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Our last issue was, for me, a joyous one. Among other things, we read about the idealism and enthusiasm of 1600 young people gathered together in Hamilton to praise God and listen to God's call.
This issue is much more solemn. In recognition of Restorative Justice month, we've devoted a good part of the features in this issue to three perspectives and applications of restorative justice in three different parts of Canada. Restorative justice is a relatively new, comparatively controversial approach to justice but one that is deeply rooted in our Christian faith. Revenge is the Lord's, but that's pretty hard to accept when the wrong has been done to you. See what you think. You'll read about courageous, faith filled people—and that applies to both the wronged and the wrongdoers.
Also too, we have another important date to recognize this issue. Reformation Day is October 31, and Rev. Larry Denef has written a fine article for us, Luther Then and Now. Romans 3:19-28 declares the central tenet of the Reformation: (v. 28) for we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.
And on Reformation Day 1999, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church was publicly signed in Wittenberg with the words "Together we decalre: by faith alone is the centerpiece of this expression of ecumenical convergence." Another step in the long ecumenical path we try to walk.
Dr Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, visited Canada earlier this fall, and spoke of his passionate work for ecumenism, for understanding between all faiths. Part of his visit to Winnipeg was to listen to the experiences and concerns of the Aboriginal comunity. You'll find coverage of that in this issue.
The autumn leaves are falling or the trees are stripped bare by the time you read this. It mirrors our souls as we head into the Advent season, in preparation for the new life to come.
Ida Reichardt Backman
by Rev, Terry Martin, Rev, Coleen Lynch and Rev. Bruce Schenk—A controversial but compassionate approach to justice. Can it work?
by Ida Reichardt Backman—The Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council fo Churches, spent some time with aboriginal faith communities on a recent visit to Winnipeg.
by Rev Larry Denef—A reflection on Luther, his philosophy and his work
A design competition on how best to develop land in Kitchener's core area shows promise.
by Carol Martin—Faith was put to the test as their disabled truck was surrounded by a menacing crowd.