I had a terrific day today, time spent with treasured friends. Lots of laughter and fun.
Go read. I’ll wait.
I want to say while I am sick with sorrow for what happened south of the border in evangelicalism, I am humbled at our Canadian values, and relieved this religious and tribal battle that would make pawns of the poor and vulnerable helped by World Vision will not spill over here.
Friends, we’ve been getting lots of questions about World Vision US’s hiring policy and I wanted to let you know that this does not affect World Vision Canada’s policies or actions.
Canada’s legal environment is quite different from that of the United States. We comply with provincial laws on this matter which prohibit discrimination in employment. For example, as part of our hiring process, we do not ask questions about sexual orientation, marriage or related issues. However, when we hire, we are very clear about our values and our Christian identity. We explain how our Christian identity motivates and informs our work and how we work together here in Canada.
While we have a code of conduct on ethical and legal issues, we don’t ask staff to sign a lifestyle code of conduct.
We want our staff to be united around our mission of following Christ in serving the poor. When we hire staff, our Christian faith is clear. And when they join World Vision they are aligning with us as a Christian organization.
This is what is most key for us: When it comes to working with the poor, World Vision serves children, families and communities, regardless of whether they are aligned with our values or not. Race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation do not prevent us from serving the poorest of the poor.
If you have further questions, please get in touch. This is an important issue and we’d value the opportunity to discuss this with you.
From World Vision Canada’s Hiring Practises:
- We don’t ask about sexual orientation or people’s personal life during our interview process, and we need to follow provincial and federal laws on this issue.
- However, we’re firmly committed to our Christian identity: following Jesus is why we do what we do. Jesus’ example and care for children and for those in poverty is what we follow in our program work here and around the world; and we seek staff whose lives and beliefs align with this key core value.
- We believe that when we hire staff, our Christian faith is clear. And when they join WV they are aligning with us as a Christian organization.
- Employees in Canada are asked to sign a code of conduct when they are hired, and then every year after that, around ethical and legal issues. We ask them to commit to conducting themselves in a manner that reflects honesty and integrity, and that maintains the effectiveness, values and mission of World Vision Canada, and that protects and respects the children we serve.
- Our code of conduct includes expectations around behavior as it relates to Child Protection, Health & Safety, Conflict of Interest, Equality and Diversity, Recruitment & Selection of staff, Workplace Violence and Harrassment, and respectful and dignified treatment of all staff.
In Canada, employment and hiring practices are included in laws at the provincial level. It includes prohibitions on discrimination on human rights grounds, including sexual orientation. As a Christian faith-based organization, we want to make sure we balance our Christian identity with our legal obligations.
Canadians sponsor 500 thousand children through World Vision Canada.
I can’t speak to the World Vision Canada workplace climate, only gay and lesbian WV Canada employees can address that.
The most important post I have read around the reversal of World Vision USA’s hiring of married gays and lesbians comes from Wendy Gritter of New Direction. Please take time to hear an important front line voice: World Vision – A Drama in 5 Acts
Is all lost? No! A step was made.
It was taken back. But you can never take back the reality that the board of such a prominent organization took this risk. Prayed and reflected a long time. Believed it was the right decision to make. And made it.
In these early hours of response to rescinding, I am mostly hearing sadness, disappointment, frustration – but priorities in the right place – not wanting to damage WV’s work with the poor.
…So, what can we do?
Send a letter to World Vision (USA) thanking them for taking this risk. Express sadness but also understanding.
Watch your social media comments – be consistently gentle and gracious (God will help you – I know it is hard to do when emotions are strong).
Tell your story. Tell folks why this matters to you. Tell people how the reactions and reversals have made you feel.
Persevere in hopefulness. Prayer and dialogue brought WVUS to the point of this decision. I believe the Spirit was at work. The Spirit will not be thrown off course by the unfolding of this situation.
Update: One person does not an organization make. However, this World Vision executives belief and behavior casts a scar on the organization he works for. How silly we Canadians are for believing World Vision Canada follows the law of the land and the law of love.
I Was Blocked From Hiring A Gay Person at World Vision Canada.