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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. 

Shalom in the Not-Yet

As I moved across the Narthex, I could see my office door. Inside was a chair I knew I could collapse in and a desk on which I could place all the music, binders, and odds and ends that had accumulated in my arms since the end of the service. Just a few more steps. A few more steps. A few more—

—“Miss Bethany!” the girl cried out and bounded across the narthex to throw her arms around me. “I prayed for you today in Sunday school!”

Prayerful Action in the Meantime?

How do we work and pray for justice “in the meantime”?  What does prayerful action for shalom look like when we are caught in that awkward, ordinary time between our painful present and God’s coming future?  

Hope is the Heart of Christmas

“After 13 hours, it finally feels like Christmas!” exclaimed one of my granddaughters.  Her younger sister with a big smile tells me that decorating the tree and our home is the best part of Christmas.  Having my grandchildren come over to help decorate the tree, set up the Christmas village and help to prepare for Christmas dinner has been a long-standing tradition in our home.  A tradition that is held deeply and fondly in my heart.  However, Christmas is more than an occasion to decorate; more than a family feast; more than a holiday from work and school; more than giving and r

Black and White Binary

We have seen the harm that is brought about by extreme polarity or unwavering binary belief (also described as dualism). And still we can find ourselves gravitating in that direction; is it human nature, or just the easiest way to order our worlds and soften the struggle? Sociologists have studied its negative effects on societies and people pushed to the margins within those binary cultures for many different reasons. I have also seen evidence of this in the natural world where signs of disaster or unhealthy ecosystems get reduced to binary qualities or even worse, monoculture.

Heartbreak’s Song

Mindful to not attract the attention of my family, I go off to a quiet corner of my house, carefully shut the door—and cry.

This time, my cascade of tears began with a song on social media of a mother singing to her grown child of her heartfelt love, and of her delight in the wonderful person they grew up to be. With joy, she sings of her pride in her child’s life choices and the good life they built for themself. 


Intersecting Benevolence and Justice: Looking Beyond Needs

If there’s one thing Christians want to do, it is to help. We know we’re called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and look after the sick (Matthew 25). We see people in our communities and around the world who don’t have what they need to thrive. We want to be Christ’s hands and feet, not only to provide for people’s material needs, but to point them toward the love of Jesus. 

Columbus the Last Crusader

Christopher Columbus, so brave and true, sailed the mighty ocean blue, in fourteen hundred and ninety-two, and found a land so bright and new! Or so the hagiography goes. Brian Walsh and Rick Middleton in their book, Truth is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age make the case for reimagining the heroic Columbus narrative in the light of the Indigenous perspective that saw the 1492 “discovery of America” in a completely different way.

Gratitude and My Faithful Bit

Dear Do Justice readers and co-labourers in the sacred call of justice, peace and reconciliation.

Some of you may have heard that I’ll be stepping away from employment with the CRC at the end of summer after more than 20 years of beautiful and challenging service with justice ministries.  This note is a remembrance of these years with a helping of gratitude, and a reflection or two.

A Bluer Theology: Protecting and Restoring God’s Marine Creation

On the beach in Pacific Grove, CA, eight middle and high school students bend over the wet sand, digging as the wave water recedes to catch sand crabs. Blue Theology fellow Gabrielle Poli leads the group to catch the crabs (Pacific mole crab, to be specific), measure them, write down the data on a clipboard, and release them back into their sandy home. The students are part of a church youth group, one of many who will visit the Blue Theology Mission Station for a week over the summer.

Toward Jesus’ Hospitality

In a world where xenophobia is intensifying, God calls us to practice philoxenia, love toward strangers, which in Greek means hospitality. The hospitality that we are talking about is a hospitality that Jesus embodied. From my perspective, I think there are at least three recognizable stages: common, widening, and mutual hospitality.



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