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Reconciliation

Crying at My Desk on a Tuesday

I am a co-op student studying Urban and Intercultural Ministry at Redeemer University (Ancaster, ON). In January 2021, I began my position as the Hearts Exchanged Program Assistant. Hearts Exchanged is a learning and action journey designed to equip Reformed Christians in Canada to engage with Indigneous people as neighbours. We hope to model ways of undoing past harms and building relationships of respect and mutuality by equipping participants with broadened insights and shared experiences.

Five Black Joy Triggers

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

(My Favorite Things, Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rogers, 1961)

Quick to Listen

 A lot of events have drawn our attention to Indigenous rights in Canada over the past year.  Our newsfeeds have shown us events on Wet’suwet’en land, in Caledonia, and in Nova Scotia fisheries.  As the communications coordinator for the Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee, I often have to sort through what voices and perspectives we uplift and share on our platforms, with input from colleagues.    

Tell the Truth & Be Reconciled

“I just think that truth and reconciliation is sequential, that you can’t have the reconciliation without the truth.” - Bryan Stevenson

The times that we are living in are increasingly putting people on the two ends of a spectrum. Responses to Covid, e-learning, racial injustice, and politics has our world in an uproar. One thing that has been difficult to grapple with in my head is the way that we as another. We, as a nation, as well as the body of Christ, are so divided that the revival that many seek seems a bit far off.   

A Tale of Two Wives: Scenes of Systemic Racism and The First Wife

At a church planting conference, I heard this metaphor which really described my own experience with systemic racism. Pastor Norton Lages argued “Canadian culture treats other cultures like an abusive husband who sends his wife to counselling expecting her to change.” If you have even been part of such a situation, you know how messy and hopeless it can be. 

Forgive Everyone Co.

As I’ve grown in my journey in the fight for social justice, it has been difficult for me to forgive the shames of my own past. Today, I am passionate about pushing ideals of racial equality, gender equality, criminal justice reform, etc. forward. But this was not always the case. Just eight short years ago, in my freshman year of high school, I began a slow descent into alt-right and supremacist ideologies online.

Turning Things Upside Down

Hundreds of protestors gathered at the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to protest Columbus Day and called to abolish the holiday. The protest was about the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures.

Treatyless on Wet’suwet’en Yintah

If faith doesn't matter in all things

then faith doesn't really matter.

Integration Fatigue

I visited a young and energetic African American church located in south suburban Chicago last year. The church was once a failing white Reformed church who decided to take a gamble to reach a growing middle class African American community. Most of the white former members had left for other churches. With a vibrant African American pastoral couple, the church has transformed into a mostly African American congregation eager to reach others. This kind of church is rare in my circle. Could this be the start of something new in my denomination? I want more churches like this. 

Spark!

In November we held a conference here in Truro, Nova Scotia called “Spark!”. It was a new take on an old conference – we’ve held a Day of Encouragement event here every two years for a long time, providing an opportunity for the CRC churches in the Maritimes to gather for a day of learning and fellowship. When I was asked to write about it for Do Justice, my first thought was, “this wasn’t specifically a ‘justice’ conference…” But the more I reflect, the more I feel that the themes of justice and mission and the future of the church are all intertwined.

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