CAUTION BEFORE REOPENING All Ontario Conference pastors have recently received Guidelines for Reopening, prepared by our Risk Management department. Ontario Conference administration requests that church boards process this document with their pastors and do their due diligence to follow all precautions before reopening.
Safety Considerations for Peaceful Protests
Most protest marches in Canada are peaceful and safe events; nevertheless, anything can happen anywhere, anytime. If anyone marching becomes aggressive, even peaceful participants could be arrested if they break a law.
Attendees could be arrested for:
Causing a disturbance
Conspiracy to commit one of the above
Having a basic understanding of your rights, responsibilities, and liabilities can help to reduce risks and make your march a safe and productive event.
At the Ontario Conference, the subject of organizing and participating in peaceful marches has been raised. The role of risk management and liability has become a topic of discussion. Linked below is a document put together by our Risk Management director to address the questions and concerns of church leaders and members.
Ontario Conference leadership is pleased to invite all members to a virtual day of praise and worship on Sabbath, July 18. After three months of disconnection, we are coming together as a conference. We thank God for the opportunity to reunite in worship and look forward to congregating post-quarantine.
Join on us the 18th, beginning at 10 am, for a Conference-wide Sabbath School and mid-day service. Information for joining the service on different platforms will shortly be posted.
Metro East Churches Peacefully Mobilize for Justice
“No justice! No peace! No justice! No peace!”
Across the North American Division, Adventists have participated in peaceful protests stemming from the global outcry against the deaths of George Floyd and others. Ontario is no exception, and in recent weeks, Adventists here have shifted from being participants to being organizers. For instance, Metro East was one of the ministerial regions mobilizing for justice recently, with their Rally against Racial Injustice held in Scarborough on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
From 4 pm, participants from Metro East churches marched from Thompson Memorial Park to Scarborough Civic Centre, brandishing signs and crying out for justice, followed by a rally from 5 to 6 pm. Pastor Anthony Reid, Mount Gilead Church, noted, “Our focus [as pastors] was to add our voices from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective … to make the sound and call for justice louder and longer. We wanted to let people know that the Church is with them. They are not alone.”
The rally featured a thoughtful mix of citizens, faith leaders and civic leaders. Showing his solidarity, Shaun Chen, Scarborough North MP, a Chinese-Canadian, asserted, “You are a part of history and what you are witnessing is change.”
Throughout, the program highlighted injustices against blacks and, to some degree, other people groups like the Indigenous. A highlight was Shania Moreton, 23, along with her younger brother, Trayson, 9, who added a few words at the end. They’d spoken just a few weeks prior at an Oshawa rally attended by several Ontario Conference members and leaders. Moreton movingly shared her and Trayson’s experiences with racism, spoke out against the killings of racialized people by police since George Floyd, shared how to be an ally and, with Trayson, called for change.
Eight minutes commemorating George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. Photo credit: Irene Darrell
Later, drawing from 27 years as an immigration and human rights lawyer, Osbourne Barnwell passionately decried the systemic racism (1) evidenced in the academic, housing and employment arenas and more. The program also used the arts to depict and denounce anti-Black racism, with powerful spoken word poetry from Greg Birkett, a guidance counsellor and writer, and Mount Gilead member, Akay Hendricks.
The rally was well-received by attendees of different faith groups, ethnicities and ages. Kanisa Church member, Chantelle Morris, of Toronto, who’d also attended the Oshawa rally, stated, “My motivation [for attending these rallies] is simple. Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. Our lives should matter to the general population, to the general community.”
Metro East intended this rally to be a first step in their fight for justice. Among their plans, they will meet with councillors, other political leaders and police on equity issues.
Chief organizers and MCs, Pastors Errol Lawrence and Andre Anderson, led out in one of the program’s most impactful segments—eight minutes of kneeling to commemorate George Floyd and other victims. Pastor Anderson ended the final two minutes by leading out in “We Shall Overcome,” a protest song and key anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. On hard concrete, the eight minutes felt like an eternity and were a stark reminder of why everyone was there.
