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Restorative Justice

Learn more on the Office of Social Justice website.

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?

A Letter to My Church about White Lives Matter

A few weeks ago, we started a journey exploring what I believe is God’s good design for human flourishing; “one diverse and unified family.” We explored our role as human beings in rebelling against that good design. We also explored a few pages of American history to see how racism is America’s “original sin.” In my previous two posts, I have invited the church to explore leading in confessing racism, lamenting racism, and repenting from racism.

Live Justly for Lent: Welcoming Returning Citizens

Our Lenten fast calls us to fight for freedom and “undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free” and to assist those coming out of bondage into freedom and all the new challenges that come with it.

Live Justly for Lent: for Busy Parents

“No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.”   - John Chrysostom     

I have three children. I work full-time. I volunteer in several ministries at my church. I am busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. But I also know that as a Christian, I am called to make mercy and justice, advocacy and generosity, a way of life.

Creative Restorative Justice

What is “restorative justice”? Those words are becoming more common in our conversations about criminal justice and even everyday interpersonal conflicts. Perhaps you’ve even heard of restorative justice as an approach to use when dealing with church conflict. The Office of Social Justice now even has a monthly newsletter called “Catching Stones” that points people towards resources to learn more about and practice restorative justice. 

Pro-Life series: Shalom-seeking

What this pro-life series has taught me is that the CRCNA is deeply, unapologetically pro-life. 

Pro-Life series: Death Penalty

“I am pro-life.” I hear those words frequently, but have come to realize that people who say them often mean different things.

What Being Pro-Life Means to Me- Andy Hanson

We can’t be pro-life if we don’t know what being pro-life means. God, as the creator of all life, is decidedly pro-life. The LORD was deliberate in how he created life and gave special status to humanity.

Jesus Work

When explaining the ministry of Humanity for Prisoners in many of my public presentations, I refer to our daily advocacy as “Jesus Work.” 

I know that, in the minds of many people, the thought response is something like this: “Just another soft-hearted, liberal, ‘do-gooder’ who wants to empty all the prisons and put all the hardened criminals on the street.”

I contend that the phrase “Jesus work” is accurate, based on his own words and his own life.

Remember Those in Prison

Why treat prisoners humanely? What’s the point? This is prison we're talking about, not a country club. What can they expect? 

And that leads to the next question, as a voter and taxpayer in the State of Michigan, what do I expect of our prison system? What should I expect?

Ask these questions of a dozen people in one room, and you’ll get a dozen different answers.

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