Editorials

Read More Into These Darkening Days From the Editor by Steve Kennedy Into These Darkening Days
I don’t like winter. I do have brief, fleeting moments of attraction—trysts, you might call them. When I see the Milky Way spilling over the edges of a coal-black sky or notice sunlight diamonds scattered across a crust of freshly fallen snow, I am tempted. But I try to keep these moments of weakness to myself for fear of being mistaken for a true lover.  My reasons for disliking winter are plenteous, but I think I’ve identified the primary culprit, the root of my disconte...
Read More “The Hopes and Fears” From our General Superintendent David Wells “The Hopes and Fears”
We all have hopes and fears. Every day we face the uncertainty of life, the tension between all that we long for and all that we do not know. In the face of that uncertainty, do we choose to have hope or do we succumb to the waves of fear that threaten to overwhelm us?   We hope for those we love, that they will flourish physically, emotionally and spiritually. In faith, we pray and trust God for these outcomes in their lives. But if we are honest, we also fear for them when they exper...
Read More Summer Pickings From the Editor Steve Kennedy Summer Pickings
I’m writing this in the last full month of summer. By the time it makes it to print, we will be eating this year’s crop of apples, the maple trees will be hunting in the root cellar for the paint cans, and the back-to-school displays will be picked over like a salad bar at closing time.  Summer always goes by too fast on my calendar. I have a respectable tan on my arms and face to remember it by (a run-in with basal cell carcinoma finally convinced me of the need for sunscreen)....
Read More Family Dynamics From our General Superintendent David Wells Family Dynamics
I stood recently on Pier 21 in Halifax, N.S., where my bedstefar (grandfather), Jakob Thomsen Dam, landed on May 5, 1928. He came aboard the SS United States of the Scandinavian America Line at the end of its voyage from Copenhagen, Sweden and Norway. From Halifax he headed west by train, along with his future wife—my bedstemor (grandmother), whom I never met—and other members of her family to begin their new life in Canada. They each had 25 dollars in t...
Read More Taking Stock From the Editor Steve Kennedy Taking Stock
I’ve been at this job for 11 years. I’ve seen lots of changes over that time, both with the magazine itself and in the wider world of hard-copy magazines. When I started in 2007, testimony was a monthly magazine. To offset the rising costs of publication, we have gone from 12 to 11 issues per year, and then down to 10. Now we publish every two months. To compensate for the reduced number of issues per year, we now offer six feature articles per issue instead of only four. T...
Read More Coming to the Table—A personal testimony of the blessings of unity From our General Superintendent David Wells Coming to the Table—A personal testimony of the blessings of unity
Most followers of Jesus Christ have a faith community they are connected to. That connectedness brings many benefits, including a shared sense of belonging, common beliefs and practices, and a history that links their story to their faith community. It is a great thing to belong!  However, when all we know is the viewpoint exclusive to our own faith community, we can easily become arrogant, dismissive and judgmental of other church families. At the very least, it creates a myopic point of v...
Read More Moving Toward 100 From our General Superintendent David Wells Moving Toward 100
I love to attend anniversaries for our PAOC churches and ministries. And, when asked, I love to speak at them. I love the family atmosphere, the sense of celebration, and the telling of stories that range from hilarious to serious. It’s moving to hear how God has made a difference in people’s lives. What I really love, though, is when the focus turns from the past to the present and into the future. Remembering the past is a good thing. But realistically appraising the present and th...
Read More Making the Connection From the Editor Steve Kennedy Making the Connection
December 20, 1951, St. John’s, N.L.—Ed “Kip” Malone was 12 years old and on his way to buy a pound of butter from McGraw’s store on Central Street. As he approached the store, he saw smoke coming from a nearby house. Then he heard a woman screaming from the third floor, “Save the children! Save the children!” Young Kip ran into the smoking building, located two girls, aged five and three, and rushed them out of the house.  The house, home to eight c...
Read More Arbour Day From our General Superintendent David Wells Arbour Day
A walk through the Balwin neighbourhood in Edmonton reveals a very interesting phenomenon. Surrounding house after house, on street after street, you’ll see tall, mature spruce trees. It’s the same in other neighbouring communities as well. These spruce trees all rise higher than the homes they surround and they are all over 50 years old. I know because it was my generation that put them there—with a lot of help from our parents! Old pictures of the front of my house and other ...
Read More A Three-Day Weekend From the Editor Steve Kennedy A Three-Day Weekend
 I was talking with a friend last year on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. My friend, who had not attended the Good Friday service at his church, had just received an email from someone who had. In the email they told my friend, “Finally, I went to a Good Friday service that I enjoyed. It was joyful!” The comment took me back to Good Friday services I’ve been in where either the music or the message¾or both¾could not resist the urge to rush...
