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Thread of 1000 Stories

The first purpose of the Thread is to let Canadians link to the stories of faith in their lives.

It's to give us all space to set down our stories and place them, like outward spiralling mosaic tiles, side-­by-­side.

Its deeper role is to create, through the very act of intentional collection, the narrative argument that faith is real in Canada, and faith is vital to Canada.

It’s not to make a polemical or dogmatic or evangelizing argument. It’s to show the very existence of stories of faith in Canada proves faith is an essential part of the whole Canadian story. It always has been. It always should be. It’s a golden thread that connects us by signifying: ‘This is Canada. Faith matters.’

Peter StocklandPETER STOCKLAND
Senior Writer & Editor ‐ Thread of 1000 Stories

Lloyd MackeyLLOYD MACKEY
Senior Editorial Advisor

#118: Edwin C. Phillips

by Lloyd Mackey on April 19th, 2017

During Edwin Phillips' formative years, he was increasingly attracted to the business world – and a life of faith. And his location within the Hollywood orb led to crowd bit parts – with payment in free popcorn – in such biblical epic films as King of Kings and Ben Hur.

#117: Because I Matter

by Janie Akamoto on 2017-04-11

Hidden away in the deepest recesses of our memories, each of us can identify at least one moment in time when we felt like someone must be watching over us. Janie Akamoto shares the moment she first encountered such protection – through a quiet voice and a country road. Read more ›

#116: Neighbours Creating Neighbourhoods

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-04-10

Howard Lawrence of Edmonton is exploring what happens when we activate the invitation to love those within our neighbourhoods. He says the idea has sprung forth that “maybe God is calling us to love our actual neighbours.” Read more ›

#115: Northrop Frye

by Joseph Adamson on 2017-04-07

“Now religion and art are the two most important phenomena in the world …. They constitute, in fact, the only reality of existence.” Northrop Frye, one of the country’s most eminent thinkers, devoted his life to a study of literature and culture that was deeply rooted in the Bible.  Read more ›

#114: Getting Relations Right

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-04-05

Formed in the fall of 2015, the Right Relations Circle developed out of an energy in Calgary's Hillhurst United Church congregation for reconciliation and gathering. Spirituality, learning, awareness and co-participation are among the group’s tenets. Read more ›

#113: The Deep Roots of St. Andrew's Oakville

by Terry Murphy on 2017-04-03

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Parish in Oakville, Ontario celebrated its 175th anniversary two years ago through a fundraising campaign to help the Diocese of Cornerbrook and Labrador, whose priests spend much of their time traveling to far-flung missions to minister to the faithful. This was a fitting means of celebrating their anniversary since St. Andrew’s story began nearly 200 years ago as a mission parish, almost four decades before Oakville became a municipality and five decades before Confederation. Read more ›

#112: Bernice Gerard

by Lloyd Mackey on 2017-03-31

Bernice Gerard was a pastor, university chaplain, social activist, politician, media host … and feminist. Dr. Linda Ambrose points out that influential Vancouver pastor and politician Bernice Gerard was a convinced feminist. Read more ›

#111: Refuge of Hope

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-03-30

Jodi Lammiman and Amy Spark co-created Calgary-based Refugia Retreats in August 2016, forming a space that combines environmental concerns, spirituality and self-discovery.  Read more ›

#110: Alphonse Dejardins

by Pierre Poulin on 2017-03-28

Alphonse Desjardins was a journalist, officw holder, newspaper owner, and founder of the caisse populaire.  Read more ›

#109: Blanket the Land

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-03-28

Churchgoers at Calgary’s Hillhurst United Church experienced a different kind of service recently when they participated in the Blanket Exercise — a teaching tool that shares the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Read more ›

#108: Peter Foggin

by Neil Bramble on 2017-03-24

Throughout his life Peter Foggin has been motivated by a deep sense of mission and God’s personal call. He pursued that call in the world of academia, spending his professional life as a university professor in Quebec, providing leadership to his colleagues, in field work projects, and in extensive research. His field of specialization—medical geography—equipped him to develop a mission of compassion to various people groups, which included northern Canada, Haiti, and Thailand, but his primary focus was China, Mongolia, and the Tibetan plateau. In retirement he continues to travel extensively to Asia to carry on his mission.  Read more ›

#107: Pure laine and Purim

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-03-23

In the eleventh installment of his Outremont series, columnist Gideon Strauss takes us through Quebec history through the eyes of Guy, a “pure laine Outremonter.” Read more ›

#106: Beyond the Usual Suspects

by Barb Briggs on 2017-03-21

Beth Tzedec, a synagogue in SW Calgary chose to do something rather than nothing in the face of human trauma in Syria. They decided to sponsor a refugee family. Read more ›

#105: Lionel Groulx

by Preston Jones on 2017-03-17

Lionel-Adolphe Groulx did not only write history, he made it, stoking the flame of Quebec nationalism. Groulx was a historian who believed that pride in the past would give French Canadians confidence in their future. Despite thirty-four years as a professor at the University of Montreal, Groulx was no ivory-tower academic. He engaged in popular journalism, wrote novels, advocated schemes designed to increase Quebec’s economic independence and initiated a Catholic students’ organization in the province. Read more ›

#104: Charles Ellington

by Lloyd Mackey on 2017-03-10

Charles Ellington is a “product” the Protestant Orphanage in Victoria. Ellington later played a pivotal role in the transitioning of the traditional and now-outmoded orphanage to a multi-faceted government-assisted cluster of family services and facilities. Read more ›

#103: Inspiring Missions in Vancouver

by John Hall on 2017-03-09

Missions Fest Vancouver has served the Christian community of Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for 34 years. What began as a small collaborative effort to put on a mission conference between a number of churches in the region, has now grown to be an organization that serves the church community all year long. In fact, we now run the largest annual Christian mission conference in North America.  Read more ›

#102: Reaching our Mothers

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-03-03

In his eighth regular dispatch from Montreal’s faith-rich Outremont district, Gideon Strauss meets Nora Chénier-Jones and Jennifer Dorner, the women who co-founded Pluralisme Outremont, a group promoting an appreciation of diversity in Outremont's schools. Read more ›

#101: Coming Home from Hate

by Gary Rose on 2017-03-03

In a Canadian home, the memories of suffering and heartbreak, the warmth of Yazidi hospitality, the gift of peace, and a tapestry of stories that brought new Canadians to "the land of milk and honey" mingle together. Read more ›

#100: Giving Space

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-02-24

Leila Marshy, the daugther of a Palestinian refugee, moved to Outremont in 2008. She grew to understand the Hasidim in her community and what they were contributing to her neighbourhood. When tension surrounding the referendum arose, she spoke out in support of her local synagogue. Read more ›

#99: Prayer Houses

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-02-23

Calgary’s interfaith community hosted Habitat for Humanity build days during UN World Interfaith Harmony Week in early February. Pictured: a clergy build day last August in Calgary. Read more ›

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