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Joe Gunn

Sidelines are no place to reconcile with indigenous

Joe Gunn
April 18, 2016

Where do the churches find themselves in the journey towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples? In an Ottawa sanctuary at the end of March, Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, described our current status in vivid terms.

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Reconciliation with Aboriginal people begins in parishes

Joe Gunn
March 21, 2016

Canadian society, and Canada's historical Christian churches in particular, have been rocked by the legacy of Indian residential schools. While much of the hard work of reconciliation is left to be done - a deadline for Catholic action is looming this month. Released last June, one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) calls to action asked faith groups "to formally adopt and comply with the principles, norms and standards of the UN's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a framework for reconciliation."

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Project Ploughshares strives to build peace

Joe Gunn
February 22, 2016

Are you afraid of the terrorists? If not afraid, according to the most recent polls, most of your neighbours believe that Canada should at least be doing more to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria. In response, this month the Liberal government announced increased measures to combat Islamic State fighters: more humanitarian assistance has been promised, a larger number of Special Forces will be sent to the region on an enlarged training mission, while two reconnaissance aircraft and an aerial refueling plane will remain in theatre.

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Alta., Sask. must clean up our acts so planet can breathe

Joe Gunn
January 25, 2016

Pope Francis recently highlighted "efforts to bring world leaders together at COP21 in the search for new ways to confront climate change" as optimistic signs of a bright new future for humankind. The pope's World Day of Peace message on Jan. 1, entitled Overcome Indifference and Win Peace, cites different reasons for a hopeful future. But Canadian efforts to lower our carbon emissions are vastly more complicated depending on the province in which you live.

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Book explores interplay of faith, politics

Joe Gunn
December 21, 2015

Faith and politics matter," says John Milloy, author of a new book of this very title, released by Novalis Publishing last month. He should know. Milloy was a staffer in Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's office, later served as an Ontario provincial cabinet minister and now is professor of public ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

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Bishops ask parishes to welcome strangers into Canada now

Joe Gunn
November 23, 2015

It seems impossible to read a Canadian newspaper these days without weeping over coverage of the unprecedented refugee crisis worldwide. Unexpectedly, even the Canadian election campaign was momentarily caught up in the Syrian refugee dilemma, after the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach. And, in early October, Canada's Catholic bishops released a pastoral letter on welcoming refugees.

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New government must target climate change

Joe Gunn
October 26, 2015

I'm told a trip to Paris should be a treat in anyone's life. But only six weeks after the federal election, our newly-elected Prime Minister will face his first foreign-policy challenge there. Will he make Canadians proud? COP 21, the United Nations conference on climate change, starts in the French capital on the last day of November. The nations of the world will attempt to agree to targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that will prevent global temperatures from rising over 2? Celsius.

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Flex your social justice muscles at election time

Joe Gunn
September 28, 2015

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the federal election, he framed the debate as having two key pillars: the economy and security. The crushing migrant crisis in Europe fed into this frame - until the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach, and that unforgettable photo broke our hearts. The defining issue then became humanitarian leadership; faith communities were thrown directly into the forefront of debate.

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Thinking, acting, praying after pope delivers Laudato Si'

Joe Gunn
August 31,2015

How Pope Francis' memorable encyclical, released in mid-June, will be accepted among the Canadian faithful depends on how the Church responds to calls for change in our thoughts, actions and prayer. Evoking the example of Francis of Assisi, the pope stresses an "integral ecology" as that which "takes us to the heart of what it is to be human" (11). He defines our modern malaise as human beings having lost our "true place in this world" (115).

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Faith groups can increase refugee support

Joe Gunn
July 27, 2015

In human history, the world has never seen anything like it. In June, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported "a staggering crisis." The number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 as a result of war, conflict and persecution had risen to 59.5 million, compared with 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.

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