National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
As a faith leader in the CBWC, please consider joining us for an hour of learning, conversation, prayer, and action as we mark this first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. Discover the vision behind the sea of orange shirts that washed over the country this summer. Participate in a brief theological reflection on reconciliation. Enter into prayer together. Explore next steps in the journey toward right relations for yourself and the communities you lead. See what God might be stirring in our midst.
Date: September 30, 2021
Zoom: this is a live Zoom event and will be recorded and available post-event. Participants are asked to mute their mic and turn off their video to optimize bandwidth.
Presenter: Rev. Jodi Spargur
Jodi Spargur lives as a guest on the unceded Coast Salish Territory known as Vancouver and has worked as an urban farmer, a pastor, church planter, furniture mover and a justice seeker. Currently Jodi directs Healing at the Wounding Place, a non-profit network that creates Indigenous-led local actions for healing and justice, provides cultural safety and anti-racism trainings, as well as consulting with organizations for systemic change. Jodi is ordained with the CBWC.
Art: kiskistotawâtânik aniki kîkâ kâkî-pîkîwîcik / Let us remember those that did not come home – by Caleb Ellison-Dysart | Indigenous Art
The CBWC’s Justice & Mercy Network seeks to inspire and equip churches in their theological vision of the kingdom of God so that we all pursue right relationships with God, with self, with others, and with the world. We seek to provide a thoughtful and wise social analysis of injustice, and to offer various resources that help inform decisions about justice.
Justice is an essential aspect of God’s kingdom. It is personal and social, public and private, political and religious, and human and nonhuman. The Justice & Mercy Network is attentive to justice movements in our world and seeks to provide information and resources to equip CBWC churches in engaging in their contexts. Biblical justice is grounded in God’s redemptive and restorative actions in world for the sake of his kingdom.
Scripture calls Christians to live as stewards and caretakers of creation. Living this out, in an increasingly industrialized and commercialized society, presents us with a host of challenges and questions.
The pursuit of environmental justice is a way of considering how our activities and choices impact the ecosystems we inhabit and the global community. We hope to practice robust theology, foster conversations, share resources, and consider what steps we might take as citizens and kingdom agents.
- Evangelical Environmental Network: https://creationcare.org/
- Young Evangelicals for Climate Action: https://yecaction.org/
- Global Wierding with Katharine Hayhoe:
- Climate Caretakers: https://climatecaretakers.org/
- Climate Stewards: https://www.climatestewards.org/
Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care, David P. Warners (Editor), Matthew Kuperus Heun (Calvin College Press, 2019)
Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability, Robert White (Editor) (London: SPCK, 2009)
The Care of Creation, RJ Berry (Editor)(!VP, 2000)
Poverty is the dire lack of resources for many in our world to meet the basic needs of life. It is rooted in the brokenness of our world, and our inability to faithfully steward and share God’s abundance. It is an essential absence of shalom intended by God in creation. The poor are our neighbours. They are global neighbours. They are local neighbours. The church has a responsibility to acknowledge and engage the reality of poverty in our world and an opportunity to come alongside the poor in God’s name and build relationships that resource, empower and restore God’s dignity.
- Statistics Canada | A dashboard of information and initiatives for Canadians.
- Canadian Poverty Institute | The Role of the Church in Poverty Reduction.
- World Bank Report on Worldwide Poverty | Poverty and Prosperity 2020: Reversal of Fortunes
- Tim Dickau | The Church’s Call to Compassion and Justice in the face of Poverty: Some Biblical and Theological Reflections
Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts
Robert D. Lupton, Toxic Charity
Bryant L. Myers, Walking with the Poor
John M. Perkins, Beyond Charity
Every person is created in the image of God, wholly equal and entitled to equal life in our churches and communities. Race and racism are social constructs created and sustained for the benefit of some and the marginalization of many. The church is meant to be the manifold witness of unity among those of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Through discipleship churches strive for reconciliation and solidarity.
Race – A social construct based on the colour of one’s skin and other perceived physical attributes. Race is a category created to classify people for political, social and economic reasons.
Ethnicity – Culture of origin or identity, based on traditions, language, nationality or heritage.
Racism – The oppression of any person or people group based on their perceived race. Racism is embodied in policies, ideas and actions. It is individual and systemic. It is the belief that perceived racial difference makes any group superior or inferior to another. Racism is sin.
Antiracism – A movement of solidarity with those subject to racism and an intentional challenge to systemic racism. To be antiracist is to see all people in all their differences as equal. There is no neutrality with respect to race. Antiracism confronts racial inequalities.
