A letter from Peter Stockland

December 6, 2010

Dear Centre supporter,

Paradox might be defined as an organization dedicated to renewal finding reason to celebrate stability. Yet as that master of the paradox, G.K. Chesterton once said, a dead thing can go with the stream; only a living thing can stand against it.

This past year was one in which new life, and the resulting stability to stand against certain currents of mainstream culture, was brought to the Centre for Cultural Renewal through our strategic partnership with Cardus. As a result of that partnership, the Centre's own period of uncertainty and drift is over. Renewed as the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal we are able to resume the work for which we have been celebrated since 1993. We can return with fresh energy and focus to the vital task of explaining culture to religion and religion to culture. We can again take strong stands from a stable base to speak for freedom of faith and the need for the voices of the faithful in the public square. Indeed, resumption of that re-energized work is already well underway.

During 2010, we re-established regular publication of our signature legal analysis, LexView, with a reconstituted editorial board comprising some of Canada's best lawyers and scholars. Constitutional lawyer Kevin Boonstra, our lead LexView writer, has tackled such controversies as euthanasia, the denial of full religious freedom to minorities such as the Hutterite Brethren, infringement on the rights of charities such as Christian Horizons to deal with same sex issues in their workplaces, and the errors in the recent Ontario court decision striking down Canada's prostitution laws. Beyond LexView, writings from the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Calgary Herald, the Montreal Gazette, the Victoria Times-Colonist and in the European scholarly journal Atlantide, as well as in translation on the Italian website ilsussidiario.net. And we're only getting started—perhaps re-started—raising our voice to articulate the concerns of those who have so faithfully supported us for so long.

Yet the Centre has always been about more than speaking out. It has always been an active participant in the cultural and political life of this country. Our partnership with Cardus gave added impetus to that participation, most notably in the record-setting audience that turned out to hear rising academic star John von Heyking deliver this year's Hill Lecture at the Rideau Club in Ottawa. Additionally, we were active at the God and the Global Economy conference hosted by Vancouver's Regent College; co-sponsored highly successful breakfast events in Calgary with prominent politicians Danielle Smith and Ted Morton; and, internationally, lectured at the prestigious Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples, Europe's largest cultural fair.

Finally, the 2010 partnership with Cardus, and our revitalization as the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal, has given us all the new and exciting tools of social networking to let us effectively communicate with you, our supporters. Our old static, out-dated website is gone. Our web presence is now fully integrated with the fresh, vital Cardus site that provides a regular infusion of thought-provoking topical information and commentary unavailable anywhere else. On a more technical but no less important level, our support database has been thoroughly overhauled to serve our supporters better. The Cardus and Centre staff have combined to make our interactions with our supporters more efficient, timely, and inclusive of the latest technologies.

Such is the reward and the richness that stability brings, especially when the stabilizing results from partnership with such a dynamic, future-oriented organization as Cardus. The great baseball paradoxialist, Yogi Berra, is alleged to have said that to change you gotta change. The paradox is the strength that true renewal demands. Therein lies the future for the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal.

Please continue to support us at the highest possible level your generosity permits, so that together we can look to a future of renewed life, renewed culture, renewed faith in the Canada we love.

Peter Stockland
Director, Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal
pstockland@cardus.ca

To make a gift to support the Centre's work, please do so online. Cardus and the Centre for Cultural Renewal are registered charities in Canada and designated exempt organizations in the US.