Simply Mobilizing

From Sea to Sea: A Mari usque ad Mare

Monday, June 27, 2022

 

*This article was originally published on the Simply Mobilizing Canada blog, a ministry of Outreach Canada, and has been republished with permission.

I love the fact that Canada’s motto is inspired from Scripture.

“A Mari usque ad Mare”, Canada’s official motto, translates as “From Sea to Sea.” In 1867, as the process for the crafting of the British North America Act was under way, leading to the establishment of the dominion of Canada, Samuel Leonard Tilley suggested this quote from Psalm 72:8 as the motto for Canada. At that point there were only four colonies (future provinces) at the table: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island soon joined the process and when British Columbia joined Confederation, in 1871, the vision of a country spanning the continent from sea to sea became a reality.

I am less enchanted by the failure of our forebearers to fully appreciate the import of this Scripture and to see the Lord God’s dominion from sea to sea meant to see his reign established.

As products of colonialism, even the spiritual outlook of the Fathers of Confederation and their generation, their Christianity, was coloured by the paternalistic view of the supremacy of European perspective. As we discovered, in the Kairos course, cultural baggage can (and does) obscure the true message of the Gospel to those on the receiving end, and ‘people blindness’ causes denigration of those who are not ‘like us’, for those who are the protagonists.

  • This reality was seen to be played out in the treatment of the Chinese labourers brought in to help build the railroad – the major element of the ‘sea-to-sea’ dream.
  • Also, this was seen in the relations with the Métis, whose efforts to have their rights addressed were put down militarily (interesting note: two of Canada’s provinces owe their origin to ‘the Riel rebellions’).
  • However, the history of Canada’s residential school policy stands out most graphically as the tragedy that has resulted from a colonial cultured Christianity: Government policy combined with Church actions intentionally seeking to deculturize peoples.

"Cultural baggage can (and does) obscure the true message of the Gospel to those on the receiving end, and ‘people blindness’ causes denigration of those who are not ‘like us’, for those who are the protagonists."

I am, however, hopeful. 

As Christians who are mobilized to bring God’s reign to the ‘ends of the earth’, Canada’s motto (expanded in 2006 to read, “From sea to sea to sea”), still stand as a challenge to us. Although, on a geopolitical level, Canada is a country that stretches from sea to sea to sea, we are a long way from seeing God’s reign (dominion) truly being a reality. If we are to be God’s true ambassadors of reconciliation, there needs to be a conscious effort on our part to put aside our own cultural baggage and to engage those who surround us to shine the true light of the Gospel into the jewel that is their culture.

In this land that has welcomed and continues to welcome people from a multitude of races and cultures, the potential for God’s multifaceted Kingdom glory to shine is alluring.

If we are faithful, we may yet see his ‘dominion from sea to sea to sea’.


Subscribe today to receive the weekly Simply Mobilizing Canada blog -- encouraging you as you seek to be fruitfully engaged with God on mission!


Michael H. Gagnon has been serving in pastoral ministries in Quebec for over 40 years and has been involved in Simply Mobilizing since 2013. He serves as Quebec/French language coordinator on the National Coordination Team. He is married to Darlene (nee Brooke) and they presently are pastoring a French congregation in Matane, Quebec. They have 6 children and 19 grandchildren. Desiring to see the whole church mobilized to make disciples of Jesus everywhere, Michael is enthusiastically committed to the SM movement.


print



Empowered to Influence Empowered to Influence

The Empowered to Influence (ETI) Course will benefit every believer, but especially those are in th...
Read More..

Understanding Gods Heart for Myanmar Understanding God's Heart for Myanmar

A testimony from a Kairos Alumna. "I have realized that God is the one who controls and prepar...
Read More..

Pray, Learn, Engage: A Journey for Christians during Ramadan Pray, Learn, Engage: A Journey for Christians during Ramadan

Opportunites for Christians to pray, learn, love and engage with Muslims during Ramadan.
Read More..

Unexpected Hospitality Unexpected Hospitality

A story of unexpected hospitality! A broken fence that led to neighbours showing mutual hospitality...
Read More..

A Lenten Invitation: Into the Wilderness A Lenten Invitation: Into the Wilderness

I grew up in a Christian home, but as a child Lent was not part of my family’s spiritual rhythms. I...
Read More..

The Joy of Evangelism The Joy of Evangelism

If you’re like me, when someone starts talking about the need to get more involved in evangelism, t...
Read More..

Afghan Refugees: How can we Respond? Afghan Refugees: How can we Respond?

