Dear Parents, One of the themes that has been emerging in our society but has also been a focus of Edvance Christian Schools and Christian Schools across Canada, is the topic of Social Justice. This term can elicit a number of reactions and differing interpretations. It contains many layers and crosses over into a number of various platforms.
A particular question that has emerged is how do we respond as Christians, and more specifically as a school, in order to make a positive impact that is God-honoring and beneficial to God’s kingdom? One of the first steps is recognizing who we are in Christ, in that God has created us equal. While we come from different backgrounds, tribes, and languages, God has made us one in His kingdom. We also know that He has called us to love one another, in particular, to love our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
At the end of September, we discussed Residential Schools through the lens of Orange Shirt Day, and how some of our Indigenous “neighbours” have been affected by what took place. Today, we had the privilege of welcoming a Christian Inuit leader, Steven Carleton, who has made it his life’s goal to share the gospel with his people of origin and offer them hope. While he did not personally attend a Residential School, his uncle did. Additionally, Steven was hurt by members of the church when he was growing up.
By God’s grace, Steven came to a personal knowledge of Jesus when he was 14. Since then, God has transformed his life, done a work of healing and reconciliation in his heart, and called him to be an ambassador for Christ. He now leads a Christian ministry that has started the Arctic Hope Project, which has resulted in Steve and a team visiting each Inuit community in Nunavut (25 total), spanning from North of Alberta to North of Quebec. They were able to preach the message of hope in Christ and provide necessary resources to these communities. They continue to do so on an ongoing basis.
As part of our conversation, he shared with us what it means to him to be both Inuit and a Christian, as he accounts for some of the hurt he and his people experienced through individuals in the church, but also the redemptive power of the gospel in His own life. We concluded that God’s message supersedes the failings of His messengers at times, and ultimately provides us with hope and the only way forward.
We also asked how we can respond as a school. He spoke about the importance of keeping them in our prayers and the impact that prayer has had on opening doors in the Inuit community. He also shared some of the projects that they have done and how we can contribute as well. It was an invitation for us to respond in love and compassion.
If you would like to listen to the whole interview, you can click on this link here
J-D Lussier, Principal