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#CRClistens: Learning to be Gospel People

A number of years ago, a group of us asked our Indigenous elders about their often demonstrated dedication and faithfulness, “How did you do this? How do you do this?” We struggled to get people to attend meetings and even worship, much less to get involved in leadership. For our own work as leaders, we were overwhelmed by the alternating emotion of our meetings, veering from intense mediocrity and boredom to frustrated anger and conflict.

Wrongs to Rights

Nearly 50 authors have contributed to a new, challenging collection of reflections on how churches can engage in this framework of reconciliation. If you are somehow troubled by that history, curious about how Indigenous Christians think about this history and future, or believe it is your personal, Christian, or civic responsibility to work for reconciliation with the peoples who lived in the land before European settlers arrived, you will find in this volume thoughtful, committed contributions from church people on Indigenous rights, the role of the state and the church, what the scriptures say, relationships with the land and the church, and living into our responsibilities together.

Medical Assistance in Dying: Venturing into the Shallow End

When I was a tyke, my older sisters had one key responsibility on summer vacation. Make sure the boy did not drown in the hotel pool.

On one occasion, a sister followed me over the edge and into the shallow end, despite being dressed for dinner. On another, a lifeguard (who wasn’t fond of me) pushed me into the deep end. I found out I could tread water. He lost his job. We expect lifeguards to pull us out, not push us in.

Learning from Indigenous Peoples - Sharing Circles

I realized that for many or most of these participants this sharing circle was the first time they had the space to really tell their story or cry out for answers. 

Cautious Optimism on Budget 2016

Budgets are moral documents. They reveal to us the priorities of our government, especially with respect to the needs of marginalized people. They call us as Christian citizens to respond, whether with praise or constructive criticism.

Indigenous Rights are Human Rights

My favourite part of my job is leading the Blanket Exercise. I love seeing a light go on for people as they learn parts of Canadian history that they never learned in school and realize how we came to the broken place we are today. I love learning from participants in the sharing circle afterwards, especially when they speak about Indigenous people that they know. I love how it helps our intellectual, brainy denomination to learn with our hearts as well.

Who is She: The Stories Behind the Red Dress

Under this red dress is a sign that reads “Who is She?” It is this sign that truly compelled me to read about and pray for the people who are represented by these red dresses that many Canadians have seen in their cities over the past few month.

The Day We Cancelled our Sunday Service

Over the years, God has placed ministry to and with the First Nations peoples on the hearts of several people in our congregation (Emo Christian Reformed Church). As a direct result of our involvement with God’s Great Outdoors, three men from our congregation asked the question, “How can we have a shared ministry with the First Nations people living all around us?” Last winter, Larry, Richard, and Dan contacted Adrian Snowball, one of the Elders of the Naicatchewenin people, living at Northwest Bay Reserve.

Sanctity of Human Life: Let's Get to Work

There is a lie that our culture continually perpetuates. It is the lie that life is only as valuable as its circumstances. We see it in films or books that romanticize assisted suicide and euthanasia, that reduce abortion to a decision over whether one can afford a child, or that imply that people with disabilities are burdens, or that some people are more violent than others because of their race or ethnicity. These lies are deeply offensive on a variety of levels, but they are also all around us.

An Idea for Transformation in the Classroom

I personally witnessed my assistant superintendent wipe tears from her eyes as she watched video footage of survivors speaking. That powerful learning significantly shifted the culture of our school.

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