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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.

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.

After US Elections, CMEP’s Pursuit of Middle East Peace Continues

Earlier this month, there was significant uncertainty about which candidate would win the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Nonetheless, it is clear that whoever is in the White House for the next four years, U.S. policy toward the Middle East is of critical importance. We at Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) will continue to be active throughout the next presidential term and urge the President of the United States to be a leader who strives for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine and pursues equality and human rights for all people of the Middle East. 

An Interview with an Anti-Human Trafficking Operative

The Exodus Road is a nonprofit dedicated to strategically fighting human trafficking across the globe. The organization intervenes in human trafficking situations by empowering nationals around the world to gather evidence and facilitate rescue missions with local police to free enslaved people. 

Unhistorical Acts

My mother called me out of the blue a few weeks ago. She wondered how I was doing since I have a tendency of not calling her frequently. I thought it would be a conversation about weather in Michigan or what she was cooking for herself that night or an update on relatives I’ve never met.  Instead she disclosed things I never heard about her childhood. Maybe she was thinking back over her life since she had her 82nd birthday.

Joy, Simplicity, Compassion: Climbing These Coming Crests

It is the first week of August, and the high summer heat of treaty 6 territory in northern Alberta is beaming through my window.  I am thinking about the fall.  I work with university students, and I am wondering how my students and I can think together about all that has happened since we’ve last been together, in March: a global pandemic that has thrown everyone’s lives – and particularly the lives of those on the margins – off-kilter, an inspiring movement for racial justice that prompted many difficult and potentially transformative conversations, record-breaking temperatures

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