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Authors

Dr. Wendy VanderWal Gritter serves as Executive Director of Generous Space Ministries, cultivating safe and spacious places for LGBTQ+ people to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ. She is a member of Meadowvale CRC and recently finished a term as a board member of Calvin Seminary.

 

Lisa VanEngen is a freelance writer at aboutproximity.com. She seeks to encourage others to place themselves in the proximity of doing justice. She lives in Holland, MI with her husband Kris and their children, Ellie and Josiah.

Alyssa VanErden is entering her 4th year as a 3rd grade Spanish immersion teacher at Grandville Christian school in Grandville, MI. Before beginning at Grandville, Alyssa taught English in Honduras for a year. She enjoys getting her students involved in environmental discussions and activities while trying to promote zero waste in her classroom.

Erica VanEssendelft works with the Mennonite Central Committee in Mexico City. She is also a former Policy Analyst and Advocacy Fellow for the Office of Social Justice. Listening to great music and finding beauty in the world is what gives her courage in the work towards justice. 

Carissa VanHaitsma is a recent graduate of Calvin College, where she majored in Sociology and Writing. Carissa has been working for the Office of Social Justice since May 2013, primarily working on immigration reform advocacy. She plans to pursue a Master's degree in Public Administration and Social Work in fall 2014. 

Rev. Thyra VanKeeken is the Pastor of First Christian Reformed Church of Toronto. Thyra is a native of Edmonton, Alberta, a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary, and a former intern at the Office of Social Justice. Currently Thyra serves on the committee that supports the Centre for Public Dialogue in Ottawa. Thyra is a Do Justice columnist

Gary vanLoon is a retired but still active prof (Chemistry and Environmental Science) at Queen’s University. A member of Westside Fellowship CRC, he participates in a number of ‘justice’ and multi-cultural activities through the church, in the community and Canada-wide. A long standing interest in development-related issues, particularly those connected with agriculture and the environment still finds fulfillment through applied research along with colleagues in this country and abroad. Gary is married to Asha and they have three children and three grandchildren, living in Ottawa, Guelph and Vancouver.

Chantel Varnado has worked as a Worship Arts Director overseeing many areas in church music ministry including worship teams, drama, specialty arts, choirs, and creative arts. She has been a worship leader and a speaker in various denominations for church services, conferences and retreats. As a gifted singer and songwriter, she expresses her love for God and effectively leads others in a deeper experience of worship. Chantel has been featured on many worship projects and has just recorded her first worship album, Kingdom United, scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2019.

Chantel currently serves as the Worship Arts Director at Grace and Peace Church in the Austin area of Chicago, IL. She is invited to lead in worship, train and equip, and share her story across the country.

Laura Veenema is a Reading Specialist and former Language Arts teacher with a B.A. from Calvin College and an M.A. from Saint Xavier University. She has an incredible husband, and they live in the Chicago area with their beautiful baby boy. She now works from home as a mom and literacy tutor.

Martin Vegt emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands at the age of 14, and worked as a professional photographer for 40 years. He is a graduate of Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and has served as Elder at East Hill Community Church in Vernon, British Columbia for many years. Martin shares 4 children and 8 grandchildren with his wife of 45 years, Frances. Now retired, he spends his days caring for laying hens, tending a large plot of raspberries, and advocating for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine.

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