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A Nova Scotian Pastor Reflects on a Year of COVID, Terror, Tragedy and Racism

In one phrase how would you describe your impression of an Eastcoast lifestyle? Answers might include: “They’re some nice”; “A kitchen party waitin’ to happen”; “Are ya in a corner? I ‘magine Buddy will help ya out”; or “If I got something ya need—Fill Your Boots!” We are known to be laid-back and to be good neighbours as well as having tightly knit communities. But 2020 has challenged us in more ways than one. Disturbing the Peace while not Becoming Undone For the most part, we like our laid-back lifestyle but seven months ago an unwanted stranger showed up in...

J.I. Packer: Seven Personal Reflections

Image: Regent College / Youtube. I met J.I. Packer in the early 1990’s, and I worked with him (off and on) since 1994. Before I share several things about him, I first want to share a story about someone else that I believe probably captures what he would say about what I am about to write.  Story I used to do a monthly service at a Senior’s residence. The main organizer of the service was a resident I will call Sue. She always insisted that I stay for lunch after the service so that we could chat. She was elderly...

Churches as Unifiers Should not Be Penalized for Their Effective Contact Tracing

During the past months, many religious leaders had been calling on the Ontario government to ease its total ban on corporate worship services. In June, the Ford government amended an executive order, permitting religious ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, at 30% building capacity. In our current context, this is a good decision not only because the Charter of Rights demands this response, but also because churches unify diverse people and can trace contacts well. Charter of Rights The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly stated that there is no hierarchy of rights. The right to peacefully assemble in order to...

What in the World Is Going on with the CBOQ?

On Sunday June 14th Pastor Justin Joplin from Lorne Park Baptist Church in Mississauga preached a sermon on “The Pearl of Great Price” in which he announced that he was coming out as a transgender woman. The climax of the sermon contained these words, which came as a surprise to most of the people in the congregation, “Hi, friends. Hi, family. My name is Junia. You can call me June. I am a transgender woman, and my pronouns are she and her.” You can watch the sermon here. You can see the CBC article celebrating the sermon here. For many observers...

Provincial Updates And Guidelines for Canadian Churches

Many of us struggle to keep up with the various guidelines and rules for churches across Canada. And now that many Provinces have decided to allow churches to open, albeit in limited ways, we wanted to provide a simple resource that explains the situation for churches across Canada. We have made a simple, short guide that explains relevant information for Canadian churches as well as links to official guidelines in each Province. We list information for each Province and Territory in alphabetical order. Each entry provides simple summaries of current guidelines and then cites the relevant source.  Alberta On June...

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