White Supremacy – A description of the “white” cultural ideal of Western society. “Whiteness” has become the standard by which elements of society are judged. White supremacy, in this context, refers to systems that shape our society. Its most extreme is exemplified by radical groups like the KKK, but it is also subtly embedded in Western culture.
Black Live Matter – BLM – A movement that protests the disproportionate impact that racism has on Black people and communities. It is a decentralized movement responding to police brutality and racially motivated violence against black people. By extension, it is a protest against racism in all its forms and a movement of anti-racism.
BIPOC – Black Indigenous People of Colour – This acronym was created to represent the diversity of histories among those who experience the effects of racism is our society. The experience of each group is analogous but importantly distinct.
Mark Charles & Soong-Chan Rah, Unsettling Truths
Robin J. Diangelo, White Fragility
Wayne Gordon & John M. Perkins, Do All Lives Matter?
Grace Ji-Sun Kim & Graham Hill, Healing Our Broken World
Daniel Hill, White Awake
Daniel Hill, White Lies
Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist
John M. Perkins, One Blood
Soong-Chan Rah, The Next Evangelicalism
Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice, Reconciling All Things
Layla F. Saad, Me and White Supremacy
David W. Swanson, Rediscipling the White Church
It’s easy to reduce homelessness to one or two prominent reasons, yet it is more accurate to note that people are often pushed into homelessness by a range of diverse social and economic drivers. The issues surrounding homelessness as defined by the United Nations is a great starting point in understanding the complexity of our homeless problems, and all that it entails. There is more to the issue and most importantly is what God’s word teaches us about loving the least of these. As Micah 6:8 says, we are to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before our God. This passage involves our lives, not just the marginalized and poor of our country. Come join us on the journey of learning more about how to love people back into wholeness and healing.
As part of the wider Canadian culture the church has, consciously and unconsciously, supported systemic injustices like the appropriation of land, the forced relocation of Indigenous communities, the creation of the reserve system, and continued economic and political exploitation. Attitudes and policies of colonization in Canada, which we have long endorsed by our silence and inaction, have led to painful and enduring consequences, including a practical apartheid in this country between Settlers and Indigenous peoples. The work of the JMN seeks to help churches understand these issues and to respond to God’s call for repentance (2Chron.7:14), just action (Micah 6:8) and living in peace together (Rom 12:18; 2 Cor 5:18-21).
1. For more info on Indigenous Justice and how your church can get involved: www.redclover.ca
2. To learn from Indigenous followers of Jesus through a course put together by Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada: https://courses.baptist-atlantic.ca/
3. For information on contemporary issues impacting Indigenous Peoples as well as background information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: https://news.nctr.ca/
The CBWC joins with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to mourn the deaths of the 215 children discovered in an unmarked mass grave at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
We pray for all Residential School Survivors and intergenerational survivors as this awakens afresh layers of trauma endured for generations.
These children were precious in the eyes of God. Their lives and the gifts that they had to offer were stolen from their communities and their families. We lament this irreplaceable loss, acknowledging and repenting of the ways that the Christian church enacted the state mandated policies of assimilation.
We know that lament is not enough and there is a need for just action as well. We are reminded of our commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which guides us as a framework for reconciliation and we call for renewed commitment to the TRC Calls to Action.
Today though, is the time to express sorrow and pledge again our solidarity with Indigenous peoples in Canada. We lament together. We stand with you.
The CBWC has been a Sponsorship Agreement Holder for the Canadian Government for over 40 years. As the number of displaced persons multiplies exponentially around the globe, so has the interest of our churches grown to offer hospitality and a new home for refugees.
The Refugee Coordinator is ready and eager to assist your church in sponsoring refugees to Canada. There is a great need to assist persecuted Christians such as those from Pakistan who have fled to Thailand with few resources and support. Iranian Christians face great danger in their home country. Civil war have caused Syrians, Sudanese, Eritreans and others to seek refuge and pray to find new hope in Canada. Many churches already have sponsored refugees and now want to assist additional family members to join their families here. We can assist with these Private Sponsorship and walk you through the application process. There are also pre-approved Government sponsorships that churches can partner with the Canadian Government to support. There is no limit to the number of these sponsorships that we can offer, but the CBWC does have a cap on the number of private sponsorships that we are allotted each year, and so your request to sponsor may be put on a waiting list until allocations are made available. Click on the resources below for more details on how to become a refugee sponsor, educational materials or contact the Refugee Coordinator at email@example.com for assistance.