friends conversationBy guest author Lorne Meisner, Associate Regional Director - AGC West

Compassion has become a buzzword in our evangelical circles, and it has gained even more prominence during the pandemic of this past year; legitimately so, I might add. Compassionate churches is one of the 3 emphasized “ends” of our AGC movement of churches:

“COMPASSIONATE CHURCHES…assisting churches in engaging believers and non-believers in our communities with mercy, kindness and compassion ministries.”

The very term, “compassion”, has various nuances depending on what tugs at our hearts, such as offering hope to those struggling with addictions or sponsoring refugees . And yet there is a very real risk in reducing “compassion” to a project or such a specific expression. While I agree that compassion should be associated with such expressions, it is so much more than any or all of these expressions.

canada logoThe Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Annual Dashboard is produced by IRCC. The report provides a snapshot of what was achieved in the program in the preceding year. Highlights from the 2019 edition are below.

hourglassCovid-19 has been a game changer on so many different levels:

  • how we "do" church has changed,
  • how we socialize has changed,
  • how we connect with our families, has changed,
  • how we work has changed.

We and people in our communities face uncertainty about a myriad of questions:

sunset sittingI hear a lot of talk among the church people I talk to about looking forward to when this time of Covid-19 is over and wondering what church may look like when that day comes.

Recently, I find myself much more interested in what churches are doing now – today – in the midst of a pandemic in which we have been asked to remain physically distant from one another.

What is right here, right now, that we can be about? What are the “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" for today?

pray womanEven before the days of Covid-19, refugees, asylum seekers and those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes needed our prayers. Today they need them more than ever. 

Isolation and physical distancing is strange for us in North America. Yet today, many of us are isolated in our homes that are plenty big enough for us. Our fridges are full or at least easily filled; our medications can be refilled with a phone call. Some of us have the blessing of a yard - we can putter in the snow or the soil as the case may be. And our country has passed an Emergency Measures Bill that means many of us will be paid while we stay home.

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