Canadians prefer home-based child care 05.23.2013
OTTAWA, ONSeventy-six percent of Canadians believe it is best for children under the age of six to be cared for at home by a parent, according to a new poll released by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
The results come on the heels of more discussion by the Ontario government of its controversial full-day Kindergarten program. They hold steady regardless of age, income, gender and working status and are also fairly consistent across regional lines.
Among parents of children under six, 69 per cent believe that having one parent at home to care for their child is the best option.
Only 12 per cent believe the government should provide subsidies to child care centres to improve quality or create more spaces. A mere 10 per cent would expand the public school system to include child care. Instead, most would like funding to go directly to parents.
"This poll shows that the policy push in various provinces today stands in contrast to the desires of Canadians, who prefer to see funding go directly to them rather than into school bureaucracies or institutional care," says IMFC executive director Andrea Mrozek.
"Parents aspire to spend more time with their small children. Across the country, it's clear this is a goal. Public policy ought to better support families in this desire. A top-heavy, one-size-fits-all government solution will never serve the diverse needs of each unique family," concludes Mrozek.
Conducted by Albion Research, the IMFC's survey interviewed 2,022 Canadians online in January, using six questions to gauge their opinion on early child care. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Further details about the poll can be found online: www.imfcanada.org/daycaredesires.
George Beverly Shea, longtime Billy Graham associate, dies 04.17.2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C.Canadian-born George Beverly Shea, 104, of Montreat, North Carolina, soloist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), died last night following a brief illness.
Since George Beverly Shea first sang for Graham in 1943 on the Chicago radio hymn program, "Songs in the Night," Shea has faithfully carried the Gospel in song to every continent. Graham's senior by ten years, Shea devotedly preceded the evangelist in song in nearly every Crusade over the span of more than one-half century.
Shea was the recipient of ten Grammy nominations, a Grammy Award in 1965, and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy organization in 2011. He was also a member of the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame (1978), and was inducted into the Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame in February 1996. Shea was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists' "Hall of Faith" in 2008.
"I first met Bev Shea while in Chicago when he was on Moody Radio," says Billy Graham. "As a young man starting my ministry, I asked Bev if he would join me. He said yes and for over 60 years we had the privilege of ministering together across the country and around the world. Bev was one of the most humble, gracious men I have ever known and one of my closest friends. I loved him as a brother. My prayer for his wife, Karlene, and his children, Ron and Elaine, is that God will strengthen them during this time."
Born in Winchester, Ontario, where his father was a Wesleyan Methodist minister, Shea's first public singing was in the choir of his father's church. Between Crusade, radio, and television dates in many countries, he sang at hundreds of concerts and recorded more than 70 albums of sacred music. At age 23 he composed the music to one of his best known solos, "I'd Rather Have Jesus."
"Even though Bev was 10 years older than my father, he never acted his age," says Franklin Graham. "He was absolute fun to be with. Bev was one of the most gracious and unassuming men I have known. He was always encouraging and supportive, a man of deep faith and strong commitment to Jesus Christ."
Shea is survived by his wife, Karlene, and his children from his first marriage, Ronald and Elaine. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Erma, who died in 1976.
Ron, born in 1948 in Chicago, graduated from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., in 1971. For more than 30 years, Ron has been an associate in Crusade ministry through the BGEA, assisting in preparatory work for evangelistic crusades involving Mr. Graham and more recently for Franklin Graham's ministry. He is married to the former Cathy Ford.
Details on the funeral service for Shea will be forthcoming. (Billy Graham Evangelisitic Association of Canada)
Circle Square dramas revived to teach timeless truths 02.27.2013
LONDON, ONA new website of downloadable video short stories is helping parents and teachers teach timeless truths and life lessons to kids.
Originally part of the "Circle Square" children's television series produced by Crossroads Christian Communications in the 1980s, each video presents a tender, poignant, often humorous live-action vignette that touches on topics as diverse as "Being Trusted," and "Working Together," and as serious as "Child Abuse" and "When We Grieve." Dramas are followed by suggested discussion questions.
"Circle Square" series writer, Jana Lyn Rutledge, packaged the series for today's audiences. She says Life's Little Lessons To Go presents issues youngsters face every day.
"It's a tough time to raise kids," she says. "Ours is a fast-paced world. Children are growing up in an entertainment-addicted society. A generation ago, these stories taught today's moms and dads the value of being true to themselves, working hard and being thankful."
"The world may have changed," Rutledge says, "but the importance of cultivating those same values in children remains. These videos entertain, yet help kids think through critical issues, so that when challenges arise, they're prepared to meet them."
The series of 40 videos can be downloaded to computer, tablet or smart phone.
"Story telling never grows old," says Rutledge. "Children learn what happens when a foolish choice is made and see the consequences of poor behaviour. Life's Little Lessons To Go teaches truth through story in a way that cultivates wisdom. Wisdom and truth safeguard our lives." (www.lifeslittlelessonstogo.com)
IMFC welcomes new leadership 02.18.2013
OTTAWA, ONAndrea Mrozek is the new executive director for the Institute of Marriage and Family in Canada, replacing outgoing executive director Dave Quist.
Mrozek's extensive work in key policy areas includes a study on the cost of family breakdown in Canada. She was also able to quantify the real costs of all-day kindergarten in Ontario at $1.5 billion annually before the provincial government later admitted to that same amount.
