Monday, July 16, 2007

Abbotsford News: Hird's words garner non-fiction award

Hird’s words garner non-fiction award

JOHN MORROW / The Abbotsford News
Rev. Ed Hird won the Word Guild Award for non-fiction in mid-June for his book Battle for the Soul of Canada. The priest began writing in the 1980s, through a spiritual column for The Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News.

Abbotsford News
Jul 12 2007

Rev. Ed Hird’s book has a lot to say about Canada’s younger generations: They have developed an anti-marriage culture where they wed later and have difficulty staying married. They lack a vision for the future of Canada. They must not be ashamed of our Christian heritage.

Hird combined his concern with Canadian youth culture, the conviction of his faith, personal stories, and his passion for Canadian history in Battle for the Soul of Canada: Raising Up the Emerging Generation of Leaders.

In mid-June, the book won the Word Guild Award for non-fiction.

Hird says he sees a lot of Canadians struggling from discouragement and insecurity, and hopes his book helps people “grab their future.”

“Particularly, my hope is to encourage the emerging generation of leaders,” he says. “A lot of younger people have felt kind of stuck, and I want to help them move forward.”

In Battle for the Soul of Canada, Hird points to famous historical figures who shaped Canada, such as Captain George Vancouver and Louis Riel, to highlight character traits he hopes will be embodied by Canadian youth.

“May we, too, as Canadian pioneers, discover the passion of Louis Riel for our Savior Jesus Christ,” Hird writes.

He does not shy from serious, controversial issues such as sexual and physical abuse, and strengthening traditional marriages.

Five years ago, the issue of homosexual relationships led the priest to instigate a break-away faction of the Anglican Church, called the Anglican Coalition in Canada.

The ACIC split – or, “moved sideways,” says Hird – from the Anglican diocese of New Westminster when the church sanctioned the blessing of same-sex relationships.

Today, Hird and the ACiC serve under the Archbishop of Rwanda, Emmanuel Kolini.

But for all the passion and conviction involved in directing a break-away faction and writing a novel to inspire youth, Hird is soft-spoken and composed.

The 52-year-old has been a priest for 27 years now, and amid all the personal developments, he has spent the last 16 years preaching and writing on the North Shore.

However, it was in Abbotsford that the beginning of his writing career began, when from 1982 to 1987 he was an assistant priest at St. Matthew’s Church.

At the time, a few pastors and priests took turns writing a spiritual column for The Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News, as The Abbotsford News was then titled.

He recalls one column in which he discussed teen suicide. A teenage girl read his column shortly after a suicide attempt, and reached out to him to talk.

“I had so much response to [the columns],” says Hird.

He continued to write for the Deep Cover Crier and North Shore News, but four years ago he began to seriously toy with the idea of writing a book.

“I went up to Mount Sumas, hung out there, and prayed,” says Hird. “I sought the Lord for direction.”

The book found its niche among others written from a Christian framework, and was recognized on June 13 at the Word Guild, a group of Christian Canadian writers and editors.

“I try to do this instinctively and reflectively,” says Hird. “I’ve been told I have several more books inside of me.”
p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', or any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Christian Writers Honoured

-an article for the North Shore News ‘Spiritually Speaking’ column

Friday July 13th 2007, p. 50

The Word Guild Writing Awards

Christian Writers Honoured

-BC Entries to contest more than doubled

By the Rev. Ed Hird+

I was recently privileged to attend a black-tie affair at The Word Guild Writing Awards Gala at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. The Awards Gala was hosted by Christine Williams, the producer and host of On The Line on CTS TV; and by Rick Gamble, formerly a reporter at CTV's Kitchener affiliate CKCO, now a communications instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University. Rudy Wiebe, one of Canada's most famous authors, was awarded the Leslie K. Tarr Award for outstanding career contribution to Christian writing and editing in Canada. Wiebe, 72, of Russian Mennonite heritage, is a twice-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Awards for his novels “The Temptations of Big Bear” and “A Discovery of Strangers”. Wiebe’s latest book Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest (Knopf Canada) recently won the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.

Wiebe admitted that he was surprised to be chosen for the Tarr award because he is better known in the secular market than in Christian circles. "I write realistic stories about people in tough situations who have problems and conflicts that are not easily resolved—not romances where everything ends nicely, " he explained in an interview. "But I think the Christian faith is pretty useless if it can't face the realistic things that happen to us in the world." Wiebe feels called to be a radical Jesus-follower in all that he does and writes. As he read to us in the plenary sessions from his eight novels, his Christ-centered passion for peace and reconciliation came strongly through.

