News and Upcoming Events
Our Previous Webinar
On April 29th, 2020, we held our third webinar, "Bridging Intergenerational Gaps within Ethnic Immigrant Churches." Ben C. H. Kuo, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Windsor addressed ways to: a) better understand common intergenerational gaps that occur among, immigrants, children, youth, parents, and families; b) identify how similar intergenerational issues can be observed and reproduced in church and congregational life; and c) respond and manage intergenerational conflicts/gaps in ethnic churches through communication, relationship building, and increased cultural empathy. To learn more about this webinar and view the recording, visit the FILL website.
Join Our Next Webinar - September 16th 4pm EDT
"We are not living an era of change but a change of era."
– Pope Francis
Living faithfully in a new era requires creative space to imagine new ways of being. Canada's diverse contexts require that kind of creative imagination. In 2012 Canadian churches came together to create a program to resource local communities for Just Intercultural ministry. Today, the 5-day program, “Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry” is offered in contexts across Canada and has over 200 alumni. This past winter 50 of the course alumni and facilitators came together to share how this program is shaping them and their local communities, and to dream the future of the work.
You are invited to be part of that process. This webinar will describe the learning of that gathering and the profound impact of the program. In conversation, webinar participants will share glimpses of Just Intercultural community in their contexts and together dream next steps to help resource the Canadian church.
The conversation will be led by Jonathan Schmidt whose Doctor of Ministry thesis is to tell the story of the Engage Difference! program. Jonathan is The Canadian Council of Churches Associate Secretary, Intercultural Leadership and Learning; Justice and Peace. A gifted facilitator and designer of experiential adult learning, he sees being involved in the life and community of the Engage Difference! program the most profound experience and greatest privilege of his career in ministry. The webinar will be on Wednesday, September 16th 4pm EDT (1pm PDT, 2pm MDT, 3pm CDT, 5pm ADT, 5:30pm NDT).
For information and to register, click here. Also, please share widely and advertise this webinar to your network and communities. If you have any question or concern, contact Pablo Kim-Sun
Honouring Black Lives Facebook Group
At the request of members of the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning (FILL) network who identify as Black, we have set up a Facebook group they will moderate. The group is not limited to Black members of our communities, however the focus of conversation will be on anti-Black racism in the Canadian and church contexts.
If you are on Facebook, consider joining the group and conversation: www.facebook.com/groups/FILLHonouringBlackLives
None of us can be unaware that the current COVID-19 pandemic and recent incidents of police brutality have brought to the fore the depth of anti-Black racism that exists in North American societies, and indeed in many western countries. Racist policies, structures and mindsets have meant that Black peoples and other marginalized groups have borne the brunt of the negative health outcomes of the COVID-19 disease. Deaths and abuses during encounters with police have caused deep pain and suffering for Black folks, but have also spurred millions of people all over the world to take to the streets to protest against anti-Black racism and police brutality.
The protests have died down but the struggle must continue. The “FILL- Honouring Black Lives Facebook Group” is being created as a space where we can continue to keep the conversation going in order to wrestle with this issue and to inspire change. You are invited to join with us to lament, to teach, to learn, to be inspired to act. This is a space to share personal reflections and information that will further the cause of eliminating anti-Black racism.
In keeping with the vision of Beloved Community please remember that as we share we must uphold the humanity of all and so our discourse must always be respectful.
Note that at this time the group will be public as part of the goal is to support the conversation and work for a more just world in the wider community. The group is moderated.
Join the group at: www.facebook.com/groups/FILLHonouringBlackLives
International Decade for People of African Descent
Joint Churches statement
Eleven Canadian Churches and faith based organizations have issued a joint statement committing their communities to recognizing and honouring the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent.
Just Intercultural community includes the commitments of the decade:
- Promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people of African Descent;
- Promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contributions of people of African Descent;
- Adopt and strengthen legal frameworks for the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
To learn more about the statement and download it in English and French, visit here.
Ecumenical work is part of Just intercultural engagement. The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) has an opening for a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Program Assistant. The primary responsibilities are to make connections with existing and potential local, regional and national expressions of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) in Canada, support the creation and online publication of annual WPCU Canadian resources, and broaden participation in WPCU as a lived expression of Christian unity throughout the year. The preferred start date is 1 September 2020. Applications will be accepted through 18 August 2020. To be considered, please send your letter of application and CV by 18 August 2020 to the Executive Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, visit here.
Check out our updated FILL Resources page!
During this Summer, we have been working on the FILL website, particularly the "Resources" page. On this page, you will find resources created by FILL alumni, past webinars, The Canadian Council of Churches publications, and a thorough list of resources for each major themes of intercultural ministry with a particular focus on the Canadian context. This is an ongoing collection of resources suggested by participants in Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry programs. If you have other resources to add, please let us know.
Open Out Podcasts
Did you know that one of our alumni is producing podcasts on the theme of intercultural ministry? Now you do! Bill Millar, who is an intercultural ministry researcher and trainer, publishes a podcast series. He writes, "Open Out is a podcast series about getting to the nitty-gritty of living interculturally. At some point these days of sheltering in will give way to a time of opening out. . . and we will be faced with the question of opening out to whom? Same old? Or open to the great cultural diversity that is the emerging Canada. These podcasts are about exploring new pathways for intentionally opening our faith communities and ourselves to folk who not only look and sound different but also think and act in ways we might not expect. No guilting. No shaming. A practical, hands-on approach to building relationships across cultural lines." Listen to the podcasts at openout.ca