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Post By: Sandra Van Opstal
Chasing Justice is hard. The work of overthrowing powers and principalities systems and structures requires rootedness. It is thankless, it is exhausting, and it is dangerous. That is why Lent is a grace to me as one who is committed to chasing justice. Lent invites us to focus on the life and death of Jesus. To enter in to the full beauty of his words and deeds embodied in love and grace. And to enter […]
Recently an emerging Latina leader posted this article in my Alma Mater’s Mosaic Bulletin (pg 14). Notice anything? Seven years ago, this interview of me was posted in the Graduate Scrawl (student newspaper) at the same institution: [Editors’ note: Sandra Van Opstal graduates in December with her MDiv. She has been recognized in numerous ways by students and faculty for her passion for worship and preaching in the context of multicultural fellowship and racial reconciliation, […]
Want to be a white ally? Three tips from the 2018 Golden Globes. PRESENCE. White evangelical leaders should be asking themselves what their presence at an event, institution, or publication means. If you agree to speak at an event that that does not include the voices, concerns or narrative of people of color you are saying something to me. If you are a male who feels super proud of a publication or event you have […]
On May 25, 2017, Fuller hosted an episode of The Story Table in Chicago. I joined fellow guests Mark Labberton, (President, Fuller Seminary), Marshall Hatch Sr. (Senior Pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church), Wayne L. Gordon (Pastor of Lawndale Community Church), Reggie Williams (Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary) and Shannon J. Kershner (Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church) in a conversation on Faith and Fear.
Who is a woman you take on this trip with you? This was the question that was asked of us as we started this #rubywoopilgrimage last night. The first person I always think of is my mother. Not just because she is beautiful and compassionate, but because of the courage it took to move to a new country and re-establish herself. My mother is still the woman I take with me everywhere I go when […]
September 24th was Safe Church Sunday for the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Esperanza Rosario (leader of the prayer team and the Director of Community Outreach) and Elsie Rodriguez (Elder) at Grace and Peace Church, wrote this prayer to be shared in churches across North America. Please share with your congregations as you consider that this is not merely an issue of outreach. Two in five Evangelical Pastors know a church member who has experienced […]
“Friday is the day Mexican culture get appropriated by everyone- florists, classrooms, bars, social media. You don’t deserve the joy and beauty of tacos margaritas, brightly colored decor, if you are not ready to stand with and advocate for the people whose culture you are co-opting. #5demayo” After I posted this, I got reposts and responses. (not all happy) Along with being told by a white person that my statement was ridiculous, I was asked by another […]
Hear how God is reaching out to our community through our church.
“How in the world did I end up here? Lord, why me? Why now?” As I pack up my car to head the to the Calvin Worship Symposium, I can’t help but have a conversation with the Lord. “How did I end up here?” As a seminary student, whenever I would ask a professor for resources on worship, they would point me to the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW). I was told that was […]
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*Photo courtesy of Native Christian leader Charles Robinson Experiencing Native American dance (Urbana03), Aztec song and dance (CCDA10), and prayers/communion by a tribal leader with their headdress worn (#prayforreform) have been some of the most powerful times of worship. Each of these experiences reminded me that we must work hard to re-imagine worship that includes the distinctive of all peoples. All of our God-given cultural beauty can be offered in our worship to the praise […]