There are now 270 writers with The Word Guild, a national organization of writers and editors who are Christians. I was privileged to join this year in the professional writer category, since the publishing of my new book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’. The Word Guild Awards honoured the most outstanding work published during 2006 in 31 categories of nonfiction books, novels, articles, columns, poems and song lyrics. A total of 53 awards were presented, to both winners (who received cash prizes) and to award of merit recipients, whose marks were close to those of the first-prize winners and who received certificates.

Best-selling Vancouver Island author and pastor Mark Buchanan won the Christian living category for the fourth time with his fourth book, for The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath (Thomas Nelson). The Rev Dr. J. I. Packer of Regent College, Vancouver, received an award of merit for co-authoring Praying: Finding our Way Through Duty to Delight (InterVarsity Press). In the same hotly contested category, medical specialist Dr. Brad Burke of Windsor, Ont., received awards of merit for three books in his series An MD Examines, titled Is God Obsolete?, Does God Still Do Miracles?, and Why Does God Allow Suffering? (Cook).

BC authors have never done better than at the past Award Gala. The number of entries more than doubled in the past three years in The Word Guild contest, which is open to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident who affirms The Apostles' Creed. A total of 231 entries were received. I myself was privileged to win top prize for independently published nonfiction book for Battle for the Soul of Canada: Raising Up the Emerging Generation of Leaders. I am so grateful to the North Shore News for all the encouragement they have given me in getting the word out about this North Shore-based book. I am also most grateful to Kevin Lee of Sign of the Fish bookstore and Indigo North Vancouver for supporting me through their book-signing event. So far I have sold over 1,400 books in around 55 bookstores across Canada.

The Reverend Dr. Ed Hird
p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', or any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Battle Wins National Book Award by Joanna Habdank, North Shore News 

 On June 13th, Rev. Ed Hird from North Vancouver was recognized in Ontario by his peers for his recent book "Battle for the Soul of Canada". That day he won The Word Guild award for an independently published non-fiction book. The guild is an association of Canadian writers and editors who are Christian. According to Hird, there were 231 applicants for a number of key awards, so naturally he is pleased with this feat. "I really feel privileged and honoured to have been chosen and I'm very thankful to the national organization The Word Guild," says Hird. "I'm also thankful for the people on the North Shore," he adds, explaining that some of those articles and chapters were previously written on the North Shore. Hird has been a regular contributor to the North Shore News' "Spiritually Speaking" section and for a smaller publication (The Deep Cove Crier) distributed in Deep Cove. Currently Hird is Rector at St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, part of the Anglican Coalition in Canada. Ordained in 1980, he's been on the North Shore since 1987, and has at one point served as the National Chairman for the Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada. Hird says he wrote the book because it was simply inside of him and because he was encouraged by friends to put his thoughts in this volume. "The first 5,000 words were quite painful," he recalls. "Then it really started to flow. At one point, about a year and a half ago, I wrote for about 24 hours without stopping." Battle for the Soul of Canada, Raising up the Emerging Generation of Leaders works on several levels, says Hird, explaining that his primary target audience is spiritual seekers. His secondary focus is providing a guide to 'raising up Timothys' or leaders of tomorrow, based on the devotional commentary on letters of 1st and 2nd Timothy in the New Testament. "Drawing on First and Second Timothy in the Bible, I would say they are the most practical leadership manuals ever written in history. I drew on the wisdom of the two books as the framework and model for our generations," says Hird. The passages are intended to guide Generation X and Y on how they can come into their own destiny, potential and purpose, he explains. A third feature is born out of Hird's passion for Canadian history. One of the common themes is looking at people in the Canadian past and looking at them as metaphors for the future, says Hird. He includes the stories of (thirteen) Canadians, such as Louis Riel, Simon Fraser, and Sir Alexander Mackenzie. So far, more than 1,400 copies of the book have been sold, says Hird, and it's now gone into its second printing. He's also been on five national TV programs, and BC Christian News has asked him to write an article about the award-winning writer Rudy Wiebe. He stresses tha the message is directed towards both Anglicans and people of different faith. "Whether people are Christian, Jewish or Muslim, they all believe in what we call Judeo-Christian values, like the Ten Commandments...and I believe that Canada's legal system...and its education and political system were profoundly shaped by interaction with Judeo-Christian values." Therefore, in the book, he looks at people who would symbolize our heritage, and how society can reclaim it in terms of shaping the future, and in giving hope for the future, says Hird. 
 p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', or any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Battle 'Hard to Classify': Hird (Peace Arch News, White Rock)

Battle "hard to classify" : Hird

Daniel Pi photo
Rev. Ed Hird is a self-confessed history buff. His book, Battle for the Soul of Canada, combines his two passions: history and the Bible. He describes it as "a bold experiment... that worked."
By Alex BrowneArts Reporter
Jul 08 2007

Memoir an analysis of the need for faith
Battle "hard to classify": Hird
It's a book rooted in biblical teaching - but also in Canadian history. It's a personal memoir that also happens to be a challenging analysis of the need for faith.

