, men and women, in select Southern Ontario cities. For more information, or to inquire about starting a CCBF chapter in your community, visit www.ccbf.org.
CONCERTS & MUSIC IN-PERSON
Inspirational Music in the Parking Lot Finale Friday, September 3, 2021; 7:00-9:00pm It’s a new season for Brampton’s free outdoor summer music series, which has moved from Gage Park to the Parking Lot of Bramalea Baptist Church (9050 Dixie Road, corner of Highway 7 and Dixie Road.) With performers Joan Elliott, Andrew Martin, Dave Brown, Raymond To, Helena Kameka and Cheryle Dueck. Pandemic restrictions are in effect, and attendees can bring their own lawn chairs or stay in their vehicles during performances. For a list of each week’s performers or more information, visit www.inspirationalmusic.org. IN-PERSON
Kingdom Bound Festival 2021 July 24-27, 2022 After a two-year hiatus, the popular New York State Christian Music Festival returns will a blockbuster lineup including Skillet, Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Jordan Feliz, We Are Messengers, Colton Dixon, Ledger, Verses, John Cooper, Reggie Dabbs and many more. www.kingdombound.org.
FaithTech Toronto Tuesday, September 14, 2021; 7:00pm FaithTech helps tech people find community and use their skills to glorify God. We see a day when every major tech city worldwide has
a thriving FaithTech community that solves big problems in Jesus’ name. FaithTech Toronto meets every second Tuesday at 6:30PM. www.faithtech.com. IN-PERSON
5th Annual Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival September 17-18, 2021 Current plans call for both an in-person and virtual film festival to be held in 2021. Dozens of films will be screened and award winners will be announced at the Awards Gala on September 18. www.cifflix.com. IN-PERSON
Freedom of Religion & Rights in Canada Interfaith Peace Rally Saturday, September 18, 2021; 10:30am Recent events have raised concerns that Canada may be losing its culture of interfaith tolerance with the arson and vandalism of places of worship. This is a gross violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. People from all faiths must feel safe in their churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples without fearing for their lives. The preamble of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” This Rally will be graced by Mayors, Pastors, Faith Leaders, Indigenous Leaders and concerned Canadians. Speakers include but not limited to: Pastor Pat Francis, Indigenous Chief Reggie Neeposh, Pastor Randy Neilson, Jamil Jivani, Charles Sathmary, Imam Shaykh Imran Ally (Muslim), Samurai Zenji Nio (Buddhist), Bishop Lennox Walker, Shri Chander Khanna (Hindu), and Bishop Ransford Jones. Held at Mississauga’s Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga. 905-566-2865 or www.ForABetterCanada.ca IN-PERSON
Heal Canada Election Prayer Sunday, September 19, 2021; 6:00pm An important prayer meeting on the eve of the 2021 Canadian Federal Election hosted by Dr. Charles McVety, President of Canada Chris-
tian College. The meeting will be in-person at Canada Christian College’s new Truth Centre (300 Water Street, Whitby, L1N 9B6). While the auditorium normally seats 4,000, the event is restricted to 1,000 attendees to maintain social distancing. To ensure safety during this time, masks will be required for all attendees. If you are unable to attend in-person you can participate via ZOOM. The soul of the nation weighs in the balance on September 20th. In these critical times, Canada needs righteous Members of Parliament to make strategic decisions which affect our health, spiritual communities, economy, and democracy. Your prayer will make a difference in this election. During our past Heal Canada calls, over 3,000 Pastors and leaders have gathered to beseech the Lord concerning our great nation. Christians have a threefold duty to vote and we as leaders need to encourage them to fulfill this call. We need to remind them to fulfill their (1) civic duty, (2) biblical duty, and (3) familial duty to ensure a bright future for our children and children’s children. This prayer call is nonpartisan. Please invite as many pastors, community leaders, family and friends to attend this prayer meeting in-person or via zoom. To register your attendance, or for more information visit www.healcanadaprayer.ca. ONLINE
