You can download this Lent Giving calendar for children at:
or open it here:
It can be a helpful addition to your daily family devotions during the season of Lent.
God’s peace be with you through your 40 day faith journey.
Pastor Mark Van House
Witness/Evangelism Ministry Directorcontinue reading
Social Media as a Relational Connection Point (RCP).continue reading
7 Ways to Think Differently about Your Church Social MediaJustin Wise [ http://justinwise.net/ ] has a post entitled “7 Ways to Think Differently About Your Church Social Media Content” that challenges congregations, small and large, to think about social media as one of the ways we both welcome people to our congregations and engage in web conversation. His ideas will provoke discussion about Welcoming (Witness/Evangelism). Thank you to Pastor Dawn Hutchings for sharing this on Face Book.
Instead of that last minute Christmas shopping, take some time out to invite a friend, a co-worker,
a neighbor or a family member/relative to Christmas Eve/Day worship services at your church.
Why not give the gift of Christ for Christmas this year?
Christmas Blessings to all of you Inviting Lutherans.
Take the opportunity, with an observance at your church on Sunday December 8th, to celebrate St Nicholas Day (Dec 6th). Use this website:continue reading
for worship ideas, Sunday School crafts, activities at home, etc. Help reclaim for your congregation and for the community the real Sinterklaas/Saint Nicholas.
Did members of your congregation attend a Back to Church Sunday Seminar by Michael Harvey? Have you promoted & hosted a Back to Church Sunday at your church? Tell me about your experience as a congregation & if you’re willing, as an individual: did most/some/a few of your members invite someone? Did you & your Pastor/church leaders invite someone to church? What was the response? Has your congregation done any follow up with those who attended? Please feel free to leave a comment on my blog or e-mail me directly. Your next opportunity to invite someone is right ahead with the Advent Season. Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid, invite! Jesus would invite you. 😉continue reading
Here is the latest from Rev. Lisa Chisholm-Smith
Baptismal Ministry Formation, Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.
Now is the time to sign up for the Diocese of Ottawa’s day and a half retreat for those involved in parish Children and Youth Ministries.
The price is $20 and it will be a great chance to network with others engaged in similar ministries.
Here’s a link for more info (including draft agenda) and online registration:
Today is the 50th anniversary of the march on Wash., DC. Dr. MLK Jr. Rev. King has been a great influence upon me as a preacher & disciple/activist of Christ who emulated Gandhi in the ways of non-violent protest & love of enemy in the ways of Jesus. He spoke not only to US citizens but citizens of the world in regard to God’s justice and equality regardless of race or gender. In both his preaching and public speaking he often referenced the prophets along with Christ, delivering a radical message of promise. The church continues to share that promise through the radical Gospel of Jesus and the hope of God’s justice for every people in all lands.continue reading
This e-mail, reprinted w/permission, gives some interesting insight into Christianity and religion trends in Canada.
Religion in Canada: De-Christianization Continues Apace
by John Stackhouse
Thursday | July 18 2013
The 2011 Canadian census data regarding religion was recently released by Statistics Canada, the federal agency that tells us Canadians, and interested others, what to make of the decennial censuses taken by the government.
The main plotline is the continued falling away of Canadians from the Christian religion. From the 1860s to the 1960s, Canada was one of the most observant Christian countries on earth. Through the 1940s, weekly church attendance was well above 60% (versus about 40% in the U.S.) and a broad cultural consensus existed around Christian values, institutions, customs, and religious language. As late as the 1970s, Canadian public school children recited the Lord’s Prayer at the start of every morning, and into the 1980s the Lord’s Day was observed by acts that bore its name—businesses were kept closed and entertainments curtailed to foster both worship for the faithful and rest for the weary.
The tight link between Canada and Christian piety has evaporated as Canadians have raced the Dutch for the fastest de-Christianization since the French Revolution. Yes, Quebec led the way with its Quiet Revolution—its rapid and radical secularization in the 1960s. The national story is simply an Even Quieter Revolution of slow, but sure, abandonment of Christian identity by older people and an increasing number of younger people who have never known the inside of a church and are in no hurry to see it.
According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, the religion with the most adherents remains, unsurprisingly, Christianity. Of roughly 33 million Canadians, almost exactly two-thirds (67.3%) were affiliated with a Christian denomination. In 1991, by comparison, that number was 83%. Roman Catholics continue to dominate nationally (not just in Quebec), with fully 39% of the population.
The two major Protestant denominations, United (produced by the merger of four denominations in 1925) and Anglican, have been in steady decline since the 1960s and, between them, claim a mere 11% of the population. That leaves about 17% of Canadians distributed over various believer’s churches (Baptists, Pentecostals, and the like), Holiness traditions, Lutheranism, Orthodoxy, and a few others.
Has Canada’s liberal policy of welcoming immigrants from all over the world significantly altered the religious landscape? Only a little. Between them, “proper-noun” religions beyond Christianity (including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism) accounted for 8% of the population, up from about 6% ten years ago. And almost 50% of recent immigrants claimed, in fact, Christian identity.
So Canada has not yet been substantially altered by an influx of non-Christian religions—even as Canada’s largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, which are home to the vast majority of devotees of those religions, feel the concentrated influence of such groups in some of their suburbs.
The key change, however, is the complement to the decline in Christianity. About 8 million Canadians, or 25% of the population, espoused no religious affiliation. This was up from 17% a decade earlier, and about 13% in 1991.
The share of people with no religious affiliation was highest in Ontario and British Columbia. More than a million people in the Toronto area, or about 20% of its population, had no religious affiliation. In the much smaller metropolitan area of Vancouver, over 40% reported no affiliation.
In sum, Canada as a whole is not yet so much a multi-religious country yet as it is a Christian/ex-Christian/sort-of-Christian country, with an ongoing shrinkage of Christian affiliation. (Other polls show that only Roman Catholics and evangelicals are holding their own—mostly by retaining youths in much higher numbers than other Christian traditions.)
Quebec continues a European pattern of very low church attendance coupled with a relatively high nominal affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church, while the largest and most culturally influential centres of Anglophone Canada report the highest levels of both religious “alternatives” and religious “nones.”
Thus, despite Canada’s proximity to the United States, its cultural patterns show more affinity to its French and British heritages.
Unless, that is, the United States is simply following in Canada’s train. Despite amplified voices of various American political and religious leaders that prompt Americans and Canadians alike to think of the United States as still a robustly Christian country, disaffiliation (in dropping church attendance) shows up increasingly in increasingly candid polls of nominal affiliation.
But that’s a story for an American, such as Martin Marty, to tell Sightings readers, not me.
“Religions in Canada.” Statistics Canada 2011. Accessed July 4, 2013. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-010-x/99-010-x2011001-end.cfm#a6.
“Canada’s Changing Religious Landscape.” The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, June 27, 2013. Accessed July 4, 2013. http://www.pewforum.org/Geography/Canadas-Changing-Religious-Landscape.aspx.
Author, John G. Stackhouse, Jr., holds his M.A. from Wheaton College where he studied under Mark Noll, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School where he studied under Martin Marty. He is the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College in Vancouver, and the author of Canadian Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century: An Introduction to Its Character (University of Toronto Press, 1993).continue reading
Get your Back to Church Sunday 2013 resource Kit from Augsburg/Fortresscontinue reading
by the end of this Month
Back to Church Sunday: 2013 Resource Kit
Availability: If in stock, usually ships within 24 hours.
Release Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013