Rev. Ed Hird, Rector of St. Simon's Church, North Vancouver, acknowledges his book is hard to classify.

"It's a bold experiment," he said.
The miracle is that it worked: “ it kind of clustered together."

The key to the book is in its subtitle: Raising Up the Emerging Generation of Leaders. For Hird, a member of the Anglican Coalition in Canada, believes both the nation and the church is ready for spiritual leadership after decades of travelling well-intentioned detours.

But his model of a leader is not an expected one. Drawing on quotations from Timothy 1 and 2, Hird links St. Paul's protege and right-hand man, a shy yet unwavering Christian, with distinctly Canadian qualities.

"In many ways Timothy has the personality profile of Canada," he writes.
"Gentle, somewhat insecure, and easily rejected. Yet Paul saw that this unlikely individual had the potential to be a great leader, even to be the successor after Paul's assassination."

In his book Hird, also past-president and national chaplain of Alpha Canada, stresses the need to find the present day Timothys amongst us "not necessarily people of obvious and dominant leadership qualities, but those with a quiet potential to lead."
"Without a vision, as the Bible says, people perish," he said.

A self-confessed history buff, he also peppers his analysis with stories of both well and lesser-known Canadians of the past.

The book is available locally at Angel Christian Supplies, but the author also has strong Peninsula connections.

"I spend my weekends and holidays here - about 95 per cent of my family lives here now," he said. "My parents live here, my in-laws live here, my younger sister and her husband and their five children live here."

In addition, he and his wife Janice also lead the annual B.C. Christian Ashram Retreat, formerly at Camp Kwomais, which has now moved venue to Camp Alexandra.

Hird acknowledges the seeds "and the literal starting point" of the book were in the schism in the Anglican Church over the last half decade, manifest in the homosexual marriage debate.
The effect was pronounced in the case of his own congregation. Because it hewed to traditional definitions of marriage, St. Simon's found itself evicted by its diocese from the church building and property, and ended up finding a new home.

"Basically the Anglican Church has gone through some identity challenges," he said. "The homosexual issue was not central, it was symptomatic."

But Hird's intention in the book, he said, was not to surrender to 'unforgiveness' and bitterness, but to find a way forward out of catastrophe, by using the example of Timothy.
"Anglicans are looking for hope, and Canadians are, in general,"he said.

“Statistics show that Canadians are as spiritual today as they were 40 years ago. But it's gone into the realm of privacy. Most Canadians won't talk about spirituality in front of strangers, but they will if they're comfortable.

"Spirituality has a way of surviving through all things." 
 p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', or any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

It's Never Too Late to Write Your Own Book Infoproduct Marketing Insiders by Jeff Smith July 7, 2007 Author Profile - It's Never Too Late To Write Your Own Book 
 For most people, writing your own book is not an immediate priority - first get through school, then get a "Real" job, get married, raise a family, settle down a little - it's only after catching your breath and middle age begin to rear it's ugly head do most aspiring writers think about actually experiencing the dream of writing their own book. That's the case with Ed Hird outlined in a profile of his new book "Battle For the Soul of Canada: Raising Up The Emerging Generation of Leaders" where he finally put pen to paper at the ripe old age of 50. Based on his life experiences as a pastor helping youth in many difficult situations, and a self-ackknowledged history buff, Hird felt he had a message that needed to be heard about what made past leaders great and how those principles could be applied to today's Generation X population. Here are some lessons those of you who are considering writing your own book can take from Ed's newest book venture: 1. Don't give up on your dreams. At 50 who would have thought you could become a successful first-time author? 2. Use the formula Hird used to dream up ideas for writing your own book. For example, understand how your experiences can be combined with some research to write on a topic that is outside of your comfort zone. In this case, Hird saw evidence of a "lost" generation, but didn't necessarily know what the answer was. So - he researched some of the greatest leaders in history and came up with his recommended solution. 3. Make the solution you offer your readers yours. Even though Hird researched what made past leaders successful - his summary of these principles and application to today's audience makes his solution his own, something he can now turn into a franchise by developing further information products, speaking, recording videos, running seminars, offering consulting and so on(...) 
 p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

Friday, July 6, 2007

How to Raise Up a Generation of Leaders (Richmond News)

Ed Hird, a pastor who has spoken at the English service at Richmond Emmanuel Church, is the author of Battle for the Soul of Canada: Raising Up the Emerging Generation of Leaders. Technically, the book took Hird two and a half years to write, but in reality it is the culmination of 25 years of working with youth through the church and other institutions, such as Burnaby's New Haven Correctional Centre. In the book, Hird tells the stories of remarkable Canadian pioneers with the hope of inspiring today's youth take up the leadership torch.

