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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. 

Live Justly for Lent: Eating Justly

When I was growing up, my preferred diet earned me the nickname, “Papa’s little carnivore.” Years later I married someone with a similar palate: my Iowa-bred husband loves marinated chops, smoked turkey, pork tenderloin, and Pella bologna. For him, growing up, a meal without meat was just a snack.

I didn’t have a clue how to grill a pork chop when we were first married (I still don’t), so we went through a lot of chicken and ground beef. A meal would look the same in December as it did in June, and I didn’t think twice about it.

COP21: Learning Stewardship from Indigenous Peoples

One Inuit leader said "we are human barometers of climate change."

Pro-Life series: An Aching Earth

An ancient Chinese proverb states: “Whoever defines the terms wins the argument.” I used to quote this proverb when I was teaching logic courses as a member of the philosophy department at a college in Chicago. The proverb is true. If you let me define the terms of discussion about any hot-button social issue, then I most likely will win the debate.

Pro-Life series: Fully Alive in Old Age

Recently I was at a family gathering and beheld a precious moment as my elderly mother held a newly born great-grandson in her arms…an age difference of 89 years. Although the baby received all the attention it was not lost on a few of us that mom also deserved our honour in that moment.   

Pro-Life series: Pro-Love and People with Disabilities

When my wife was pregnant with our third daughter, the ultrasound showed a hole in the baby’s heart. We were told there was a high risk the baby will have Down Syndrome. We were stressed out and fearful. We were grieved. We cried and we prayed. Fear of the unknown and the grief that our child might not be “normal” gripped us. But through it all, we relied on God’s strength and grace to carry us through our fears and griefs. We prepared ourselves for the worst. We read pretty much every book from the library on Down Syndrome.

Point-counterpoint: Don't Defund Planned Parenthood

The CRCNA is resolutely pro-life, which includes opposing the practice of abortion. Pro-life people are not in agreement over whether defunding Planned Parenthood is the answer. Will defunding this organization actually reduce abortions?

Finding Justice-Minded Books for Kids- Part 3

Injustices are prevalent first in what or who is NOT being included in the content and second in HOW marginalized groups are presented.

Finding Justice-Minded Books for Kids

Depending on where you live, the new school year is either quickly approaching or has already begun! After noticing that some of the books we grew up reading were less than inclusive and made for attitudes about our neighbors that had to be unlearned, we started wondering...how do parents and educators find books that both explicitly and implicitly support a cornerstone of our theology--that all people are made in the image of God? We've asked a number of justice-minded parents and educators for their thoughts.

A Culture of Rape

I recently watched a 20/20 episode entitled “Reversal of Fortune”. 20/20 was reporting on a newly granted mistrial in the case of two Vanderbilt University football players, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg, who were convicted of aggravated rape and sexual battery. 

Cycles of Poverty...and My Place

My cousin phoned me out of the blue. I haven’t heard from him for awhile. Usually that is the case. I only hear from him when he is in dire straits and this wasn’t the exception. He asked if he could spend the night at my place before heading off to his moms for awhile. I said yes. I have the room and space.

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