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News from the Pews

Read personal stories of changing attitudes, transforming hearts, and congregation members being moved to action. Learn how churches and individuals have responded when faced with injustice. 

News-Worthy Persecution

I had a conversation with a friend from China today. He wanted to help me with a story of religious persecution, but he was hesitant: he hadn’t been questioned, detained, imprisoned, or beaten for his faith. What could he say about persecution? 

So instead of asking for some big, news-worthy story of dramatic persecution, I asked him about what he has learned about persecution through his experiences. This was his list. Maybe these aren’t dramatic, but these are stories. Stories from a brother in Christ blessed to grow up in the Chinese church. 

Climbing the Mountain of Reconciliation

I recently went on a trip to the Yukon, I’m not a big hiker so when my friend led me along the side of a steep slope on a mountain sheep trail I was well out of my comfort zone.  But I was also exhilarated, it was a new experience for me, on a perfect fall day. I was enjoying good conversation with my friend, and we could see our goal far up the hill.  

Glimpsing the Kingdom

“I can officially vote!” This is what I wrote on my Facebook wall the day I turned 18. Out of all the things I could have chosen to be excited about in becoming a legal adult, I chose voting. Besides being kind of a silly story, I share this because I’m discovering that that kind of thinking appears to be more unique than I had realized. Whereas I was almost in tears once because I thought I had missed the deadline to mail in my absentee ballot, it turns out most of my friends, especially in Christian circles, have not voted, or even registered to vote, in recent elections.

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Two Student’s Perspective on Returning Citizens, Restorative Justice, and the Reformed Church

The Politics of Jumpy Castles

Part 4 in the Seeing Beyond the Immigration Rhetoric series.


When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.   Leviticus 19:33-34

Seeking Justice at the U.S. Southern Border: The Need for Both Relief and Reform

Part 3 in the Seeing Beyond the Immigration Rhetoric series


The following is a transcribed video interview between the Office of Social Justice (OSJ) and church partners at the U.S. southern border. OSJ’s Melissa Stek met them last month on a delegation trip to El Paso, Texas. These church partners have been providing relief to asylum-seekers arriving to Ciudad Juarez.

Saying Yes to God’s Earth and God’s Exile

There is a man I know. More than a man – a friend and a prophet. He is Indigenous, tall, with small piercing eyes that bore into you with gentle kindness. He is a stranger longing for a heavenly country. His home on his back, he wanders deserts and back alleys. He lives in caves and parkades. Did I mention that he also has an amazing mullet?

Rise Again: The Hope of a Resurrected Christian

Emmanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor. – Charles H. Spurgeon

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The Hardest Injustice to See

The first few months of 2019 do not give much hope for reconciliation in Canada.

In January, members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in BC were arrested for blocking the construction of a natural gas pipeline through their territory.

Train Up a Child

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.  Psalm 22:6 (NIV)

When we announced to our family, friends, colleagues, and the congregation we were serving at the time that we were moving to Italy to serve with the Reformed Church in America, the questions began. Good questions. Thoughtful questions. Caring questions.

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