Brett Beadle/Richmond News
How to raise a generation of leaders
By Michelle Hopkins

Ed Hird believes he knows the key to raising leaders.

He has written a book titled Battle for the Soul of Canada: Raising Up the Emerging Generation of Leaders, in which he proposes that the answers lie in our past.

"If you look at our history and the great leaders that helped shape this nation of ours, they all had a couple of things in common; they all shared similar values, not necessarily religious values, and perseverance," says Hird.

Drawing on nearly three decades of religious work in such places as Burnaby's New Haven Correctional Centre (where he was a social worker dealing with troubled youth), Woodlands School (a residential school for mentally and physically disabled people) and the Downtown Eastside, Hird outlines a spiritual path we can embark on to raise the thinkers and the movers of tomorrow.

Although the book is written with a religious undertone - every chapter starts out with a biblical passage by Timothy (In the bible the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor, to encourage him in his church work) - Hird says one doesn't have to be religious to get the gist of what he is trying to convey.

"I don't preach in the book. You don't have to attend church to read my book, it's written for those who are hungry for a purpose in life," explains Hird. "I tell the story of nine key Canadian pioneers who have impacted and shaped our country. Their stories, I believe, can inspire and drive our young people to build better futures."

Hird unlocks snippets of wisdom from Canada's heroes such as Frederick Seymour - the forgotten first governor of the United British Columbia colony. The scenic Mount Seymour in the North Shore is named after him. He is credited with establishing the B.C. public school system, improving the courts, drawing up public health regulations, setting standards for mining and reducing the provincial debt. (Governor from 1864-1869).

Hird also devotes a chapter on explorer and trader Alexander Mackenzie, who crossed North America by land in 1793.
"He had bull-dog persistence, inexhaustible energy and insatiable curiosity," adds Hird.
By telling their inspirational stories, Hird strongly believes our young people will be moved to act and live according to their talents.

The author believes one of the impediments to this happening is that the generation Xers suffer from an identity crisis caused by living in the shadow of the affluent baby boomers.

"We need to invest in our youth and promote them," explains Hird. "We need to walk hand-in-hand with the generation X and the millennial generation (born between 1977 and 1994).... We need to root for them, cheer for them and money won't do it, we need to invest time.
"We need to tell our young people that pioneers had it tough and they need to know it's not easy in life, but that they can make it."

The 52-year-old father of three grown sons took nearly three years to research and write the book.
"In the strictest sense of the word it took me about two-and-a-half years, but in the broader sense it's been in the making for 25 years."

Hird is no stranger to writing - he has penned more than 250 articles for a number of different publications, including theNews' sister paper the North Shore News.

His talent for writing is in his genes, says Hird.
"My great-grandmother, Mary Mclean, was the first Canadian female reporter with the Regina Leader."
In his chapter on The Passion of Louis Riel - a Metis leader who was hanged for treason for his resistance against the Canadian government - he tells of how his great-grandmother disguised herself as a Catholic priest in order to interview Riel in jail.

"I have her passion for writing and her determination to tell a good story," Hird says. He adds that turning 50 was a defining moment for him because hitting that milestone propelled him to put pen to paper.

"It's part of us baby boomers' transition, our destiny to try new things,' explains Hird, who won The Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards 2007.

Another reason for the book is to make sure Canada's greatest leaders are not forgotten. Hird, who was ordained as a pastor in 1980, feels strongly that we Canadians "live in the shadow of the United States and our story needs to be told."

"Canada has a great history, our great leaders and explorers can inspire us and they are a symbol of our great nation," says Hird.

Hird is a walking encyclopedia of Canadiana facts. He is fascinated by our rich past.

"Did you know our first newspaper and hospital in B.C. were francophone?" questions the self-professed history buff.

Interspersed with interesting vignettes and his own spiritual thoughts, Hird takes his readers on a literary journey through our history.

Battle for the Soul of Canada: Raising Up the Emerging Generation of Leaders is available at Richmond's Seraphim Christian Bookstore.
published on 07/06/2007
p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', or any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.