By: Katrina de Schiffert
With increasing challenges that face my generation, the National Christian Youth Summit in Ottawa explored how our faith intersects with our nation.
The theme, Such as Time as This: Know, Believe, and Imagine looked at how young people are facing choices that will begin to shape their future, career, and character.
Throughout the summit we were able to engage with speakers and panels who shared their experiences of faith in our nation.
National Prayer Leadership Dinner keynote speaker, Maranatha Weeks, captivated the room with her stories of working as a nurse on the front lines of Mosul, treating victims traumatized and wounded by the ravages of war.
At theNational Prayer Breakfast, we sat with former and current MPs, world ambassadors, political, and Christian leaders. As breakfast was served, we had the opportunity to walk to the head table and introduce ourselves to the Prime Minister, opposition leader Andrew Scheer, Supreme Court Justice Russell Brown, and other political leaders.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led a prayer for the youth and young people in Canada to pursue justice and grow to become good leaders in Canada.
Following the breakfast, a dynamic panel of MPs, including chair of National Prayer Breakfast, Cathay Wagantall held a discussion with questions on faith, political stances, experiences, and challenges of their careers. Other panels and speakers included representatives from the Cardus Think Tank, and the justice system, government workers, Open Doors Canada, pastors, and professors.
Each discussion offered an opportunity to learn the realities of working in a career that seeks justice and a reminder of the significance of faith as a foundation. Multiple speakers emphasized that before your career title, you are a Christian, and we are united by our faith despite varying opinions and called to live a life honouring God. Faith is the foundation, trust that God is working out a path and have the courage to follow it.
We were encouraged to first pray for politicians and their government, and then become involved in whatever form we see fit, like connecting with our local MP to have our voices heard.
In addition to the National Christian Youth Summit, the National Youth Summit was taking place with over 300 youth from across the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the first ever youth policy, which took the input from over 5,000 young people from across Canada
“Youth issues are Canada’s issues, and Canada’s issues are youth issues. Young people care deeply about their country and its future, and we need them at the table if we want to build a stronger and more inclusive society. I thank every young person who shared their perspectives on what actions we can, and should take, to solve the complex challenges we face. Their drive, creativity, and determination will make a difference, to the benefit of all Canadians.” – The Right Honourable Justin P. J. Trudeau.