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…

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?…

The Church & Human Rights
News | Reformed | Social Justice

The Church & Human Rights

Perhaps it is not a surprise that the mere installation, at Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of a deacon who is in a same-sex marriage has stirred a controversy in the CRC. However, as a lawyer and member of the CRC, it concerns me that my faith community routinely lags…

Beyond Stewardship
Industry & Agriculture | Opinion | Social Justice

Beyond Stewardship

Waste reduction motivated two major initiatives in my early social justice work. Both became national success stories; over time, however, both enabled more waste and had other unintended consequences. Reflecting on that, I wonder if more than stewardship is needed to ground our approach to care for God’s creation. Edmonton’s Blue Box program was cutting-edge…

Persist and Persevere
Features | Health & Wellness | Social Justice

Persist and Persevere

About a year ago a friend asked me, “What is the difference between doing and being?” The question stumped me because each time I thought of the act of being, it was associated with an equivalent act of doing: if I am this, I do that. The two seemed inseparable. It took me a few weeks of contemplation to express that while being is indeed often associated with doing, there has to be more to it than that.

When Friends Die
News | Social Justice

When Friends Die

Between 2016 and 2019, 15,393 people died from drug overdoses in Canada. This year, we’re breaking the records set in those years.  “Canadians should be seized with this particular crisis,” says Canada’s Chief public health officer Dr. Teresa Tam. The closed Canada-U.S. border, increased social isolation and reduced access to safe supply are all factors…

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.

A Lament, Plea and Hope
News | Social Justice

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.”

To Just Be Heard
News | Social Justice

To Just Be Heard

Being heard, being seen, being witnessed – these are essential to human dignity and survival. In Genesis, an African slave woman stumbles in the desert, pregnant, with nowhere to go. God comes to her. She names him “the God who sees.” In Hosea, the holy city – God’s city – is ravaged. Personified as a woman, the city cries, “Who will be a witness to my affliction?”

Refugee Rights
Immigration | News | Social Justice

Refugee Rights

In 2017, Nedira Mustefa sought refugee protection at the Canadian border and found herself in solitary confinement in a small cold cell with no blanket and little food in a U.S. prison, without being charged for any crime. Her story is the real-life outcome of something called the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada…