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Canadian Association of Interchurch Families

Montreal
We have tried to bring out the fruit of various Conferences. Meeting with members of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, we have examined the implications of each guest speaker’s address, be they from the Edmonton or other international conferences.

Betty and Wilf Dicks continue their research, examination of Biblical documents and literature, and writing of their personal gratitude for the Spirit's presence in Interchurch Families. The Buchanan family reached many readers with their article on Transmitting Our Faith which appeared in ECUMENISM

The Roman Catholic - United Church of Canada National Dialogue group, an ongoing bilateral dialogue, met in Montreal. We were invited to attend, and chose as our focus the need to strengthen and extend our national network to attain visibility, validity, and credibility.

A sense of belonging continues to be fostered by the many email exchanges from around the world, though the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. listserve. Still, it remains personal contact which benefit interchurch families the most.

  • Montreal was the Photo-op location after the National Ecumenical award was presented to Fenella and Ray Temmerman in Winnipeg, recognizing their personal contribution to the International Conference, the web site, and the listserv. Members of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism were present along with local AIF folks and the photographer to express gratitude to the 2002 recipients.
  • 2002 was a banner year for strengthening International friendships. Foyers Mixtes members, Denise and Charles-Robert Besse visited Montreal as did Pamela Fiévet. Both visits emphasized our relationship with our friends in France who have offered such hospitality and direction for this year's world conference in Rome. It was also heartwarming for the Bédards to renew friendships, meet members of Foyers Mixtes and visit Fr Beaupère at the Lyon Centre, St. Irenée, in November.
  • News that Marc Ouellet has been appointed as Bishop of Quebec and is now living back in Canada was positive since his views on the theme Living the Path to Christian Unity had been so uplifting in Edmonton.

Saskatoon
We sponsored a weekend retreat in 2002 for members of the Canadian Association, with participants coming from Saskatchewan and Alberta. (The Calgary group is continuing the tradition for 2003.) It was a great time of prayer, discussing, and socializing.

We continue our work of outreach in two key areas, Marriage Preparation and meetings with local church leaders. In Marriage Preparation, we share our stories, then invite the couples to discuss with each other about prayer, God, and attending church. This is always interesting as it pulls some couples out of their “comfort zone” and forces them to discuss these topics. The greatest challenge in all of this is trying to help the couples understand what they will face after the wedding day. Many see this topic as a non issue - they don’t foresee any problems. These come later, as the scandal of the Church divided begins to impact on family life.

We are currently making a video that involves a group of young people acting in roles of Interchurch families – it is hoped this will awaken those about to get married to some of the joys and difficulties.

Calgary
Our group continues faithfully, the last Saturday of every month, with the same four families – but two of the families have grown. The minister at Euan Robertson’s baptism spoke of the rich faith life Iain and Nancy bring to their family. Grace Abbott brought together Tracey’s Roman Catholic priest and Ernie’s United Church minister, both very much involved in the baptism. Both services were wonderful reminders that although sometimes difficult, ecumenism is working and that at the heart of each of our faith traditions, is our common belief in Jesus Christ.

We are now preparing for the weekend gathering of interchurch families begun by the Saskatoon group last year. Though unable to come to Rome, we pass along their best wishes to all those wonderful people we met in Edmonton and hope that someday our paths will cross again

Toronto
Nick Jesson and Amanda Currie have been busy in a number of areas. Through their academic work, one doing Doctoral work in Ecumenical Studies, the other preparing for active ministry, they are introducing the interchurch reality to the academic community.

In his spare time, Nick is actively developing several ecumenical web sites, as well as taking a very active role in nurturing discussions on the interchurch families listserv, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Winnipeg
Ray and Fenella Temmerman are finding their way in a new locale, having moved from the small community of Morden to the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Their international work has continued, but on a much smaller scale, mainly as web site administrators for the largest internet resource for interchurch families, www.interchurchfamilies.org, and publicizing the Rome 2003 conference to some 500 Anglican, Catholic, and Lutheran bishops and their churches in North America. Ray also had the marvelous opportunity to make contact with interchurch families in Australia during a visit there, with a view to encouraging the Australians to host the next international English-language conference there in 2005.

The Regina and Edmonton interchurch families, while numerically very small, continue helping other interchurch families discover the rich rewards of living their interchurch reality. Their fruit is seen not in great numbers, but in great faithfulness.