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News from the Pews

Read personal stories of changing attitudes, transforming hearts, and congregation members being moved to action. Learn how churches and individuals have responded when faced with injustice. 

Top 10 Do Justice Articles of 2021

Enjoy this look back at the top Do Justice articles written in 2021 (ranked by top pageviews).  It was a big year for us to be reading and praying about justice and you’ll see themes of this year in all of our top articles.  It is our hope and prayer that these articles blessed you and moved you to new action.

A Vision Carried On

Several years ago, when Lindsay Wieland Capel first learned of the CRC’s Disability Concerns, she was so impressed by the ministry that she sat down and wrote a letter to director Mark Stephenson.

Introducing herself, she commented how blessed he was to do the work he did in advocating with and for people with disabilities and providing resources and support to both them and the ministry’s many volunteers. She confided he had her dream job and that one day she’d love to work in a similar position.

A Prayer for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

The third Sunday in January is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and the Office of Social Justice (OSJ) is pleased to offer resources for your church to honor the day. Synod has encouraged Christian Reformed churches to commemorate the day’s significance (Synod 1981 and Synod 1995). OSJ would like to help churches commemorate the sanctity of human life in ways that are sensitive and mindful of the impact abortion has on society, our churches, and members of our congregations.

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Beatitude #4: You Who Hunger and Thirst for Justice

Blessed are you* who hunger and thirst for justice

*You who weep at the tears that flood the nightly newscast

you whose tears prompt you to action

You who are willing to practice joy in the fierce furnaces of this world 

you whose joy cultivates the courage 

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Five Ways to Embody and Engage Reconciliation

September 30th 2021 marks the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.  It coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots commemoration marked by the wearing of Orange Shirts for children forced to leave their families and attend residential schools.  In honour of this day here are five ways that you can engage in working for reconciliation.  

Embodying Equity: Disability Justice Within the Church

Disability is a theological topic, because people of every kind of ability are created in God’s Image; moreover, through both our limitations and our gifts, people with disabilities indicate the uniqueness and breadth of God’s Image. Disability is a political issue too, because people with disabilities long for equity—freedom and human flourishing—for people of all body types. In this short post, I’m going to do two things. First, I’m going to briefly define disability, ableism, accessibility, and justice.

Violently Spiritual

A few years ago, my friend organized a protest at the shelter he was staying at. His protest concerned the use of sermons to wake up shelter participants. While he is a follower of Jesus, he is also a victim of the residential school system which had used sermons to destroy his people. The protest was peaceful and I joined the round dance he had organized during a community meal. 

Disability Advocacy Journey

I grew up in a faith-based family with an aunt and uncle who spent most of their career as missionaries overseas. They spent many years in Japan and the Philippines establishing Christian churches. I heard enough stories from them when they visited on furlough to know that I was not equipped for their somewhat nomadic lifestyle. I love to set up roots in a community and have a large network of family and friends close by. Listening to their conversations about distant lands always brought me back to the question of how I can invest in my own community. 

How one person’s advocacy can make a difference

On May 20th, the Climate Witness Project had the privilege of hosting a book talk with professor and author Finis Dunaway. His new book, Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice, takes a look at how photographer Lenny Kohm’s grassroots advocacy alongside the Gwich’in people helped protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

From Child Displaced to International Activist

Mohammad El Kurd and the Settler Takeover in the East Jerusalem Neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah

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