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Domestic Poverty

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Underside the Mountain: Listening to a City’s Marginalized

While at a church planting conference in Montreal, I was able to explore the city for a day. I visited some drop-ins for those experiencing homelessness and, while eating lunch, I met a man. He was a true Montrealer whose family was from Ecuador. His head was adorned with long, curly hair; his body was adorned with style. He wanted to give me a tour of the city while on his bottle-picking route. I decided to take him up on his offer. We walked together for the day and I was able to experience the city from a powerful perspective – its hidden underside. 

Wrestling with Suffering

I started a new job as an Art Teacher at a Juvenile Detention Center in August of last year. Prior to teaching, I volunteered at the facility through my church. As you can imagine teaching justice-involved youth comes with a unique set of challenges. I’m at the center of a lot more angst and less excitement than I ever was as a volunteer. I also know a lot more about the residents– now my students.  Their stories are more pronounced in their daily classroom behavior. It can be a hard thing to carry.  I can’t imagine how hard it is to live the stories. 

Food that Helps not Harms

John Klein-Geltink is a long term coach for deacons and passionate foodie—as in food banks. In his work with Operation Sharing in Woodstock Ontario John has helped switch from food donations to food gift cards. This approach gives more agency to people involved and John talks about how he can see the fruit of this change from his long involvement.

Justice Prayers - March 1, 2023

"He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." - Mark 4:39


1 Year Anniversary of Ukraine War

It has been one year since Russia invaded Ukraine, plunging families into war and displacing millions. We pray on this grim anniversary for resolution.

Secure Dwellings and Stumbling Blocks: Accessible Housing for People of All Abilities

As I’ve said before on this blog, I’m a person with spastic cerebral palsy and other disabilities. That means that – like all people, let alone other folks with disabilities! – I require access to affordable housing. On one hand, I can happily report that as I write these words, I sit at my own kitchen table, in an apartment where I live by myself. Sometimes, I need a little help getting my groceries, but I can come and go when I please, and I don’t live with too many insects!

Special Prayer: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

In the early hours of the morning on February 6th, a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked south-eastern Türkiye (Turkey) near the Syrian border, killing hundreds of people as they slept, injuring thousands more, and reducing five-storey buildings to piles of rubble. A few hours later, another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit the region causing even more heartbreak and damage. These two earthquakes have been followed by more than one hundred smaller aftershocks.

Beatitudes for a New Year

The calendar has turned, and so it is time (in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘In Memorium CVI’) to “ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky// the flying cloud, the frosty light: the year is dying in the night”.  It’s time, to quote the same poem, to “ring out the old, ring in the new”.

Tennyson’s poem suggests that the changing of the calendar can be an opportunity for change that has less to do with personal resolutions and more to do with ‘ringing in’ a more just, humane, and peaceable world.  As he ends the poem: 

The Art of Being

In my late twenties I was presented with an opportunity to work with at risk youths and children who lived in post conflict Sierra Leone. At that time, I was working in Washington, DC and had a wonderful life. I loved my friends. I love the house I was living in. I was happy. At that time, I was working to support people who were homeless and in desperate financial situations. With my friends, we wrestled with how to live in a world with so much suffering, injustice and poverty. I was idealistic and took God’s call in Isaiah 58 very seriously. 

Caring for the Whole Person

When speaking with a ministry colleague a few years ago about the complexities of serving individuals who are being commercially sexually exploited, they wondered aloud how we can expect someone to leave their exploiter when the person’s immediate needs are taken care of through exploitation. This ministry colleague reflected on a situation in which a woman living in dire poverty in another country was faced with the decision between being sexually exploited or letting her children go hungry.

Hope for Our Humanity

“Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:16b-19) 

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