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Canada

Nova Scotia Strong

On the heels of writing a reflection on encouragement to lament, April 18th and 19th, 2020 brought Canada  and especially Nova Scotians forcefully into this painful liminal space. My beautiful province was launched into the international spotlight as the backdrop for senseless violence; not for its natural and abundant beauty. The tiny rural town of Portapique nestled in Colchester county, a mere hundred and thirty kilometers from Halifax, experienced carnage that was unheard of in Canada until that fatal weekend.

Community and Connection

Like many around the globe, my ministry, my family, and I have had to make changes to our way of life in light of COVID-19. This spring, Restorations had been looking forward to completing the renovations of our home where we hope to launch our residential program for survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation later this year. COVID-19 has brought disappointments – like turning away a large group of volunteers from local CRC churches who had been eagerly waiting to help paint the house.

Interdependence and Hope: Be the Second Chicken

It all started with a science experiment and a group of chicks.  I grabbed one chick and eyeballed it like I was a hungry hawk. When placed back in its box the chick played possum for about a minute seeking a way for self-preservation. Then back up the chick popped, demonstrating a cycle of fear and recovery.

I repeated the experiment, but this time with two chicks at the same time!  This time both chicks remained immobilized for about five minutes - another demonstration of the fear and recovery cycle.  

Justice Prayers - May 6, 2020

Prayers To The One Who Makes Peace

Take out all our hearts of stone and replace them with hearts of living, beating flesh.  Transform us into instruments of your peace.  

A Prayer of Comfort During COVID-19

I was recently invited to join an online prayer group of ministers and elders and was asked to offer a prayer of comfort during our time together in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course I said yes--my Midwest U.S. upbringing would not allow me to decline such an offer--but my heart started racing and my mouth became dry even as I was accepting this invitation.

Authentic Lament, Authentic Hope

This world is not perfect. 

It is not peace-full. It is not unbroken. It is not wholly good.

This world witnesses hardship, oppression, death, injustice; and it walks on. Relentless. Unapologetic.

It is a remarkable challenge to simply live here; to get by. And that’s on a normal day; let alone during a global pandemic with little clarity around where we are headed.

Find the Beauty

I never intended to work as a psychotherapist.  When I first went off to ‘pursue’ a career I chose being a school teacher.   I even taught Grade 6 for two years. Then as life would have it, I decided to take a risk and covered a maternity leave teaching GED (high school equivalency) to moms in the Jane/Finch area of Toronto.  I fell in love with the vulnerable women that I was working with.

Glimpses of Dawn - Holy Week and COVID-19

This is Holy Week, and today is called Maundy Thursday. The name is derived from mandatum, the Latin word from which we get our word ‘mandate’, or command – and commemorates Jesus' new command in John 13:34 – a new command I give you, that you love each other.

Staying Hopeful in the Time of Climate Emergency

I am a climate career professional - someone who works on climate advocacy and climate justice as a job, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. It is my dream job. As part of my job, I work on mobilizing Christians to take faithful action in the public sphere in response to the climate crisis through storytelling, resourcing, opportunities to petition legislators on specific bills, and non-violent direct action. Almost every time I’m invited to speak on climate change, the question of how to stay hopeful emerges.

Justice Prayers - Prayers for Home April 2, 2020

Across the globe populations are being told to stay home, to isolate from their neighbors, to not travel or even go into work.   Drastic measures taken to safeguard our neighbors by creating borders between us to stop a virus that has no borders.  And as has been pointed out, these measures are a luxury for many.  Not all have anywhere to go to isolate from others. Not all have running water to repeatedly wash hands or internet connections to maintain work productivity.

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