On her Facebook page, Apple Creek member, Pauline Christian, wrote, “Where there is justice, there is peace and fields ripe for salvation. We were designed for [such] a time as this.”
Closing off the ceremony, Family Life director, Pastor Liz Pule, stated, “Jesus, give us the strength and courage today to transform the compassion of our hearts into acts of peace, mercy and justice.”
(1) The policies and practices entrenched in established institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups. It differs from overt discrimination in that no individual intent is necessary. (Toronto Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations. Race Relations:Myths and Facts)
This weekend is the grand finale of an evangelistic series featuring Ontario Conference president, Pastor Mansfield Edwards. Tune in! And catch what you missed on Apple Creek's Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as on their website.
Introducing the Prayer Line of Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
On June 11, 2020, Prayer Ministries will launch a prayer line to receive prayer requests between 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. from Sunday to Friday. The number for the Prayer Line is 1-888-984-2326. When you call this number, a prayer partner will be available to accept your prayer requests and offer prayer on your behalf.
Jeremiah 29:12-13: "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Calling all Musicians!
Are you a singer or musician who has videos of themselves performing music? Do you own the rights to those videos? Ontario Conference churches are always looking for music content for their live streams each week. If you are willing to make your videos available to these churches, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While your church is not meeting in person, don't miss out on the blessing of acknowledging the Lord's provisions through your tithes and offerings. Visit AdventistGiving.org or download the app (iPhone or Android) to make giving online easy and safe. Click on the image above for a video from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada on how Canadian Adventists can use the AdventistGiving online website and app.
How to get your church started with online giving (for pastors and treasurers):
NAD Asks Members to Join in a Special Day of Prayer for Racial Justice and Equality
On Sabbath, June 27, 2020, the leadership of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is asking its members, churches, ministries, and services to join in a special day of prayer for the deep hurt and frustration that racial injustice and inequity have caused in North America. As the conversations on racism in society and in the church continue to grow, we are urging the 1.2 million church members in the territories of Bermuda, Canada, Guam/Micronesia, and the United States to come together and prayerfully seek God’s guidance and leading in our lives, especially in how we relate to one another, and how we can help stop injustice against people of colour.
Daniel R. Jackson, president of the North American Division, G. Alexander Bryant, NAD executive secretary, and Randy Robinson, NAD treasurer, recently sat down with Mylon Medley, assistant director of NAD communication, to discuss recent events related to racial injustice, the history and relevancy of regional conferences, and the presence of racism in the denomination’s past and present
Daily Living by God’s Word from It is Written Canada – Reminder that you are happiest when you are who God created you to be!
For so long, the British Columbia Conference has been looking for ways to reach the sizable Chinese population in Vancouver. Enter the Spiritual Depot, a house-based ministry geared toward Mandarin-speaking international students. Watch the video, alone or with friends, church members and leaders; then dream of ways you can adapt a similar concept in your community as things open up.
Family Life directors, Elizabeth and Orlando Pule, have initiated two video devotionals to help church members and their children: Courage 4 the day: MONDAY, WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY @ 1:30 PM Courage 4 the day: Student Edition: WEDNESDAY @ 9 AM Click on the images below to check them out!
Latest episode of " Faith Empower'd," a new series from Adventist Youth Ontario. Be blessed by this devotional thought, entitled "The Creator's Love," with Pastor Carl Cunningham, Youth Pastor, Mississauga Church.
Departmental Resources during COVID-19
Click below for useful tools you can use to continue ministry safely and effectively during this time.
ABC Christian Bookstore is open to take orders over the phone. We will pull your order. You call the store when you are in the ABC parking lot. We will bring your order to your car. You can pay with debit or credit at your car. We are open Sunday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Coming Conference Events
Camp Frenda is open for rent this summer!
Our Field House is available for groups of up to 10 for a Muskoka getaway, beginning July 3. Check out the details at www.campfrenda.com, or call us at 905.571.4211. Book your vacation now; spots are filling up fast!
