Category Archives: Contest

Making peace with creation: the story behind the new film out of Regent College

In “Making Peace with Creation” poet and theologian Loren Wilkinson presents a compelling and compassionate vision for life in the 21st century.

by Iwan Russell-Jones

I knew that I had to make this film after my wife, Amanda, and I took part in the ‘Boat Course’, a remarkable educational experience that Loren and Mary Ruth Wilkinson devised and have been offering at Regent College for many years.

From the Wilkinson’s home on Galiano students and teachers set off together in two rowing boats on an 8-day voyage around the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, to think, study, discuss and meditate on the meaning of life on this our beautiful and fragile planet – to ponder Technology, Wilderness and Creation (to give the course its correct title).

It was an unforgettable trip – shipping our oars while a pod of Orcas crossed the channel just metres in front of us, standing in wonder on the beach in the dead of night as the sea was lit up by millions of plankton working their miracle of bioluminescence, reading the Scriptures and praying together using the rhythms of Celtic daily prayer in the stunning setting of the Pacific Northwest, contemplating the devastating long-term impact of the acidification of the oceans …  And weaving it all together with insight, poetry and passion was Loren himself, who has spent decades of his life thinking and teaching about the human experience and its relationship to a biblical understanding of creation.

Continue reading Making peace with creation: the story behind the new film out of Regent College

To Colour is to Grow, especially when you don’t know what you are doing

by Karen Stiller

Last week I experienced spiritual growth by colouring the cover of the Jul/Aug issue of Faith Today. 

To colour is to grow, discovered Karen Stiller
To colour is to grow, discovered Karen Stiller

It wasn’t so much in the realm of theological insights, but more, I would say, in the area of sober self-examination and humility. I realized, and yes, I am thankful for this insight thank you very much, that I am still rather impatient and messy with an impaired sense of how colours work together (red and pink together, bring it on!)

As I whittled away with a paring knife at the kitchen sink (rather feverishly now that I reflect), trying to sharpen one of those coloured pencils with no actual sharpener within 100 miles, I dealt with existential questions like: Why am I here?

In time, back aching, I forced myself to relax a bit and began more of a loose, looping scribbling, a “get ‘er done,” kind of colouring, much like my boys did so many years ago. Then, I came face to face with my own inflated pride (enough growth already!) as I took a slightly far-off picture of my colouring, so that people couldn’t really see it close up.

But then, squinting, I actually started to grow fond of my creation and tell myself I was quite something after all. Thus began the phase where I left it on the coffee table, hoping for compliments.

So, as you can see, it was actually a marathon of spiritual growth. A veritable triathlon of insight leading me to the conclusion that perhaps I really am best to colour mostly, or only, with words. Certainly not with a deadline. And definitely not with a desire to impress. And clearly with a pencil sharpener on hand.

Karen Stiller is a senior editor of Faith Today. It’s not too late for you to send in your own version of our Jul/Aug cover! Email us at editor@faithtoday.ca. Check out the subscription deal this month which will put a wonderful cololuring book into your hands. 

Why Colouring Matters

By Ann-Margret Hovsepian

Scrolling through my Facebook news feed one day, I saw a cartoon with the caption: “Colouring page for lazy people.” It featured a zebra, a panda and a penguin sitting together on a snow bank. I didn’t laugh out loud, but I couldn’t help grinning as I thought of certain friends who have not joined the adult colouring craze of the last year or so.

Subscribe to Faith Today in July/August to receive a free copy of Restore My Soul.
Subscribe to Faith Today in July/August to receive a free copy of Restore My Soul.

The cartoon also reminded me that, without colour, this world would probably be a stark black and white or grayscale landscape. When you stop to think about it, colour plays a crucial role in our lives. It has both practical and esthetic purposes. We constantly distinguish between colours—when we get dressed or apply make-up, when we cook, in our gardens, while driving. Colour choices have great impact in fashion, décor and marketing because colour affects our mood.

