‘Why we love CC’
Bold, radical, diverse journalism.
Last month I spoke with three Christian Courier subscribers, Dennis and Jenny DeGroot and John Ravensbergen, to ask why they love Christian Courier.
My first call was with the DeGroots. Dennis grew up in Alberta, Jenny in Langley, British Columbia. They live in Langley and are recently retired. “We’re recent personal subscribers, but in some ways we’ve been subscribers since we were little because both of our parents always got Christian Courier. . . . When we re-subscribed we were pleasantly surprised because CC had a freshness about it that we didn’t necessarily expect.”
John and Joanne Ravensbergen live in Elim Village, a new retirement community in Chilliwack, BC. They subscribed to Christian Courier about 50 years ago. “Christian Courier was an obvious thing to subscribe to,” John recalls, “because a lot of articles were writing about how Christianity isn’t just going to church and having a relationship with Jesus, but also being disciples out in society.”
We talked about the recent series on women ordination, as well as the discouraging fact that this is still a discussion with polarized perspectives. As John says, “Never mind these people who want to sideline women; keep proclaiming the gospel!”
As we talk, I find myself nodding in agreement: one thing we both love about CC is the diversity of voices. “That’s its mission, really; to present a diversity of voices but also to participate in the dialogue around theological issues, Christian schools and around Christian politics, and I think it’s done well at that,” Dennis reflects. “For example, there was some pretty bold reporting on the binational Christian Reformed Church’s recent issues. Christian Courier was willing to put out a particularly Canadian perspective saying ‘Look folks, we’re Canadian. This is how we’re different. Don’t assume you speak for all of us.’”
CC is more than just reporting, it’s a part of family traditions.
“Every Christmas Eve we waited for the Christian Courier and my mom would read the story to us,” Jenny remembers. “When I was little my siblings and I were mesmerized by them.”
But CC goes beyond stories. It inspires us as readers to engage with our culture. “I’ve been encouraged to get involved,” John explains. “At one time a federal MP had a round table discussion on a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy and CC was instrumental in encouraging me to go to that.” John wrote a paper about the injustices to the Indigenous peoples who were denied access to basic human rights and presented it at the round table. “These opportunities are just not there for them. Why is that? It’s a total injustice.”
I asked for one word to explain why Jenny, Dennis and John love Christian Courier. We narrowed it down to CC’s boldness, radicality and strong female voices. But it doesn’t end there, this is only the beginning of CC’s legacy.