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About Our Authors

Angela Reitsma Bick

Angela Reitsma Bick, Editor-in-chief

Angela Reitsma Bick began writing for Christian Courier in 2002 as a freelancer. After finishing an MA in English Lit from Queen’s University, she taught English at Redeemer University College as an Adjunct professor and served as Director of its Writing Centre for three years. She became Editor of Christian Courier in 2009, having learned English grammar in Moscow, research skills in grad school and everything else on the fly. Her vision is for Christian Courier to give body to a Reformed perspective by exploring what it means to follow Jesus today in our homes, churches and schools; in our neighbourhoods and across this country. She hopes that the shared stories of God at work in the world inspire each reader to participate in the ongoing task of renewing his creation. Angela lives in Newcastle, Ontario with her husband, Allan, and three young children

Arlene Van Hove

Arlene Van Hove, Columnist

Arlene Van Hove is a therapist, a mother of four adult children and a grandmother to an ever-increasing brood of delightful grandchildren. She also belongs to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, a subsidiary of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which raises funds for grandmothers who are raising the next generation in countries devastated by the Aids epidemic.As a writer Arlene hopes to provide a comforting voice for all those who struggle with the complexity of life. At the same time, she believes one of the roles of a columnist is to unflinchingly challenge 'the map when it no longer fits the ground.' And while she has less advice for others as she herself is aging, she hopes her columns will encourage her readers to develop questions and answers for themselves that continue to be worth asking and answering in the 21st Century. She is a member of the Fleetwood CRC in Surrey, B.

Bert Witvoet

Bert Witvoet, Contributing editor

Bert Witvoet is a former educator and editor of various magazines, including the Christian Courier, who lives with his wife, Alice, in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Brent van Staalduinen

Brent van Staalduinen, Columnist

Brent spent six years in the Middle East and Asia teaching, writing, and trying to make sense of the borders people create. A graduate of Redeemer University College and the Humber School of Writers, he is now working towards an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of British Columbia. He works and lives in the Westdale neighbourhood of Hamilton with his wife Rosalee and baby daughter Nora. For more information, follow him on Twitter@brentvans or visit www.brentvanstaalduinen.com.

Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith, Columnist, Features Editor

Cathy Smith is an involved member of the Wyoming Christian Reformed Church where she is the bulletin editor, mentor to the pastor, church education teacher, and jack-of-all-trades volunteer on a few too many lists.As a retired Christian schoolteacher, she thinks she should have time to indulge in extensive reading, blogging and writing, daily walks in her small town, choir, gardening, DIY projects around the house, family get-togethers and occasional travel. She does not, in fact, have the time to do all these things, but keeps trying anyway. She is both energized and humbled by Christ’s call to apply his name to all these facets of everyday life. Cathy is married to Mark, a carpenter, and together they have raised three children. Presently they are empty-nesters and dotty grandparents to two little munchkins. Mark does not attend church or call himself a Christian. Cathy regards their unusual marriage, tried and tested for over thirty years, as a living and practical metaphor for the challenge of Christian discipleship in a world not yet fully redeemed. She feels privileged to be part of the CC team, participating in this unique community dialogue about following Jesus today in this advent time between the cross and the crown.

Curt Gesch

Curt Gesch, Columnist

Curt Gesch is a farmer and writer living in Quick, B.C. He is a writer on environmental and agricultural topics. He and his wife Betsey attend the Anglican Church in Quick, which has a wood stove, no electricity, no bathroom, and which seats 33 people.

David Koyzis

David Koyzis, Columnist

David T. Koyzis was born and grew up near Chicago in a large family, where he was nurtured in the Christian faith from an early age. He now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he has taught political science at Redeemer University College since 1987. He is the author of the award-winning book,Political Visions and Illusions, which grew out of one of the courses he teaches. Forthcoming is his next book, We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God. He is an amateur poet and musician and has been working for nearly 30 years on a project devoted to the Genevan Psalter and is currently working on a third book on his pilgrimage through the Psalms. He knows the basics of several languages, but is fluent in only one (guess which?). He is married to Dr. Nancy Calvert Koyzis and together they have a daughter Theresa, who is an amateur artist, violinist and ornithologist. The family also includes a bilingual pet budgie named Ollie. They (except for Ollie) are members of Central Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, a dynamic 175-year-old congregation worshipping in a century-old building. David blogs at Notes from a Byzantine-Rite Calvinist and at First Thoughts. He has written a column for Christian Courier since 1990.

Dena Nicolai

Dena Nicolai, Author

Dena Nicolai is a student in the Master of Christian Studies Program at Regent College in Vancouver. She lived and worked in Egypt for four years between 2006 and 2011.

