I sipped my coffee and listened intently. This was an important beginning to an important task. I sat across the table from the MP and his Communications Assistant waiting for his insights to my question.
It seems to me that one of the responsibilities of a denomination is be the collective voice to our government. This is a task that no other part of the Church can do. Only the denomination can represent all 225 congregations within 5 Area Churches. So I began with this meeting to try and glean some perspective from one of our MP's.
"What are the concerns of a national scope that you think the church should have a voice in," I asked?
Together, we identified three items of concern that transcend across Canada. These items affect every Area Church and most likely most of our congregations. The three items of national concern are: Aboriginal Relations, Multiculturalism/anti-racism, and Poverty.
I indicated that I was hoping to meet with other MP's as I visit congregations across Canada, and he offered to furnish me with some names and addresses.
It was my first inquiry. One I hope to repeat several more times across the country. It was a good meeting.
Before I left I was also encouraged to offer a positive voice on behalf of the Church. I was invited to remain in dialogue and to offer concerns.
"But we also need to hear when government gets it right," said the MP.