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The Public Service Christian Fellowship

encouraging believers who work in the public service to walk in the light and to reach out to others

Faith@Work Forum

The Faith@Work Forum provides an opportunity for those interested in bible study and/or prayer groups in the workplace to get together and share the joys and challenges of being a Christian in the workplace. Each year a keynote speaker is invited to encourage us in our daily walk.

Forums were held annually from 2001 to 2011. They ceased in large part due to the passing of one of the main proponents of the event, Dr. Frank Jones, speaker in 2002, who went to be with the Lord on April 23, 2012. The forums are part of the history of the PSCF, and we offer here information on each, including recordings of the addresses from 2006 to 2011.

  • 2011: Gerry Organ, "Dancing with the Star"
  • 2010: Barry Boucher: "Your Work is Your Ministry"
  • 2009: Janet Epp Buckingham: "Religious freedom in today's workplace"
  • 2008: Lloyd Mackey: "Here to Help"
  • 2007: Ian Shugart: "A Life of Faith in the Workplace: the Challenge of Personal Integrity and Pluralism"
  • 2006: Roland Priddle: "Living out the life of Christ in our bland consumer society"
  • 2005 *: Glenn Smith: "Following Jesus into the workplace... Reflections from Matthew, the urban civil servant"
  • 2004 *: Kari Yli-Renko: "Experiencing God at Work"
  • 2003 *: Frank Jones: "Being Salt and Light in the Workplace"
  • 2002 *: Don Page: "Faith@Work: opportunities and challenges"
  • 2001 *: (no theme speaker)

    * (recording not available)



2011: "Dancing with the Star":
            Discovering your purpose and your destiny by staying in step with the Music Maker!

The 11th annual Faith@Work Forum took place on Saturday November 26, 2011 at Parkwood Presbyterian Church, 10 Chesterton Drive in Ottawa, with approx. 36 persons in attandance. The theme speaker was Gerry Organ, who spoke on ""Dancing with the Star": Discovering your purpose and your destiny by staying in step with the Music Maker!". Gerry coordinates the Marketplace Ministry initiative of One Way Ministries in Ottawa, encouraging and gathering leaders from both churches and the marketplace to foster greater unity and warmer synergy. Along with his extensive career in the CFL, he co-founded The Ottawa Athletic Club, served as a Family Therapist in Guelph and was a Director with Focus on the Family. After pastoring at The Peoples Church, Toronto, Gerry served for 10 years as Executive Director of Christian Business Ministries Canada.

Gerry's address is now available on our site (mp3 format, 43 minutes, 39.5 MB).



2010: Your Work is Your Ministry

The 10th annual Faith@Work Forum took place on Saturday November 6, 2010 at Parkwood Presbyterian Church, 10 Chesterton Drive in Ottawa. Approximately 45 people gathered to hear guest speaker Dr. Barry P. Boucher on the theme "Your Work is Your Ministry". Barry is former lead pastor of The Life Centre, and was previously employed in the Printing & Publishing industry and with the Federal Government (Indian and Northern Affairs, Parks Canada and National Museums of Canada). Barry has also been the Team Leader for Mission Ottawa/Outaouais (a ministry to ministers) for the last ten years.

Those present enjoyed a meal of Chinese food together. The afternoon session consisted of five "breakout" sessions:

  • Evangelism in my workplace: Why, how to do it well, what not to do.
  • Christian integrity in the workplace: What does it look like? How to have it, keep it, and encourage it in others.
  • How to make my existing workplace small group more seeker-sensitive
  • Creating bridges with non-believers: Discuss whether there is a need to create or join existing groups that are not specifically evangelistic, but provide an opportunity for people of with different points of view (including Christians) to dialogue together over common-interest topics and issues affecting our society today.
  • How to start a new group in my workplace.
The gathering was productive. Those present were made aware of two workplace bible studies that most had not previously known about, some present became aware of bible studies in the vicinity of their workplace and needs were prayed about and folk encouraged to simply be Christians in their place of work.

Barry's notes are available on Barry's blog (barryboucher.com), and the recording of Barry's address is now available (59 minutes, 13.8 MB).



2009: Religious freedom in today's workplace:
            challenges and opportunities

The 9th annual Faith@Work Forum took place at the Ottawa Citizen building, Baxter Road, Ottawa on Saturday November 14, 2009 with some 40 people in attendance. The guest speaker was Janet Epp Buckingham, associate professor at Trinity Western University and the Director of TWUs Laurentian Leadership Centre. Janet is the former Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship (1991-94) and general legal counsel with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (1999-2003) and EFCs Director, Law and Public Policy (2003-2006). She is also a regular columnist in the periodical ChristianWeek.

