Canadian Lutheran World Relief is the international development and service vehicle for Lutherans in Canada. It is a shared ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Lutheran Church – Canada (LCC). A full description of their work can be found on their website at: www.clwr.org.
Voices is “a growing community of faith-based groups in North Toronto working together for a just society by strengthening and supporting relationships within our community; learning and sharing to increase our knowledge of issues; speaking with one voice; and acting together to address injustice.” Call the office to find out about times, locations, and events of this inter-denominational group.
The Olive Branch for Children was founded in 2005 by Deborah McCracken and registered in Canada in 2006 and Tanzania in 2008. The main objective of the Olive Branch for Children is to help remote communities in Tanzania assess their primary needs and establish programs that target the most vulnerable.
St. Ansgar Toronto supports this ministry by sponsoring the education of various children and promoting the ministry in the congregation and community. Some members of St. Ansgar have travelled to Tanzania to offer their skills and talents to the Olive Branch Community.
Please check out their web site and support them as you are able.
Let’s face it, church is optional these days. Worship. Support. Volunteering. Serving. Learning. All of it is optional. There are no state laws compelling us to participate. There is no social pressure guilting us into participation. This is a good thing and as it should be.
However, the institution we’ve inherited from Christendom never foresaw such a possibility. Our whole structure – from our governance structure to our building and facilities to our structure for ministry and mission – is all built on the assumption that regular worship, learning, support and participation in the life of the congregation is the norm for all of our members.
All of which leaves us in a bit of a pickle. The institution demands regular participation, but participation is optional. How are we going to deal with this?
If you’re ever wondering: Why won’t the church just leave me alone and let me commune with God on the golf course in my own way? – that’s why. We’re trying to keep a Christendom Church alive in a Post-Christendom age. The two are simply not compatible.
So then, something has to give. What’s it going to be? What do you think?