Derek Schuurman

Derek Schuurman, Columnist

Derek Schuurman worked in industry for several years as an electrical engineer and later completed a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in the area of robotics and computer vision. His interest in computers began in his early teens with his first computer, a ZX-81. Besides his technical pursuits, he has taught and written about a Christian perspective of technology. He is the author of a recent book which explores a Christian perspective of computer technology entitled Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology published by InterVarsity Press. He is currently an associate professor of computer science at Redeemer University College. He along with his wife and four children live in Hamilton, Ontario

Emily Cramer

Emily Cramer, Columnist

Emily Cramer grew up in the Toronto area and spent most of her twenties living nomadically. She completed her English B.A. in New Brunswick (1999), burned through some existential angst in eastern Ontario and in Scotland, and finally wrapped up a Master’s in Christianity & the Arts in British Columbia (2008). She now lives in Barrie, Ontario with her husband and daughter, where she works as a college Communications teacher and hopes to stay put, at least for awhile. She has been privileged with a number of writing opportunities over the years, such as a summer newspaper column on the natural environment and a novella for her graduating thesis, and is now feeling honoured to be able to explore the next leg of her travels - parenting and family life - with the CC.

Emily Wierenga

Emily Wierenga, Columnist

Emily is wife to a math-teacher husband; mother and foster mother to four boys; an artist, columnist and the author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy and A Promise in Pieces (Spring 2014). For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

Heidi VanderSlikke

Heidi VanderSlikke, Columnist

Heidi grew up in the Niagara Peninsula with dreams of becoming a writer. But she took a paying job instead. Working as a bookkeeper led to studies in accounting and credit management, all of which proved to be very practical when she married Jack—her Prince Farming—in 1978. They have lived happily ever after (most of the time) on their farm near Harriston, Ontario. They have three grown children and (so far) one incredibly cute grandson.For the last ten years Heidi has been a columnist for Christian Courier, as well as having written short stories, devotionals and articles for other publications. She is a professional member of The Word Guild.She enjoys the outdoors, animals, photography, reading and motorcycles. She and Jack have ridden to Canada’s east coast and through various parts of the US, including the Florida Everglades. They hope to one day take their bikes across Canada to British Columbia. In the meantime, she continues to write about what she loves best—faith, family and farm life.

Julia Stronks

Julia Stronks, Columnist

Julia Stronks has practiced law and is the Edward B. Lindaman Chair at Whitworth University, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. She lives in Spokane, Wash.

Kenny Warkentin

Kenny Warkentin, Columnist

Kenny Warkentin after working several years as an urban missionary with Living Waters Canada and Exodus International is now an associate Pastor. Kenny is passionate about issues regarding relational wholeness, gender and sexuality and has written numerous columns on those issues as it pertains to the Body of Christ. He is married to Paula and they have a daughter Phoebe. Paula and Kenny are both avid artists and they have showcased their work in various venues. Paula is a spoken word poet and Kenny is a photographer and painter. The are passionate about marriage and travel and share their testimony throughout North America.

Lloyd Rang

Lloyd Rang, Columnist

Lloyd Rang works in communications and is a member of Rehoboth CRC in Bowmanville. Back to the top

Marian VanTil

Marian VanTil, Columnist

Marian Van Til is a former C.C. editor who lived in Canada from 1975-2000. She now freelances for journals and writes books, the second of which, Confessions of a Cataholic, will be released later this month. Marian is also a classical musician and the music director at a Lutheran Church. She and her husband, Ed Cassidy, live in Youngstown, NY.

Meindert VanderGalien

Meindert VanderGalien, Columnist

Meindert was born in The Netherlands in 1949. The family immigrated to Canada (The Ottawa Valley) in 1953. He’s a life-long cattle farmer, enjoys traveling, reading, writing, gardening, bush work in the winter cutting firewood and country life. He’s been a columnist since 1987 writing for many newspapers and is currently the bulletin editor at Hebron CRC in Renfrew, where he is a faithful member.

Peter Schuurman

Peter Schuurman, Peter Schuurman

Peter Schuurman is working on his PhD in Religious Studies (U Waterloo) from his home in Guelph.

Rachel Baarda

Rachel Baarda, Social Media

Rachel Baarda grew up in the St. Catharines area, where she wrote her first story for Christian Courier when she was ten years old. She has a B.A. in English from Brock University and an M.A. in Communications from the University of Ottawa, where she wrote a thesis about Barack Obama's website. It has since been published in the International Journal of Technoethics. Rachel's not-so-secret favourite hobby is following British culture and the British royal family...and occasionally even blogging about them. Since graduating from school, she has also been involved with City Kidz' ministry to Hamilton's inner-city children.

Rudy Eikelboom

Rudy Eikelboom, Columnist

Rudy Eikelboom, a Professor of Psychology, has now been on the dark side of the University as Chair of the Psychology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University for five years, and his hair is considerably grayer. He is proud of his two children and three grandchildren (soon to be four). A member of the Waterloo Christian Reformed Church, he serves on the Waterloo Campus Committee. Despite all these activities, he still enjoys working with rats when he can find some time.

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema, Freelance writer

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer living in St Catharines, Ont.

Tom Wolthuis, Columnist

Rev. Tom Wolthuis is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church.