The Days of Elijah: 2021 Feast of Tabernacles from Israel September 20-26, 2021 The Online Feast of Tabernacles, presented by International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, will be available on ICEJ’s exclusive streaming platform and will include live streaming of all Feast events, plus over 80 seminar teachings and other unique online content viewable on demand. www.icej.ca. ONLINE
Marriage Night Simulcast Friday, September 24, 2021; 7:30pm Presented by RightNowMedia. Join thousands of couples in churches around the country for a one-night livestream experience. Laugh and learn with your spouse as you hear from
marriage experts and discover how to honour God in your marriage. Marriage Night is an opportunity to hear principles for a lasting relationship while being challenged to see the greater purpose of marriage, namely, to glorify God and advance his gospel. www.rightnowmedia.org. IN-PERSON
First Responders BBQ Saturday, September 25, 2021 Christians in Peel Region are using their passion for BBQ to show appreciation for local First Responders! An expected forty churches and community groups will host a day of appreciation for police, fire and EMS personnel at locations across Brampton and Missisauga. Pitmasters will adhere to one rule: No hamburgers or hotdogs allowed. BBQ any other meats, vegetables, or fruits! For information on getting your congregation involved, visit: www.1strespondersbbq.org. IN-PERSON
The Shepherd Leader Church Leaders Retreat September 27-29, 2021 In partnership with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the Muskoka Bible Centre will host The Shepherd Leader retreat for church leaders from Canada and the United States. The retreat, held at 8 Pioneer Avenue in Huntsville, Ontario, will feature speakers Rev. Tim Witmer and Rev. Steve West and focus on the centrality of the Scriptural metaphor and mandate of shepherding for pastoral leadership and care of congregations. The ancient agricultural imagery will be practically applied in ministering to the modern world both at church and home. Cost is $129(CAD); meals and accommodations are an additional fee. For more information, visit: www.alliancenet.org/canadian-church-leadersretreat. ONLINE
Global Leadership Summit 2021 October 21-22; 8:30am-4:00pm The Global Leadership Summit is your opportunity to gain access to a wealth of leadership insight from a world-class faculty ready to equip and inspire you—no matter where you have
To list your event in the Community Calendar, format your listing exactly as those on this page and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions which are incorrectly formatted may not be published. All submissions are subject to space and taste considerations. Christian Herald reserves the right to decide what is appropriate, and may edit submissions. Placement in the Community Calendar is NOT guaranteed. All persons and organizations submitting events to the Community Calendar must agree with the Statement of Faith as found on our website at www.christianherald.ca. Events sponsored by churches which distribute Christian Herald will be given priority. Your calendar listing must reach Christian Herald by the 15th of the month preceding the issue in which you would like it to be printed. (For example, the listing must arrive by the 15th of January to be included in the February issue.) 20 / Christian Herald
COMMUNITY CALENDAR influence. Now more than ever, when you grow in your leadership, you can withstand difficult seasons, re-imagine the future, strengthen your relationships, improve your business, and provide hope to your community through effective charity or church engagement. www.globalleadershipnetwork.ca. ONLINE
The Mom Event Friday, October 22, 2021; 7:30pm Presented by RightNowMedia. We serve a God who could not be kept down but who ROSE UP—and he offers that same resurrection power to every mama struggling to rise out of bed each morning. When anxiety cripples us and we can’t seem to get off the floor, Jesus picks us up. When we stare up out of a pit of loss, disappointment, confusion, or hopelessness, Jesus reminds us of his redemptive power and offers his hand so that we can rise. www.momevent.org. ONLINE
