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Here is what the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (of which we are members) sent Calgary City Council.
Here is what the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (of which we are members) sent the Calgary Mayor.
Dear Church Family,
Over the years we have sought to keep you informed of certain proposed Federal, Provincial, and Municipal laws that shape our country. Presently there is a proposed bylaw before Calgary City Council that we want to draw your attention to. We are asking you as a citizen of Calgary to consider voicing your concern on matters like this that could ultimately affect our rights and freedoms as Christians, as a church, and as individuals. The proposed bylaw, which we support in principle, is a ban on conversion therapy. We support a ban on harmful, abusive, coercive, or manipulative therapy of any kind that seeks to change someone against their will.
However, we are concerned there are a number of aspects of the by-law that are unclear and lend themselves to various interpretations.
Our first concern is that this bylaw could have a direct impact on our ability as people of faith and as a faith community to communicate what the Bible says without facing possible repercussions including severe fines and even jail time.
Our second concern is that the bylaw removes the choice for a person to receive the help and support they want in order to live life guided by their biblical beliefs, values, and convictions. Take Graeme’s story (page 5) for example. Under this bylaw, Graeme would not have been able to receive the help and support that he chose in order to prioritize his faith over his sexuality.
The proposed bylaw before Calgary City Council is here on page 100 of the Community and Protective Services Committee agenda package of May 13/14.
In February, Centre Street Church shared concerns regarding the bylaw with every Calgary Councillor through mail and also email. (click here to view the letter)
On May13/14 the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee heard 121 verbal presentations from individuals in support of the bylaw and those concerned with the way the bylaw is written. The verbal presentations combined with 1800 written submissions is likely a record for city bylaw public hearing.
Over the two days the Committee met, the implications of this bylaw became clearer and raised further concerns, which is why we are asking you to prayerfully consider reaching out to your City Councillor as a Calgary citizen (not as a member or adherent of CSC) and share your concerns with the way this bylaw is written.
On May 25th, this proposed bylaw will be decided upon by Calgary City Council. We apologize for how time sensitive this request is. Here is a sample letter that you could use or edit in sharing your concern. We also ask that the tone of your letter be respectful and Christlike. Click here for your Councillor's information.
Our hope is that our city councillors will receive such an overwhelming number of letters calling for needed changes to the by-law that they will take the necessary steps to ensure the by-law is written in such a way to ensure that individual and religious freedoms are upheld.
Click here to listen to a short portion of discussion from the May 14th Community and Protective Services Committee meeting. The discussion helps you understand why this is an important issue for individual and religious freedom.
Finally, and most importantly, we need to pray. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Over the next few days, let’s continue to place our trust in God and pray for our Calgary City Councillors, that they would embrace 'Godly wisdom' as they deliberate and make decisions that impact us all.
Dear church family,
We are excited to gather for a live-streamed congregational meeting on Monday May 25th at 7pm. We will update you on our BUILD More Room for God projects by taking a quick tour, hearing a brief message from pastor Henry, and answering your questions, like whether COVID-19 is affecting how we proceed with these projects.
Submit your questions by clicking here.
Read our May BUILD More Room for God update by clicking here.
Join us where you usually watch the weekend service on our church website.