Even before the Syrian refugee crisis was splashed across news media, our Saskatoon Local Planning Committee, inspired by the Holy Spirit, invited Dr. David Shenk to come and speak to us from his vast experience of interacting with people of other faith traditions, particularly Muslims. His witness was a powerful one, as he shared with us how he had managed to maintain the important balance between respect for other faiths and witness of our Christian faith. His plenary presentations carried us through the importance of hospitality, welcome, mutual understanding and witness.
Our Local Planning Committee, led by Distinguished Christian Service Award recipient Dr. Jim Fenton (and perhaps the most avid Roughriders fan to ever walk the earth!), prepared an excellent and insightful selection of workshops.
Attendees also heard an update from Executive Director Larry Worthen regarding the latest news on Conscience Protection. This was followed by a lively discussion from those present. Our membership is full of passionate, faithful Christians who want to do the best for their patients.
One theme that kept arising over the course of the Conference was that we were called for this moment. As our incoming President Dr. Donato Gugliotta reminded us in the devotion before our AGM, we have been put in this place at this time for a reason. He shared with us the words of Mordecai to the young Queen Esther, when she learned the Hebrews were to be annihilated in the Kingdom: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) As King Xerxes’ Queen, Esther had the unique opportunity to speak out on behalf of her people. So we too have been called to this time and place not to watch as our brothers and sisters in Christ are pushed out of practice or disciplined and vulnerable patients are put at risk, but to speak up on their behalf and our own. So like Esther, let us fast and prepare ourselves, then speak up and be a voice to witness to the dignity of the human person, regardless of age or ability.