Faith

  • Moved by Music

    Musician Brian Doerksen sits down with Convivium to discuss how music shaped him, how the needs of his family shaped his music, and how, in the end, collaboration is life.

    Convivium: Your songs were in many ways the accompaniment to my childhood. I would come to church many Sundays just in time to have you lead our congregation in worship. Take us back to the beginning of your musical journey.  

    ...

    Read more...

  • God in the Chaos

    Overcoming her doubts about the mission, though not the message, of the Church, the University of Ottawa’s Samantha Dignam discovers at the Urbana18 conference how acknowledging the faults of Christians is key to carrying the Gospel to the world.

    I first heard about Urbana, a triennial global students missions conference, in 2015 when I was a first year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I heard about it mostly in passing and honestly, I d...

    Read more...

  • God in the Chaos

    Overcoming her doubts about the mission, though not the message, of the Church, the University of Ottawa’s Samantha Dignam discovers at the Urbana18 conference how acknowledging the faults of Christians is key to carrying the Gospel to the world.

    I first heard about Urbana, a triennial global students missions conference, in 2015 when I was a first year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I heard about it mostly in passing and honestly, I d...

    Read more...

  • Faith Among the Seconds

    Through often painful moments listening to a broken man at an Ottawa drop-in centre, Joyce Deng began to hear God’s voice in the briefest of encounters.

    “When you homeless, you don’t wanna hear much of that, cause it’s like, when you get through talking about Jesus, I gotta go back to living in this empty building, you know?" 

    - Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith

    Last year, I w...

    Read more...

  • Faith Among the Seconds

    Through often painful moments listening to a broken man at an Ottawa drop-in centre, Joyce Deng began to hear God’s voice in the briefest of encounters.

    “When you homeless, you don’t wanna hear much of that, cause it’s like, when you get through talking about Jesus, I gotta go back to living in this empty building, you know?" 

    - Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith

    Last year, I w...

    Read more...

  • No Christians by Proxy

    Kaitlin Packer's faith is more than a check-box or the roof she was raised under. Rather, faith is the reality of the soul. 

    “So, you grew up in a Christian home,” she says, fingering the rim of her Starbucks cup. It feels like an accusation.

    “Sort of,” I say. “My parents became Christians right before I was born.” 

    This is always my response. It’s my way o...

    Read more...

  • Waiting for Aslan

    An Ottawa production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe leaves Convivium’s Rachel DeBruyn sensing the anticipation of Advent and the impact of the way in which we remember.

    Photo by Chris Spencer

    Imagine if it were always winter, but never Christmas. 

    This is a daunting prospect (especially for Can...

    Read more...

  • God's in His Heaven and All Right With A Joke

    Now is the ideal time for non-religious Canadians to lighten up around discussions of faith, says Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings, citing polling data showing religious Canadians are happy to debate their beliefs in good humour.

    Christmas often brings out the best in Canadians. We dig into our pockets for charity a little more. We volunteer more. And we make more time for friends and family than at other times of the year.

    But the holiday sometimes brings out our weirder sid...

    Read more...

  • The Aftermath of Genocide

    On International Human Rights Day, survivors of histories and geographies torn apart by crimes against humanity used a Parliament Hill panel discussion to etch a path of repentance, repair, reconciliation and renewal. Convivium’s Peter Stockland reports.

    A panel discussion in a basement conference room on Parliament Hill yesterday grappled with the herculean human task of responding to humanity at its most inhumane.

    Marking International Human Rights Day, the speakers addressed historic specifics of ...

    Read more...

  • Our Country, Our Gospel

    At a prayer breakfast today in Markham, Ontario, Convivium’s Father Raymond de Souza serves a reminder that Canadian Christians should be as proud to share the Christian Gospel as they are to be Canadians. The reason, de Souza says, isn’t triumphalism but the pure joy of speaking God’s Word.

    I am eager to preach the Gospel to you who are in Rome.

    So St. Paul writes to the Romans, and I might suggest that those words are suitable for any preacher at any time, including this preacher this morning in Markham. I thank you for the in...

    Read more...

  • Learning from Eugene Peterson

    John Stackhouse, Jr. pays fond tribute to celebrated pastor, scholar, writer, Bible translator and poet Eugene Peterson, who died Monday of this week.  

    There are many stories of Eugene Peterson’s powerful, pastoral presence. Perhaps predictably, however, my own favourite story is of his absence.

    ...

    Read more...

  • Building Better Christian Bridges

    In a recent talk for Ottawa’s Theology on Tap speaking series, Cardus program director Andrea Mrozek examined myths and misunderstandings that divide Catholics and Protestants. She reminded her audience of C.S. Lewis’ admonition that we are faithfully waiting, not sullenly camping, until unity is restored.

    Picture a little girl in a pink dress and black patent shoes. She’s almost five years old. Something of significance has happened, though she isn’t really sure what. It’s the day of her baptism. Someone would have told her what baptism is. But she doesn’t f...

    Read more...

  • Hunger and the Bounty of Grace

    On a trip to Ukraine with his betrothed, Daniel Bezalel Richardsen’s eye catches small glimpses of fidelity that enlighten his understanding of the infinite abundance of faith.

