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Civility in Public Discourse

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Wisdom & Discernment

Since 2011, I’ve been speaking and raising awareness about issues relating to human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Over the years, my presentation style changes and evolves to work to my strengths and address emerging issues. One of the challenges I have speaking to audiences of strangers is not knowing how much they might already know about the issue, so I tend to start with general facts and information and go from there. Last year, I adapted my presentation and centered my content around myths about human trafficking.

Being Christ to All in a Coronavirus Context

Over the past two weeks rhetoric has heated up with regards to race.  I heard one woman question whether COVID-19 was passed through Chinese food.  I’ve heard from Chinese friends that they’ve been targeted with derogatory remarks (and in other cases physical attacks).  Most disturbing, I’ve heard that the Christian community is not immune to spreading these sentiments.  As we discuss this let’s start with the basic fact that there is

Living Conviction in an Age of Unbelief

I recently attended a lecture at Redeemer University College, Albert Mohler discussed ‘Living Conviction in an Age of Unbelief.’ And he gave us his airplane questions. You know, the questions that Christians like to ask their seatmates when conversations turn deep. I would think there’s no way of avoiding these questions when you’re the president of a seminary. Mohler’s questions are, “What are you living for?” and “How is it working for you?” The questions seem particularly relevant as I sit in an airport waiting for a delayed flight. 

“Whose side are you on?"

“Whose side are you on? Are you with them or are you with us?” 

Joining A Community of Practice

In April 2006, I was a teenager at home watching the CBC News as they reported from a land dispute in Caledonia, Ontario. On the screen, a reporter talked about escalating tensions between townspeople and the Indigenous protestors who had taken over a development site that lay between the town and the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve. Behind the reporter a tire fire blazed. I looked through our living room window and I could see the billowing black smoke over the houses and trees. It was surreal to me that my hometown was national news. 

Living Surprisingly in Times of Division

As I write this, it’s just a couple of hours after the Prime Minister asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call an election.  I know that elections come with a lot of partisan silliness that can cause us to groan and slip into cynicism and apathy. But as people of hope, rooted in Christ, it’s important to buck the trend of political cynicism, to be surprising by being hopeful, even grateful.  Visible gratitude for the opportunity to act as citizens for the good of our communities is counter-cultural in an age of cynicism.

God’s Love is not limited by Legal Status

Part 5 in the Seeing Beyond the Immigration Rhetoric series.


I met Jorge (name changed) at the Newton Correctional Facility, where my husband and I planted a church 8 years ago. Jorge came to the United States from Guatemala. Unfortunately, Jorge’s life took a turn for the worse and he ended up in prison.

An Election Budget, Wild Times, and a Call to Prayer

Political pundits and partisans often use the annual budget announcement as an opportunity to evaluate a government – to sing its virtues or to decry its follies. Many civil society organizations, like the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue and our partners, also watch the budget announcement closely to evaluate progress on justice priorities. Budgets are moral documents, after all, revealing the priorities of our nation and our leaders.

From Soundbites to Discernment

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat—there are a plethora of social media platforms used by stay-at-home moms and celebrities, private citizens and elected officials alike to communicate opinions, beliefs, statements, facts, untruths, popular myths, and more. Then we have regular news sources apart from social media including BBC, CNN, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Blaze—an amalgam of news sources with talking heads and op-ed pieces that launch information, news stories, and soundbites endlessly our way.

#CRClistens: 9 Tips for Entering & Sticking with Tough Dialogue

Often the toughest conversations offer the most important learning. Sometimes the conversations we work hardest to avoid, we most need to enter. Tough conversations can be hard to navigate and risky. So how do we “go there” in a healthy way?

Below are some tips for entering and staying with tough dialogue, drawn from 20 years of work in Dialogue Education. Tough dialogue ought not be feared, but can bear gifts to those who dare the journey. Which of these tips best offers a way for you to stay longer in tough dialogue?

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