Wow, what an amazing week it has been. By God’s grace, ARPA Canada was able to bring 10 events to Alberta churches and schools from June 2nd – 9th. The outcome has far exceeded our expectations. We received overwhelming support for the work we are doing and overwhelming enthusiasm to get involved in a meaningful way in Albertan towns and cities.
Those who have been involved in politics realize that political events draw small crowds and tend to appeal only to those who are already involved. That is why we were so grateful to see crowds of up to 60-100 people, the vast majority of whom we had no previous contact with. We were also very thankful to see that there is a willingness in Calgary and Barrhead/Neerlandia to start new local ARPA groups and Edmonton will likely do the same. In Barrhead/Neerlandia alone, about 30 people have indicated a willingness to get involved in a local group, with a dozen of these people being still in high school. With only one ARPA group currently in Alberta, these new groups will be a welcomed and much needed addition.
The two issues that generated the most reaction from Albertans are the oppressive human rights commissions and the bill in Parliament that would legalize assisted suicide and decriminalize euthanasia. The discussion groups at these events came up with many creative ideas for responding to these two issues. ARPA Canada looks forward to working with Albertans to provide the resources and support they need to make a difference on these and other issues in the months and years to come. We are encouraged that those who came to these events are interested in translating their concerns to action.
We were also thrilled with the reaction from the high school students that we spoke to. The interest from the youth gives us hope that things are changing in Canada and the coming generation is more willing to get involved in the public square. Kudos to Calvin Christian School in southern Alberta whose students sent off 200 letters to our government officials in response to the current euthanasia bill!
We are very grateful to the local organizers who made it possible for us to come to their churches and schools. Thank you to Marvin V and Pastor Schoeman from Monarch, Glenn T from Lethbridge, the Southern Alberta ARPA group (especially Mel H) from Coaldale, Eric V from Calgary, Brian D and Michelle N from Edmonton, and Joanne D from Neerlandia. Thanks also to the teachers who welcomed us in their schools. We were also blessed with the presence of representatives from other organizations who had tables and/or spoke at these events. Thank you Sarah M from the U of L campus pro-life, Frans V from the Christian Heritage Party (along with the other CHP folks who helped him), Maaike R from Lethbridge and District Pro-Life, Nathan Cooper from Canada Family Action Coalition, author Michael Wagner, Corry M from REAL Women and Edmonton Pro-Life, and the folks from Alberta Pro-Life. Thanks also is well deserved for Lynn V who designed the advertising posters and PowerPoint theme. Being a very small organization, we sure depend on the hard work and support of these kind people and all those who helped behind the scenes.
One of the 6 small group discussions in Edmonton.
Michael Wagner, author of “Standing on Guard for Thee” at the Edmonton event.
Maaike R from Lethbridge Pro-Life who spoke in Lethbridge and Coaldale.
Students at Coaldale Christian School.
Event in Coaldale Canadian Reformed Church.
Event in Monarch (Free Reformed Church).
Sarah M from U of L campus pro-life speaks in Monarch.
Students at the Covenant Canadian Reformed School in Neerlandia.