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Canada

A Prayer for the Arrival(s)

Advent: Middle English, borrowed from Medieval Latin adventus, going back to Latin, "arrival, appearance"

Refugee claimants (people who have fled their countries of origin to make a refugee claim, and do not yet have refugee status) have been arriving in Canada, via plane, boat, train, long before the topic of border crossings was making headlines.

Practicing Love in Polarized Times

We’ve been hearing a lot of calls for civility recently. Maybe you have too.

People are rightly concerned about the toxicity of our current cultural climate(s). (You too, Canada!) There’s so little space these days for carefully reasoned, nuanced arguments. Each side of the political spectrum seems to have their own vocabulary, and people can be written off as “just a leftist” or “just a right-winger” (or more damning words) simply by using one word over another. Lines have been drawn in the sand, and people are choosing their sides.

Holding Each Other Up

I am the pastor of a church that has a lot of people involved in each Sunday morning service. We have a Bible reader, a liturgist, a music leader, an elder, a deacon, and a congregational prayer pray-er each and every single Sunday.

It’s quite the cacophony of voices behind the pulpit each week.

It’s quite the team. It’s quite the cacophony of voices behind the pulpit each week, and I love it. Each Sunday morning before the service we meet to make sure everyone is present and ready. And they always are. Because it’s a good team.

To the Woman I Saw Walking to the Highway

A reflection for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: 

I saw you first walking out of the hotel parking lot to the highway
You had your purse with you and a commitment to go as you zippered up your sweater, bracing yourself.
My first instinct was to yell out to you to not go but I don’t know why you were leaving, maybe it was worse to stay at the hotel on the highway.
Don’t walk to the city on the highway I still am thinking— 
I said a prayer for you in hopes that you are kept safe.
This is the world I live in.

Help Reunite a Syrian Refugee Family

In August of 2016, we at Loop CRC in Chicago helped support a Syrian refugee family in their move from Jordan to Chicago. It was our small way of living out God's call to love our neighbors and welcome the stranger. We raised financial support, greeted the family at the airport, and visited them weekly for over 6 months.

A Scientist Breaks Down Cap and Trade and the IPCC Climate Report

After retiring from teaching Chemistry and Environmental Science at Redeemer University College, Dr. Henry Brouwer is now the Eastern Canada Regional Climate Witness Project Coordinator of the Christian Reformed Church. In the wake of a flurry of historic climate change news in Canada, Dr. Brouwer agreed to share his expertise with Do Justice.

A New Normal?

Have you seen one of those glamorous ads promoting a rail trip through the Canadian Rockies? We’ve been talking about planning such a rail vacation for several years and it came together for us this summer.

We had a wonderful time making stops to visit friends and relatives who lived in Canada. It also ended up being the subject for a documentary on climate change!

Bringing Forth Fruit Worthy of Repentence

We noticed her standing just inside the front entrance looking up. While she was waiting to load her bus with the summer camp kids, she had stepped into the church foyer and saw the land acknowledgement: The Community Christian Reformed Church of Meadowvale is located on the Treaty Lands and Traditional Territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Re/Placing Ourselves

Have you ever seen a tree so large that as you walked towards it you could not see the top and all perspectives of height began to whirl within you?

We live in a land that was once covered in trees so expansive that you would have to make a concerted effort to walk around them. Trees that stood for generations. Trees that were nourished by salmon carcasses strewn about the forest by eagles, wolves, and bears. Trees that welcomed new life into the world, provided clothes and baskets, and then stood watch as lives waned and returned to the earth.

Recovering a Theology of Place

We so rarely know where we really are. We drive around in cars, spend our days under fluorescent lights in artificially re-circulated air, staring at screens and moving so quickly from task to task the actual location where all this happens hardly matters. We move from the city of our birth to another, and then another, and another, following education, jobs, and opportunities.

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