2011 Partnership Circle Meetings: Speaker: Terry LeBlanc Will our Faith have Children?

DVD, 2011
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Terry LeBlanc, Mi’kmaq/Acadian theologian and one of the founders of NAIITS, the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Education and executive director of My People International spoke at the "Building Bridges” public event in March 2011 - about building bridges, not just across cultures but also across generations. "Will our faith have children?" was the theme he addressed.

"Faith will look different in future generations and in different cultures," he said. "Cultural diversity is an expression of the Holy Spirit's work. In the past this wasn't recognized and we had to choose between being a Christian or being an Indian."

Acts 15 illustrates, he said, that "there is no singularly unique culture to which we are to be called. Variation occurs and we should expect cultural differences in people that walk with Jesus Christ."

Faith is first and foremost an inward reality, according to LeBlanc. It is through internal transformation that faith takes root, not an outward experience. "Unless it is owned by the people, it won't work," he said. "Faith is not an external set of rules or behaviours, but a transformation of the soul."

LeBlanc described how his own journey of faith eventually led him to discard the suit and tie, and put on traditional jewelry instead. "Young people today are looking for anchors and moorings," he said. "They want to experience the authenticity of faith, but not a prescriptive faith that is someone else's experience."

"You may find that the church of the aboriginals doesn't look like the church you are familiar with, but it will have the love of Jesus," said LeBlanc.

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