-an article for the July 2003 Deep Cove Crier
God Keep Our Land Glorious & Free
In the midst of the meltdown of core values in Canada and other western nations, God is on the move, shaking and restoring the Canadian people.
Three ways that God is touching our nation are 1) the Wake Tour 2) the National Alpha Initiative and 3) the La Danse Tour. The just completed WAKE tour, is a Coast-to-coast multi-media presentation which was designed to reawaken Canada's pioneering spirit. The YWAM-sponsored tour challenged youth across Canada to rise up and pioneer ground breaking outreaches through multi-media, music, and dance. Beginning in Victoria, BC and finishing in Newfoundland, the tour visited 24 cities, covering a distance of more than 7400 km.
A second way that God is touching our nation is through the first-ever National Alpha Initiative this August-September 2003. Already 350,000 Canadians and six million worldwide have taken the Alpha course. With thousands of churches from all denominations working together, the entire nation of Canada is being invited to dinner! I believe that we are going to be amazed at the lasting impact on our nation through this coming initiative.
A third way that God is touching our nation is through ‘La Danse’. Along with 250 other anglophone and francophone Canadians, I will be taking part in the 'La Danse Summer Tour' http://www.ladanse.ca/ , a journey of national reconciliation travelling from Montreal (July 25th) to Victoria (August 9th).
On Sunday June 8th (and later on Saturday June the 14th), hundreds gathered in Vancouver to hear the visions for both ‘La Danse’ and the National Alpha Invitation. "La Danse". or en francaise
is not a dance or drama production but the name of a reconciliation tour where Canadians of various denominations, ages and ethnic groups will visit 12 cities across the nation to declare in unity that "Now is the time for the walls of separation between French and English speaking Canada to come down!" The Canadian Church is finally stepping out to lead in the healing of this wound in our nation."
During the evening of June 14th, we heard heart-felt testimonies from Quebec Pastors/Leaders, Odette Menard and Alain Caron, of God has given them a deep new love for English speaking Canada. They also described how many French-speaking Canadians have felt a deep sense of rejection in relation to rest of Canada—and that this has caused them to draw back in their hearts from English Canada and retreat within Quebec borders. This sense of rejection and isolation is not a new factor in the French Canadian experience but is a mood that has marked French/English relationships for almost a century and a half.
Dr. David Demian, the director of Watchmen for the Nations and visionary of La Danse, shared about a report made by Lord Durham who was sent by the crown of England in 1838 to give his advice on how to solve the problems of disunity between Upper and Lower Canada. In his report Durham concluded the French had no culture and no literature and that the only way to dignify them was to assimilate them into English culture. The Durham report echoed as a curse over the French speaking "Canadiens" and in the years to come, there were various attempts to assimilate French speaking culture into English speaking culture.
Dr. Demian also declared that this strategy of assimilation was not the true vision of the Fathers of Confederation, nor was it the heart of God that the French culture in Canada would be crushed or contained in Quebec borders. It was the heart of many Fathers of Confederation, and the heart of God, that French and English speaking Canada would be united as co-founders and partners in the new Dominion of Canada to bring forth life and fruitfulness throughout the new nation—much like a husband and wife in a marriage.
Our First Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald when he wrote: in writing to a fellow Father of Confederation, Charles Fischer, said "So you see my dear Fisher, we are to be united in Holy Matrimony this 1st July." A New Brunswick paper reported on July 3rd, 1867 that Confederation was "The Greatest of all Modern Marriages"! Dr. Demian recently commented "We believe that God has rich pre-ordained plans for our nation, that by His grace, we are beginning to rediscover. God placed these dreams in the hearts even of the Fathers of Confederation. But what man has been unable to accomplish by political measures and human wisdom, God is about to release through a church walking in corporate humility, brokenness, love and unity."
Dr. Demian explained that the La Danse tour is not the first, nor final, step in this process of reconciliation. The La Danse tour delegation* will come to the Greater Vancouver area this August 7th and 8th.
My prayer is that God may use these three wonderful initiatives to keep our land glorious and free. May He have dominion in Canada from sea to shining sea.
*For more information on how you can be involved in this historic event in our nation, call 604-270-3737 or e-mail email@example.com .
The Reverend Ed Hird, Rector, St. Simon’s Anglican Church
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St. Simon's Anglican Church
North Vancouver, B.C.