Welcome Election of Pope Francis

Pope 2March 21, 2013 — Canadian Baptists share the enthusiasm that our Catholic sisters and brothers have over the election of Pope Francis, and extend our prayers to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as he begins this new role.  We are well aware of the challenges of Christian leadership, and pray for God’s peace and leading as Pope Francis begins to chart a new course.

We are especially encouraged by the humility and simplicity that Bergoglio has exemplified throughout his life.  We see in this a poignant reminder not to lord our ministry position over others but to remain in solidarity with those who live on the margins.  It is also significant that Pope Francis is the first Latin American and first Jesuit to lead the Catholic Church.  This illuminates both the worldwide presence of Jesus’ disciples and Catholicism’s particular strength in the Global South.

The Roman Catholic Church has great opportunity and challenge in front of it, and we pray that Pope Francis will be filled with the Holy Spirit and will continue to exemplify the teachings and presence of Jesus.  We look forward to working together on issues of common concern, as we seek to share God’s love and invite people into God’s Kingdom.

Pope Francis, may God be with you.


Rev. Sam Chaise, General Secretary, Canadian Baptist Ministries

Dr. Peter Reid, Executive Minister, Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches

Rev. David Rowley, Secrétaire Général, Union d’Églises baptistes francophones du Canada

Rev. Tim McCoy, Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec

Rev. Jeremy Bell, Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Western Canada



BWA World Hunger Month

The Baptist World Alliance® (BWA) is observing October as World Hunger Emphasis Month, during which the BWA sensitizes Baptists around the world regarding the extent of global hunger and invites Baptists to join the quest to eradicate the scourge.

Rothangliani Chhangte, director of Baptist World Aid, the relief and development arm of the BWA, cited a report issued by the World Bank showing that “efforts to halve poverty and hunger by 2015 are working.”

The United Nations established eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) following its Millennium Summit in 2000. Among the eight goals is the halving of extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.

Despite the progress being made, Chhangte pointed out that “economic recession, rising food and fuel prices, coupled with wars, drought and other weather related disasters in various parts of the world, still keep 990 million [people] in poverty.”

Chhangte regards it as imperative that Baptists join the fight against hunger. She deems the observance of World Food Day (WFD) on October 16 as an opportune time to do so. WFD seeks to raise awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.

The BWA has adopted several development projects that are aimed at meeting the nutritional needs of those who live in poverty and face daily the reality of hunger, as well as to break the cycle of poverty. These include not only the provision of relief and emergency supplies, but the funding of agricultural, educational, as well as income generating projects that provide employment opportunities for community people.

Chhangte stated that “the majority of the world’s poor are women and children, most of whom live in rural areas.” She emphasized that Baptists who provide assistance and aid will help to “empower the poorest of the poor.”

For Further information on World Hunger Emphasis Month, go the BWA website.