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Rest and Resistance

Rest can be an act of defiance against our culture of consumption, disconnection, and manufactured dissatisfaction. The idols of individualism, consumption, and achievement tell us: buy more! Be more! Do it all! They are unrelenting masters.

But the God who calls us to seek justice, the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, also makes us lie down in green pastures. The God who calls us is good.

The God who calls us to seek justice also makes us lie down in green pastures. 

To rest, we need to trust that we are not ultimately going to bring about shalom and the restoration of all things. Rest reminds us: that’s God’s job. We are humans, humans who long and pray and work with all the gifts that God has given us for restoration. We are participants in God’s big restoration plan, but still limited. Finite. Dependent.

So these holidays, the staff of the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue will be resting from our labours. And, instead of always pushing on to the next goal, we’re celebrating the times God has given us the gift of participating in glimpses of shalom, glimpses of the kingdom breaking through, this year.

Cindy Stover, Canada Justice Mobilizer:

The biggest highlight for me this year was having the privilege of facilitating our new Citizenship Advocacy Workshop for our advisory committee members at their annual meeting in Ottawa. Not only did we pilot this new resource on how to do social justice advocacy with elected officials, but we put it into action by meeting with MP's on Parliament Hill the next day! Altogether, our staff and committee members were able to meet with five MPs in person to share the CRC's positions on Indigenous education, refugee welcome, climate change, and human trafficking. The group left these meetings with a renewed sense of how their voices can reach those in even the highest government positions, and that their advocacy can make a difference. (We'll be promoting the workshop in the new year--stay tuned.)

Mike Hogeterp, Director:

For a while now, we've been trying to build connections with the people who are most affected by the issues that we care about. In Ottawa this often takes the form of regular check-ins with Indigenous organizations on the progress of TRC Calls to Action 6-10 (Indigenous Education equity and reform). After one of these conversations this fall, an Indigenous policy analyst asked why we do this work. I answered as I always do: our community deeply respects the connection of education, values, and identity and, because of that, we bear witness for reconciliation in education. My conversation partner was happily surprised, that we, a largely settler organization, saw the importance of reconciliation in education. We had an amazing conversation on the beauty and importance of culturally relevant education and stay in touch now on the key policy developments in education.

Danielle, Justice Communications Team Coordinator:

When I see ordinary people in congregations across Canada making the connection between justice and their faith, I get excited. I remember my feeling of amazement when a CRC campus minister pointed out just a few of the hundreds of Bible passages that make it clear that justice is not a peripheral concern for God, but an integral part of God’s plan and will for his people. This year, more than 400 Canadian Christians spoke up through our online action alerts for action on climate change, increased foreign aid, stronger online controls on pornography, and shorter wait times for refugee resettlement. That’s 3 times the number of online actions taken last year. That’s something to celebrate!

Thank you for being part of this year’s work!

This is the work of many: advisory committee members, Synod delegates, prayer partners, advocates, community organizers, pastors, Do Justice columnists, refugee sponsors, conversation partners, and donors.

As our Justice and Hope Sunday materials read: We have hope because we are not saving the world, Christ is. So we work and pray and advocate, entrusting our faithful mustard seeds of love for neighbours to a faithful God.

In January, we will push on, seeking justice and speaking hope from a Reformed foundation into Canadian political conversations. 

Will you join us? Support Christian Reformed justice advocacy and education in Canada with a year-end donation:


Rest well, friends! 

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