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Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper Attended Chinese Church Service in Ottawa

( [email protected] ) Jul 07, 2009 09:09 AM EDT
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper was invited to attend the official dedication of the foundation stone of the newly expanded Emmanuel Alliance Church of Ottawa (EACO) in Bells Corners in Ottawa on May 17th.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the official dedication of the foundation stone of the newly expanded Emmanuel Alliance Church in Bells Corners on May 17. Phillip Lee

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper was invited to attend the official dedication of the foundation stone of the newly expanded Emmanuel Alliance Church of Ottawa (EACO) in Bells Corners in Ottawa on May 17th.

Participating in this special event together with the Prime Minister were the Canada Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) President Dr. Franklin Pyles and the Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre.

A participating church member recorded the details of the event on his personal blog. In his blog, he wrote that the service began with the youth worship team leading the praise. Then, the children’s choir and the adult choir gave a special choral devotion together. That morning, beautiful hymns featuring modern, classical, and children’s singing style filled the entire chapel.

Rev. Aaron Tang, senior pastor of EACO, briefly shared the process of church establishment, building of the new chapel, and invitation to the VIPs.

In the pastoral prayer section, Rev. Tang prayed for Harper, “Heavenly Father, we give thanks for sending Stephen Harper to be this great country’s Prime Minister; you have entrusted him with enormous responsibilities in this position, we pray that you will bless him, give him strength, wisdom, abilities, making his leadership filled with color; more importantly, we pray that you can allow his life to be a living testimony to your grace and truth!”

Harper Reads Scripture, Proclaiming Passages from Book of Acts

During the scripture-reading portion of the service, P.M. Harper read Acts 2:1, 42-47. Before reading the passage, the Prime Minister first introduced the historical background and meaning of this passage; then he said that today is a historic day…Emmanuel Alliance Church of Ottawa is making a stride forward towards its calling…you have begun with a humble beginning twenty years ago and developed to today’s congregation size; this not only is Dr. Pyles’ leading the Canada C&MA , this multi-lingual organization, in a stride forward in keeping the tradition of gospel proclamation; ladies and gentlemen, this is a big stride forward for us who are submitting to the Holy Spirit’s “Great Commission”, just like the apostles in the early churches two thousand years ago.

That day, Dr. Pyles delivered a sermon titled “The Church Together”, in which he interpreted the meaning of “unity” from the aspects of faith, spirit, and action from the passage read. For unity in faith, he spoke of Jesus Christ’ suffering, resurrection and ascension, the second coming; for unity in spirit, he spoke of baptism, holy communion, teaching, prayers, miracles; for unity in action, he talked about giving to the poor, sharing the gospel, and worshipping the Lord.

“Maybe someone has once told you that Canada is a Christian nation; however, when you come here you realize that the actual situation is not completely like this; Canada has not yet turned to another religion but is going towards nothingness. We need you to stand up, profess your faith at where you live and at the place where you work. ….when we work together in unity, we can go great things!”

After the sermon, the special guests and church members gathered at the door way of the new chapel, where the crowd witnessed their Prime Minister led the official dedication of the foundation stone commemorating the establishment of the new building.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister took picture together with the 500 participants of EACO.

EACO was established in 1989 from a mere gathering of a few Cantonese-speaking families, who share the gospel and spoke the same language, but it has now grown to a multi-lingual church, where people spoke English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and over 300 members. In order to better serve the community, several years ago the church decided to take a step of faith in planning and building the new chapel for service, where they hope to lead people of different language, cultural, and professional backgrounds to come to know and accept the Lord.

Reporter Luke Lueng translated this article.