Prophetic ministry, resurgent

Anglicans kick their political theology up a notch

Kai Nagata

Immigration lawyer Mitchell Goldberg speaks out against Bill C-31 on the steps of Quebec City’s Anglican cathedral. Photo courtesy of Bruce Myers.

In March I wrote an article for The Tyee called “Occupy the Pews,” exploring the idea of prophetic ministry. That’s when members of a church apply Christian teachings to the world around them, which often means confronting uncomfortable contradictions, speaking truth, and challenging power.

Effective prophets, like Jesus of Nazareth, tend to have short careers.

I argued that with its clear values and existing infrastructure, the Anglican Church of Canada should be a powerful organ of progressive social change. Yet this impulse is often stymied by the practicalities of institutional survival. The Church struggles constantly to reconcile its spiritual calling with real-world politics and economics.

Those challenges continue, but as spring arrives across Canada there are signs of stirring. Continue reading

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Do Dogs go to Heaven?

A Pet’s Death Opens A Wider View of Salvation

Bruce Myers

My dog died.

He was a seven-year-old, somewhat goofy, charmingly disobedient, painfully cute Bernese mountain dog named Calvin, in recognition of the fact he was an ordination gift from my two best friends in seminary, now both Presbyterian clergymen.

A 10-week-old puppy when we were united, Calvin became almost better known in my first parish than I was, enchanting young and old with equal, slobbery alacrity. When I moved abroad for a year of graduate studies, he moved to the family farm and became as much my mother’s dog as mine. When I returned to Canada and moved to Quebec City, he effortlessly learned to be a canis urbanis. As a single person, Calvin was an especially important part of my life. He was, as the canine stereotype goes, my faithful companion. Continue reading