    A Wendell Berry poem has helped gather the motes of memory from my recent inaugural trip to Ukraine. The verses in the collection, A Timbered Choir, are:

    Enclosing the field within bounds Sets it apart ...

    Read more...

  • Steadfast Love

    Amid the tempest of arranging her family’s move to England, Krista Ewert found shelter from the storm in the words of Psalms reminding her that God’s wondrous love never falters.

    Around Christmas, I began the practice of highlighting the phrase “steadfast love” in red in my Bible. I wanted to know it. I longed for it. You see, the problem with being a rather melancholic, introverted pragmatist is that my life is not defined or even ...

    Read more...

  • A Seat At The Table

    Today, Convivium's Hannah Marazzi sits down with the folks from Barnabas Farmworks to learn more about their theology of farming and discuss pigs, poetry, and the sacramental goodness of the ordinary tomato. 

    Convivium: How would you describe Barnabas Farmworks?

    Kim Wilkinson: Barnabas Farmworks is part of a bigger ministry organization called Barnabas Family Ministries. We are a retreat and conference center on Keats Isl...

    Read more...

  • Baby Steps for Gerber

    Recently, the Gerber baby food company chose a child with Down syndrome as its “spokesbaby.”  But as Keith Dow of Christian Horizons asks, while the winner’s extra chromosome paints an adorable picture for disability advocacy, will the small step begin a journey of lasting social change? 

    A couple of years ago, I participated in a forum bringing together churches, accessibility advocates, and service providers in the Ottawa area to explore what “widening the welcome” could look like in our faith communities. Several adults with developmental...

    Read more...

  • Salvation By The Young

    Drawing on Angus Reid polling, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings tells Convivium’s Peter Stockland why young Canadians are far more faith driven than the current secular narrative leads us to believe.

    Convivium: In a recent symposium hosted by the Centre for Research on Religion at McGill University in Montreal, you made the argument that Angus Reid polling data shows young people are much more engaged in faith than we think. What does t...

    Read more...

  • God Must Be Tax Free

    Convivium’s Editor in Chief Father Raymond de Souza says pressure to tax churches misunderstands the distinction between Heaven and the State. 

    Jerusalem – Here in the holy city, a combustible dispute over property taxes led to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre being closed in protest for three days this week. The mayor of Jerusalem, without notice or consultation, slapped tax arrears assessments on...

    Read more...

  • The Shared Space of Faith And Science

    Milton Friesen, program director of Cardus Social Cities, will deliver a lecture this evening at McMaster University’s Divinity College on Religion And Science: Conspiring Together For God. As Milton tells Convivium’s Peter Stockland, he intends it as a catalyst to a much broader and deeper conversation about the institutional responsibilities of faith and science in Canada’s common life.

    Convivium: Science versus religion is always a hot topic, but I gather you’ll be talking about it in a somewhat different way than we’ve come to expect?

    Milton Friesen: I’ll be looking at the institutional aspects of...

    Read more...

  • A Life Touched by Billy Graham

    Veteran Canadian journalist Lloyd Mackey, a senior editorial advisor to Faith in Canada 150’s Thread of 1000  Stories, recounts meeting Billy Graham while still a school boy  in 1951, an encounter that helped shape Mackey’s life and faith.

    A few days ago, I was quietly wondering how Billy Graham was doing and hoping that he would still be around in November, when he would turn 100.

    He did not make it, but passed away Wednesday, February 21, 2018, almost halfway through his 100th...

    Read more...

  • Bringing Lent Home

    Echoing Isaiah, Convivium contributor Brittany Beacham says the Lenten fast has to be about more than giving up creature comforts. It must mean opening the doors of our hearts – even of our houses – purely for God’s love.

    I've never observed Lent before. Sure, I've thought about it, considered it, made movement towards it, but never actually done it. 

    I've often felt unsatisfied with the Easter season. As though my observance of it was lacking in something. Surely the...

    Read more...

  • Super As We Are

    Josh Nadeau finds virtue in the signals sent by superhero cinema.

    Looking back at some of the highest-grossing films last year, one can certainly see a pattern: Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Wonder Woman. And it’s no blip – box office returns from the decade so far have all...

    Read more...

  • Christ's Hope in the Wounds of the Rohingya

    Convivium’s Hannah Marazzi speaks with Emily Way about working out the Gospel at the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospitals in Bangladesh and Iraq.

    C: You have previously served in a Samaritan’s Purse field hospital near the besieged city of Mosul. Most recently, you’ve returned from serving the displaced Rohingya people in Bangladesh. Fellow DART member David Bock has been quoted as saying, “W...

    Read more...

  • Slowing Down for Lent

    Writer Karen Stiller finds in a sign near her house a spiritual admonition to slow down and pay attention to God.

    Twice a week, I walk right over the word Lent. It is painted on the road, in large white letters, on the route I take to and from a neighbourhood retirement home with Dewey, my doodle. I spend an hour there every Wednesday morning, visiting on the second an...

    Read more...