When large group meetings were suspended a year ago due to COVID-19, churches scrambled to figure out what an online church would look like. Would it be on Zoom or YouTube? Would they be able to compete with all of the professional quality videos already posted? Should each church continue to create their own sermons?…
For the past few years, inclusion has been a popular buzzword. Businesses, organizations, and individuals profess to be inclusive, to accept others for who they are, and to be a safe place for everyone to be authentic. However, for individuals on the margin, or anyone who doesn’t fit into traditional definitions of “normal,” inclusion sometimes…
Canadians waste thousands of dollars of food each year. Roughly 60 percent of the food grown in Canada is never eaten, and 30 percent never even makes it to grocery stores. This latter group, known as “lost food,” is often thrown out because it is deformed, too ripe or costs more to harvest than it’s…
The start of school often heralds the return of churches’ children’s programs – Sunday schools, after school clubs and youth groups. The pandemic, however, is altering those pre-set plans. Many churches still aren’t meeting in person, and those that are meeting physically are still trying to determine if and how children’s programs can be done safely.
With everything going on in the world today, vacation may either be at the forefront of your thoughts or the farthest thing from your mind. Because, while many provinces are opening up, the pandemic is still present, and – as government officials are quick to remind us – ready to relapse into a second wave should our vigilance falter. And so, many people are torn between the desire to escape to a secret hideaway or continue to hunker down at home.
From the earliest days, it was clear that COVID-19 would make a significant impact on the lives of people in their retirement years. For those relying on investments for their income, the drop in markets set off alarm bells. For those whose mental and emotional health is nourished by family visits and volunteerism, the instructions to “stay home” are deeply disheartening. For those who feel the threat of infection most acutely, the news stirs up our deepest anxieties and fears.
“There is nothing greater than giving people space to be,” says Nicola Bartel, executive director at Mercy Canada. “To go into those dark places and not be alone. That’s the love of God when he promises that he will never leave us. And when he sits with us in that dark place and in the presence of somebody – a neighbour, a friend, whoever that is – he works in that community, in that beautiful space, and helps someone walk through it and out of it.”
Loving those around you, whether it’s the cashier at the grocery store, the difficult co-worker, or the family with screaming children next door, isn’t always the easiest or most comfortable. Sometimes we avoid it because we have pressing concerns happening in our lives. Other times we avoid it or push it back to another time because we’re busy or unsure how to reach out.
This summer, many teens decided – or, in some cases, had their parents decide for them – to put down their phones for a week and head to different cities across the country to participate in SERVE where they helped the homeless, the hungry and anyone else who needed a hand.
When a child or adult is baptised in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) the congregation is usually asked a question in addition to the parents or individual.
One year ago, I stood before the members of my congregation and made my profession of faith. In the months leading up to that moment, I learned a lot about the Christian Reformed Church and spent time reflecting on my own journey as a Christian.