Established in 2005, the IMFC is a not-for-profit organization that conducts, compiles and presents the latest and most accurate research on marriage and family-friendly policy, by focusing on areas like education, family structure and the effect on child outcomes, as well as elder care, daycare and family finances, among others.
The IMFC is the research arm of Focus on the Family Canada, a charity dedicated to helping families and marriages thrive across Canada. (www.imfcanada.org)
Lausanne Movement appoints new CEO 02.18.2013
LONDONMichael Oh is the new executive director and CEO for The Lausanne Movement, effective March 1. Oh, a 41-year-old Korean-American, is the president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan.
He has been involved in Lausanne since 2004, serving as keynote speaker and part of the planning team for Lausanne's Younger Leaders Gathering in 2006, and as a member of the Lausanne Board since 2007. He will be formally installed at The Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in South Asia in June.
Oh replaces outgoing CEO Doug Birdsall who will become the new president of the American Bible Society, effective March 1.
Lausanne is a global movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization. It grew out of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization convened in Lausanne, Switzerland by Billy Graham and Jack Dain. The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (October 2010) in Cape Town, South Africa brought together 4,200 Christian leaders, representing 198 countries.
WEA responds to papal resignation 02.12.2013
NEW YORK, NYLeadership of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) say the recent decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign is a "choice of courage" and that "he was doing what he felt best for the Roman Catholic Church."
WEA Secretary General Geoff Tunnicliffe notes, "I have found the Pontiff to be warm and authentic in our conversations and meetings. In addition, I appreciate his courage of ideas, even when they did not resonate with contemporary attitudes. I was especially moved by his boldness in warning us of the dangers of moral relativism and the tyranny of self-centered ideologies."
The Pontiff, notes the WEA, values dialogue and relationships with other Christians and peoples of other religions. His interactions with others are always based on the assumption that "we would honestly search for truth, our conversation would be rooted in our personal convictions and in all matters we expected each other to be loyal to one's own faith.
"Never did he give any hint of allowing any of us to water-down one's faith. Inter-church relations, for him, were not to be compromised to achieve harmony, but were, rather, to be an authentic search for truth. Even when discussing theological differences, he seemed to listen very carefully and understand, why this is so."
A historic document developed during Pope Benedict's tenure was Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World. This shared statement was signed and released by the three primary world Christian communities: the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.
In addition, an important bi-lateral theological dialogue of the WEA and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will release its results in 2014. (www.worldea.org)
MPs call for abortion-homicide investigation 01.31.2013
OTTAWA, ONThree Conservative Members of Parliament from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario are asking the RCMP to investigate 491 abortions as possible homicides. In a letter sent to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson in late January, Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskwein), Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright) and Wladyslaw Lizon (Mississauga East-Cooksville) say the abortions, which took place over a period of nine years, were actually homicides because the babies were allegedly born alive. They base their claims on research detailed on the Run With Life blog, which draws its information from Statistics Canada reports on causes of death for fetuses and newborns.
Parliament shows no interest in reopening the abortion debate. Last year, a motion from MP Stephen Woodworth that would have opened discussion as to when a pre-born baby is considered to be "human," was struck down. Currently a pre-born baby is not legally considered "human" until he or she has fully emerged from the mother's womb.
(Press release; National Post)
Missionfest premieres documentary about media dangers 01.08.2013
SCARBOROUGH, ONMissionFest Toronto is hosting the Canadian premiere of Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media-Captive Culture, a documentary film that explores the impact of excessive media consumption and its effects on an individual and cultural level.
Captivated is playing at Global Kingdom Ministries in Scarborough on February 23 as part of MissionFest Toronto's "Film Screenings," an initiative that looks to "energize the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding communities" by challenging viewers with powerful messages in its featured titles. Tickets for the event go on sale in early January and are available online and at select locations. Tickets will also be available at the door.
The film, directed by Christian filmmakers Philip Telfer and Colin Gunn, was originally released in 2011 and was runner-up at the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival in the Best Documentary category.
Co-director Telfer is the founder and president of Media Talk 101, an Illinois-based Christian organization with the goal of teaching media discernment to youth and families.
Groenewald resigns from Context with Lorna Dueck 12.31.2012
TORONTO, ONJeff Groenewald has resigned from his position as director of development and strategy at Media Voice Generation (MVG), a position he held for six years. Groenewald's resignation takes effect January 11, 2013.
MVG is a Christian charity that produces the weekly television program "Context with Lorna Dueck," a program that seeks to provide Christian voice to mainstream media stories.
Groenewald ends his time at MVG to begin a new position as president and CEO of Opportunity International, a Christian organization that seeks to address poverty through microfinance. Groenewald begins his new position February 4.
Context host Lorna Dueck says that Groenewald leaves on excellent terms. "This is a very positive transition for Jeff as he uses his leadership gifts to further God's Kingdom," she says. (Press release)
Regent College launches new model of distance education 12.18.2012
VANCOUVER, BCBeginning in January, Students of Old and New Testament foundations classes at Regent College are participating in a new model for distance education.
According to Regent's website, "The model is based on the idea of studying with a cohort of fellow students to work through the material together on a weekly basis."
The new program, designed to create better learning experience for distance students, allows students to interact with one another as well as the instructor about the issues raised in course materials.
This differs from the more individualized distance education that has been offered in the past, and which commonly allowed students to work at their own pace, but did not provide a venue for classroom discussion.
Regent says that in the next two years, all of its distance-ed courses will be converted to this new format. (Regent website)