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Recently Relevant Magazine printed 3 open letters by Ron Sider addressed to the younger generation.  I am not familar with Ron Sider but the article states his creditals in social justice circles this way:  "Many would consider Dr. Ron Sider the father of the modern Christian social justice...

April 26, 2011 0 3 comments
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     "Imagine a small village next to a rushing river.  One day, as the villagers are performing their daily duties, they hear the sound of crying.  Horrified, they see a baby floating helplessly in the river.  Some of the villagers immediately swim out to save the baby.  They wrap him in warm...

November 6, 2010 0 5 comments
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One of the buzz phrases I have heard in many social justice circles regarding the issue of immigration reform is “Comprehensive and Just Immigration Reform”.  But I have taken a slight twist on that idea and have used it to advocate for our Native American communities by pointing out that “...

September 2, 2010 0 0 comments
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It’s been a big couple of weeks for immigration. Two weeks ago at Synod, the CRCNA adopted the Report on the Migration of Workers (see here: http://www.crcna.org/news.cfm?newsid=2023§ion=1) which, among other things, calls the denomination to education and advocacy towards a more just...

July 1, 2010 0 19 comments
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I attended the Justice Conference at Oakdale Park CRC this morning, sponsored by Association for a More Just Society and Office of Social Justice. Thanks for putting it together. At the panel on Justice & Education in Grand Rapids, I wanted to say "Amen" to Mindy Hamstra's dream of families...
March 13, 2010 0 5 comments

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Hi Kris, What do you mean other the statement of fact which I agree withthis statement.

I agree relationships are critical.  Especially when they extend to the level of recognizing gifts in one another and even confession, forgiveness and reconciliation.  It is important to consider if we are doing what we can to offer everything in our power within these mutual relationships.

posted in: Holistic Helping

 

Ken,

 

I agree relationships are critical.  Especially when they extend to the level of recognizing gifts in one another and even confession, forgiveness and reconciliation.  It is important to consider if we are doing what we can to offer everything in our power within these mutual relationships.

Here is another example of helping in holistic way:  Many who are working in one on one relationships with people who are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking spend a great amount of energy speaking to the governments of their countries. Governments who often turn a blind eye to this kind of activity.  They also work to get permission from the government to provide preventive education in schools. They spend time raising funds to support themselves and pay for the resources to keep their education, discipleship and advocacy ministries going.  As simple servants of a greater master they pray and they call on others to pray.  They see the impact their work is making and train other church groups to join with them and multiply their cause.

posted in: Holistic Helping

Thanks Kris,

   You nailed it . It's all relational. The pain ,loss and hopelessnss are symtoms of people lacking validation. They don't matter too people so they don;t matter to themselves. Endless cycle that may seem bizzare to "normal" people only because their time hasn't come yet. Rest assured it will.

posted in: Holistic Helping

Thanks for the comment, Pastor T. I'm happy to explain further. There's a good overview of the system's injustices on the Office of Social Justice website: http://www.crcna.org/pages/osj_immbackground.cfm And the unjust practices of enforcement I was referring to are things like mass workplace raids (which punish workers and their families, but not the employers who hired them), a significant acceleration of detention and deportation of immigrants, and a total lack of resource management when it comes to targeting criminal immigrants instead of workers. This has resulted in a separation of families, a worsening of the economies that have been subject to raids, an increased backlog of people waiting for their day in immigration court, and a lot of problems for pastors (maybe like you!) of churches in our denomination who are trying to minister with and to immigrants in their communities. Hope that's helpful.

Dear Miss Kooyman:

I'm curious. In your first paragaph, you noted that the church suffers when "immigration laws are so unjust." In your second paragraph, you said, "To lots of us who have been watching this administration worsen instead of improve the most unjust practices of US immigration enforcement, this was a cup of cold water."

Would you please explain why the immigration laws are so unjust, and would you also enumerate "the most unjust practices" of US immigration enforcement?

Cordially,

Pastor T.

If http://www.greatschools.org/cities.page?city=Grand%20Rapids&state=MI is a fair representation of the Grand Rapids metro area then the Grand Rapids School District seems to be a typical large American city with good schools in the rich districts and poor schools in poor districts. Would you who might pull your kids out of Christian schools be putting your kids in a rich school or a poor school? I suspect the rich neighborhoods are not very "diverse," maybe less so than the church you attend?

Are your children old enough to understand the social and educational implications of making this change? Are you qualified and have the time to home teach your kids to make up for any deficiencies in the public school you choose?

I admire adults who intentionally go into harm's way for a good cause but is it "fair" to use one's children no matter how good the cause?

posted in: Religious Education

Hey Michael, The conference was a Saturday gathering of folks in the West Michigan area who wanted to talk about how to be engaged in justice right now. There were a number of workshops that covered topics like restorative justice, education, immigration, justice in Honduras, human trafficking, racial justice, and lots more. It was the second annual conference of this kind -- both this year's and last year's were sponsored by the Office of Social Justice and the Association for a More Just Society. The education conversation that Noah was referring to was part of a panel discussion on justice in education, where representatives of the Grand Rapids Public School board, Grand Rapids Christian Schools, Potters House, and a new school called Living Stones all spoke to seeking justice in our community's education system. Does that answer your question?

posted in: Religious Education

I didn't attend, but noticed this news story that gives some more information about it.

posted in: Religious Education

I missed this conference, but I would like some clarification on what this was about – if anyone has the time.

posted in: Religious Education

I have an even better idea--let's find ways to make sure that the Christian day schools we support (whether in Grand Rapids or out here in the provinces) are capable of admitting children from every ethnicity, race, and income level. That way everyone has access to a Christ-centered education.

posted in: Religious Education

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