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Best Practices

Find new writings and thinkers, get advice on cultivating just relationships, practice reflection, and hone your skills. Watch for upcoming events and conferences that will do the same.

God Cries Out: Midwifing Justice in a Stable

In the dark and dirt of a stable, Mary gave birth. Nativity scenes don’t often reflect the grit of that scene—any woman who has given birth knows that birth is not a picture-perfect experience. Our writer today points out that the Bible says that God too is described with a very feminine metaphor in Isaiah: God gives birth. As we wait with Mary for the birth of the Christ child, Rebecca challenges us to wait actively, like a woman in labour, with God and with all those who are struggling against injustice.

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Jesus Calls Us to be Allies

An ally is someone who resists injustice on behalf of marginalized people. An ally may have social privilege and social power that those on the margins lack, and they use that power to expose injustice, to speak against injustice, and to propose just alternatives. Followers of Jesus, who seek to serve as allies, look to the ways that Jesus broke social stigma, empowered the powerless, drew people from the margins to the center, and embodied a vision of shalom where ALL would flourish.

Bill 62 and Our Fear of Change

“Do you want to live in a Jewish ghetto? I certainly don’t want to live in a Jewish ghetto. … Look at the houses of the Jews. They don’t do proper maintenance.…I’ve lived in this neighbourhood for 43 years. I like it the way it is. I don’t want it to change. I want to walk down the street and greet people I know, people like me. But the Jews: you try and greet them; they look away.”

Keeping our Baptismal Vows

I attended the ordination service of a classmate of mine from seminary and college recently. The steeple of the church stood tall against the crisp blue of the morning sky and all around was quiet that early morning. A couple of hours later, the church filled with people from the church, young and old, who would receive their newly ordained pastor and her visiting friends and family.

Questions to Ask about Your Trip to Israel/Palestine

In making a decision about taking a trip to Israel/Palestine, in addition to the natural questions about costs and dates, there are several questions that should be answered before making a decision regarding which trip to choose. The more clarity travelers have about the answers, the greater the possibility that they will have an experience that will grow their faith and their faithful discipleship of Jesus Christ.

WWJCF: Who Would Jesus Consider Family...and Who Do You?

The past few weeks I have been taking a new bus route to work from my friend’s house. The route passes through Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood that is seen by many as a place of homelessness, poverty, and addiction. While there are many homeless people on the street who seem lonely and isolated, there is also a deeper sense of relationships and a tight-knit community where people care for and look out for one another, and share their hopes and pains with each other – like a family.

How Your Church Can Make a Huge Impact with a $0 Budget

You don’t need big buildings, budgets, or clever programs to impact your city.

You do, however, need a new scorecard and upgraded approach to ministry.

A New Scorecard and an Upgraded Approach

For generations, churches have measured attendance and budgets as indicators of success. Why? Because we have a strong bias toward self-preservation. Let’s be honest, the purpose of our congregation is often centered on the members.

Pentecost and Voices In My Head

A few weeks ago my sister was visiting me and I excitedly wanted to play her some new music that I’ve really been enjoying. She listened and enjoyed it too. But she also raised a concern with me. She had been with me a few days and almost all the music we listened to was made by men. As a musician herself, she told me more about some of the struggles women face in the music industry.

And I realized I was part of the problem. The diversity in my music collection is not great.  

Did You Mean These Neighbours, Jesus?

In the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke, a lawyer put Jesus to the test by asking a bold question - “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The lawyer already knew the answer written in the Law, which is love God and love your neighbour. Not fully satisfied with the answer, he followed up with an honest question, “And who is my neighbour?” I have been thinking about this simple yet challenging question as I encounter others in my daily life, work, church and neighbourhood.

Covenant Breakers

We are a people who deeply believe in the importance of promises, and also, seem, ironically, to not be very good at keeping them.

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