Around Town: Earthkeepers, Steve Bell & Pierce Pettis, TWU law school . . .

Earthkeepers: Christians for Climate Justice joined a 350.org event last weekend; Jason Wood is second from the right.

Earthkeepers: Christians for Climate Justice joined a 350.org event last weekend; Jason Wood is second from the right.

Last Saturday (July 4), Christians concerned about climate change gathered in Vancouver with a coalition of faith, labour, environmental and Indigenous groups. Together they formed a symbolic wall of solidarity along the seawall in Stanley Park, committing to prevent expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.

The rally was part of the national weekend of action – “We > Tar Sands,” organized by 350.org – climaxing with a 10,000 person march for Jobs, Justice and the Climate in Toronto on Sunday.

Jason Wood, a founder of Earthkeepers, says:

350demoSupporters come from diverse backgrounds – Baptist, Anglican, Alliance, Orthodox. Members of Earthkeepers: Christians for Climate Justice have been inspired by the moral imperative to put Christian theology to practice in our relationship with the earth, working for a more sustainable, just economy for all.

Recognizing that climate change disproportionately affects the poor, we want to see a fresh movement within the church to engage and transform our society as we face what Pope Francis, in his recent encyclical, calls “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

For more info about Earthkeepers, check out www.earth-keepers.org (still under development) or email earthkeepers.bc@gmail.com.

Steve Bell and Pierce Pettis in concert

Pierce Pettis (left) and Steve Bell will join forces at Regent College July 16.

Pierce Pettis (left) and Steve Bell will join forces at Regent College July 16.

This should be an excellent concert. Either one of these artists would be worth the price of admission ($20); together they will be a unique treat. They should really be over at the Folk Festival, but we’re fortunate to have them playing Regent College a couple of days earlier, on July 16.

Steve Bell is well known and well loved in these parts, having toured out this way from his Winnipeg base many times. Suffice it to say that he is the genuine article – a thoughtful Christian, a personable man and a compelling storyteller. Last fall he put out Pilgrimage, a four disc retrospective of his 25 year career – so he’ll have plenty of good material to draw on.

Bell will be at Regent all next week, teaching Seasons of Renewal, a sort of pilgrimage through the ‘sacral year,’ with Malcolm Guite, a poet and chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge.

Pierce Pettis is less well known in these parts – and, indeed, less well known than he should be in general. His songs have been covered by everyone from Joan Baez and Art Garfunkel to Dar Williams and Garth Brooks. But he has remained beneath the radar of most music lovers, despite the fact that he has been writing and performing songs since the late 1970s.

 But I’ll vouch for him, having collected most of his CDs and having seen him play live at the Railway Club years ago. I’m off to get tickets tomorrow!

If you can’t get to the July 16 concert, and are willing to drive a bit, Pettis will be playing with Carolyn Arends at House of James in Abbotsford this Friday (July 10). That one should be good too.

The trials of TWU School of Law

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Bruce Clemenger

A comment by Bruce Clemenger, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, tells the latest chapter in the sorry saga of opposition to Trinity Western University’s proposed School of Law:

In a disappointing decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently ruled that a refusal [by the Law Society of Upper Canada] to accredit Trinity Western University’s (TWU) proposed law school in Ontario was reasonable and should not be overturned – even though the court found the original refusal did interfere with TWU’s religious freedom. TWU has said it will appeal the decision.

This is the second of three legal challenges launched by TWU against provincial law societies who are objecting to TWU’s Community Covenant and refusing to recognize TWU law degrees unless that covenant is changed.

In the first case, a Nova Scotia court ruled in favour of TWU (and this decision is being appealed by that Law Society). The third challenge involving the British Columbia Law Society will be heard in late August.

twulawschool1 TWU, an evangelical religious educational community, does not require students to affirm the Christian faith. It does, however, require students to sign the Community Covenant by which they agree to adhere to a code of behaviour that is in keeping with the evangelical religious vision of life that animates that university. . . .

A statement of faith or community covenant . . . articulates the defining characteristics of that community. And it is accepted in law that religious organizations can discriminate based on religion just as an academic institution can discriminate on academic merit (or a sports club based on athletic ability).

Such discrimination is legitimate and lawful as it is necessary to the formation and free functioning of diverse institutions and associations. It is the cornerstone of a free and democratic society – freedom of religion, of expression and of association.

Even if individual graduates would be admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the LSUC should confirm that they would, the interference with TWU’s religious freedom as a community is a severe challenge not only to the freedom of all religious institutions and communities but to the idea of a robust pluralism.

We live in a multi-cultural and religiously diverse society where people are free to gather, to form associations and institutions to pursue that which they deem important to their vision of the good life. This is the cornerstone of a liberal society. Such a society is premised on toleration and respect for difference and the recognition that diverse ways of life can contribute to the public good.

The beliefs of evangelicals are not in any way incompatible with the practice of law. In fact the court noted that evangelicals have been attending secular law schools for decades without a problem and have been accredited by law societies without any problems. Neither should TWU’s beliefs and community covenant be a barrier to its accreditation.

For Clemenger’s full comment go here.
John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which intervened in Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, addressed the issue in The Globe and Mail. Barry Bussey, vice president of legal affairs for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, also wrote on the topic.
TWU is sponsoring a Pre-Law Conference August 28 – 29 with the Christian Legal Fellowship.

