Who we are
We are Reformed Christians who believe that every person is created in the image of Creator God. From this foundation, we work to promote the flourishing of all people through constructive dialogue and advocacy in Canada. We believe that God calls all Canadians to be engaged citizens and to stand with vulnerable and marginalized people in our communities as allies. As Christian citizens, we work toward a just world in which structures and institutions give every person the opportunity to thrive. It's our goal to present a positive voice of faith in Canadian public life, and to live out justice, hope, and reconciliation in advocacy and citizenship.
Our main office sits around the corner from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on unceded Algonquin territory. We are grateful and indebted to the Algonquin Nation for their hospitality. Our grassroots advisory committee comes from Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America churches across Canada—from Halifax to Victoria.
“The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.”
You’re more than a consumer. You’re more than a taxpayer. You’re a citizen. Join us as we seek justice and speak hope into Canadian public dialogue.
The Centre for Public Dialogue team is made up of the following people from across Canada . . .
What we do
We seek justice for all God's image-bearers and speak hope into Canadian public dialogue on key issues of justice and reconciliation.
We do this, first, by listening deeply to the people most affected by the policies in question—they know their own situations best! We do not speak for marginalized communities, but we seek to dialogue with them and amplify their voices. As Indigenous theologian Terry LeBlanc told us when we were first working on Indigenous issues, “I’m not voiceless; you’re deaf.”
We do careful research and engage in conversation with church members and politicians to formulate constructive ideas and advocate for policies that promote the good of all people. We encourage and help churches to listen to the voices of marginalized people and advocate for these policies as well.
We depend on the Holy Spirit. This alone gives us the confidence and peace to work respectfully, to keep going when progress is slow, and to recognixe that we do not need to shout down the positions of others. Confidence in the Spirit allows us to work with the patient and persistent hope that justice is coming in Canada.
Why we dialogue
We are not perfect. (We wouldn’t be very Reformed if we thought we were!) We don’t see the whole picture. Justice in a diverse democracy requires the contributions of many voices.
We believe that the best policy solutions come from respectful, principled dialogue between marginalized people, politicians, civil society, churches and faith groups, and citizens. Members of Parliament are people like us who are working to find principled compromises between the multiple perspectives and competing ideas in our diverse society. Shouting past each other doesn’t usually create good, just policy—it does create polarized positions and may keep us from hearing important critiques, even from people with whom we disagree!
We strive for the standard of Ephesians 4:2-3, 15: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. . . . Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
We do not shrink from telling the truth and speaking up with marginalized people. "With tempered impatience, eager to see injustice ended, we expect the Day of the Lord” (Our World Belongs to God, para. 6).
(Want to dig deeper into dialogue? We ran a series on our blog called How to Stay in Conversation with ‘the Other Side’ with some helpful resources.)
Phone: (613) 686-6298
Address: 140 Laurier Ave. W, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J4
Or get to know us online through social media. In fact, this is a great way for us to get to know you too!