Happy 150th Canada!
Every year since 1994, Canada has been recognized by the United Nations as one of the best places in the world to live. We breathe some of the cleanest air on the planet and enjoy great freedom and privileges. As we celebrate our 150th year as a country, let us pause and remember some of the men and women of faith who helped shape our nation.
In 1866, when the Fathers of Confederation assembled to discuss the terms for uniting the Canadian provinces, Leonard Tilley, the Premier of New Brunswick, suggested that the word “Dominion” from Psalm 72 be used for the new country.
“He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the end of the earth.” • Psalm 72:8
Tilley shared with the delegates his strong conviction that Canada should be one Dominion under God and recommended that the nation be named, “The Dominion of Canada”. The Fathers of Confederation agreed and on July 1st, 1867, the Dominion of Canada was born.
Many of the benefits we enjoy in Canada today are a result of people transformed by God who dedicated their lives to help transform communities;
In 1875, Elizabeth McMaster, a devout Christian, noted that half of all recorded deaths in Toronto were children under the age of 10. She gathered a group of women, rented an 11 room house and established a hospital for impoverished, sick children. This hospital would become SickKids, the largest Canadian Hospital dedicated to the research and treatment of children’s illnesses.
Dr. Egerton Ryerson, a former Methodist minister, drafted what would become the blueprint of Canada’s school system. John Strachan, an Anglican bishop, founded McGill University, the University of Toronto, and Trinity University, while other godly men and women established higher education in other parts of Canada.
Emily Murphy, an Anglican minister’s wife, campaigned for women’s rights, gaining legal status for all women in Canada, and the right to vote. And the list goes on of ordinary men and women who put their faith into action and contributed to the fabric of our nation.
My prayer for us today is that we will learn from their example and be inspired to impact our communities, from sea to sea and around the world, for God and country.