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Ideas for Action

Take action. Find concrete ways to live justly, engage your congregation, and advocate for change.

Advocacy Works: Redeeming Neighborhood Violence—One Block at a Time

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This article was first published in the Banner in April 2014. 

When bullets fly, innocent people die.

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Advocacy Works: Empowering to be a Voice for Change

Preparing to meet with staff from the office of Congressman Justin Amash

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Advocacy Works: Advocacy as a Spiritual Practice

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Advocacy Works: Training Agents of Change in Communities

Community members brainstorm to imagine their ideal health center.

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“Lack of medicine.”

“Handwritten receipts.”

“No psychologist or social worker.”

Across Tegucigalpa, Honduras, community members are auditing their local public health centers, documenting findings and standing up for their right to quality health care.

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Hear Us Out - Protect the Vulnerable

The various ministries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America strive to care for our vulnerable neighbors well.  During this time of COVID-19 there are many ways in which we, as people of faith, can continue the work of loving our neighbors.  In fact, many of you are likely taking steps to physically distance yourself as a current expression of love!  

Reconcilament

I’ve been reflecting on the power and necessity of lament. Too often we as congregations need to be ushered into the hopeful joy and hand-waving praise which is far more comfortable than holding space for the beauty in lament. In my journey through social justice and daily life, I have had to find comfort with this discomfort. Lamenting allows me to safely be in this space and know that God is still near. Lamenting also creates space to keep going even when change seems unreachable.  Psalm 61:1-3 illustrates this. 

Hear my cry, O God,

Advocacy Works!

For the past four months, the Office of Social Justice has published a blog entitled, “The Chipping Away of U.S. Legal Immigration,” an exhaustive list of policy changes and events that happened each month regarding the U.S. immigration system. Though necessary to stay informed, reading these blogs often leaves me feeling tired and hopeless. My job is to equip churches and church members to advocate for just systems that will contribute to human flourishing.

Never Again in an Era of Mixed Migration

Never again. These are words that I have heard echoed many, many times in my life in reference specifically to the Holocaust and the driving force behind the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol. Never again will honorable countries and state entities turn away people who have a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.

Climate Action will not make us better people

In 2018 National Post columnist Kelly MacPharland wrote an opinion piece criticising Environment Minister Cathernie McKenna and what he called the Liberal party’s “faith in their moral infallibility”. Building on this during the 2019 election campaign, Andrew Scheer took issue with Justin Trudeau’s use of campaign jets and accused him of hypocrisy.

Integration Fatigue

I visited a young and energetic African American church located in south suburban Chicago last year. The church was once a failing white Reformed church who decided to take a gamble to reach a growing middle class African American community. Most of the white former members had left for other churches. With a vibrant African American pastoral couple, the church has transformed into a mostly African American congregation eager to reach others. This kind of church is rare in my circle. Could this be the start of something new in my denomination? I want more churches like this. 

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