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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May 15, 2018

How can Christians and Muslims engage in dialogue and partnership? Gail Allan and Muneeb Nasir, co-chairs of the National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee, talk about why it is important for Christians and Muslims to learn about one another's traditions and concerns, build relationships, and work together. They share ideas on how your local community can engage, including participating in an online project that connects Muslim-Christian partnerships in Canada:

Feb 15, 2018

How does ecumenical dialogue help churches work for justice and peace? What does ‘peace’ mean for Christians? Peter Noteboom, Acting General Secretary of the CCC and former Associate Secretary for the Commission on Justice and Peace, discusses ecumenical and theological principles for justice and peace work, shares personal reflections on peace and peacemaking, and speaks about the current work and future directions for the Council.

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
If you like Faith & Witness, please share it! You can let us know you're sharing by tagging @CCC_CCE on Twitter, or CCC.CCE on Facebook. As always, we welcome your questions and comments at
Dec 15, 2016

The first Faith & Witness Advent edition is a briefer episode, featuring a dialogue between CFW staff Dr. Mary Marrocco & Maria Simakova, and CFW chair Professor Richard Schneider.

The three talk about the history of the Commission, and how members work together in the forum model, and what we have learned as we've worked together in forum.

Nov 1, 2016

This month's episode of Faith & Witness features an interview with the Rev. Jonathan Schmidt, Director of the Canadian Churches Forum (a program agency of the Canadian Council of Churches) on the connection and interplay between ecumenism and intercultural ministry & learning


A discussion with Fred Demaray of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, and John Tenyenhuis of the Christian Reformed Church of North America—both members of the CCC's Christian Interfaith Reference Group—on the encounter of Christians together with other faiths.

Please download, share our podcast on social media, rate & review us on iTunes, and most of all, enjoy!

Oct 6, 2016

It's late, but it's here! In our fifth episode, CFW Secretary Dr. Mary Marrocco interviews the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell, on a life spent in ecumenical contexts.

Then we have a discussion with Dr. Moira McQueen and Anne Mitchell—members of the CCC's Faith & Life Sciences Group (formerly the Biotechnology Reference Group)—on what the group does, its history, and how they work as an ecumenical body with diverse opinions in a complicated field.

Please share the podcast with your family, friends, clergy, and your denomination! Have questions, concerns, or compliments? Send them our way by emailing

Sep 1, 2016

Our fourth episode brings you a dialogue between Dr. Thomas Hentrich, a researcher & theologian specializing in disability issues and ecumenism, and Fr. Pishoy Wasfy, a Coptic Orthodox priest, psychotherapist, and faculty member of the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College. 

Dr. Hentrich and Fr. Pishoy discuss what denominations are doing to serve people with disabilities in their churches, the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network, and what sorts of things should and are happening in congregations.

Afterwards, CFW's Dr. Mary Marrocco interviews the Rev. Dr. Scott Sharman, campus chaplain at the University of Alberta and Professor of Foundational Theology at Newman Theological College, about his life in ecumenism

Aug 1, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Faith and Witness!

This month we have a dialogue between Dr. Gail Allan, coordinator for ecumenical, inter-church, and interfaith relations for the United Church of Canada, and Rev. Lane Scruggs, a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and a doctoral student at Wycliffe College in Toronto.

We also have an interview with RC Bishop Don Bolen of Saskatoon, soon to be Archbishop of Regina. 

Theme and interstitial music by Telepathic Teddy Bear ("Churches"; CC BY 4.0)

Cover image: Adaptation of "Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee" by Ludolf Backhuysen, 1695 (Wikimedia; Public Domain)

Jul 6, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Faith and Witness!

This month  we have a dialogue between Sr. Gill Goulding CJ, professor at Regis college and Dr. Paul Ladoucuer, Orthodox theologian, professor, & writer.; an interview with the Rev. Stephen Kendall, Principal Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and a VP of the CCC; and Q&A session with Faith & Witness staff!


Theme and interstitial music by Telepathic Teddy Bear ("Churches"; CC BY 4.0)

Cover image: Adaptation of "Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee" by Ludolf Backhuysen, 1695 (Wikimedia; Public Domain)


Jun 1, 2016

Welcome to the first episode of Faith & Witness, a monthly podcast exploring ecumenism—what happens when churches talk to each other, and the people who have spent their lives in dialogue with Christians of other traditions.

This month's episode features a dialogue between Fr. Geoffrey Ready of the Orthodox Church in America (Canadian Archdiocese), and the Rev. Ian Sloan of the United Church of Canada. Fr. Geoffrey and Rev. Ian talk about the idea of salvation, and how Orthodox and United beliefs about salvation are the same, and how they differ.

In our second segment, Associate Secretary for the Commission Dr. Mary Marrocco interviews Fr. Damian MacPherson, SA, Director of the Office of Ecumenical & Interfaith Affairs for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. 


Theme and interstitial music by Telepathic Teddy Bear ("Churches"; CC BY 4.0)

Cover image: Adaptation of "Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee" by Ludolf Backhuysen, 1695 (Wikimedia; Public Domain)