Hope through pandemic and resurrection
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Hope through pandemic and resurrection

Hamilton, Ontario poet John Terpstra is also a cabinet maker. Correspondingly, his writing hovers over themes of spirit and place. In Wild Hope Terpstra offers a sequel to In the Company of All: Prayers from Sunday Mornings at St. Cuthbert’s. There Terpstra concisely expressed that small congregation’s embodied spiritual desires, praises and hopes. With personal…

Review of Midsomer Murders (Amazon Prime)

Review of Midsomer Murders (Amazon Prime)

Rose and I never watched much television except for The National and Hockey Night in Canada. During Covid, Adrienne and Andrew dropped to second place; we can almost lip sync their nightly reports of Covid’s horror. Hockey Night vanished entirely. Who can watch hockey without roaring crowds? Amazon Prime Video’s Midsomer Murders supplanted all else,…

Finding life in a cold-water companion
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Finding life in a cold-water companion

When South African documentary filmmaker Craig Foster fell into a personal Slough of Despond, he came close to drowning emotionally and mentally. Netflix’s 85-minute My Octopus Teacher records his year-long recovery with daily baptisms in the eight-degree Centigrade sea off Cape Town. There he discovered he was not alone. As baptism declares, he died to…

Introducing our new mission statement

Introducing our new mission statement

“Christian Courier’s independent Canadian journalism inspires action, builds community and influences culture for Christ.” Last summer, as we were busy behind the scenes building our new website, we took a hard look at our mission statement. Printed on page 4 of every issue, you may have seen it before: “Established 75 years ago,” it said,…

Grief & Springs of Hope
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Grief & Springs of Hope

A Christian Courier lead article on Lifewater Canada, “Blindness to Vision”, told the story of Jim Gehrels’ life and work to provide safe, clean water for towns in Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria and Haiti by drilling community wells. Community is the key word. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Jim organized teams of a few volunteers from Canada…

A unique Canadian church happening
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A unique Canadian church happening

I have read a few dissertations and am happy that most were never released into the general population. Such scholarly scribblings might discourage many readers from ever thinking about graduate school. Then along came Peter Schuurman’s revamped dissertation, The Subversive Evangelical. Many in Canadian churches have awaited this book for some time. Its subjects –…

A Lament, Plea and Hope
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A Lament, Plea and Hope

Recently, Shiao Chong, Editor of The Banner, the Christian Reformed Church’s (CRC) official magazine, published two impassioned articles. In his editorial “Speak Out Against Racism” (June 29), he described a time when he was called a racist epithet on an elevator in Hamilton, Ontario. As well, he referred hopefully to the CRC’s recent statement on racism signed by many agency leaders and later endorsed by the Council of Delegates, though he noted there was “dissent.”

What to Read to Keep Your Mind Open and Heart Engaged

What to Read to Keep Your Mind Open and Heart Engaged

Rose and I spent some time in self-quarantine after returning from visiting Resonate missionaries in the Dominican Republic. For us privileged people this is an obligatory holiday in a comfy place – our home with a big back yard. I’m reading to our grandkids in Ottawa and Grand Rapids via Zoom. We’ve skipped through Stuart Macleans’ Stories from the Vinyl Cafe and one story from James Herriot’s The Lord God Made Them All; eight-year old Japheth zoned out of that Yorkshire tale.

Dear Friends,
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Dear Friends,

God has given Rose and me a grand and full life on his earth, with all kinds of adventures and experiences that have taken us to many nations, new cultures. We’ve eaten lots of different foods, endured unpredictable dangers and suffered tropical illnesses. Yet never have we seen reports of illness invading entire nations and communities within weeks as we have with this corona virus.

Searching For a Sexual Ethic

Searching For a Sexual Ethic

I’ve appreciated Nadia Bolz-Weber’s books, blogs, sermons, and much of Shameless. But as a semi-retired, white-privileged pastor, I risk cultural (mis)appropriation, poking around in lives of people in ways that could harm – not help. You, though, Sara, working with university students, have a closer view into their lives and issues of sexuality. So, thanks for discussing this book together. How did Shameless affect your own life and work?

From Blindness to Vision
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From Blindness to Vision

Jim Gehrels is going blind, but his vision is changing parts of God’s world. I first met Jim while visiting Thunder Bay two years before I moved there from Edmonton to pastor Hope Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Jim then worked as a water expert for Environment Ontario. In the late 1980s, he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). This untreatable degenerative illness deteriorates from night blindness and tunnel vision to total loss of sight. “I’d planned to work, save money, raise my kids – hoping after retirement to give back to God’s world,” Jim says. “With RP, my world collapsed.”