Left-brained church
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Left-brained church

I took an intro to drawing class some years back at the Button Factory, a brick factory turned community arts centre here in Waterloo. My teacher was a genial, white-bearded man with the sort of monastic disposition that comes with being resolutely attentive and devoted to a craft. He was pale, with white tissue paper…

Effective immediately: Jesus no longer works here
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Effective immediately: Jesus no longer works here

In the 1990s, Kellogg Company produced a series of commercials featuring their iconic mascot, Tony the Tiger. The plot of these commercials typically revolved around a kid being bullied. To help the young person overcome their adversaries, Tony the Tiger offers some Frosted Flakes cereal. Through the power of the sugar-coated cereal, the child and…

Be-Longing
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Be-Longing

I cried out.“I no longer belong.”You heard my painful cry.You walked by on the other side.Afraid to be contaminated?Concerned about what others might say?Confident in your holiness.You threw out those you judged unholy.Now I sit with them in the ashes. I had belonged.All my life I belonged.I belonged to the church, the schools. The community was…

The porn connection
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The porn connection

During the Christian Reformed Church’s Synod, I was surprised when an overture asking that clergy “curtail pornography use” didn’t pass – especially because “curtail” already sounds toothless in this context. Surely “halt all pornography use immediately” would be better? So I called the Director of Safe Church Ministry, Amanda Benckhuysen, for an explanation. The overture…

The walking wounded
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The walking wounded

“This church had a profound and positive impact on me for decades,” a former Meeting House member reflected. “I’m trying to figure out what to do with the revelations about what was going on behind the scenes. Flashes of Bruxy’s teaching will come back to me at various times and I’ll remember how positively it…

Groundhog Day: The Church Edition
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Groundhog Day: The Church Edition

I recently resumed pastoral ministry in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) after 10 years with the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC). During those years, the matter of human sexuality dominated the denominational agenda. The engagement was serious, intense and divisive, with each side endlessly quoting their chosen Bible texts. When I attended my first Classis…