A recording of Janet's talk (53:05 minutes, 12.5 MB) is available on our site, as are Janet's notes (in the form of handouts from her PowerPoint presentation). Also available is a handout based on the presentation given by Promise Sanipe of CCRI. To download either file, right-click on the link and choose "Save target as".



2008: Here to Help:
            an assessment of the many groups around Parliament Hill
            that try to bring a biblical perspective to bear on public policy issues

The 8th annual Faith@Work Forum was held Saturday November 8, 2008 in the conference room of the Ottawa Citizen Building on Baxter Road in Ottawa. The speaker was Lloyd Mackey, a publisher, author, analyst and journalist working out of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Lloyd's most recent book is Stephen Harper, the Case for Collaborative Governance (ECW Press, 2006). He writes regularly for ChristianWeek Ontario and BC Christian News. At the time of Lloyd's address to the forum, his Hill analysis, OttawaWatch, written from a Christian perspective, appeared weekly on www.canadianchristianity.com.

A recording of Lloyd's talk (51:26 minutes, 12.1 MB) is available on our site, as are his notes.



2007: A Life of Faith in the Workplace:
            the Challenge of Personal Integrity and Pluralism

The 7th annual Faith@Work Forum will took place Saturday, November 3, 2007 from 9:30 to noon at the Laurentian Leadership Centre, 252 Metcalfe Street (at Maclaren) in Ottawa, with 55 people present. The speaker was Ian Shugart, a public servant with over 25 years experience on Parliament Hill and in the public service. Ian is a husband and father, church elder, and student and teacher of the Scriptures. He spoke from life experience, with many references to the book of Daniel. The forum was sponsored again this year by CCRI, Government Professionals Exemplifying Christ, the Ottawa Canadian Chinese Christian Professional Fellowship and the Public Service Christian Fellowship.

A recording of Ian's talk (1:07:24 minutes, 16 MB) is available.



2006: Living out the life of Christ in our bland consumer society

The 6th annual forum was held Saturday November 4, from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Laurentian Leadership Centre, 252 Metcalfe Street in Ottawa, with over 50 people in attendance. Guest speaker was Roland Priddle, who recently retired as Chair of the National Energy Board (NEB) where he served two five-year terms. He spent the previous twelve years at the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, where he was latterly Assistant Deputy Minister, Petroleum. Mr. Priddle holds an M.A. in Economic Geography from Cambridge University and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Ottawa. He has done graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. Roland will guide us through these questions: "Is Christ truly in me (Colossians 1:27b)? If so, how is He reflected in my work life, home life and, above all, in my thought life (2 Corinthians 10:5)? Is the society I live in a bland one seen from a Christian perspective? How can I escape the spiritual trap of hedonism?"

We welcome as co-sponsor in 2006 (along with CCRI, the OCCCPF and the PSCF), Government Professionals Exemplifying Christ (GPEC), a group working out of the Metropolitan Bible Church.

A recording of Roland's talk (44:52 minutes, 8 MB) as well as his notes are now available.



2005: Following Jesus into the workplace...
            Reflections from Matthew, the urban civil servant

Ottawa's fifth annual Faith@Work Forum was held Saturday September 17, 2005 from in the conference room of the Ottawa Citizen Building. The theme speaker was Glenn Smith, Executive Director of Christian Direction in Montreal (www.direction.ca) and former Ottawa resident. Christian Direction is a ministry of evangelism and discipleship in the province of Québec, with roots going back to the Sermons from Science pavillion at Expo '67. It was founded by Keith Price, and Glenn has been its Executive Director since Keith's retirement in 1983.

For 2005, the usual sponsors, CCRI, the PSCF and the OCCCPF were joined by ACTs (a Cluster of Tentmakers), a group that at the time held monthly meetings of business people in the Ottawa area aimed at encouraging faith at work among business leaders.



2004: Experiencing God at Work

The fourth annual Faith@Work Forum was held Saturday September 18, 2004 in the conference room at the Ottawa Citizen building. It was again co-sponsored with the PSCF and the OCCPF. Theme speaker Kari Yli-Renko, Executive Director of the Ottawa Christian Leadership Centre, a division of Ottawa-based One Way Ministries spoke on the theme "Experiencing God at Work. Kari, a former Ottawa Rough Rider, shared his experiences as a Christian in the workplace and was an encouragement those present. This year 42 persons attended, representing many bible study and/or prayer groups in the public and private sectors.

