The UN Refugee Agency says Canada has resettled 42,901 refugees since May 2015. According to a recent public opinion study by the Angus Reid Institute and Christian think-tank Cardus, half of surveyed new Canadians credit religious communities with finding a job or housing or learning a new language.
“The idea of upward mobility is reversed in the kingdom. Following Jesus to the margins is where I’ve found life,” he says.
“We run the risk as Christians being really comfortable hanging out with ourselves. I don’t want to get comfortable. I want to strive toward being in a constant state of discomfort to put myself in a place where I’m more likely to come across people that need the Gospel.”
Beverley Slofstra drops by the full-care wing of her retirement home so often that even the residents with dementia light up when they see her.
With publicly-funded Catholic school boards in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, funding a faith option isn’t a foreign concept. “There aren’t two camps of people – the militant atheists on one side and the fundamentally religious people on the other. There is a really big messy middle and a lot of people say religion is part of the fabric of social life,” she says.
“I rejoice when I see glimpses of that glory and taste that grace happening in communities where the church can be at the cutting edge of society,” he says, adding that Christians have an unquestioned role in reconciliation with their Indigenous neighbours. “It’s very simple. Jesus says ‘this is my command that you love one another.’ When we hear of suicides or missing women, we as Christians should hear Christ and his cries.”
Many Christian parents worry that a vaccine designed to prevent a sexually-transmitted infection sends a permissive message that sex is a free-for-all.
But studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated adolescents found no evidence the vaccine influences decision-making, says Reilly. Both groups had the same number of partners, average age of onset of sexual activity and incidence of sexually-transmitted infections.
The best way for parents to get the right message across is talking about their faith community’s beliefs.
Churches can help knit an uncertain community back together by rethinking discipleship, equipping congregations to reach out, listen and pray, says Lomavatu. “I believe the church exists in a community not only for itself but for the benefit of the whole. Even when it’s hard, we serve. That’s what we’re called to do.”