Two important publications this summer have the name of Stiller attached to them.
Karen Stiller is a Senior Editor of Faith Today and a Wycliffe College Board member. Brian Stiller (Karen’s husband’s uncle) is former President of Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, and presently a Global Ambassador for the World Evangelical Fellowship. (From time to time, good idea! has reprinted Brian’s stories about the state of the church around the world.)
Brian and Karen are among the editors for Evangelicals around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century (Thomas Nelson 2015). Whether or not you consider yourself an evangelical, and however you define the term, this is an important movement on the world scene, and this is a unique, comprehensive and up-to-date resource for understanding it.
Although the contributors are (quite rightly) from around the world, there are some Canadian authors who wrote articles for the book:
- John Franklin of Imago: Evangelicals and the arts;
- Wafik Wahba of Tyndale Seminary, Toronto: Evangelicals in the Middle East;
- Paul Stevens of Regent College, Vancouver: Evangelicals in the marketplace;
- Girma Bekele of Wycliffe College, Toronto: Evangelicals in East Africa;
- Debra Fieguth, freelance writer in Kingston, Ontario: Introduction to Ministry Profiles.
- Ron Sider (who was after all born in Canada): Evangelicals and Social Justice
- My own contribution is entitled Evangelicals in Mainline Denominations.
To read a sample, click here.
Shifting Stats: Shaking the Church
Did you know that more young people in Canada self-identify as Muslim than as Anglican, United and Baptist combined? That is one of the startling facts in a new book that describes how forty Canadian churches are flexing to meet such challenges.
Shifting Stats, by Patricia Paddey and Karen Stiller, is a book of inspiring stories. Each story describes a church somewhere in Canada which is responding to cultural change with creativity and energy. Frankly, it’s amazing! Just a few examples:
- A Mennonite church in Winnipeg that provides housing and community for people with mental health challenges.
- A Christian Reformed church in Lacombe (AB) that gives two “Hands and Feet” Sundays a year to service projects in their community.
- A Presbyterian church in Ottawa whose youth group meets monthly for friendship and fun with young people on the autism spectrum.
- A Pentecostal church in Whitehorse that has welcomed Filipinos.
- A Roman Catholic church in Halifax growing its youth ministry through Youth Alpha.
One unusual and helpful feature of this book is the “Story Matrix” (aka the indices) at the back, where the stories are cross-referenced. You can check what denomination each church belongs to: there are twenty-seven in all. Which of your tribe made the cut? You can also look up what part of the country each is in: the answers range from Gander NF to Victoria BC and Nunavut NU. Maybe some are your neighbours. And, if you are interested in what different kinds of ministry are being tackled, that’s there too.
In some ways the most interesting index, for me anyway, is where you can check how big each church is. At least once, I thought as I read, “That must be a really big church to have a ministry like that.” But when I looked in the index, it really wasn’t. Wow. Indeed, almost half of the forty churches number under 200.
You can download free sample chapters of Shifting Stats here.