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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. 

Fam Jam

“Fam Jam” was written by Canadian rapper Shad about his childhood as a newcomer in Canada. Here’s what he had to say about the album: “Working on Flying Colours in the city of Toronto offered a daily reminder of the diversity of stories in our midst. This diversity is often and rightly celebrated, but the innumerable stories that comprise our treasured multiculturalism here in Canada can also hold a lot pain, as well as some complicated questions around what it means to succeed, and what it means to belong.

Nest

1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Domestic violence transcends all stereotypes—it has the potential to affect any individual, regardless of age, religion, race, and socioeconomic status. Though this happens far too often, these voices are not heard enough. Today we enter into the conversation as we read a poem written by a victim of domestic violence. Her raw and honest words give us insight into her life in an abusive relationship. It is crucial that we listen and respond to these vulnerable voices.

Unashamed

“Six years ago I knew nothing about mental illness or what the signs were to look for, nor did people in my church, even after I was hospitalized twice in one year. Some church members diagnosed me as demon possessed; I knew I wasn’t because I was in Christ. The first time I was hospitalized the doctors sent me right back home, saying that I just had a very strong faith. Almost jumping out of a vehicle and thinking that God’s angels were going to catch me is a little more than having a strong faith….Take this journey with me and see how an unwell mentally ill person thinks and behaves.”

Will I

This clip and song from the Broadway production Rent reveals the honest and raw fear of those living with HIV/AIDS. The song takes place at a Life Support group meeting for people suffering with illness and grief. Based on a real encounter, the song was inspired by a man’s confession that he was not afraid of dying, but he was afraid that he would he lose his dignity if people knew about his disease because of the stigma associated with it. The lyrics, “Will I lose my dignity?

Nikes as Bridges

I’m no art critic, much less a patron of the arts, but on the principle that even a blind squirrel finds an occasional nut, I managed to stumble across Jungen’s striking work.

Smiles and Tears at the Indigenous Family Centre

We knew the basics; we knew would be staying at the Indigenous Family Center (IFC) in the north end of Winnipeg, we knew we would be helping around the community, and we knew that we wanted to make a difference in the lives of those we served. What we certainly didn’t expect, was that they would also make a difference in our lives.

Me? A Champion?

Two years ago marked the first time I heard the acronym "CAMC." After responding to a posting for the need for camp counsellors to go to a First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario on the ServiceLink website, I became instantly connected to some amazing CRC staff that were passionate about social justice and had their sights set on developing and growing reconciled relationships with their Indigenous neighbours.

Four Men from Berwyn

Timothy, to me, proved beyond a doubt that my people were racists. Just a few weeks ago, at a restaurant in Berwyn, Illinois, I listened to four retired white men remember that era in their lives, four men who were part of the community that rejected those black children

From Putumayo to Neerlandia

First, let me tell you how we came to be refugees. In Putumayo, Colombia, we were very scared of the national army as well as the rebels.

Sharing Vulnerabilities

My mom called and wanted me to pick her up so she could rest and be ready for work the next day. This is not an unusual request in and of itself, but my mom is an alcoholic and today she was under the influence. 

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