Large Canadian Churches Draw an Estimated 300,000 Worshippers Each Week: Findings from a National Study

By Warren Bird in collaboration with a Canadian research team — Description: For Canadians who attended a Protestant church last weekend, an estimated one in eight attended a church that draws 1,000 or more in weekly attendance. These predominantly evangelical congregations are growing, reaching out, and focused on serving children and youth. Terms like megachurch, church growth, multiple services, and congregations with lots of young families bring to mind countries like the United States (think Joel Osteen and Lakewood, or Rick Warren and Saddleback), Nigeria (with sanctuaries that seat over 50,000), Korea (home to the world’s largest-attendance church) and other parts of the world – but Canada too? Isn’t church attendance on the decline across the 10 provinces and 3 territories? This article discusses the findings of a research project that found that Canadian “megachurches” are increasingly popular amongst Canadians, with 1 in 8 Protestants attending these congregations weekly. This report discusses how large churches appear to be an attractive and likely enduring option for Canadians seeking an experience of engaged and growing congregational life. Leaders of these churches report that they are evangelistically effective, are reaching a diverse ethnic population, and are expanding to multisite venues—all with high-quality ministry

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Faith & Settlement Research Project

Faith & Settlement Partnerships: Resource Packet — Description: This Packet has been compiled as part of the Faith and Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants and Canada up for Success project which is a research partnership that explores partnerships between faith-based and government-funded settlement organizations. This two-year project was led by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Click here for more information. — Keywords: research, ccbr, sshrc, settlement, immigrants, Canada — External Links: Faith & Settlement Partnerships — Workshops Guide Faith & Settlement Partnerships — TIM Centre   —

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Beginning the Discussion

By Ruth Cassidy and James Grunaua — Abstract: God calls the church to deep levels of engagement with refugees and new immigrants that ultimately reveals God’s heart of compassion for vulnerable people, his desire for believers to live in right relationship with the “other,” his design for creation that includes unity with diversity, and his self-giving love that invites broken humanity into its embrace. — Keywords: new Canadian, refugee, sojourner, diaspora, displaced, church development, education, training —

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Outreach Canada

— Description: Outreach Canada is an evangelical-oriented mission organization, focused on strengthening churches and communities across Canada. With a mandate to come alongside local church leaders, mission agencies, denominations, and churches, Outreach Canada actively assists them to be more effectual in their ministries, and more intentional in the provision of services to their respective congregations and communities. — Keywords: Christian ministry,  missions — External Links: http://outreach.ca

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Naming Racism: Speaking Truth to Power

— Description: Making Waves, Volume 4(2)L 2004. Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. Toronto A hands-on resource for congregations. Looks at Canadian churches’ history of racism, provides Bible studies and liturgical resources, exercises to help understand systemic racism and how to bring about change, stories of how to be an ally and an outline of anti-racism policies of Canadian religious organizations. Order from wicc@wicc.org. — Keywords: church, racism, social justice

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The Multicultural Leader: Developing A Catholic Personality

By Dan Sheffield — Description: Clements Publishing. This little heretical book challenges the underlying idiosyncratic worldview of the modern homogeneous “church growth” movement. Well researched, biblical and highly relevant for the fragmented church today, this one should be on every church leader’s reading list and on the reading list of every seminary — church leadership course. Don’t have time to read all those books on church growth and church leadership? The Multicultural Leader proposes to transform your thinking, leadership and hopefully your church. — Keywords: multicultural leadership — External Links:

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Activate

Blog of the Centre for Faith and Public Life — Description: The Centre for Faith and Public Life is located in Ottawa, Ontario, only blocks from Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada. The CFPL promotes biblical principles, from an evangelical perspective, on matters of law and public policy. For more information about the EFC, please visit our website, contact us at activatecfpl@evangelicalfellowship.ca. For detailed and calling information go to www.EvangelicalFellowship.ca/ContactUs. — Keywords: immigration, public policy, laws, social justice, worship, church, evangelism

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Anglican Resources for Multicultural Sunday

— Description: Designating and celebrating the Feast of Pentecost as a Multicultural Sunday allows the Anglican Diocese of Toronto to embody a vision to recognize the value of diversity in building communities of hope and compassion as expressed in Ephesians 2:19: So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. It is our hope that these parish resources will help reflect and act on what it means to be a multicultural church. — Keywords: church planting, Christian ministry, newcomers, missions, immigrant services, multicultural, social justice, new Canadians, immigrant, foreigner, alien, migrant, intercultural, diversity, cross-cultural, missional, commission, church development, worship, church, evangelism — External Links: http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/parish-life/diversity-resources

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Anglican Diocese of Toronto Church Planting Canada

Church Planting In terms of the Great Commission, we have a Christian duty to share Christ with the world. That duty involves the sacrament of baptism and the Christian process of discipleship within worshipping and gathered Christian communities. It is in this sense that we stand within a historical Church that has found its expression in locally gathered communities of faith who find their local vocation in mission and ministry. Within the context of the Diocese of Toronto that Commission is presently expressed in a number of key ways that are directly related to the changing demographics of our Diocesan context. Firstly we find ourselves with mushrooming suburbs that have an increasing need for new worshipping communities and appropriate facilities to meet that need. Secondly, we are experiencing urban regeneration in a post-Christian context where there are large numbers of un-churched people who are seeking a connection with dynamic and welcoming faith communities that provide them with the space to explore their own spirituality in a contemporary form that is historically rooted. Thirdly, the shifting demographics of both our urban and rural contexts requires a re-envision of our existing worshipping communities in a way that builds new and sustainable churches

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MissionGTA

— Vision: To see the Kingdom of God impact every sphere of society by facilitating unity in the body of Christ across the Greater Toronto Area. Our strategy is simple: (1) identify the key indicators of a transformed city and establish and monitor benchmarks for each of these indicators, and (2) facilitate unity in body of Christ across the Greater Toronto Area by… Connecting various groups who are already causing a transformational impact in the different spheres of society as identified by the key indicators, and where such groups do not exist encourage their formation. Providing representative leaders of the different geographical communities of the GTA with opportunities for interaction, prayer and strategy formation. Providing representative leaders of the different diaspora communities of the GTA with opportunities for interaction, prayer and strategy formation. Mobilizing unified intercession across the GTA. Providing the Body of Christ with opportunities for regional prayer gatherings, including City Hall Prayer, Prayer Summits and Global Day of Prayer Encouraging the creation of a communication hub for all Christian activity in the GTA. — Keywords: Christian Ministry, strategy formation, GTA, Toronto, diaspora, urban ministry — http://www.missiongta.com

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