the Catalyst, Spring 2015 – Vol. 38, No. 1

Spring 2015 – Vol. 38, No. 1

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In Review | Letters to the Editor

We want to hear from you! Submit your letters to Brad Wassink.

We Have a Plan
by Janelle Vandergrift

On February 3, 2015, the Dignity for All Campaign released its long-awaited “National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada.” Support has been widespread: over 15,000 individuals, 600 organizations, and 130 Members of Parliament and Senators have all signed on, agreeing that Canada needs a national plan to address poverty.

Reconciliation is Sacred Work 

by Mike Hogeterp

For seven generations, church-run boarding schools removed Indigenous children from their families. These schools’ expressed intent was to kill the Indian in the child. They denied the humanity and dignity of Indigenous people, both in governmental policy and in the attitudes of Canadians. The results have been the loss of Indigenous language and culture as well as cycles of poverty, addiction, and abuse in many Indigenous communities. Canadians might not know it, but we’ve been deprived of the good contributions that Indigenous people could have been bringing to our collective lives.

Faith Leaders Defend Syrian Muslim Refugees
by Kathryn Teeluck

Near the end of 2014, reports emerged indicating that the Government of Canada planned to prioritize religious minorities when resettling refugees from Syria. In a remarkable display of solidarity, CPJ and the Canadian Council for Refugees brought together 25 Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Sikh leaders. They signed on to a statement declaring their opposition to the selection of Syrian refugees according to religion.

Poverty Promises and Income Splitting 

by Sara Hildebrand

As a stay-at-home parent, I am grateful for a government that values our profound yet unpaid role in Canadian families. But did anyone ask stay-at-home parents if we want to enjoy income splitting tax savings when there are so many Canadians, especially children and our Aboriginal neighbours, in significant need? I for one don’t want to benefit at that cost. It is time to stand shoulder to shoulder and pay it forward to keep our promises.

A Home for Public Justice
by Jim McIntyre

It’s no accident that the words ecumenical, economic, and ecological all come from the same Greek root word, oikos, meaning “home.” For the past half century, CPJ has worked towards promoting a society—or a home—that cares for creation, welcomes the stranger, and offers dignity for all within it. Now, as we enter our sixth decade, we are building on that strong foundation while expanding the work of CPJ though our “Building Public Justice Together” campaign.

Groundings: Of Pigsties, Stewardship, and the Flourishing of Creation
by Jim Dekker

At a recent meeting of CPJ’s Board of Directors, an agenda item proposed changing one word in our mission statement. After a spirited discussion, we voted unanimously to replace “stewardship” with “the flourishing of creation.” Despite the word change, the fertile biblical concept of stewardship remains a core element in CPJ’s vision and mission. Thus, the fascinating, somewhat comical, history of the word “steward” is rich and worthy of brief reflection by CPJ’s community.

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