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What in the World is Essentials 2001??

By Rev. Ed Hird

Having just returned from a life-transforming six-day conference at Trinity Western University http://www.twu.ca/ , I am still unpacking the incredible resources that I have received.  With numerous plenary speakers from every continent of our globe, we were stretched again and again to ‘put on our thinking caps’.  We can be so unwittingly narrow as Canadians even as we pride ourselves on our breadth and inclusiveness.

The African, Asian, South American, European, and even North American speakers challenged us to enter their worlds with both our heads and our hearts.  Linda Tripp of World Vision Canada shared one story after another of unnecessary tragedies around the world that break the heart of God.  Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon reminded us of the tremendous suffering that many endure in North Nigeria when they dare to stand up for what they believe.  With over fifteen million people attending the Anglican Church each Sunday, the Nigerian Anglican Church is the largest in the world.  Despite unspeakable suffering, the Nigerians show remarkable courage and perseverance.  Bishop Josiah commented frankly that he may well be dead within the next few weeks.

Trinity Western University, where we stayed, has been in the news a lot recently over the Canadian Supreme Court decision, vindicating by an 8-to-1 majority the right of TWU to stand for historic moral values.  Six days of staying on campus gave me the chance to appreciate what a beautiful campus that TWU has in Langley BC.  The lush greenery and the intimate, well-designed facilities lent to a relaxing and peaceful week.  Even the food services there were top notch, with tasty variety day after day.  I strongly commend TWU for any group thinking of booking a conference in the Greater Vancouver BC area.

With almost 700 participants from every corner of Canada, I was reminded again what an awesome country that we live in.  Canadians at their best can be very friendly, gracious and welcoming.  I was reminded how much better off we are as BCers in being part of a bigger picture.  We need Newfoundlanders, Maritimers, Quebecois, Ontaritonians, Prairiites, Albertans, Northerners, to stretch us and remind us that family matters.  We as BCers do not have a corner on wisdom or even on frustration.  Canada is an amazing gift of God for which we rarely say ‘thank you’.

The theme of the six-day ‘Essentials 2001’ TWU conference was ‘Lift High the Cross’.  With 1000 present for our open gathering, I was deeply uplifted and encouraged that spirituality and family still matter to so many Canadians.  Why is it too easy to get lost in disagreements about non-essentials and miss the basic issues of life? Click to find out why….
 

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St. Simon's Anglican Church 
North Vancouver, B.C.