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Reflect on our role in God's restorative work, and recognize both renewal and continued brokenness. Be encouraged by stories of challenges and successes in the pursuit of shalom.

Cycles of Life Include Death: Can’t Cancel the Contact

Have you ever witnessed the loud street preacher or self-proclaimed prophet, standing atop a soap box on a busy street corner? Their message could span a wide range, from the spiritual warnings of the future, to past misdeeds of people, to current displeasures with systems or governments. A group of friends and I have recently walked by one such gentleman and his particular message was promoting angry retribution for people who have committed particular crimes.

The Three Hardest Moral Acts

At nine years old, I decided I wanted to become a journalist. It was the same time my brother Fred and I started delivering the Chicago Daily News. The newspaper was the third largest circulation behind Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Fred and I had twelve streets of subscribers.  We’d deliver the latest news of crime, sports, and advice from Ann Landers. My brother and I tied the papers into travel size and threw them on the porches of two storied brownstones or trekked into apartment building mazes to make sure seniors had their sacred crossword puzzles. 

100 Days in Review

Last Thursday, April 29th, marks the end of President Biden’s first 100 days in office. In recent history, the first 100 days often indicate the newly elected president’s priorities and signal how he seeks to set himself apart from his predecessor. Following his campaign promises, President Joe Biden pursued an approach to immigration policy that is significantly distinct from the last administration. In many ways, President Biden took concentrated measures that ended cruel and unjust immigration practices.

What the World Needs Now

As the world is beginning to reopen and life picks up again, I’m asking the questions: Should life go back to normal? If not, what is the new normal? Have we learned what we should have? Where do we go from here? 

The answers to these questions hold lots of implications. From a political stance- what have we learned? From a racial reckoning stance- what is the new normal? From a pandemic stance - where do we go from here? While I don’t have all the answers to these questions I think I have a starting place. 

Pursuing a Faithful Witness: Christianity, Nationalism, and the Middle East

As a pastor and the executive director of an organization focused on peacebuilding in the Middle East, I have seen firsthand how the ideologies related to Christianity, nationalism, and the Middle East intersect. From teachings in Scripture to the missional mandate of the church, the Christian faith is integrally connected to the ways we engage with both nationalism and politics. Our civic engagement has profound impacts on the world. 

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Today is a momentous day in Canadian history. It is our first National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. As the new Interim Executive Director for Restorations Second Stage Homes I am honoured to share a little bit about myself and my story with you here.

Where We Are Headed With U.S. Immigration

As we close out the OSJ’s “What’s the Deal With Immigration?” series - in which we first discovered where we were and where we are now with immigration policy in the US - we will answer the question, where are we headed? 

Serving the Marginalized at the US-Mexico Border

“Sí es cierto lo que dices Melissa… yes, it’s certain what you say,” he says to me in a WhatsApp voice message, “The LGBTQ community is even more vulnerable [than other migrants].”

Pastor Samuel sighs with a weariness in his voice, messaging me from his home in Ciudad Juarez after a long day out in his truck bringing food and blankets to asylum-seekers.

Beyond Hashtag Activism: Kindness, Solidarity, and Advocacy this Holiday Season

Yes, many of us are still stuck at home. Most states have received government mandates regarding COVID19 restrictions including prohibitions of indoor gatherings, limited outside visits, closed bars and restaurants with limited takeaway opportunities, and other limitations on worship, sports, and community functions. Yet as we honor current recommendations to socially distance, there remain plenty of opportunities to engage constructively in our communities and to advocate for justice and equality in our own back yards! 

On Chickens and Sustainability

I tramped out into our backyard, wearing thick rubber boots, with my arms full of leftover food. As I dumped it into the fenced area, excited clucks greeted the rice, mashed potatoes and tomato bits, while the chickens engaged in their usual feeding frenzy.  This regular scene is a part of our journey in sustainable living. The birds are helping us cut down on food waste, turning our scraps into eggs and future garden compost.

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