RightNow Conference November 3-5, 2021 Presented by RightNowMedia. Join pastors, church staff, and group leaders who believe the mission of the church matters. Be encouraged in your leadership, learn from biblical teachers, and grow in your relationship with Jesus. RightNow Conference is for anyone who leads in the church—from pastors to small group leaders to volunteers. www.rightnowmedia.org. ONLINE
28th Annual Church & Charity Law Webinar Thursday, November 4, 2021 Hosted by Carters Professional Corporation, the webinar is designed to assist churches and charities in understanding developing trends in the law in order to reduce unnecessary exposure to legal liability. Although the topics are directed at churches and charities, many aspects of the presentations will also be of interest to not-forprofit organizations. www.carters.ca. IN-PERSON
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) Sunday, November 7, 2021 Each year in November, believers around the world participate in special services that focus on praying for the persecuted church. This year’s IDOP presents us with yet another opportunity to intercede on behalf of the estimated 260 million believers around the world who are experiencing high to extreme forms of persecution. Pre-register to receive first access to the IDOP resources, updates, stories and more! Free, downloadable resources will be available beginning of September 2021. www.idop.ca. IN-PERSON
2021 Markham Prayer Breafast Friday, November 26, 2021; The Markham Prayer Breakfast is a gathering of more than 600 people. We gather to support and encourage each other in faith. We gather to pray for our leaders and the people of Markham. We gather to honour God in our community. There will be special music, a challenging message and prayers offered. The program promises to be inspiring and faith building. Held at The Markham Hilton Hotel (Warden and Highway #7). Join us for a wonderful hot buffet breakfast! Dress is casual to business attire. www.markhamprayerbreakfast.ca.
Brampton Christian Heritage Month December 2021 Christian Heritage Month is celebrated in the City of Brampton during the month of December. The Brampton Ministerial Association is co-ordinating activities among its member congregations, including the flag-raising at Brampton City Hall, special signage across the city, ministry outreaches to the needy and disadvantaged communities, and an online Christmas musical. IN-PERSON
2022 Toronto Prayer Breakfast Tuesday, March 1, 2022; 7:00-9:00am The Toronto Prayer Breakfast provides an opportunity for Churches and Christian organizations to join with the business community, government leaders and local citizens, in prayer, fellowship, Christian love and shared faith. www.torontoprayerbreakfast.com.
2021 Life Chain Sunday, October 3, 2021 Life Chain is an Annual Day of Public Witness for Children Killed by Abortion. The event is a peaceful and prayerful pro-life witness held annually at over 200 locations across Canada. Most organizers do intend to proceed with this event this year, and will be adhering to local COVID-19 safety protocols. [Please read the updated Life Chain Code of Conduct if you intend to participate.] Life Chain is an easy way to get involved in pro-life activism. Just find out where and when your local Life Chain will be held, and then show up for one hour to stand on the sidewalk with others who are not ashamed to publicly witness to their pro-life beliefs. Your local Life Chain organizer will provide you with a non-graphic Life Chain sign to hold, and you may pray silently for an end to abortion and for those affected by it. www.campaignlifecoalition.com/life-chain IN-PERSON
40 Days for Life September 22-October 31 40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses. Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign took place in 2007, the event has reached over 1000 cities in 63 countries. www.40daysforlife.com
SUPPORT GROUPS IN-PERSON
Alpha Alpha is an 11-week course that creates a space, online or in person, where people are excited to bring their friends for a conversation about life, faith and Jesus. The same Alpha content is run all over the world, by Christians of all traditions, and provides a common expression of faith. Over 1 million people in Canada have experienced Alpha, and millions more have taken Alpha in over 100 countries and over 100 languages around the globe. Find a local Alpha course at www.alphacanada.org. IN-PERSON
