New Year’s Day kicked off a special celebration across Canada—the 150th anniversary of our nation’s confederation. There were fireworks and speeches, applications for grants, and plans started for a year of noting and celebrating the things that make Canada great.
As Reformed Christians, we can view “Canada 150” as a celebration of Canada as a nation, but we should do more than this. We should also be asking ourselves what role we can and should play in this national event, and in our national community. As individuals and churches, this could be an opportunity for us to live out our faith in new and exciting ways.
On the “Ministry in Canada” section on The Network, I’m hoping we can facilitate discussion of just this topic. Our Reformed accent affirms Christ’s redemptive claim and lordship over all creation, and for this reason we view government, civic life and justice and citizenship as high callings. That’s why reflecting on Canada at 150 is important.
While affirming this, the CRCNA is not planning a slate of official “Canada 150” events. For one thing, our Canadian Ministries staff are already fully loaded with ministry efforts. Second, many CRC members and related organizations are already planning various ways to mark Canada 150 in their own way. And this is as it should be.
Rather than duplicating other efforts or “reinventing the wheel,” we want to highlight and stimulate the many ways that our Canadian Ministries, related organizations, local congregations and individual members are engaging our Canadian community in a living embodiment of Christ’s redemptive lordship.
Throughout the year, we will aim for dialogue along the following three themes:
- Reflect. Let's reflect on the needs and broken-ness evident in our community, especially evident in the treatment of Indigenous people, newcomers, and the environment, and our calling to minister to these needs.
- Celebrate and give thanks. Let's celebrate and give thanks for the hospitable home that Canada has been—especially to immigrant founders of the CRC and to many other newcomers, and for the positive contributions that Reformed Christians have made to Canadian life and culture.
- Imagine and inspire. Let's imagine and inspire a vibrant reminder of our Reformed vision and calling for being witnesses and agents of reconciliation in Canada, and ideas for living this vision out with our neighbours both locally and nationally.
150 years is an important milestone and a great opportunity for Canadian Christians to reflect, celebrate, and imagine anew how we can share Christ’s love in Canada’s present and future. I’d love to hear from you about how you and your congregation plan to use this opportunity to reflect back and look forward. Let’s make this celebration count!
Hey, Bro, good article. Allow me to add a few additional thoughts. With everything that is going on in this world that is based on hatred for one another, the theme of love (so appropriate on this Valentine's Day!) needs to be a very important part of our celebrations. There is a movement in the CRC that is encouraging and equipping churches to show that love to the neighbours that surround our churches (i.e. Renewal in the CRC, Inspire 2017, and more indirectly Faith Formation). I would like to challenge every CRC in Canada to celebrate Canada's 150th by reaching out into their community and looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus by showing their love to whoever needs it. This may not have a global effect, but it will certainly have a positive effect on the little piece of the world that our churches are located in. May God bless the efforts of those who reach out in love to their neighbours.
Amen to that! As you say, one of the best ways to to commemorate Canada 150 is to show God's love to our neighbours, right in our local communities. A small drop in the bucket can ripple across the whole country; many drops just might, with God's help, be transformative!
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