I grew up in the Christian Reformed Church. I was born into a Christian home, baptized on the eighth day, Sunday-schooled at age four, children’s-choired at eight, catechized at 13, faith-professed at 17. I went to Christian day schools from K-12, then Calvin College and Calvin Seminary.
People in a small group were sharing some difficult family histories of divorce and parental abandonment. I reflected that amazingly my wife and I have few divorces in our family trees. I commented that in my family we did not split families, we split churches.
The secret’s been out for a while now. Pastors are talking, parents are worrying and research is revealing the rise of a significant absence in the current Christian church: young people between the ages of 18 and 25.
If you are attentive, you might notice them straining and stretching their little necks to see if it is time. If you are listening, you should hear the cue from the pastor to come forward for the KidSong.
I am a daughter of immigration. For four generations, the women in my family have been born in different countries – Russia, Paraguay, Brazil, Canada. From my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother, I am the first woman to have my own daughter in the country in which I was born.
“But God prepared a cutworm when the morning dawned the next day, and it smote the gourd so that it withered.” Jonah 4:7
Summer. Slower pace and open days. Sunshine, if we’re lucky, and some fine warm weather. A few days ago, I was biking through the park and a fellow cyclist shouted out to me, “these are the days we’ve earned!”
Not long ago, watching television was like this: On Thursday night at 8PM, you and your dad would sit together for one hour with a bowl of popcorn and tune into CBS to watch the latest episode of Magnum PI. The next day at school, you’d talk about that episode with your friends.
It was supposed to be all about language. After the Parti Québécois formed its first provincial government in late 1976, it enacted Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language, which abolished Québec’s previous bilingual status and guaranteed the priority of the majority tongue.
Human sexuality, the issue is tearing up churches and our society. As I write this, I plan to participate in a discussion of a report on this topic at the Christian Reformed Synod in June. This report has excellent stories that reflect the concerns and issues in real personal terms
Having grown up in church, I’ve lost count of how often I’ve heard the announcement for the latest iteration of that series on sex or marriage or something like it. It’s always for married people, but in the name of inclusivity, one segment will be awkwardly reserved “for the singles.”
I had lunch with a Laurier graduate last week. We discussed the sort of recently-passed milestones you might expect in such a conversation: completed exams, grad school applications, job searches and his commencement ceremony.