DivorceCare DivorceCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Don’t go through
separation or divorce alone. Find a local group at www.divorcecare.org. DivorceCare for Kids (DC4K) Are your children angry, hurt, and confused about your separation or divorce? A DivorceCare for Kids (DC4K) support group is a safe, fun place where your children can learn skills that will help them heal. DC4K groups blend, games, music, stories, videos and discussion to help kids process the divorce and move forward. Groups meet weekly and are designed for children ages 5-12. Find a local group at www.dc4k.org. IN-PERSON
GriefShare GriefShare is a weekly support group for those facing the loss of a loved one through death. You will be most welcomed into a warm caring environment in which you can receive hope and encouragement by relating to others who are facing similar emotions. Find a local GriefShare group at www.griefshare.org. IN-PERSON
Parent/Family support group for Human Trafficking Victims Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7:00 to 9:00pm Two Toronto Locations: North and West Family members suffer greatly when a loved one becomes entangled in the sex industry. If you are a parent or family member of a young person who is being exploited in stripping or escorting, we offer a safe space for you to be understood. Here, you can process your feelings and fears without being judged. We also endeavour to work with family members individually to help to bring an end to the exploitation. Parents Hope meetings are peer-led support groups sponsored by SIM Canada. For more information, please Email: email@example.com or visit: www.johncassells.com. IN-PERSON
Pure Desire Pure Desire Ministries International is a biblically-based and clinically-informed ministry committed to true revival in the church through the healing of the present day epidemic of sexual brokenness. Pure Desire groups offer a roadmap to recovery from sexual addiction, betrayal, and relationship issues by providing a safe, confidential place to process your life story: learning how family of origin, traumatic experiences, and wounding messages impact relationships. www.puredesire.org/join-a-group. IN-PERSON
Sharing The Burden There is Hope! Come and take life-healing steps. Addiction, anxiety, depression, co-dependency. Don’t be alone with it any longer. Group support, all welcome. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sharingtheburdenradio.org.
52nd Annual Dove Awards Saturday, October 30, 2021; 8:00pm Since 1969 the GMA Dove Awards has honored outstanding achievements and excellence in Christian and Gospel Music. The show celebrates the genre’s rich musical diversity. Awards are presented to individuals representing modern Rock, Rap/Hip Hop, Pop/Contemporary, Inspirational, Southern Gospel, Urban, Bluegrass, Country, Worship and more! Available only on TBN. www.doveawards.com.
PraiseMoves PraiseMoves, called the Christian alternative to Yoga, is a series of stretching and strength-building postures, each linked to a verse of Scripture we focus upon while doing the posture. In this way, we are not only building strength, flexibility and balance in our bodies; we are also being “transformed by the renewing of (our) minds” on the Word of God (Rom. 12:2), nourishing our spirits and praising the Lord through His Word. PraiseMoves Gold (for seniors and anyone with limited physical mobility) Monday mornings 10:00 - 11:00 am (Starts September 20, 2021) PraiseMoves Wednesday evenings 7:00 - 8:00 pm (Starts September 15, 2021) PraiseBarre (a fusion of PraiseMoves and Barre exercises to Power up your workout with low impact high intensity exercises) Saturdays 10:00 - 11:00 am (Starts October 28, 2021) MIRA! (dance as a celebration of Praise to the Lord - some say, an alternative to Zumba) Saturdays 7:00 - 8:00 pm • Once a month (Starts November 3, 2021) Classes are held at Richview Church, 1548 Kipling Ave., Etobicoke. All classes will continue on ZOOM, for those who are unable to attend in person. An exercise mat is recommended. Held at Richview Baptist Church, 1548 Kipling Ave, Etobicoke. Cost: Free. For more info contact: Inez Cann RN, CPI, CMI (Certified PraiseMoves and Mira Instructor) 416 237-1794 or email email@example.com. www.praisemoves.com.
