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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.

#CRClistens: Our Disagreements are Nothing New

David Gushee recently wrote a couple of blog posts noting how the issue of inclusion of sexual minorities in the church is redefining the evangelical landscape. It is putting the squeeze on communities to such a degree that it is permanently reshaping institutional and relational boundaries. Synod 2016 will feel that pressure.

I want to invite you to ponder the following. While this squeeze feels new, difficult conflicts like this aren’t.

The Group Most Affected by Freak Weather

Last month I was in India where the people of Chennai were whacked with the worst flooding in 100 years. Hundreds died. Many more lost their homes and small businesses.

Facebook asked me if I was alright. Thanks Mark Z. Glad to know you care mate.

Every year during the rainy season, most of the slums in Phnom Penh are flooded with overflowing rivers and sewers. People literally live with a foot of dank black water in their home. They perch on wooden beds, continuing as if there weren't liquid feces floating around their feet. 

#CRClistens: Dialogue is Hard but it's Worth It

Editor's note: This is the second post in our new series How to Stay in Conversation with "the Other Side". During this series, we hope to learn together how to communicate about contentious issues in ways that build up the Body of Christ. Above all, we hope that this series will help you stay in conversation in constructive ways that honor and respect the image of God in those you disagree with and in the people affected by the issues about which you are talking.

Live Justly for Lent: Five Doors to Shalom at School

And that brings us to Lent. These public schools offer an opportunity, a door, to reach out past our comfort zone and meet our neighbor.

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The Day We Cancelled our Sunday Service

Over the years, God has placed ministry to and with the First Nations peoples on the hearts of several people in our congregation (Emo Christian Reformed Church). As a direct result of our involvement with God’s Great Outdoors, three men from our congregation asked the question, “How can we have a shared ministry with the First Nations people living all around us?” Last winter, Larry, Richard, and Dan contacted Adrian Snowball, one of the Elders of the Naicatchewenin people, living at Northwest Bay Reserve.

The Blessing of my Refugee Friends

I first began volunteering as a mentor to refugees because I wanted to be involved in some kind of ministry that reached beyond the boundaries of my everyday life at home and through my church. Being a mentor fit well because I could work it around my schedule and it gave me opportunity to connect with needy people from different places in the world. I enjoyed helping those first families, and still call them my friends, but much of the blessing for me at that time came from the sense of accomplishment I felt about having helped someone. 

What to Say to Kids about Pilgrims and Indians

My kindergartener came home excited this weekend -- he’d gotten a free book, one that he could keep! He wanted to read it right away.

As soon as I saw the book, I tried to deflect. “Maybe later, honey.” Nope! Now!

“Wouldn’t you like to find a different book? There a whole bunch of new ones from the library on the table.” Nope! This one! The Indian one.

It’s Thanksgiving season in the United States -- when many of our kids will come home with construction paper head-dresses and mythology about a peaceful dinner between "Pilgrims and Indians."

Pro-Life series: Death Penalty

“I am pro-life.” I hear those words frequently, but have come to realize that people who say them often mean different things.

Racial Justice in the Reading Classroom

After noticing that some of the books we grew up reading were less than inclusive and made for attitudes about our neighbors that had to be unlearned, we started wondering...how do parents and educators find books that both explicitly and implicitly support a cornerstone of our theology--that all people are made in the image of God? We've asked a number of justice-minded parents and educators for their thoughts. Today we hear from Laura Veenema, a literacy tutor and mom in Chicago. 

Finding Justice-Minded Books for Kids- Part 2

Books that are imaginative and creative also help our kids develop a sense of wonder, curiosity, and possibility. These are helpful traits when imagining what a world that is different than the status quo could be like, an important aspect of working for justice.

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