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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

Welcome to our Advocacy Works series! Want to see other posts? Sign up here to receive them in your inbox. 

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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.

Your Favorite 2017 Articles

It’s been quite the year! Thanks for reading and learning along with us, as we wrestled with faith with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other (Karl Barth).

Here are the top Do Justice articles (ranked by top pageviews) that got you thinking and acting in 2017: 

Remembering Immigrants & Refugees with Your Church this Advent

On December 10, we hope that churches all over the CRC will use the "immigrants are a blessing" litany in worship. Many churches will be observing Advent during this time -- and perhaps focusing on one of the themes of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. When introducing the litany, here are some words that will help tie it into whichever theme is shaping your advent worship that week.

Doing Justice in Spirit and in Truth

Recently my pastor based his sermon on John 4, focusing on the verses where Jesus teaches the Samaritan woman that God’s followers must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Since then I have been musing about how that applies when we think about our work as worship. Or consider how it applies to our volunteer hours, time spent promoting social justice issues, advocacy, and every aspect of our lives as we strive to live as socially aware individuals!

Canada 150 and Calling your Community into Reconciliation

This is an excerpt of a message preached by Mike Hogeterp, Director of the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, at Calvin CRC in Ottawa on Aboriginal Sunday 2016. The message was based on Genesis 12:1-4 and Psalm 25. What do the biblical calls to hospitality and reconciled relationships mean for your church’s relationships with local Indigenous peoples?

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