VOL 29 NO 2
Boost Your Congregation's Vitality.
As the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the mission of Canada Lutheran is to engage the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in a dynamic dialogue in which information, inspiration and ideas are shared in a thoughtful and stimulating way.
Kindling: A Bible Study
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Death, Dying and Other Important Matters
At a Lenten retreat several years ago, we were invited to walk the Stations of the Cross. A series of contemporary collages posted in a hallway at the retreat centre were offered as an exploration of this ancient tradition. I decided to take a look, more out of curiosity than conviction.
Suddenly I was gripped by the power of one image that caused me to realize, “I am going to die!” The reality was so powerful that I staggered backward. It was the first time I really realized my own mortality. I remembered that experience when I first read our feature material. It still leaves me a bit unsettled.
Death is a difficult subject for most of us, one we prefer to avoid thinking about. Assisted dying is even more difficult.
However it’s become a matter of active public debate in Canada. In February, the policy convention of the federal Liberals passed a resolution calling for the decriminalization of medically-assisted suicide. Quebec is on the verge of adopting a law to the same effect. The Supreme Court of Canada has said it will revisit the matter for the first time in more than 20 years.
This issue tries to help you think about the questions this debate raises for each of us. Our cover story Assisted Dying asks us to think about this matter in terms of the relationship between personal rights, autonomy and community.
The discussion is not new. Accompanying the article is resource material that presents the stance our church took in convention in 1997 and some insights that came out of the 1982 convention of the Lutheran Church in America.
The Library of Parliament has prepared an in-depth study for members of Parliament Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada that you may find helpful. parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2010-68-e.htm.
I look forward to learning about your experiences and thoughts about this and related matters.
Perhaps you’ve wondered if the Canadian emphasis on tolerance conflicts with Jesus’ command to proclaim the gospel. In Q & A, Rev. Dr. Kevin Ogilvie discusses tolerance as a decisively Christian disposition.
Whether you are planning a wedding or thinking about what to do for an upcoming anniversary, you will find valuable ideas in what Rev. Dr. Julianne Barlow advises in Practising Our Faith. Honest Doubt is the topic of Kindling: A Bible Study but it isn’t about wedding planning.
Kenn Ward, Editor