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Kids for Kids: a Sunday school lesson plan for Indigenous justice

I have an encouraging story to tell you. Last Sunday I led 12 Sunday school kids, ages roughly 3 to 12, in learning about the underfunding of First Nations schools on reserve by the Canadian government and how we can speak up for fair funding. We started off by talking about the creation story, especially the creation of humanity in God’s image, and how that makes every single one of us special. The kids were excited to talk about how we can let others know that they’re special: one 3 year-old said his parents make him feel special when they tuck him in for the night.  

Our Cloud of Witnesses: Liz Tolkamp

We follow in the steps of many Christian Reformed justice-seekers who have gone before us, faithful Christians who have lived out the radical call of the Gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Who is in your cloud of witnesses? Who inspires you to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us”? Like the writer of Hebrews, let’s remember our cloud of witnesses and be encouraged for the race ahead of us. Follow along with the series by signing up here.

 

150th Birthday Reflections

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to venture to Toronto with two colleagues and sisters in Christ to see Kent Monkman’s exhibit Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience. Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who uses art to take us on a profound and provocative “journey through Canada’s history beginning a hundred and fifty years before confederation” (quoted from exhibit’s brochure).  

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.

Resource: A Lenten Journey of Confession and Action

Often when we think about a Lenten spiritual discipline we think of giving up something for that season. But the purpose of a Lenten spiritual discipline—to grow closer to God—also allows us to take this time to intentionally and regularly practice an action that we want to become a discipline in our lives. This year we want to invite you to practice confession, lament, and doing justice during Lent.

Potlucks, Prayer Vigils, and Protests

I know that my heart is not the only heavy one out there. In the last couple weeks there have been unjust and violent events, and I find myself reeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Presidential executive orders which do not jive with our lived out faith to love immigrants and refugees (Leviticus 19:34). A terrorist attack on Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City. I have been navigating social media, news articles, and political statements all while simultaneously fact-checking and processing through the lens of my own Christian faith.

Human Trafficking and the Freedom Challenge

Although I know that this world is riddled with brokenness and injustice, I sometimes feel removed and disengaged. I am a stay-at-home mom to 3 school-age children, living on a dairy farm in rural Saskatchewan. Talk about isolated! In my quaint little community, it is easier to focus on the needs of my family and myself, rather than open my eyes and heart to social justice issues of the world. It would be oh-so-simple to make some cookies for Bible study, help my kids with their reading books, fry some ground beef for supper, and call it a day!

The Biblical Case for Creation Care, from a Science Professor

What does the Bible say about climate change? The short and obvious answer is ‘nothing’ – in the way that it says nothing about a number of other 21st century issues.

The longer, and more important, response is that it says a great deal about the earth, about humans and society. This deeply biblical message is one that must infuse our thinking as we search for answers that are faithful to the challenge of humans impacting the climate of our planet.

There are at least two important biblical concepts that speak emphatically to the subject of climate change:

2016 Canada Justice Highlights You May Have Forgotten

The Internet has been abuzz lamenting some of the difficult events of 2016. But let’s take a moment to look in the rearview mirror and remember important strides forward that were made in 2016, before focusing on the hills ahead of us. Our Canada justice team staff were moved this look back. May it be encouraging to you too! 

No Such Thing as "Away"

Every few days, I take a small metal pail full of vegetable scraps and fruit peels to a black compost bin in my backyard. Thermometers in Edmonton dip well below zero Celsius in January, so it requires some resolve to take grab the bin’s soon-to-be-freezing metal handle and take food scraps to the compost bin rather than dumping them in my waste basket. When the temperatures get so cold that my beard freezes, I find myself asking: Does it really matter how I throw this stuff away?

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