the Catalyst, Spring 2017

the Catalyst, Spring 2017

Spring 2017 - Vol. 40, No. 1

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On Canada’s 150th, What Are First Nations Kids Losing Out To?
By Jennifer King & Cindy Blackstock

As the federal government prepares to spend half a billion dollars to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, First Nations in northern Ontario are mourning the loss of three young girls to suicide. These tragedies could have been prevented if Canada provided equitable mental health and other children’s services on reserve.

In Review

​Is This Not the Fast I Choose?
By Karri Munn-Venn

Fasting is not my strong suit. 

I have done it occasionally, but not at all gracefully. I really enjoy good food and I’ve been known, on occasion, to get a little “hangry” (you know, hungry-angry) if I haven’t properly fueled my body. For many years, however, I have given something up for Lent. As we approached Lent this year, I found myself reflecting on the purpose of it all.

Because It’s 2017...It’s Time to End Poverty in Canada
By Joe Gunn

At CPJ, we’ve decided that the best way to participate in Canada’s 150th anniversary is to renew our resolve to work for public justice and the flourishing of God’s shalom in the land. 2017 is an historic moment, worthy of our every effort to show what love looks like in public.

There is perhaps no better way to do this, than by ensuring our federal leaders complete the development and implementation of a robust poverty reduction plan.

An Ice Road to Reconciliation
By Asha Kerr-Wilson

Climate change affects the lives, lands, and cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples more directly and dramatically than most Canadians. But many communities in the more isolated and northern regions go unseen and unheard. Climate justice is a part of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

One road to get us there may well be made of ice and serve a small Ojibway Nation in northwestern Ontario.

A Made in Canada Housing Strategy
By Jeff Morrison

The link between access to safe, affordable, sustainable housing and poverty alleviation is clear.

Without access to decent housing, it is extremely difficult to pursue education, maintain employment, or raise a family. Safe, affordable housing allows individuals and families to work, which helps to ensure that they can break the bonds of poverty.

Refugees Are a Blessing to Canada
By Martha Wiebe

For nearly 40 years, Ottawa Mennonite Church has sponsored refugees from around the world. The experience has been overwhelmingly positive. They have not only contributed to the life of our congregation but also to our community and our country.

St. Patrick's Anticipatory Interruption
By Shawn Sanford Beck

Nestled in the liturgically purple lenten desert is a tiny green shard of resurrection.

Like a verdant weed sprouting up in the newly-ploughed spring garden mud, the feast day of blessed Patrick feels like it should belong to the Paschal season, rather than the penitential 40 days which precede it. I'm drawn to St. Patrick's Day as a parable: a tiny, homely hologram of the power of the Spirit to break in where she is not expected, an anticipatory interruption.

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