In December of last year, the Canadian government announced that it would have an additional requirement for all organizations who were seeking funding from their Canadian Summer Jobs program. As part of the new application process, organizations would be asked to check a box that indicated that they respect individual human rights in Canada — including what the government calls reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of many categories.
Several Canadian Christian Reformed Churches who had previously received funding from this government program decided that they could not, in good conscience, check that box. You can read more about a few of these churches here.
Now that June has arrived, I'm wondering how this new government process will shape the life and work of our congregations this summer. Did your church check the box? If so, what kinds of exciting things is your church doing with the funds this summer and what, if any, pushback has there been from the community about your decision?
Has your church been denied funding because you didn't check the box? What has been the result? Were you able to find another source of funding to keep your summer ministry afloat, or have you reduced or even canceled your program?
While these questions have been inspired by a change in Canadian government policy, I'm also curious about what is going on in our congregations South of the border. Do you have an innovative outreach planned for the summer? If so, how are you funding it?
We know that our God is greater than any administrative hoops and barriers. As you share your stories below, I will be praying for each of you. It is my prayer that, no matter what hurdles you have had to overcome, God will use the ministries of Christian Reformed churches this summer to do more than we can ask or imagine.