Calling Santé Québec
Health & Wellness | Opinion

Calling Santé Québec

The human voice is a powerful instrument. Through speaking, singing, whispering and shouting, our voices express much of the human experience. Our voices are also basic to our sharing meaningfully with others. Through verbal communication we express a range of emotions and experiences: anger, desire, sympathy, fear and amusement, among others. I became particularly attuned…

Two Montreal Statues
Art | News | Social Justice

Two Montreal Statues

When a bronze statue of Sir John A. MacDonald was pulled down by anti-racism protestors on August 29, it wasn’t the first time Canada’s first Prime Minister lost his head. Erected in downtown Montreal in 1895, the statue has long been a target of vandalism. In 1992 it was decapitated on the anniversary of the hanging of Louis Riel. Since then it has been defaced with paint and graffiti many times.

The Problem with Silence
News | Politics | Social Justice

The Problem with Silence

When it comes to social and political issues, I confess that my own impulse is toward public silence. Even in the face of the ongoing, widespread protests against anti-Black racism, part of me preferred silence. Not because I am unconcerned about the reality of racism in our culture (as I have told myself). Rather, a significant part of me has felt I should just get on with faithfully relating to students and colleagues and friends who are people of colour.

The Difference Between Optimism and Hope
Opinion

The Difference Between Optimism and Hope

Where would you put yourself on the optimism/pessimism spectrum? I suppose I land just slightly on the optimistic side, though with serious bouts of pessimism thrown in now and again. Among my friends there is at least one eternal pessimist (with an astonishing capacity to see the worst in every situation) and a few who seem born entirely to optimism (forever confident things will be just fine).

After the Abuse
Church Life | News

After the Abuse

This past semester I taught a course entitled “The Theology of Disability” at McGill University in Montreal. It was an unusual semester to be teaching, given the disruptions caused by COVID-19. As of March 16, all academic activities were suspended for two weeks and, following this pause, classes shifted to an online format for the rest of the term. Earlier in the semester, however, the class experienced a disruption that was arguably more significant in terms of our subject matter.

(Un)Finished
Opinion

(Un)Finished

Over the past months, a few friends have been reading Jon Acuff’s book Finish: Giving Yourself the Gift of Done – it’s a book you will find on the “motivational” or “self-help” shelf. Acuff has written Finish with the goal of helping readers get beyond their perfectionism and busyness so they can actually finish something – a book, an exercise regime or a personal project. Acuff is the kind of writer who makes you think anything is possible. Reading the book is like listening to a hilarious and wise friend tell stories over a beer.

The Missing Cup
Opinion

The Missing Cup

Tis the season of the holiday coffee cup. Whether you prefer to line up at Second Cup or Starbucks, your paper cup will evoke a festive and holiday spirit. It will do so, of course, without reference to any traditional Christian teachings concerning the birth of the Messiah. At this time of year, Starbucks is often singled out by the Christmas/Christian culture warriors for its willingness to exploit the birth of Jesus while simultaneously erasing the Bethlehem narrative.

How a Pastor Cares
Opinion

How a Pastor Cares

You would think that pastoral care would be a straightforward practice at this point in the church’s history. After all, we have centuries’ worth of pastoral images to work with. In Psalm 23 and the prophecy of Ezekiel we discover a God who leads his sheep into places of peaceful comfort and who accompanies them and restores them. In Jesus we have the image of a shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. This is to say nothing of the writings of Paul or the myriad of modern books that expound on the ways pastors might care for their flock.