The two rooms I spend the most time in at home—my studio and my bedroom—both feature wood furniture and a homey, cottage-y look, but they have completely different colour schemes. My studio is bright with mostly red accents and splashes of yellow and green. My bedroom walls are vintage blue and the décor accents are white or beige. The colours in my studio stimulate and inspire me, which is perfect for the creative work I do. My bedroom colours help me feel restful.

What we sometimes forget, when we get caught up in our colour choices, is that God created colour! He made it an intricate part of our lives, not only in the natural world around us—think of the brilliant foliage we enjoy every fall in Canada or a bowl of ripe fruit—but also in everything we touch. Our books, furniture, bedding, cars, shoes and toothbrushes all had colours chosen for them before they were manufactured.
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Please do scribble on the cover of this Faith Today

This is not an exaggeration: When we dreamed up the idea of a Faith Today cover that readers could colour, one of us leaped out of their chair in excitement. And one of us looked wary. Which is closer to your reaction?

Please color your Jul/Aug cover of Faith Today and submit a pic of your creation to us for our first, and likely only, coloring contest!
Please color your Jul/Aug cover of Faith Today and submit a pic of your creation to us for our first, and likely only, colouring contest!

Perhaps you’re not quite as excited as we both eventually became, but we hope you’ll take this opportunity to try your hand at adult colouring to see why so many Canadians have become so enthusiastic about it.

(Then, snap a pic of your creation and email it to editor@faithtoday.ca or post it on our Facebook page. You could win a colouring book!)

Whatever our opinions about colouring as a form of creativity, we all agree people are made in the image of our Creator God. God creates, and surely our desire to create comes from Him and can honour Him.

Admittedly, practising the creative arts is often low on our priority list, maybe in part because we feel intimidated by the thought of being artistic. So we invited Carolyn Arends to help us consider if art might be worth our time. See if you aren’t entirely convinced by her claim that we can be discipled through art!

Her essay suggests some simple ways to exercise our creativity this summer, and you’ll also find several other creativity-related articles throughout this issue.

Another highlight for us was interviewing the provocative Sarah Bessey. This Canadian writer, blogger and speaker is a fresh and emerging voice on the evangelical landscape. We thought it would be fun to speak to her, and it was. Here’s a peek. “I don’t know when in the history of the Church anyone would have cared what some happy-clappy mom from the Prairies would say.”

More and more people do care, actually, and that’s a good thing.

The ideas for these articles emerged from creative editorial brainstorming, but we also get many others pitched to us from trusted writers. That was the case with the profile of Marina Glogovac, CEO of CanadaHelps. We knew almost nothing about this Christian leader until writer Alex Newman heard her make a speech and saw the fit. Thanks for that, Alex.

Excellent writers who know how to write to the style and interests of Faith Today readers – and are available to do so – are rare. This spring we lost one of the best, Debra Fieguth of Kingston, Ont., who died suddenly from a stroke. Please join us in praying for her husband, parents and the many, many others who knew and loved her. We posted a tribute to her at www.faithtoday.ca/Debra.

May God bless all of us this summer with His creativity and His peace.

If you don’t subscribe to Faith Today, now is the perfect time. You will receive a free copy of Restore my Soul: A Coloring Book Devotional Journey by Ann-Margret Hovsepian.

Faith Today contest shows Canadians love and appreciate their pastors

In January we invited churches from across the country to submit the names of their pastors for a contest, offered in partnership with spiritual retreat centres from coast to coast. We wanted to invite churches to show their appreciation for the hard and sometimes thankless work done by our pastors.

And wow, did you ever respond!

Our winners, randomly drawn at the Faith Today offices.
Our winners, randomly drawn at the Faith Today offices.

All nominees were given a social media salute at www.facebook.com/FaithToday, thanking them for all they do and quoting from the nomination. Every pastor whose name was entered will also receive a two-year complimentary subscription to Faith Today.

