April 21, 2008 – The Waiting is Over, The Action Begins!
The time has come – the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada has officially left the starting gate. ARPA Canada is a Christian non-profit organization devoted to encouraging political awareness and action in Reformed churches and bringing a Biblical perspective to our civil authorities.
After many months of planning and preparation, ARPA Canada is now “going public” with its official launch. This means that the website www.arpacanada.ca has completed its testing mode and is ready to be great resource for all who are looking for news, research, or action items. Furthermore, ARPA Canada is the theme of this month’s Reformed Perspective magazine. Over ten thousand complimentary magazines are being sent to churches across the country! The launch also means that ARPA Canada’s director Mark Penninga has completed the requirements for his Master’s degree in political science and is now able to devote more time to fulfilling the misision of ARPA Canada.
You may have heard the word ARPA before. Local ARPA groups have been working for years in communities across the country, trying to promote political action in the local Reformed churches. But many of these groups have struggled with a lack of support, coordination, and resources to help them with this momentous task.
ARPA Canada’s vision is to learn from the past and to think bigger – to encourage political awareness and participation among all members of the Reformed churches, as part of our calling to be a light in the world. We also want to lead by example and go to our civil governments with a Biblical perspective on issues that mean a lot to us: family, the sanctity of human life, economics, our freedoms, among others. We believe that God’s sovereignty also applies to social and political matters and that we have a responsibility to be a witness there as well. Since this is often a complicated and intimidating calling, ARPA Canada’s goal is to provide the resources, encouragement, and leadership to make this easier for people in the Reformed church community to do.
Who is behind ARPA Canada? The vision for this new organization came out of the Reformed Perspective Foundation, which produces the Reformed Perspective magazine. After much deliberation about the need and dynamics of a new organization of this nature, it was decided that ARPA Canada would have to be a separate organization with its own board. The board is composed of seven individuals from provinces across the country. There are also four advisers, who provide expert advice and information required for this type of work. The director of ARPA Canada is Mark Penninga who, with his wife and family, currently live in Lethbridge, Alberta but will soon be moving to BC’s Lower Mainland. Mark will be working full time for ARPA Canada. Prior to his graduate studies, Mark worked as a Research Analyst for Focus on the Family Canada and was also involved with starting ARPA’s in the Bulkley Valley, Langley, and Southern Alberta.
After months of preparation, we are excited to move forward with the official launch of this much-needed initiative. But we also realize that God’s blessing is essential for ARPA Canada to have a positive impact in our churches and our nation. Furthermore, we need your support to make this vision a reality. Please pray for God’s blessing over ARPA Canada.