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Ideas for Action

Take action. Find concrete ways to live justly, engage your congregation, and advocate for change.

Advocacy Works: Redeeming Neighborhood Violence—One Block at a Time

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This article was first published in the Banner in April 2014. 

When bullets fly, innocent people die.

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Advocacy Works: Empowering to be a Voice for Change

Preparing to meet with staff from the office of Congressman Justin Amash

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Advocacy Works: Advocacy as a Spiritual Practice

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Advocacy Works: Training Agents of Change in Communities

Community members brainstorm to imagine their ideal health center.

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“Lack of medicine.”

“Handwritten receipts.”

“No psychologist or social worker.”

Across Tegucigalpa, Honduras, community members are auditing their local public health centers, documenting findings and standing up for their right to quality health care.

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Absurd Generosity

As a Christian growing up in the evangelical Midwest, I studied the New Testament much more than the Old Testament. Sure, I knew the stories of Moses, Ruth, Esther, Jonah and David, and I prayed with the Psalms, but I confess I have never read or studied the more “obscure” books like Leviticus. I saw it as a bunch of old laws that don’t really apply to me. Take for example Leviticus 25, much of it has to do with farming, land sale and ownership. I don’t own a house and have never farmed. 

How Cuban Refugees Came to the U.S.

As a denomination started by Dutch Reformed immigrants in 1857, the CRCNA is familiar with the immigrant experience. Like many immigrant stories, the migration journey for the Dutch was long and difficult, and the challenges did not stop upon arrival: loved ones were left behind, lives were lost at sea, many fell ill. Some were taken advantage of or lied to. Promised opportunities sometimes resulted in dashed hopes and dirt floors.

Hearts Exchanged at Meadowlands Christian Reformed Church

Fifty years ago I first met my future brother-in-law Don, an energetic and endearing Indigenous five-year-old adopted by my future wife’s family at birth. He was part of the Sixties Scoop, but that term had not yet been coined back then. His maturation into adulthood was very rocky, and he spent a lot of time in prison. In 2001, aged 34, he died tragically of a heroin overdose in a rooming house in Toronto. 

One Thing

We are always looking to reduce things to the simplest and easiest form. We want the main points and Cliff Notes. We want to do that one action that will give us the greatest return on investment. Maybe that is why a teacher of the law asked Jesus what the most important commandment was. Instead of hundreds of rules and regulations, if he followed this most important commandment, the scales would tip in his favor. Jesus answered that the greatest commandment is: “Love God and Love your Neighbor” (Mark 12:29-31). Simple right?

Start with (Just) Action, Let Hope Follow

We are living through an era of ecological devastation and climate breakdown, with its immense injustices against people and places for the short-term benefit of a few. Many of us have already been directly impacted, some of us haven’t yet, but all of us will be in some way. 

It’s a lot to process. 

Climate Huddle Conversations

How do we move the needle on climate action? According to Dr. Katherine Hayhoe’s new book Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, the answer starts with meaningful conversations, and requires both the love to speak out and the wisdom to understand our audience. To help believers dig deeper into what these types of conversations look like, the Climate Witness Project hosted a virtual “Climate Huddle” on January 18th, 2022. 

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