We are very happy to announce the winners for each province, drawn randomly, along with the participating retreat centres, who have generously donated the use of their facilities for this contest. Winners have the option of bringing a family member with them and of declining the retreat prize in favour of a $100 gift card if they choose.

British Columbia: Stillwood Camp & Conference Centre, Lindell Beach. Winner: Sandro DiSabatino, Glad Tidings Church, Vancouver, B.C. The person who nominated him wrote: “Pastor Sandro and his wife, Rebecca, lead our congregation in some deep studies of the Word. They not only teach it, they live it. They care about the members of their congregation.”

Alberta: Either King’s Fold Retreat & Renewal Centre, Cochrane, or  Kerith Creek Retreat Centre, Priddis. Winner: Cary Thiessen, First Alliance Church, Calgary, Alta. The person who nominated him wrote: “Cary is a not the lead pastor but one of many in this big church. Cary and his wife Shirley lost their son in a tragic workplace accident three years ago, and the grief must be ever present for them. A retreat would be a lovely way for them to catch their breath as they have asked God to leverage their grief for His glory.”
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38 and Counting! Canadian Congregations Respond to Faith Today Contest

by Karen Stiller

This morning, I interviewed Patti Miller, a hardworking Canadian pastor. This particular leader has just moved from Hamilton to Montreal to lead a big church on a big new adventure. The interview will appear in March/April Faith Today, and I know readers will appreciate her insights on urban ministry in Canada, among other things.

His Secret Place in St. Andrew's, Newfoundland is one of the retreat centres across Canada opening their doors for pastors who need a break.

But what struck me as I chatted with Miller, was how much she knew about a myriad of different areas by dint of her experience for years as a Canadian pastor.

It is really a life like no other. Your fingers get plunged into a lot of important pies.

The strange and unique life of pastors was also confirmed to me in last week’s EFC webinar on Clergy Wellness. We really just skimmed the surface with our specialists, Wanda Malcolm from Wycliffe College and Mark Vander Vennen from Shalem Mental Health Network.

But what was clear is that the life of ministry is filled with unique joy and special challenges.
Continue reading 38 and Counting! Canadian Congregations Respond to Faith Today Contest

Donnez votre pasteur un repos!

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Donnez votre pasteur un repos!

Nous savons tous que les pasteurs travaillent très dur dans des circonstances souvent difficiles. Ils ne peuvent pas toujours prendre le temps dont ils ont besoin pour se reposer et reconstituer. Nous allons changer cela pour votre pasteur.

His Secret Place à St. Andrews, Terre-Neuve, est l'un des centres de retraite partout au Canada qui ouvrent leurs portes pour les pasteurs qui ont besoin d'un repos.
His Secret Place à Rocky Harbour, Terre-Neuve, est l’un des centres de retraite partout au Canada qui ouvrent leurs portes pour les pasteurs qui ont besoin d’un repos.

La revue Faith Today, en partenariat avec les centres de retraite spirituelle d’un océan à l’autre, veut envoyer votre pasteur en retraite rafraîchissante. Mais nous avons besoin de votre aide !

Dans chaque province et territoire, un centre de retraite spirituelle ouvre ses portes pour un digne pasteur de venir prendre une pause sans frais.

[EDITOR’S UPDATE: Contest is now closed. Winners have been announced!]

Voici où nous avons besoin de votre aide, membres des églises canadiennes!
Continue reading Donnez votre pasteur un repos!

Announcing a Faith Today Contest to Reward Your Pastor

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Give your pastor a break!

We all know pastors work very hard in often challenging circumstances. They may not always take the time they need to rest and replenish. Let’s change that for your pastor.

His Secret Place in St. Andrew's, Newfoundland is one of the retreat centres across Canada opening their doors for pastors who need a break.
His Secret Place in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland is one of the retreat centres across Canada opening their doors for pastors who need a break.