With the recent upheaval in Afghanistan, the Canadian government has committed to accept 40,000 ref...
Read More..

Interface Online Interface Online

Online INTERFACE Seminars starting in January 2022. Register today for this free virtual seminar fr...
Read More..

Blessed are the Peacemakers Blessed are the Peacemakers

I do not belittle the challenges facing the Church today, or each of us personally. Disputes arise ...
Read More..

Kairos Courses 2021 Kairos Courses 2021

Kairos Course Fall 2021 Courses.
Read More..

5 Simple Questions 5 Simple Questions

The story of Kairos' momentum is startling, but it relies on activating ordinary Christians with a ...
Read More..

Interface: Developing Missional Churches Interface: Developing Missional Churches

Interface is an invitation into an ongoing conversation about the call to join God in his mission i...
Read More..

Opportunities & Threats for the Canadian Church: Whats Next? Opportunities & Threats for the Canadian Church: What's Next?

"What’s next?" is a big question. We may not know the next step, but do we know the right direction...
Read More..

7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses 7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses

Some of the most effective witnesses I've seen have surprised me. They don't look like what I imagi...
Read More..

Shaken Shaken

This Christmas, as our normal celebrations are shaken, may we press in to know the one who came as ...
Read More..

Silver Linings Silver Linings

Moving a course with a global footprint and a 20+ year track record from a face-to-face delivery mo...
Read More..

Kairos Online Courses - Fall 2020 Kairos Online Courses - Fall 2020

Links to sign up or find more information about the Kairos Course Online Fall 2020 courses.
Read More..

Pivot: A Kairos Story Pivot: A Kairos Story

A story of momentum lost and momentum restored! The Kairos Course had huge momentum early in 2020. ...
Read More..

Nova Scotia: A Prophecy & A Prayer Nova Scotia: A Prophecy & A Prayer

A look at Nova Scotia during this present time, from a local who shares a prophecy & a prayer for N...
Read More..

A Vanilla Life: 5 Questions to Consider as you Build Cross-Cultural Friendships A Vanilla Life: 5 Questions to Consider as you Build Cross-Cultural Friendships

  5 Questions to Consider as you Build Cross-Cultural Friendships. Vanilla describes most...
Read More..

Better Together? When together is not always better… Better Together? When together is not always better…

Better Together? What about when it is harder, and messier to be together? What is it really going ...
Read More..

Kairos Online Course Kairos Online Course

Be a part of history! Register for one of the first ever Kairos Courses on Zoom here in Canada as w...
Read More..

Focus Focus

Focus. There is one thing that is occupying the whole world's attention right now. The church is aw...
Read More..

Youre Invited! Praying for Ramadan You're Invited! Praying for Ramadan

You are invited to join us in praying for Ramadan! Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting—a s...
Read More..

A Story on Entitlement A Story on Entitlement

One morning in late October, while I was driving to the Outreach Canada office, a big rock chip got...
Read More..

Kairos Promo Video Kairos Promo Video

A short video introducing the Kairos Course.  
Read More..

Momentum Momentum

The first Kairos Course in Canada was held in 2010. That start led to the launch of Kairos in Canad...
Read More..

...

Kairos Courses 2022
Kairos Courses 2022
Read more...
The Unfinished Story (Chinese-Cantonese)
The Unfinished Story provides an integrated overview of the mission of God from Genesis, through the gospels and more than two thousand years of the world Christian movement, to our world today. The Unfinished Story is ...
Read more...
Empowered to Influence (Chinese-Mandarin)
The Empowered to Influence (ETI) Course will benefit every believer, but especially those are in the workplace. It focuses on seven paradigm shifts that need to take place for every believer to become effective salt and...
Read more...
Empowered to Influence
The Empowered to Influence (ETI) Course will benefit every believer, but especially those are in the workplace. It focuses on seven paradigm shifts that need to take place for every believer to become effective salt and...
Read more...
From Sea to Sea: A Mari usque ad Mare
As we approach Canada Day, this blog from Simply Mobilizing Canada gives an honest look at how colonialism impacted the 'sea-to-sea' dream of Canada. And a hopeful outlook on how we might yet see his 'dominion from sea ...
Read more...
Understanding God's Heart for Myanmar
A testimony from a Kairos Alumna. "I have realized that God is the one who controls and prepares everything. He has already arranged everything, and He is willing to patiently change and move me, such a trivial per...
Read more...
 

 

2 - 7201 72 Street Delta BC V4G 1M5