A TWU Christmas
More than 10,000 people made their way to the second annual Great West Life Spirit of Christmas Celebration at B.C.’s Trinity Western University this past weekend. One key attraction was a uniquely Canadian ‘Living Nativity.’ Visitors were also treated to a variety of other entertainment, from kids’ singalongs and African drumming to hip hop and gospel. The event was enhanced by the area’s first snowfall of the year. Proceeds went to the Salvation Army.
Meeting their MPs
It has been a busy time for the Josiah Team on Parliament Hill. In early December, the 4MyCanada initiative in Ottawa sent 22 young people from across Canada to meet various political leaders. “In total,” the ministry asserts, “we had 41 sit down meetings with MPs and Senators.” Among other things, Josiah members talked to the politicians about raising the age of sexual consent, childcare, poverty, international peace issues, drug trafficking and reducing TV violence.
Climate care rally
Faith communities join a broad coalition of environmental organizations calling upon the federal government to honour Canada’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol at a public rally December 8, outside Vancouver’s Central Library. “The debate on climate change is as much about ethics and morality as it is about science,” stated Anglican Church of Canada representative David Dranchuk. Faith communities, he added, “cannot be silent… Environment is a huge issue for people of faith. And we will hold politicians accountable for their inaction.” Contact: 604-684-6306, Ext. 221.
Progress on poverty
Kairos, an ecumenical social action coalition, recently said it sees “some progress towards poverty reduction strategies” in Canada. It commended the federal Liberal party’s commitment that, if elected, it will aim to reduce child poverty by 50 percent over five years. Kairos also said it is encouraged by the re-elections of Newfoundland premier Danny Williams and Ontario’s Dalton McGuinty, both of whom pledged to do more in the area of poverty reduction during their election campaigns. Kairos is asking Canadians to contact these politicians and “urge continued progress in developing and implementing poverty reduction strategies with targets.”
Christmas in a shoebox
Toy cars, pencils and a toothbrush may seem trivial, even insignificant items to the average Canadian; but for a child who’s never before received a gift, they mean the world. For 15 years, Operation Christmas Child has inspired Canadians to pack shoe boxes with various gifts for children living in desperate circumstances due to war, poverty, famine and natural disaster. The boxes are collected by local churches and businesses. For more information on how to pack a shoe box, where to send it once it’s finished, or other details about Operation Christmas Child, contact 1-800-303-1269.
Open House for Christmas
During the Christmas season, according to Lutheran Church – Canada, “people are more likely to think about church, especially if they have a connection with a congregation.” Its online survey at WhatYouBelieve.ca “shows that what a church believes, the sermons, and the friendliness of people, are top-of-the-list when deciding on a church.” Therefore, the church is urging its congregations to extend special Christmas invitations to their neighbours, in various forms of media.
Thinking about values
MakeYouThink Studios, based in Uxbridge, Ontario, is offering “character-based DVD resources on the issues that matter most to today’s youth.” The company produces films which “help provide foundations for making good decisions.” The Values Collection is described as “a library resource for teachers, parents and leaders, enabling them to inspire their students through relevant media.”
A Christmas Carolyn
Each year, for the past decade, popular recording artist Carolyn Arends has written a new song for her church’s Christmas Eve service. Eight of them were featured on her 2004 release, Christmas: An Irrational Season. Since then, she has written two more: ‘What Kind of King is This’ and ‘Everything Changes at Christmas.’ The first is available for free downloading at FeedTheLake.com, and the second should be available by mid-December.
50 years of Global support
A small rural church near Saskatoon is marking a milestone: 50 years of continuous support for MCC’s Global Family Program. Among other things, the congregation of Tiefengrund Rosenort Mennonite Church has raised money to sponsor seven students’ attendance at a high school in India; and 11 students at a school in the West Bank, in Palestine. This sponsorship program includes exchanging gifts of cards, letters, drawings and photographs.
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