• A founder, long time president, and erstwhile co labourer in the work of reforming the church, Dr. John Trueman has died. The Community of Concern deeply mourns what amounts to the passing of an era with the death of our friend.  John was the main contributor to Concern Newsletter for many years, and a steadfast supporter of the principles for which we have stood these many years. Erudite, fiery, passionate and ultimately hopeful, he longed for the day when the truth and beauty of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ regained its central place at the heart of the United Church. For the last few years, John has been unable to contribute as he once had. We at the Community of Concern hope that we can continue to witness to the truth of the historic Gospel, and the power of Jesus, through His Word and Spirit to order our lives as individuals and as the church of Christ.

    An excerpt from his obituary follows, as well as a link to the full text: Continue reading »

  • This article by  Rev. Brian Wilkie was recently published in the Community of Concern Newsletter. Due to an oversight, only half of the article was printed. Here is the full text:

    We find it remarkable, astonishing and heartening that one morning, fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit filled His church with power from on high. It is certainly exciting that there was an audible rush of wind, that tongues of flame danced upon each disciple’s head, and that they were empowered to declare salvation in the name of Christ to Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem speaking every kind of language. But what is really spectacular is that in that one day over 3000 people were brought from darkness into light, and received Jesus and the eternal life he procured on the cross. The community of believers, the church of Christ went from 500 eyewitnesses to their risen Lord to a movement that would shake every empire in history.
    Continue reading »

  • Transition, Endings, New Beginnings are never easy regardless of the what is changing. So it is at COC as Dawn and John Trueman giving up being our Editors of the CONCERN Newsletter. How can one capsulize over 20 years of writing in a few hundred words, and if that was all they had done for COC that in itself would have been remarkable. But given that John had been the President for numerous years and Dawn had initiated our Outreach Correspondent Network the task of putting their work in a perspective is overwhelming. However lets us deal with CONCERN and hopefully the other thank-you’s will fall into place.

    There is no doubt our CONCERN newsletter its themes, its breadth and tone of it’s articles, the perspective and the humour was the Trueman’s. This remarkable body of writing shaped, and defined the COC, the issues it raised and yes, I dare say the United Church of Canada’s response. It as a mouthpiece was not always popular even among some circles of Renewal within the United Church but always on the mark.

    Without putting words in John and Dawn’s mouths would be ”If we (COC) didn’t say it who would” and who did. In a denomination more and more preoccupied by numerical decline along with theological and biblical abandonment, therefore avoiding the central issue(s) facing the United Church its own own demise, CONCERN, even after the controversy of 1988 was one of the rare voices that dared to be heard and to challenge the status quo. Whether it was Theological Education at our Seminaries, Wayword statements by Moderators, or simply pointing out the free fall of lost members, CONCERN was clear concise and ever present.

    The Trueman’s were also aware that not only was CONCERN an information tool for COC and United Church members it was also our major fundraiser. This newsletter raised almost 2 million dollars for our organization, legal defense funds for ministers and congregations within the Renewal Movement, and other Christian Orthodox causes in Canada and the USA.

    The importance of the CONCERN was never lost on John and Dawn and the hours they spent crafting, rewriting and editing it was always obvious in the finished product. COC can never truly thank or express our appreciation for this body of work.

    Further it is hard to tell whether CONCERN was the driving force for John when he was President and Dawn personally writing thousand of letters or the other way around. In the end it may not be it that important what the motivation was but the simply fact that for over 20 years four or five times a year (more in General Council years) CONCERN was produced and it supported and defined all the other work they did for COC. So as As John and Dawn step away from this valued ministry,

    COC thanks them and wishes them well in the years that are before them. Thank-you and God Bless You Both. You Good and Most Faithful Servants.

    From all the Executive, Board, Outreach Corespondents, and Many Friends PS: If you would like their new mailing address please contact the COC and we would be pleased to give it to you. We did not want to print it here because the Editor of CONCERN does not believe they want thousands of letters all at once.

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