Skip to main content

Hello Hilda:


Thanks for the question and the recommendation.  Widening the circle is still in use and has been appreciated a great deal by participants.  Given some transitions in our race relations staffing in Canada and covid related restrictions we can't run the workshop easily right now.  If you, or others are interested in scheduling a workshop, please get in touch with me:  [email protected]


Mike Hogeterp


Thanks very much for this excellent piece of work Monika!  

As it happens this issue is not at all academic or hypothetical in my little corner of the world:  I work (mostly) alone in the upstairs of a church building that is regularly empty between 1/2 and 1/3rd of the work week.  In the past with 'safe-church principles' in mind, I worked with a fabulous female intern, and had to restrict her schedule to times in which we knew that Church staff would be in the building (office with an open door).  It was probably the strongest internship we've ever had, but there were very clear limitations due to the scheduling.  At the end of the internship the young woman was deeply complimentary about the experience but recommended that women not  serve in our office unless something could be done about the schedule restrictions.  That has, since then, restricted our intern pool significantly - this is deeply unfortunate.

So, Monika, given this article, and the deeply significant need we have for the full participation of women and men in our work, is there anything creative that we can do to make our place more Gender inclusive and fully appropriate from a safe-church perspective?  

Mike Hogeterp

Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, 

Algonquine Terrritory, Ottawa Ontario


Thanks for this hopeful piece Keith.  I too have had the privilege of working with Bishop MacDonald - a gracious and wise leader in the church.  CCBF's ideas for linking with leaders in Indigenous communities are an exciting contribution to reconciliation - which is fundamentally about build relationships between people.

Mr. Bossenkool:  Thanks for your comments here and on the CRC News article about the efforts for reconciliation in Indigenous Education.  I certainly understand the concern you raise about the churches and Indigenous Education - after all the Church was part of an education system that abused children and tore families apart for 7 generations in the residential schools.  But in this harsh reality, there is incredible grace too.  For instance, as far back as the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, Indigenous People themselves have been saying that Churches must play a role in healing and reconciliation.  This has been echoed many times in the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools.  In turning away from the evils of our past, the church can model repentance by seeking reconciled relationships with our neighbors.

Indigenous education reform is also something where that repentance and reconciliation can be modeled. This is not at all to say that the churches should return to running education in Indigenous communities. It is rather, a chance for us to affirm the truth of our broken history and the need for Indigenous communities to take their rightful leadership in educating and protecting their children.  I've heard from Indigenous leaders many times that there is excellent knowledge about how to rebuild education in their communities.  The problem is the lack of political will and the indifference of the Canadian public.  So, in this purported 'era of reconciliation' its important for us to bear witness to the need for reconciliation in education - indeed its critical  when we consider the fact that there are huge disparities in the funding of Indigenous kids (on reserve) when compared with non-Indigenous kids in Provincial systems. 

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post