Heroes VBS Home Edition - Coming July 6-10
Join NAD Children's Ministries for a division-wide live VBS from July 6-10! This year's program is all about kid heroes from the Bible. Each day’s program will include all the songs, skits, Bible stories, and activities that kids look forward to at VBS. Downloads and free program materials will be available on July 6.
In conjunction with the World Pathfinder Day on September 19, 2020, the Ontario Pathfinder Camp Meeting will be held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pathfinder Ministry. Venue and details will be announced soon. Please save the date and plan for your whole club to join this big celebration.
Between now and July of 2020, we need the following items to be featured at the Pathfinder Camp Meeting: 1. Photos or video clips of Pathfinders serving in the community 2. Testimonies of individuals whose lives were changed by God through Pathfinder ministry 3. Stories of Adventist leaders or professionals whose successes could be attributed to their Pathfinder or Master Guide training and experience. 4. Names of individuals who dedicated long years of service in Pathfinder ministry (so we may recognize them).
Masterpiece Young Women & Women’s Retreat to be rescheduled. For those who have registered and paid, we will be issuing refunds. For any questions or concerns, please contact Ruth Weidner at rweidner@AdventistOntario.org
Church Beyond Four Walls Please let us know how your church is doing ministry in this era of social distancing. We would love your promos, write-ups and photos of creative inreach and outreach activities. Also visit our website, www.adventistontario.org, for an updated list of churches conducting worship services online.
Job Opportunities & More
Tools and Resources
Ontario Conference Official Website
Are you looking for a church or community service centre? Do you need to contact an Adventist pastor in your area? The Ontario Conference website offers listings for across the province. Visit AdventistOntario.org.
Explore our course catalogue for faith-based courses designed for certification, professional development, and more. Our ministerial and educational library puts Adventist resources from around the world at your fingertips. Watch a video, read an article, and share what you find with others. Visit www.adventistlearningcommunity.com.
Do you know a job seeker who would thrive as part of a Christian charity team? Let congregants, friends, family, and your community know about ChristianCharityJobs.ca—a tool designed to help them with their job search. Through ChristianCharityJobs.ca, job seekers can opt in to receive email and/or text job alerts, create a resume using our resume builder and stay current with the latest ministry opportunities.
For Sabbath School, Personal Ministries and Prison Ministries resources and news, visit nadadultministries.org.
NAD Children's Ministries Website
For valuable resources for children's ministries leaders, including videos, Bible studies, educational posters and more, visit Childmin.org.
The Voice of Prophecy exists to proclaim the everlasting gospel of Christ — leading people to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and nurturing them in preparation for His soon return. Each episode of Disclosure, the ministry’s flagship program, is rooted in current events and trends and illustrates how the Bible's perspective on today's issues is more relevant than ever. Discovery Mountain, an audio adventure series for kids, has captured the imaginations of children around the world. And award-winning series such as Shadow Empire and A Pale Horse Rides are equipping local churches and approaching well-known topics from different, engaging angles. Learn more and sign up for free Bible studies at voiceofprophecy.com.
On behalf of RightNow Media, a free limited library of Christian related content that we are making available through the end of June. You can log in and use it, give it to all your family members, friends, small groups, staff, students, colleagues, employees, etc. We are not setting a limit to who can have it and do not expect anything back from you. We believe the Mission of the Church matters and we believe in authentic stories and are happy to serve you as we face these challenges together. You can download the RightNow Media app to use on your phone, tablet, or streaming device. When the dust settles, Christ will still be sitting on the throne and we can rest in His perfect promises. Enjoy your access, https://rnow.me/FreeTrial2020.
As we work with all the fears and disruptions from the pandemic, Children’s Ministries work will be more crucial this year than ever. Children will need the hope, reassurance, and abundance of God’s love. One helpful resource is Brixkidz Live – an Adventist online children’s program produced in the UK that churches can use as part of their Sabbath service for children and their families while everyone is in quarantine. Brixkidz Live reinforces good social skills, Christian values and is packed with fun interactive stories, Bible art challenges, object lessons and science experiments that teach Bible truth. Through their various initiatives, they also support children in developing strategies to cope with problems, develop a positive mind-set, resilience and confidence.