At the end of the morning many people shared what God had been doing in their place of work. Also, Dr. Frank Jones gave a summary of new Faith@Work initiatives he has been involved in and some biblical background for the work in general.



2003: Being Salt and Light in the Workplace

The third annual Faith@Work Forum was held Saturday September 20, 2003 in the conference room at the Ottawa Citizen building, 1101 Baxter Road in Ottawa. The event was again co-sponsored by CCRI, the Public Service Christian Fellowship and the Ottawa Canadian Chinese Christian Professional Fellowship. There were some 30 people in attendance, representing several different workplace faith groups and churches. A number of other groups sent written reports.

The purpose of these annual gatherings is to encourage workplace spirituality. We feel that it is important to connect with and encourage one another annually in the Lord. Dr. Frank Jones gave a brief address on the theme "Being Salt and Light in the Workplace", based on a larger piece of research on the same topic, entitled "A Manual of Classic Guidelines and Prayers" (pdf format, 152 KB, 48 pages). Dr. Jones provided the audience with several handouts (all 8 pages, in pdf format):



2002: Faith@Work: opportunities and challenges

CCRI along with the Public Service Christian Fellowship and the Ottawa Canadian Chinese Christian Professional Fellowship sponsored the second annual Faith@work Forum on Saturday September 21, 2002. The event was held at the Laurentian Leadership Centre, 252 Metcalfe Street in Ottawa, a building that formerly housed the Laurentian Club and at one time was the home of Ottawa lumber baron J. R. Booth. The theme speaker for the day was Dr. Don Page, the Executive Director of the Centre. Don used the life of Daniel as an model of how we as Christians can serve God better in our places of work. Don was well-suited to address the group, being a co-founder of the Public Service Christian Fellowship. Don's history of the PSCF is available on the PSCF website.

The event was attended by some 50+ people, most of whom are actively involved in workplace bible studies or prayer groups. Represented were a cross-section of public and private sector groups. A number of these groups are listed in the Directory of Workplace Faith Groups, initially housed on CCRI's site but migrated to the PSCF site in 2011; while most of the public sector groups are also listed on the PSCF website. Groups from the public sector included the Downtown Prayer Group, Statistics Canada, the Military Christian Fellowship, the Communications Security Establishment, and from the private sector groups from Nortel, Cognos, Telesat, Alcatel and the Chinese Entrepreneurs Association as well as local Alpha representatives. Several local individuals and a couple of pastors attended as well. See the detailed group reports on a separate page.

The morning of fellowship was led by Edward Ng. Gord Walford led the group in a number of songs and choruses, as well as prayer. After the theme talk the group were encouraged to make known prayer needs, both for praise and intercession. Several groups had submitted theirs ahead of time. The needs were lifted up in prayer led by Promise Sanipe. A time of fellowship followed, and interested parties were led on a tour of the building by Dr. Page.

Dr. Frank Jones prepared a a paper for the forum based on his experience with study groups at the University of Ottawa, entitled One Route to Encouraging Faith in the University. It is available on our site in PDF format.



2001: First Annual Faith@Work Forum

Ottawa's first Faith@work Forum was a great opportunity to meet others and hear about a variety of faith groups in workplaces of many types, including prisons and the military. Some 32 people gathered on Saturday morning, 29 September, in the Ottawa Citizen Community Conference Room, and ten gave presentations on their faith group. Chaired by Edward Ng of the Ottawa Chinese Christian Professional Fellowship, the celebration and presentations flowed natually and joyfully. Perhaps the greatest result of the Forum is that we got to know and love many of our fellow ambassadors for Christ who we previously had not met. Mostly positive stories were conveyed and the problems raised, the Hill faith groups, stress in the high tech sector, for example, were well handled in the time available. We learned from Gord Walford and others the importance of sticking with a group through the rough patches; if two or three are gathered in His name, that is enough. We learned of people accepting Christ and helping out in the faith group activity in more than one faith group, of several conversions and wonderful stories in the military and in prisons. The music and prayer added significantly to the celebration - we thank Gord and Graham Walford heartily for their music ministry. The priority of prayer in the planning of faith groups, their operation, and especially during the hard times was stressed. We owe Edward, Promise Sanipe and Gord a big thanks for their prayerful planning and leadership of the whole Forum. The Forum was certainly a success and it will be great to repeat it.



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