July 8, 2015

Joint Missions Convention 2015: Forging Future with Tradition – July 8, 2015 - July 11, 2015 at All Day
Stone's Throw Productions: The Stonewater Rapture by Doug Wright – July 8, 2015 - July 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 9, 2015

“I love beer, and by that very fact, the world” – the Humour of Thomas Merton – July 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 10, 2015

BC Christian Soccer League Finals – July 10, 2015 at All Day
Carolyn Arends and Pierce Pettis – July 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

July 11, 2015

Bruce Hindmarsh & Carolyn Hindmarsh: Summer Prayer Retreat - Exploring Whole-hearted Devotion to God in the Psalms – July 11, 2015 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
A Rocha: Brooksdale Volunteer Day – July 11, 2015 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

July 12, 2015

The Maryland State Boychoir Live in Concert – July 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
A Night of Power Prayer: Praying for the Muslim World – July 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 13, 2015

Everest Summer Day Camp – July 13, 2015 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
A Night of Power Prayer: Praying for the Muslim World – July 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mark Noll: Chaotic Coherence of Sola Scriptura - 500 Years After the Reformation – July 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 15, 2015

Regen: Shane Johnston / Worship Central Canada – July 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lynn Cohick: Steadfast in Faith - Women Martyrs in Jewish and Christian Tradition – July 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Ray Levesque – July 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

July 16, 2015

Steve Bell & Pierce Pettis Live in Concert at Regent College – July 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

July 17, 2015

BC Christian Ashram Retreat – July 17, 2015 - July 19, 2015 at All Day
Harrison Gospel Chapel Art Exhibit – July 17, 2015 - July 19, 2015 at All Day

July 18, 2015

David Ley: Postmodern Urban Spaces - an Urban Tour – July 18, 2015 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Soccer Skills Camp (ages 5 - 8) – July 18, 2015 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am
VCAC Community Day: For the Beauty of the Earth – July 18, 2015 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Soccer Skills Camp (ages 9 - 11) – July 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
ICEJ 35th Anniversary Celebration – July 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Singspiration Saturday: VOS Open Choral Session – July 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

July 19, 2015

ICEJ 35th Anniversary Celebration – July 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

July 20, 2015

Athletes in Action: Peace Portal Alliance Church Soccer Camp – July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
High Power Soccer Camp – July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Aspire Musical Arts Camp – July 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
FLO Summer Soccer Camp (ages 9 - 15) – July 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Women in the New Testament and How Their Lives Matter Today – July 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Daniel Block: The Ten Commandments - the World's First Bill of Rights – July 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 22, 2015

Regen: James Fam & Regen Band – July 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jonathan Chaplin: Public Theology - Coming to a Street Near You – July 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Steve Kaldestad – July 22, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

July 23, 2015

L'Arche Vancouver: The Art Together Project – July 23, 2015 at All Day
North Korean Art – July 23, 2015 - July 24, 2015 at All Day
Sam Rocha: Three Sets – July 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm

July 24, 2015

L'Arche Vancouver: Canada Life Softball Tournament – July 24, 2015 at All Day
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: Summer Intensive – July 24, 2015 at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Summer Nightslide Concert: Hosted by The Russ Rosen Band – July 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 11:55 pm

July 25, 2015

VCAC Fraser Lands Community Day – July 25, 2015 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Steve Delamar Band – July 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

July 26, 2015

Whitecaps Faith Night 2015 – July 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Dr. Michael Goheen: Introduction to World Religions – July 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Summer Social with Russ Rosen Band and Rob Taylor – July 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

July 27, 2015

Athletes in Action: Richmond Baptist Church Soccer Camp – July 27, 2015 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Soccer Camp – July 27, 2015 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
David Fitch: Eucharist on the Move - Shaping a Church for God's Mission in the World – July 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 29, 2015

A Rocha: Are You a Survivor? – July 29, 2015 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Regen: Sergio Najarro – July 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
David Kim: Exilic Discipleship - a New Paradigm for Discipling Millennials – July 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: The Noah Franche-Nolan Trio – July 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

July 30, 2015

Godspell – July 30, 2015 - August 1, 2015 at All Day
Roger Feldman: Remnant Future – July 30, 2015 at All Day

July 31, 2015

Mozart's Don Giovanni – July 31, 2015 - August 2, 2015 at All Day
A Rocha: Farm Day for Kids – July 31, 2015 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

August 1, 2015

Praise Fest – August 1, 2015 at All Day

August 2, 2015

Dr. Michael Goheen: Introduction to World Religions – August 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 4, 2015

Athletes in Action: Southside Community Church Soccer Camp – August 4, 2015 - August 7, 2015 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sanctuary's Coach Recruiting Session – August 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
'Shining with Divine Light': Making a Jesus Prayer Rope Workshop – August 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

August 5, 2015

Business By the Book: Dr. Peter Chung – August 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Regen: Todd Lueck & City Life Church Band – August 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Early Music Vancouver: Pergolesi's Stabat Mater – August 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: LJ Mounteney – August 5, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

August 6, 2015

The Global Leadership Summit – August 6, 2015 - August 7, 2015 at All Day
The Global Leadership Summit – August 6, 2015 - August 7, 2015 at 12:00 am
Hymn Playing Workshop – August 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sam Rocha: Three Sets – August 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm

August 7, 2015

The Tourist Company – August 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm - 10:00 pm

August 8, 2015

OMF Open House and Potluck – August 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The Tourist Company – August 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm
Strings of Hope – August 8, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

August 9, 2015

Seeds of Hope Youth Choir from Zambia – August 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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