I work the for the CRCNA, out of the Burlington office in Canada on two teams:
Disability Concerns and Safe Church Ministry
I am currently completing my Masters of Arts: Theology, Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy
Posted in: Braiding Sweetgrass
I have a big recommendation for anyone planning to jump into this book - get the audio version! To hear the author reading it to you is like a lovely walk with her as she shares Indigenous wisdom. It has made this book very dear for me. I feel like she has brought me closer to God through her exploration of His creation. Highly recommend this book - especially if you are starting out on a long road trip. Download it and be prepared to want to find the nearest marshy area and take a closer look at the wonders of the earth at a microscopic level!
Posted in: Support Students; Don’t Villainize Them
thank you for taking time to share about your work within education - and that of your wife. It sounds like you have both invested a great deal in the lives of future generations.
You raise a very valid point in this article in that you are reading a small snapshot - 400 words - of the life of Al. There are so many questions that come to mind as Didi shared her viewpoint of his experience. What I feel we have to be careful of doing is putting our own experiences and perspective on another person's lived experience. I know that my perspective, for example, holds more privilege than Al's lived experience. It is important to give space for all the variables in his story that are not expanded upon in this short version of his life. When you noted the response of the Black student to his teacher, my first thought was what has been his lived experience that led to his response? As we pause with these stories, I think it is always important to think of where our own bias is and what we can do to listen well and then how we can advocate for equality within so many of our systems that have simply not been designed in that way historically.
Thank you everyone for the ongoing feedback on this post. It is clear that we are living in very challenging times as we raise our children. I have 2 teenage girls myself, so the conversation of safety in a relationship is extremely important to me. I have worked hard at insuring that my children have been very connected to their church community as they grow up. I pray that they both are able to form romantic relationships that have God at the centre and that respect is also at the forefront as well. However, I would be naive to think that they will be free from the dangers of an abusive relationship. As a mom, I feel it is my responsibility to talk to my kids about some of these hard issues. In addition, I think it is important that we work with our community to find support. Therefore, in an effort to find more resources for this post, I reached out to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to find out what organizations they turn to for support regarding abuse. They have, what I feel, is an excellent website dedicated to abuse response and prevention. Specific to our conversation, they have a number of resources on Intimate partner violence. I hope this provides you with resources you can share with your own teens, whether it is in your church or in your home.
Hi again! I wanted to just add a couple specific links for you that are from our friends at MCC:
Here is the webpage from MCC's Abuse and Prevention Website that is a list of education and prevention for all ages.
This lists resources for all age groups. However, specific to our conversation on teen dating violence, check out
Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships: A Resource Guide for Parents and Pastors. You can borrow the book online to see if it is a helpful option for the teens you are walking beside.