One Last Love Letter to CC
Lloyd Rang is saying goodbye to his regular column in CC.
This will be my last regular column for Christian Courier.
I was recently elected as a municipal councillor in my hometown, and I am cutting back on some of my other commitments to focus on representing my constituents, including this column. I wanted to take an opportunity to say goodbye.
I wrote my first article for CC when I was 13 years old. I wanted to be a writer – and that’s exactly what I became, thanks to the editor who nurtured a young man’s dreams. My dad was a columnist for CC for many years; following in his footsteps has been a real pleasure.
In the 40 years that I’ve been associated with CC, the paper has undergone many changes. When I was first published, there were still the occasional articles written in Dutch. The world was a bit smaller and a lot slower, and postwar immigrants still turned to CC for news from “home.” The paper had a definite “inward” focus for a group of people who were working out how they fit into the Canadian cultural context.
Decades later, the paper reflects a religious tradition and a group of people who have found their footing and no longer look backwards, but forwards. Not inward, but outwards. It is a confident, thoughtful place with talented, imaginative writers led by an editor – the amazing Angela Reitsma Bick – who is unafraid to tackle big issues and ask tough questions.
But some things have not changed.
Towards the horizon
The Reformed tradition – as distinct from the general evangelical community in North America – has always been at its best when it celebrates the totality of the Christian experience. Our Reformed community has always been a bit more bookish, a bit more thoughtful and a lot more concerned with education and the life of the mind than some more mainstream protestant traditions. These are the things I appreciate: we celebrate the arts, are passionate about culture, and thoughtfully analyze the currents of contemporary society to see where we can make an impact. We tend to be philosophizers more than proselytizers, and let scripture speak to us rather than forcing it to say what we wish it would say.
At our worst, of course, we can be a “stiff necked people,” reactionary where we should be loving and slow to affirm those who are different from us. That’s the point of community, though: we choose to live in it despite its challenges, and do our part to make positive change, because we know that a community where we always agree with everything would be a community of one, if that.
I have been proud to be part of a publication that seeks to know the truth. One that celebrates the artistic and analytical talents of people in our community. One that inspires people to think deeply and critically about events and issues around us. A publication that celebrates honest dialogue in a world where the walls around various echo chambers seem to grow taller and thicker by the day.
The word “courier” comes from an old French word coreor, meaning to “run on ahead or to scout out the land.” It seems to me that’s exactly what CC has been for the Christian and Reformed communities: a place that looks ahead to what’s over the horizon, and challenges us to come along, and move forward, together.
It has been my great honour to play a small part in that important work as we try to discern God’s will for our lives, our communities and our country. We are not here for a long time – and what time we have moves quickly – but we are blessed to have this place to reflect, think and speak to one another as we travel along, together.
Thanks for reading. And read on!