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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.

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?

Canada 150 Sermon Challenge: Becoming Good Guests

Hospitality was a big deal in biblical Israel. Abraham hurried to offer “three seahs of the finest flour” and a “choice, tender calf” to three men passing by his tent, even before learning that his guests were no mere humans (Genesis 18). The disciples on the road to Emmaus urged the resurrected Jesus to stay with them, learning his true identity only later (Luke 24).

A Prayer for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Annie Pootoogook.

Bella Laboucan-McLean.

Cheyenne Fox.

Jane Bernard.

Therese Labbe.

True Worship & Fast: Riffing on Isaiah 58

God is not impressed.

Why, you ask? Allow me paint an evocative picture.

 

Sing song, sing-a-long.

Hands raised to high heaven,

Like the branches of red oaks

Only inches shy of touching the big blue sky.

 

While the world sleeps, the Christian’s alarm clock beeps

It’s Sunday, says the mind as our lips get on their grind

Creating great services, working hard on our performances

and striving even harder to maintain appearances.

 

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This Lent, Give up Complacency

Lent might well be the most challenging season in the Christian calendar. Advent is about anticipation of things to come. Christmas and Easter are both celebrations of good news. But Lent? Lent is a season of sacrifice.

No Justice without Anointing

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Isaiah 61:1-2

What I Learned from a Full Moon Ceremony

This post, detailing a CRC member’s participation in and appreciation of a full moon ceremony with Ojibway Indigenous people, provoked a lot of discussion at Synod 2017. Some people believed that the post promoted syncretism, inappropriate blending of one religion with another, and worship of a false god, while some people believed that the writer was turning away from Eurocentric expressions of Christianity and choosing to worship the one true God in non-European ways (ie. contextualization).

Litany for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is usually the second Sunday in November. This year some communities will be commemorating the day on November 6 and some on November 13. Below is a litany to help you remember the persecuted church on whatever day you choose. Visit the Office of Social Justice's religious persecution pages for more worship resources and to learn more about religious persecution around the world.

What we do to the Earth, We do to Ourselves

I had escaped from the concrete jungle one August summer day to be connected with the land once again. Every summer, it is my tradition to harvest medicines for ceremonial and spiritual practices. Being Cree, two of those medicines are sage and sweetgrass. With every medicine I took from the land, I would place tobacco down & offer my prayers. With every prayer, I acknowledged Creator’s masterpiece all around me. With every acknowledgement, I was reminded that I am a mere strand in this web of life. There I was, in the thick of this web of life, in the midst of creation, on the prairies

A Prayer for Love in the Face of Violence

This is an updated version to reflect recent events.

If you’re struggling to know what to say, and how to say it, when addressing the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the shootings of Dallas police officers (Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa) in personal prayer or during Sunday worship, consider using this summary and prayer:

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