Bringing Christmas to the world
Church Life | News

Bringing Christmas to the world

Many Christians take down their Christmas trees shortly after Christmas Eve. As their trees are awaiting pickup at the curb, others are still celebrating “Christmastide,” a season that stretches from the celebration of Jesus’s birth at Christmas on December 25th through to the celebration of Epiphany on January 6th. A celebration of God unveiled Epiphany…

‘Help us, O God, that we might help each other’
Church Life | News

‘Help us, O God, that we might help each other’

In this time of COVID-19, we pray: When we aren’t sure, God,……..help us be calm;when information comes from all sides,……..correct and not, help us to discern;when fear makes it hard to breathe,and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,……..slow us down, God;help us to reach out with our hearts,……..when we can’t touch with…

Songs of longing
Church Life | News | Reformed | Uncategorized

Songs of longing

How can Christians celebrate Christmas without singing?! In my own congregation, in a survey seeking wisdom on whether, when and how to worship in person again, one person confessed, “I’m not a good singer, but that is what I miss the most.” That comment touched my heart. God loves to hear our praises, and our…

The politics of space
Church Life | News | Social Justice

The politics of space

Though COVID-19 dominated headlines for most of 2020, prominent monuments were in the news a few times throughout the year as the statues of historical figures all over the world were vandalized. Both Christopher Columbus and Sir John A. MacDonald were beheaded, as Roland DeVries wrote about for CC in September. Perpetrators protested Columbus’ connection…

A stone for christmas
Church Life | Holidays | Opinion

A stone for christmas

I am giving stones for Christmas. No, not lumps of coal for the naughty, although 2020 might deserve it. I am giving geodes – plain-looking rocks on the outside, with hollow centers of beautiful crystalline structures. Geodes have been significant in my ministry. As the first pastor of Pathway Ministries in Byron Center, Michigan, I…

A Lenten Year
Church Life | Holidays | Opinion

A Lenten Year

COVID-19 has changed our lives in ways we don’t want them changed. And it will change our Christmas celebrations in significant ways, but I’m wondering, as difficult as those changes will be, if the pandemic might have a positive impact on our celebrations. Could COVID-19 deepen our experience of Grace from Advent to Easter and…

Wise men lost?
Church Life | Opinion | Science & Technology

Wise men lost?

From June 29 to July 2 this year, the American Astronomical Society held a virtual conference on satellite constellations’ impact on optical astronomy. The scientists were concerned that satellite deployment, particularly bright satellites in low-Earth orbit, will prevent us from collecting meaningful optical data from the stars. I grew up in Montreal and never realized…

Look, a star!
Church Life | Opinion

Look, a star!

“The star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great delight. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with his mother Mary, and they fell down and worshiped him”(Matt. 2: 9-11a). Long…

Listen. Learn. Relinquish Power.
Church Life | Features | Social Justice

Listen. Learn. Relinquish Power.

Where can a congregation go if they’re looking for resources to learn how to centre people from minority groups and go beyond merely including them? What if you’re wanting to listen to the voices of the LGBTQ+ community in your congregation? Or people with disabilities? People affected by poverty or homelessness? People with mental illnesses?…

Zoom church
Church Life | Opinion

Zoom church

Church leaders have written much on “how COVID-19 changes everything.” Yet it seems that the goal of church leaders is that everything should eventually return to normal, despite their protestations to the contrary. The literature suggests that some lasting effects of the pandemic will include more virtual congregations, individualism and (gasp) lower financial offerings. Will…