See You At The Pole Wednesday, September 22, 2021; 7:00am See You at the Pole is a global movement of prayer which is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led. It revolves around students praying together on the fourth Wednesday in September, usually before school and usually at the school’s flag pole. It involves students in elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools, and colleges/universities across the globe. Adults often pray in support of the students on campus by gathering nearby, at their places of work or worship, or at city halls. The students at each school initiate and lead this event. A student-led Christian club, Equal Access club, or other recognized organization on campus may choose to make See You at the Pole™ an “official activity” of their club. www.syatp.com IN-PERSON
Change Conference 2021 Friday, October 15, 2021 Join thousands of students all over Canada this October for a FREE online experience like no other. Change Conference inspires and empowers students to live for Jesus and make a difference in the world. Featuring KB, Andy Mineo, Brooke Nicholls, Laura Bronson, Mike Miller and Wande. Presented by Youth For Christ Canada. www.changeconference.com.
Christian Herald / 21
20 years of Inspirational Music comes to an End After two decades of helming summer gospel concerts at Brampton’s Gage Park, founder and organizer Lesley Morgan passes the baton to a new generation by Lesley Morgan
have a good feeling about this” were the words spoken 22 years ago by a good friend. These words encouraged and propelled me into the next twenty years of an exciting journey in the Christian music industry. I was with a group of friends one afternoon where I shared the vision that God had given me and the possibilities. I never forgot the words that Steve spoke to me at the end of our discussion, “I have a good feeling about this Les”. Never had I organized an event like this before! I was definitely stepping out of the boat in faith driven by the desire to bring the gospel message through music to a public venue where everyone could be blessed. I recognized that there is a lot of talent within the different denominational churches that needed to be brought out of the four walls of the church building. It was a process to get permission to use Gage Park in Brampton. Finally I had the okay to try this idea of Inspirational Music in the Park for one year. Well, the rest is history. God brought the people to me who could help with every aspect of this ministry. We started small and continued to grow over the next 20 years. We have been able to give away hundreds of bibles and books in different languages every summer as well as having a prayer tent where we saw many people receive prayer for healing and salvation. Our talent has been phenomenal, representing all genres of music and all glorifying the Lord! The musicians have ranged in age from 8 years old to 80+, from local to award winning gospel recording artists! I feel very honoured to have been working with such BOOKSTORE
amazing performers over the years! I have had the pleasure of watching young artists over the years mature in their
Inspirational Music in the Park founder Lesley Morgan (bottom right)
ministry to now become worship leaders in their church and/or recording artists in their own right. What a blessing to know that many of them got their start in Gage Park!! An event like this requires a tremendous amount of work and time commitment. We have had to overcome many hurdles and disappointments...but by the Grace of God! Driven by the desire to reach people with the message of HOPE and supported by my amazing team of volunteers, we have been able to reach far beyond the borders of Peel Region. We have also been blessed to have had amazing sound technicians, including Milt Elliott in the beginning years and Darryl Dueck in the later years. I also appreciate the many churches who have supported and encouraged me over the years through donations and prayer. This year, we transitioned from Gage Park to the parking lot of a local church. The drive-in concert format worked well for us. People either sat in their cars or lawn chairs to enjoy the inspirational music. We appreciate Bramalea Baptist Church at 9050 Dixie Rd in Brampton for allowing us to use their spacious parking lot for our weekly Tuesday evening concerts. The finale was held Friday September 3rd. This was a bittersweet evening for me, with 20 years of ministry coming to an end, but excited to see where God will lead me next! The evening featured top gospel performers Dave Brown, Joan Elliott and others. It was an exciting end to an exciting journey of faith. A special thank you to Cheryle Dueck, and all who have been faithful in helping, singing, supporting and attending! We could not have done it without you! Future events will be posted on my website www.inspirationalmusic.org.
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• Co-operative house for women with memory loss. • Premium in-home support at a fraction of the cost. • Age well in place with us.
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Christian Herald / 23
R|U READING WITH PURPOSE A degree you can believe in R ED EEMER . CA
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The September 2021 Edition of Christian Herald, a Christian newspaper serving the Southern Ontario region. This edition has information on F...
Published on Sep 14, 2021
The September 2021 Edition of Christian Herald, a Christian newspaper serving the Southern Ontario region. This edition has information on F...