Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Canada and Reconciliation

Leave a comment

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

‘Quebec Sovereignty within 1,000 Days!’, promised the late Premier Bernard Landry in 2002. As someone who lived in Montreal during the time of Expo 67, I love the people and province of Quebec. I love their flair and passion for life, their joie de vivre. Canada would be a much weaker country without our francophone neighbours.

One day before the infamous 1995 Quebec referendum, David Richardson of African Enterprise spoke in North Vancouver on the topic of Canada and Reconciliation. David was born in Geraldton, Ontario, and, at age 8, went to spend over 40 years of his life in South Africa. David mentioned: “I have lived as a Canadian in a foreign land, and yet in many ways have returned to Canada as a foreigner…a strange paradox that I should feel like that. But I do.” When David came back to Canada, he felt a very clear calling to come back: “I didn’t come back because of Canada or because of South Africa. I came very clearly because the Lord called me to go home…because of lostness. I felt God say ‘I want you to be part of my Church in Canada to deal with the lostness of Canada’.

David sensed that in returning to Canada, he has been given two basic messages to share: 1) The message of reconciliation & 2) The message of accountability. David intuitively feels that Canadian reconciliation can be best lived out by following the pattern of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” He emphasized that it is not finally in the hands of the Quebec government or the federal government or the provincial government to bring about the healing of this land. It is in the hands of God’s people. “I don’t think that any of us have any doubt that our land needs healing. We could take a referendum on it if you like, but I don’t think it’s necessary…”

David also draws people to 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 where we as believers have been given both the ministry and the message of reconciliation. That is a directive from God himself to the Christian Church.  We should not be looking to the government to lead the way in reconciliation. That is our job as God’s people.

I don’t believe that there will ever be healing between francophones and anglophones in Canada, until we face our lostness as a nation. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten where we came from. We have forgotten how to love and forgive our neighbours as ourselves. Reconciliation with Quebec is not a matter of tolerating each other and using each other economically. Reconciliation is about repenting over how we have so often crushed each other’s culture and treated each other like dirt. Reconciliation is about turning from our endless regional grumbling and learning to fall in love with the amazing gift that God has given us in Canada. Quebec is not a problem to be solved. Quebec is a sibling to be embraced and treasured. Reconciliation is not about mere tolerance; it is about learning to love and embrace one another.

Image result for alpha courseOne of the ways that anglophone and francophone Canadians are beginning to embrace each other is through the remarkable gift of the Alpha Course. As the former National Chair for Alpha Canada, I am thrilled by the growth of Alpha Courses among francophone Canadians. If a person wants to grow spiritually, one of the best ways to do this in one’s heart language. When a francophone learns how to be spiritually intimate en francaise, doors open, life bursts forth, chains come off. I believe that the recovery of francophone culture is a gift from God to reach the heart. And at the end of the day, if you haven’t touched a person’s heart, you haven’t touched them at all.

Francophones are a very spiritual people but many of their hearts have been covered spiritually over by pain and rejection. I believe that as francophone Canada rediscovers its heart, then the rest of Canada will rediscover who we really are as well. All of us in Canada, not just Quebec, need to admit our lostness and our need for genuine reconciliation. The heart of Alpha is reconciliation, reconciliation with our neighbours and most importantly with our Maker. With dozens of Alpha Courses being offered across Canada, you too can choose to be part of the miracle of reconciliation.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the North Shore News.

P. S. Click this Amazon link to view for free the first two chapters of our new novel Blue Sky.

“I’m afraid there’s been an accident…”

12bdf6ff-3021-4e73-bccd-bc919398d1a0-7068-0000031133e7b4d9Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.

Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…

A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.

Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?

Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.

If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or  kindle.

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you. 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at ed_hird@telus.net, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

To purchase any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

Author: edhird

I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario. My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1 My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook). Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a signed copy in North America of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', Blue Sky, or God's Firestarters, please send a $25 etransfer to ed_hird@telus.net . Cheques are also acceptable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s