Alphonse Gerwing family stirs Morgentaler debate

By Dennis Gruending

Some family members of Alphonse Gerwing, who died in November 2007, say they will return his Order of Canada medal. His nephew and a sister have said that a similar award made to Dr. Henry Morgentaler tarnishes the one given to their relative. Al Gerwing was one of my …

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Bill Janzen retires from MCC

By Dennis Gruending

Bill Janzen, the respected face and voice of the Mennonite Central Committee Canada office in Ottawa, is retiring at the end of July after 33 years. Janzen has been a quiet but significant presence, working with politicians of all stripes, with civil servants and …

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Morgentaler’s Order of Canada ignites culture war

By Dennis Gruending

A war of words has erupted around Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada on July 1st. Some have hailed him as a hero to women while others brand him as a murderer for his role in developing freestanding abortion …

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See how they pray:Ottawa’s National House of Prayer

by Dennis Gruending

The Ottawa-based National House of Prayer (NHOP) is organizing a National Prayer Sunday for our government and its leaders on June 29. You may not have heard of the NHOP or its prayer list so I …

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Citizens for Public Justice questions tar sands

By Dennis Gruending

 Citizens for Public Justice is an Ottawa-based church group with a difference. At a time when the word religion has come to be associated mainly with social conservatism, CPJ provides a Christian perspective regarding public policy debates on poverty, housing, aboriginal rights, immigration and the …

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Religious right growing in influence

By Dennis Gruending

The religious right in Canada is growing in power and influence but that development appears to be news to many political scientists and pundits. As mentioned in this space last week, I presented a paper on the religious right to a conference at the University of Western …

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Rev. Lois Wilson on sacred & secular

By Dennis Gruending

Reverend Lois Wilson has described recent spiritual and cultural history in North America as follows: “The cups rattled in the 1960s and 70s. The cupboard doors fell off in the 80s. The kitchen door came off its hinges in the 90s. There …

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National Prayer Breakfast needs shake-up

By Dennis Gruending

Hundreds of people participated in the National Prayer Breakfast in Ottawa on May 15th. Last year, the featured speaker Serge LeClerc described his personal journey from the depths of despair to personal salvation. He said that he was born to a teenaged single-parent, aboriginal mother, drifted into …

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