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Justice and Worship

Reflect, lament, pray, and incorporate God's ongoing narrative of justice for the vulnerable into your devotional life and congregational worship services.

Advocacy Works: A Poem about Advocacy

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Recovering a Theology of Place

We so rarely know where we really are. We drive around in cars, spend our days under fluorescent lights in artificially re-circulated air, staring at screens and moving so quickly from task to task the actual location where all this happens hardly matters. We move from the city of our birth to another, and then another, and another, following education, jobs, and opportunities.

A Thanksgiving Reflection of the Beatitudes in Traynor-Vanier

My family of believers and I are privileged to live, pray, dance, and eat among those the kingdom belongs to. As a family we seek to recognize Jesus in our neighbourhood called Traynor-Vanier where we live in apartments that have been neglected, among neighbours who have faced abuse and injustice. We share homes, food, and a courtyard with beautiful people who live month-to-month relying on God for provision.

A Refugee from South Sudan is my Brother: Prayer & Litany

We offer you this prayer and litany to support your congregations as they work to welcome the stranger, in word and in deed. 

Prayer

Leader: Triune God, in Jesus, you entered our human world -- vulnerable, oppressed, and seeking refuge. You dwell among those who have no place to rest, who are fleeing persecution, who rely on the charity of others.

Congregation: God of mercy, hear our prayer.

Confronting My Silence

I wish I had taken a vow of silence. But I haven’t. Far from any overtly noble rationale, I simply went quiet. For the past 11 months, I’ve hardly done any writing, I’ve only read two books, and I’ve been abnormally disengaged from the urgent crises and conversations of the past year. And I don’t have a good justification for doing so.

More recently – and more substantively – however, I’ve started to recognize three different themes that have impacted my lack of writing this past year.

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Does Social Justice Contribute to Church Decline?

S. F. Moore, E.T. Bethell, and J.S. Gale are not the names of trivia questions in the history of world Christianity game board. And yet their ordinary well-manicured graves, along with 145 other foreign missionaries, nestled at Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea were the genesis of explosive evangelism in the late 19th and early 20th century. These men and women turned a once-hermited country into one of the leading producers of some of the largest churches in the world and a huge missionary movement.           

How did Lent Shape Me?

This year for Lent I was thinking about something a friend of mine, Karen Wilk, had been talking about in the lead up to Lent. She noted that often people give things up in order to focus more on God and try to drop something that may cause distraction to our lives. Karen suggested that a similar action could be done to draw closer to God by picking up a new discipline over Lent, to form something new in us. So with that in mind, I decided to give up eating fruit and I decided to add reading theology from a different cultural context than my own.

Missing out on God Moments

One spring I participated in a two and a half day silent retreat where I picked up two books by Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet and The Jesus Creed. In my reading and reflection times, I learned some principles of applying the stories of the Bible to my story and I reflected on possible God moments in my life that I was missing. As the Bible tells stories about who God is and what he has done, it can also help us learn how he is present in our lives, every day and into the future.

Oh Say Can You See: A Spoken Word Response to MLK Day

This spoken word poem was originally performed at Where Do We Go From Here? for Martin Luther King Day 2018. 

Scott:

Where we are, dusk of a king, a shooting star.

Come back with me to the funeral of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, walk the aisles and look around. Pause.

One side of the room wept

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Lent Resource: Challenging your Church to Re-commit to Justice & Hope

“The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.”
—Psalm 33:5

Justice and hope. Can these two words really go together? Where is our hope when the poor are trampled underfoot and it seems that the powerful take the day every time? Where is our hope when even our fellow Christians too often turn their faces away?

We have hope because we are not saving the world, Christ is.

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