Faith & Witness

The Canadian Council of Churches and its Commission on Faith and Witness is proud to announce the release of the first episode of Faith & Witness, a podcast exploring ecumenism. Each month we'll learn what happens when churches talk to each other, and about the people who have spent their lives in dialogue with Christians of other traditions.
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Dec 13, 2017

Every year, Christians around the world gather to pray and share fellowship during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme for 2018 comes to us from the Caribbean region: “Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power” (Ex 15:6). 

What is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and why is it important? And how can your local community take part?

Pastor Susan Climo, chair of the Canadian Week of Prayer for Christian Unity writing team, answers these questions and more…

Visit / to download 2018 materials, share your local celebration, or connect!

Nov 10, 2017

This year, we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. What makes this anniversary unique – and uniquely ecumenical? How can we participate in this event? And what can we learn from it? Sr Donna Geernaert (CCCB) and Pastor André Lavergne (ELCIC) join us to talk about these questions, and about Together in Christ, a new ecumenical resource that offers Canadian Catholics, Lutherans, and other Christians an opportunity to get to know one another through Bible study, prayer and reflection. This resource is available here:

Oct 2, 2017

Have you ever wished you really understood genetic modification and food engineering? What does it really mean for us? Is it good? Is it bad? Who decides?

We know these technologies aren't going away. But, can science answer values questions?
Join us to discuss cutting-edge genetic research and its impacts on food and farming. What ethical questions do the technologies raise?
Links mentioned in the episode:
Synthetic biology products database:

NY Times articles about older GMOs; not synthetic biology, but the danger is the same with synthetic biology: sometimes we believe the hype about benefits and ignore the risks:
Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents

Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

Church positions on synthetic biology:

Commission of the Bishop’s Conferences of the European Community
Church of Scotland
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

The Quakers also produce general updates about twice a year with simple info on some of the applications of synthetic biology. These are available for download at:
Sep 11, 2017

What is ecumenism? Why is it important for Christians? A 'seasoned' ecumenist, the Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, Canadian Council of Churches' General Secretary, and a 'newbie' ecumenist, Kaeli Sweigard, delve into these questions and more!

Feb 1, 2017

This month, Faith & Witness welcomes Fr. Ted Paraskevopoulos of St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox church in Toronto and Rev. Lane Scruggs of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Ted and Lane discuss the idea of Salvation and the authentic life--how religious discipline and freedom intersect, and what freedom really means.

Our interview this month is with the Rev. Jeffrey Metcalfe, Anglican priest in the diocese of Quebec and the CCC's very own Justice & Piece intern. Jeffrey discusses his early experiences of ecumenism and how ecumenism has shaped him.

Jeffrey also talks about how his research on church approaches to helping refugees has interacted with his current role as CCC intern, the deep practicality of churches on the frontline of helping refugees, and the Words of Welcome Facebook group for people seeking resources and discussion on refugee sponsorship.

Jan 6, 2017
This month's episode is a special episode with a dialogue on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, featuring Rev. Susan Climo (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, chair of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Canadian writing team) and Fr. Damian MacPherson (WPCU writing team and director of the ​​​Office ​of ​​​​​​​​​​​Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs​ for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto).
We talk about what the the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity *is*, its origins, how it brings Christians together, and the stumbling blocks faced by ecumenism (and how the WPCU addresses those blocks).
To learn more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and download the digital starter kit, visit (ou pour les ressources en français).
For the interview segment this month we are joined by Dean David Neelands of the Faculty of Theology at Trinity College, part of the Toronto School of Theology (of which he is a past director) at the University of Toronto.
Faith & Witness' Dr. Mary Marrocco talks to Neelands about his life, ministry, and teaching, and the thread of ecumenism that runs through them all from childhood to the present day. 
- Neelands' advice to current TST students
- Memories and histories of some giants of Canadian ecumenism, some of whom were his role models and mentors:
          - Margaret O'Gara 
          - Eugene Fairweather
          - John Egan
          - David Hay
          - Charles Henry Brent
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