Justice, Ministry, parenting, Published articles

Banner Article: Towards an Anti-Racist Children’s Ministry

My recent article for The Banner looks at a topic I’ve struggled with in my job as Director of Family ministries: the need for, and lack of, diverse visual representation in children’s ministry, particularly as it pertains to Jesus.

For a while, I thought I was doing enough. I thought, “We have racial diversity in our congregation. The children are building relationships with people who are different from themselves. We have stick figures dressed in clothes from around the world painted in our Sunday school hallways. We are talking about love and acceptance and how we are all, in all our unique ways, made in God’s image.”

But then I observed some things that troubled me. I noticed how all the children, regardless of their own ethnicity, chose peach crayons to color their Bible characters.

Read the whole article here.

For other resources, check out this list of Multicultural Christian children’s books from Here We Read. As well, the article “Why We Must Start Talking About Race in Our Children’s Ministries” by Henry Zonio is an important read.

parenting, Published articles

Why Does Being Healthy Have to Hurt?

When we follow a Saviour who calls us to turn the other cheek, we can probably, at a bare minimum, cover those cheeks with a mask.

My small, peaceful hometown has been home to a number of anti-lockdown protests in recent months, including a march of 2000 people on November 7th. I wrote a bit about what’s happening there for the Christian Courier, as well as some thoughts on what it means for people of faith to respond to COVID-19.

‘Recently my very attentive three-and-a-half-year-old overheard me booking our flu shots over the phone. As I hung up, he blurted, “Are we all going to get shots?” His memory of the needle is distant, but his imagination of it is powerful. His lip began to quiver as I bent down to talk to him. 

“Yes,” I said, “because it will help us be healthier.” 

With tears in his eyes he said, “But why does being healthy have to hurt?”’ 

You can read more here.

Blog posts, Published articles

Cutting My Teeth as a Spiritual Writer

The Christian Courier is a Canadian Christian newsletter where I began my practice of spiritual writing. In October CC celebrated 75 years of publication. I wrote some of my reflections about writing for them, about starting as a timid columnist, and the gift of working with the late editor, Bert Witvoet as well as the current editor, Angela Reitsma Bick.

You can read that article published in the Christian Courier here.

Blog posts, Published articles

Consent in the Church

I’m a bit behind in posting this, but in September I wrote an article for The Banner entitled “Churches Need Hugs and Consent, and They Can Have Both.” Church is an important source of physical contact for many people. I think we often underestimate how deeply many of us need these points of connection. In my own life, outside of family, the church has been the biggest source of physical affection. However, sometimes that affection is not offered in ways that make people feel safe and comfortable. You can read more of my reflections on this here.

Published articles, Uncategorized

Inheriting Privilege

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Over the past few years I’ve been on the continuing and unending journey of sorting through stuff I’ve inheriting, as well as some of my own childhood stuff I stuffed in the attic of the family home I grew up in. It’s a bit overwhelming at times.

Somehow the process of sorting through so many things that I’ve inherited–stuff I want and stuff I’d like to just ignore–brought to mind the ways in which we inherit privilege, whether we want it or not, whether we want to deal with it or not. I wrote a piece a few months ago about checking our privilege as spiritual practice, and I think it’s an essential ongoing exercise for white Christians. You can check it out in The Banner here.