Check Your Filters
Opinion | Theology & Spirituality

Check Your Filters

Many current controversial ethical issues lead back to Genesis. Climate change. The role of women in church and society. Treatment of Black and Indigenous peoples. Who should be allowed to get married. The problem is not the text itself. Christians so often find themselves having to apologize for harms done because of the filters used…

The Engineer in Genesis
Creation | Opinion

The Engineer in Genesis

What does technology have to do with the opening chapters of Genesis? At first glance, the creation story seems to speak only of the natural world – skies and seas, fish and birds, stars and planets. However, the first chapters of Genesis provide a crucial frame for understanding the context for all our human cultural…

100 years of Psalm 100
Editorial | Family Life | Opinion

100 years of Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,……..bring sunshine into every room, pass out smiles like peppermints. What tricks you must have played, having an identical twin sister, so alike that even your father had to tickle you both and watch for Paula’s dimple to say, “Oh, that one’s Ali!” Worship the Lord with…

Pandemic isolation
Mental Health | Opinion

Pandemic isolation

In Genesis, one of the first things God says about humans before the Fall is “it is not good that the man should be alone” (2:18). We are alone in many ways right now. Ten months into this pandemic, in the midst of a long winter, many of us are feeling the effects of social…

Far stranger things
Opinion | Theology & Spirituality

Far stranger things

At the edge of the park, there is a line of trees with twisted branches. I remember cycling past them the first January we lived here, wondering about their strange branches. They looked sinister against a grey sky. Now we pass them every day, but they are different because we’ve seen them in springtime. Then,…

Happy New Year?
Disability | Family Life | Opinion

Happy New Year?

In 1999, Ralph and I were living in Minneapolis, and there was hype over the impending switch from 1999 to 2000. Given that computers were programmed for just two digits (keeping 19 as the understood first two digits), experts feared the systems that ran everything, including banking, power plants and library fines, would not be…

Genesis: First Date
Opinion

Genesis: First Date

I saw her on the first day of high school. Her name was Donna and I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on her. She lived in a big house overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. I live in a small house in Edmonton’s east end. Her dad was a well-to-do insurance broker. My…

A busy year
Opinion

A busy year

The past year has been a difficult one for many people round the globe, including our family. But it has also brought undoubted blessings, and these have made my life fuller and busier than I could have imagined a short time ago. Now I am embarking on a new venture for which I hope to…

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…

Homesick
Art | Indigenous | Opinion

Homesick

I’m thinking of home during this holiday season. Usually preparations are being made for the annual pow wow back in my home community, Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation near Kenora, Ont. This year I won’t be able to go back … travel restrictions and all. I will miss the sound of the drum and watching the…

The Great Frost of 2020
Holidays | Opinion

The Great Frost of 2020

The winter of 1709 was a killer. In England it was called “The Great Frost.” In France it was called “Le Grand Hiver.” Over three weeks in early January, temperatures dropped across Europe to levels not seen in 500 years. The Mediterranean Sea froze. Trees exploded. Livestock died in the barns. In Switzerland, wolves prowled…

An uneasy Christmas
Family Life | Holidays | Opinion

An uneasy Christmas

“Let’s pack this Christmas issue, our last of the year, with uplifting content” (Angela Reitsma Bick, CC Editor, in her pre-Christmas email to columnists). I have always had an uneasy relationship with Christmas. Perhaps that stems from my childhood upbringing in a conservative Dutch Canadian Reformed family. We went out of our way to distance…