Read More Slim Pickings X From the Editor Steve Kennedy Slim Pickings X
Is that really the number 10 up there?  I wrote the first of these back in June 2008. I’d been at this job for a year and was experiencing a serious case of writer’s block. All I had after days of trying to write my editorial was a tangle of disconnected thoughts, each embarked upon with high hopes and abandoned after a paragraph or two. So I took a risk, threw them all in the proverbial pot, and called it what I thought it was: Slim Pickings. Every year since then, except for o...
Read More “If Jesus … ” V— Solitude and Simplicity From our General Superintendent David Wells “If Jesus … ” V— Solitude and Simplicity
The start of a new year is often a time when individuals, families or even organizations go through a process of appraisal. Have the right priorities been maintained? Has the focus of our pursuits proved beneficial? Have we been available for the truly important things in life? Do we need to change how we spend our time, energy or money? The question we have asked in this series is, “If Jesus were physically living in Canada today, how would He spend His time, energy and money?” We h...
Read More Hanging on to Hope From the Editor Steve Kennedy, Editor Hanging on to Hope
She was one among thousands of children I saw during my first visit to Malawi in November 2006. I’m guessing she was six or seven years old then. We’d been ushered into an empty mud-brick building. Within minutes the room was jammed from side to side and front to back with children. Some sat on the dirt floor, their legs sticking out like toothpicks. Others folded themselves into a squatting position, hugging their bony knees to their chin. We Canadians stood at the front of the room...
Read More “If Jesus …” IV—Pursuing the Lost From our General Superintendent David Wells “If Jesus …” IV—Pursuing the Lost
“If Jesus were physically living in Canada today, how would He spend His time, energy and money?” You cannot study the life of Jesus without being captured by His passionate, loving pursuit of those whom He called “the lost.” Jesus went out of His way, ignored cultural norms, risked being misunderstood, was threatened and eventually unjustly arrested, tortured and crucified. Why? In order to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10)! In the opening verses of Luke 15, Jesus i...
Read More Reproducing Christ’s Love and Life in Others From our General Superintendent by David Wells Reproducing Christ’s Love and Life in Others
“If Jesus were physically living in Canada today, how would He spend His time, energy and money?” Anyone seeking to know and be like Jesus needs to understand His passion for making disciples. During His three years of ministry, Jesus focused a large portion of His time and energy on building a community of Spirit-empowered followers who would love God and love others. From the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus invited His disciples to follow Him. Their discipleship took place ...
Read More A Needed Reminder From the Editor BY Stephen Kennedy A Needed Reminder
I had a conversation with a friend recently during which I made a confession. “It scares me,” I said to my friend, “to think that people are looking at my life and forming opinions about God based on what they see.” (You need to know that my friend does not identify himself as a deist, let alone a Christian. But when we talk about my faith, or about life in general, we have incredibly honest and deeply satisfying conversations. I love him.) But back to my confession. I&...
Read More Learning to Live Like Jesus — Intimacy with the Father From our General Superintendent David Wells Learning to Live Like Jesus — Intimacy with the Father
I’d like to continue with the question I put forward in my last column: “If Jesus were physically living in Canada today, how would He spend His time, energy and money?” As followers of Jesus Christ, we have the amazing privilege of knowing Him and being conformed to His image. In light of that fact, our passionate desire should be like Paul’s: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have ...
Read More Vignettes on Marriage From the Editor Steve Kennedy Vignettes on Marriage
My wife and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I remember being at a couple’s 60th anniversary party years ago. When the husband was asked to share something he’d learned from 60 years of marriage, he replied, “Well, the first 50 are the hardest.” So I may be speaking up too soon, but here, in these two vignettes, is some of what I’ve learned about marriage.   To a Young Couple on Their Wedding Day Are you afraid? I think you are. You may not feel ...
Read More “If Jesus …”— Revisiting a life-changing question From our General Superintendent David Wells “If Jesus …”— Revisiting a life-changing question
“If Jesus were physically living in Canada today, how would He spend His time, energy and money?” Half a lifetime ago I engaged that pressing question in my personal study and prayer. Some nights I would stand at our second-floor window and picture the people of our city as I asked, “If Jesus …” Recently, during a time of extended study, I pulled out my journals from that period and began to re-engage that question. I worked my way chronologically through the Gosp...
Read More An Editorial Sampler From the Editor Steve Kennedy An Editorial Sampler
There were just too many options! Spring is here and my maple tree is waking up. May is the month of my birthday. June is the month of my wedding anniversary (40 years this year). The Leafs are—maybe, hopefully, prayerfully—in the playoffs. Our nation of Canada turns 150 this summer. Throw in Mother’s Day, Pentecost Sunday and Father’s Day, and you can understand why my mind and my fingers have been bouncing around like a dog in a hydrant factory. I’ve started half...