November 27, 2017
The annual Christmas Dinner is the highlight of the Christian Embassy’s year. This year we welcomed 186 diplomats, parliamentarians and business leaders, representing 56 nations.
The festive evening allows busy leaders and their spouses to relax, network and enjoy special music and meaningful reminders of the season. Diplomats appreciate what is often a first opportunity to experience Canadian Christmas traditions.
Leaders from various backgrounds participated in readings, reflections and seasonal music. Richard Magnussen, Chairman of the American Furniture Association, gave the keynote address entitled Counter-intuitive Leadership.
Richard shared his thoughts on the key virtue required of a successful leader, one that is a core characteristic of God and interwoven throughout the Christmas story: humility. He gave a number of examples of how he has grown in humility.
Richard concluded by stating, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I have learned so many lessons through my simple faith in the humble Jesus of the Christmas story.”
September 25, 2017
Leaders were riveted as they heard the The Right Honorable Baroness Cox recount several stories about her life’s work at a Christian Embassy roundtable luncheon on September 25, 2017. As the founder Trustee of MERLIN (Medical Emergency Relief International), and the founder and President of HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust), she has visited many remote areas of the world.
Seeking to be a voice for the voiceless, she has found herself in situations where she has been afraid and dismayed, “[You] have to learn to cross that frontier of fear…and when you do cross that frontier of fear, you meet the most amazing people. You meet heros and heroines of faith. And we always come back humbled and inspired, receiving more than we could ever ever give.”
She took her listeners on a journey to three different conflict zones where she witnessed first hand the people affected by horrific tragedies carried out under the radar from most of the world. These tragedies included the destruction of churches and mass persecution of Christians. She has clearly been impacted by the powerful stories of suffering of brave men and women and emphasized that we live in countries where we have the freedom to stand up for those with no voice and that we must not take this valuable freedom for granted.
Alina Bugar, founder of the Art of Protocol, writes an article on the “Science and Art of Diplomatic Protocol”, highlighting the complexity and delicacy of diplomatic protocol in creating effective relations between governments and nations.
Freedom of conscience underpins many of the other human rights that we all enjoy. This is why the right to express your belief is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, this freedom is being marginalised.
The Global Charter of Conscience will bring religious tolerance back to the centre of public debate, and it will help future generations engage freely in the public life of their nation.
The Charter has been drafted by people of many faiths and none, politicians of many persuasions, academics and NGOs, all committed to a partnership on behalf of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” for people of all faiths and none.
The Charter calls for the cultivation of civility and the construction of a civil public square that maximises freedom for everyone. It provides a vision and framework to help us discuss and resolve our present problems in a constructive, rights-honouring manner.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
May 18, 2017
The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event held in Ottawa under the authority of the speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and is organized by a group of volunteers. This year’s breakfast features an address by Governor General David Johnston. The theme of this year’s event is “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.” (Psalms 72:8)
May 16, 2017
Our world seems increasingly divided over politics, social issues, and religion. As emotions run high, people make hostile and insulting statements about “the other side.” In the process, much anger is generated with very little understanding. The issues are forgotten and people are devalued.
Is there a way out of this cycle of anger? Abdu Murray discusses how we can respectfully discuss our deepest differences by rediscovering the source of human dignity.
April 4, 2017
What are the most common sources of conflict? Mr. Bowater highlighted four main sources of conflict resulting from differences in:
– roles and responsibilities – especially when there is misunderstanding over a person’s level of authority.
– management styles – Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur and Integrator
– values and beliefs
How does one go about managing these different sources of conflict? Mr. Bowater underlined the critical roles of mutual trust and respect within the organisation. Mutual trust and respect are fostered by staying engaged, dealing with the issue at hand, being willing to work with all in the room, owning the conflict, staying focused on solving the issue and respecting one another. Character plays a significant role in building a culture of mutual trust and respect, the ground rules for constructive conflict.
The employees must also develop a clear understanding of why the organisation exists in the first place. What is the service that the organisation offers to society? The answer to the why drives what the organisation does, how it does it, who within the organisation does it and when it gets done.
February 16, 2017
Tina Quick, a nurse, cross-cultural trainer, author and founder of International Family Transitions, taught and facilitated an interactive workshop for 40 diplomats and their spouses. Her insights – based on lifelong experiences growing up in a military family and marrying a medical doctor working in global health management – provide guidance to families in transition or living cross-culturally.
Tina asked the audience to consider what actually takes place in families during a global relocation. What are the challenges they face and what strategies can they implement? Specifically, why do the children in such families feel different: “from everywhere but belonging nowhere”?
She said the overarching challenge for such families is understanding and managing the five stages of transition:
– Involvement (a sense of belonging)
– Leaving (anticipation vs. sadness)
– Transition (chaos, emotional instability)
– Entering (desire to connect, vulnerability)
– Re-Involvement (feelings of security & intimacy)
Quoting Robin Pascoe, author of Raising Global Nomads, Tina said, “Children are silent partners in relocation,” and that transitions work best when children are informed, know what they are getting into, and have at least one parent to count on as a stable presence.
While acknowledging that a few transitions can be so difficult as to require help outside the family, the reality is that the transition experience offers positive ways for families and children to grow. “It is my conviction that being a TCK is not a disease, something from which to recover. It is a life healthily enriched by this very TCK experience and blessed with significant opportunities for further enrichment” (Pollock and Van Reken).
February 15, 2017
Dr. Jonathan (Jono) Quick, who served for eight years with the World Health Organization (WHO) as Director of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy, and his wife Tina, formerly a health officer for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, addressed an audience of almost 100 heads of mission, diplomats, parliamentarians and business people. Their presentation was a study in contrasts between a workaholic doctor and a wife raising three children alone – and the turning point which brought their family from the brink of disaster to wholeness and reconciliation.
Jono said that we all need a passion – a sense of purpose – for our lives, but that no passion, job or pursuit is worth losing one’s family for. In his journey of faith where Jono grew in his relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, he learned that, when God and family become one’s primary passion, other priorities fall into place.
When the Quicks were asked what their primary recommendation is for families that are threatened by a busy lifestyle, Tina replied that, the most stabilizing activity for families is to eat one meal together each day, even if it requires some members to skype in.
Together, they now enjoy wholeness and fulfilment in their faith, marriage and relationships with their children. Says Tina, “It’s never too late, and things are never too bad, to mend a strained or broken relationship – if everyone is willing.”