Faith Today, in partnership with spiritual retreat centres from coast to coast, wants to send your pastor on a refreshing retreat. But we need your help.

In every province and territory, a spiritual retreat centre is opening its doors for one deserving pastor to come and take an expense-free break.

[EDITOR’S UPDATE: Contest is now closed. Winners have been announced!]

Here’s where we need your help, Canadian churches!

Please email us at contest@faithtoday.ca the name of your pastor and 75 words about why they deserve a break and what a great job they do.

Even if your pastor does not win their regional draw (to be held in early March), we will make sure we give them a social media salute to thank them for all they do.
Continue reading Announcing a Faith Today Contest to Reward Your Pastor

Announcing Faith Today’s “Send a Student to Urbana” Contest Winner

Urbana 2015 is North America’s largest student missions conference, hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. And this year Faith Today is sending a Canadian student.

In June Faith Today ran a contest, asking students to tell us why they wanted to attend Urbana 2015. We offered to pay for the winning student’s registration fee, and that person would share social media posts from Urbana.

Our winner is Jeanie Qiu, who grew up in Calgary and now attends the University of Alberta. Back home in Calgary, she attends South Gate Alliance Church, and when she’s in Edmonton, she attends South Edmonton Alliance Church. We are so happy to be able to help make Urbana 2015 a reality for Jeanie.

Jeanie Qiu is the winner of Faith Today's "Send a Student to Urbana" Contest. Congratulations Jeanie!
Jeanie Qiu is the winner of Faith Today’s “Send a Student to Urbana” Contest. Congratulations Jeanie!

Here’s a question-and-answer with Jeanie, for Faith Today readers to learn a bit more about her:

Why do you want to attend Urbana?

Ever since I was really young, I knew that I wanted to be a nurse and that I wanted to work overseas one day. As I grew older, God affirmed my calling to be a nurse as well as my passion for global missions work. When I first heard about Urbana a few years ago, I was instantly interested in the idea of attending a global missions conference as I knew it would provide me with people and resources that would inspire and educate me in regards to how I could be involved in missions. Several months ago, I heard about the conference again after a few friends of mine from my new church in Edmonton told me they were going to attend Urbana 2015 and suggested I pray about going as well.

 What are you studying in school right now?

I’m currently heading into the second year of my bachelor of science in nursing degree at the University of Alberta.

The tag line for Urbana 2015 is “Find Your Life.” In what ways do you hope Urbana will help you discover God’s calling for your life?

When I was contemplating whether to apply for this contest or not, I remember praying that if God wanted me to go to Urbana and if His calling for my life is still to work in missions, that He provide me the means to go or simply reaffirm that calling. This contest has been a direct answer to those prayers, and I know that through Urbana God will work in my heart and continue speaking to me about where he wants me to serve in the future.

 Name one person in the missions field, past or present, who inspires you.

The pastor of the church I attend in Calgary, Pastor Perry, and his family were mission workers in Russia for several years. I’ve definitely been inspired by his sharing and testimonies, as well as his continued faithfulness in loving and serving God and others.

What do you hope to share with Faith Today readers about your Urbana experience?

I hope that I can share my experiences of Urbana including how God speaks to me, what I learn from others, and how this conference changes me and helps me grow. Hopefully my experiences will encourage Faith Today readers to learn more about the missions work that is being done around the world and perhaps by mission workers sent by their own churches, and to be encouraged by God’s work or even inspired to become involved in missions.

And finally, how did you hear of the Faith Today Urbana contest?

 I heard of the Faith Today Urbana contest through the pastor of the church I attend, who posted about it on our fellowship’s Facebook group.

At Faith Today, we are thrilled that Jeanie can now attend Urbana. We will be supporting her in prayer and eagerly awaiting her social media posts. Watch the Nov/Dec Faith Today for a primer to Urbana. You’ll be hearing more about Urbana 2015 in the months ahead.