A Lesson for the Teacher

Sweating profusely after the hot midday hike along a winding road, I carefully eased myself into the crowded and dilapidated Toyota minivan. The minibus was made for eight and had seen its better years in Southeast Asia as a taxi, but, like Abraham and Sarah, new life was being wrung out of it. Two nursing mothers and several preoccupied Muslims were my nearby companions. For the next hour, 18-20 of us lurched along the potholed highway, occasionally stopping at tattered villages to … Read More

Adult Discipleship Studies

We have been blessed in so many ways this year and want to share our recent experiences and thoughts with you. First, we are grateful for the thanks, queries, and comments regarding the studies we wrote about in a 2013 Renewal News article. We only recently learned that while most churches do Bible studies, these “theme” studies are still very much in the minority. This is partly because the concept is fairly new and the books and DVDs are not readily available in local stores. But we go online to see what new studies are available and which themes would be of help to our church. … Read More

As Iron Sharpens Iron

Recently, I had a three-hour conversation with a colleague whom I deeply respect and genuinely like. Our conversation went "around the world" in one sense, but found its focus on God, the things of God, and being leaders of God’s people. It was the kind of conversation that leaves one energized and encouraged about the task of serving God’s kingdom. It doesn't matter whether you're in church leadership or not — you need a friend with whom you can have those comfortable conversations. … Read More

Last Chance For New Courage?

In January of 2012, I attended one of a series of roundtable discussions that Gordon Haynes conducted across the country on the issues facing the church in the next 10 years. What impacted me the most was the introductory comment by Gordon indicating that there are already on file precisely 16 similar reports to the national church dating from 1964 on, indicating that change needs to happen in the Presbyterian Church in Canada to reverse our declining membership … Read More

A Word of Challenge and Encouragement

God, in Jesus Christ, wants to be experienced. He longs for an intimate closeness with each of us who are called "living stones ... precious living stones" ... the church. We are the people of God called the church ... not a social club or even a place to gather. We who believe in Jesus are the Bride of Christ. We are the Church! And our renewal will be found in believing the Word of God, through being in dance with His Holy Spirit, and acting on what we hear … Read More

General Assembly Additional Motion

On Wednesday afternoon of the 2012 General Assembly, just as the Life and Mission Agency's report was coming to an end, Rev. Dr. Clyde Ervine rose to make an additional motion giving priority to the reimagining and renewal of congregations. He gave a stirring and substantial preamble and then presented his additional motion. … Read More


It is always fruitful to discuss Christian leadership. Rather than using words that start with the same letter, in order to communicate insights gained from his personal experience, study, and reflection, the writer uses ten words that rhyme with "lead" as a device to tie this discussion together. … Read More

Stuff Happens

When suffering happens because of natural disasters, it is because "the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth". Nevertheless, people never seem to expect tragedy, and they are unprepared, or else they assume that God will protect them from it. … Read More

The Kingdom of God and the Future of the Church

Dr. Dale Woods of Presbyterian College was the keynote speaker at the 2011 Annual General Meeting of The Renewal Fellowship, held at St. Andrew's, Etobicoke ON in March. Dr. Woods warned us that the Christian community may present itself in radically different forms than those familiar to us. He highlighted three trends that help us reflect on the future: Global, Emergent, and Missional. … Read More