As a fun end-of-year exercise, we editors put our heads together and chose some of our favourite Faith Today stories from 2016. “Favourite” meaning they resonated with readers for some reason. Or favourite could mean that we just simply loved the end results of the writer’s hard work, or thought an interview subject said some really important things we all need to hear.
So, here’s our list (in no particular order, and just for fun).
Artful Discipleship: how the arts can help in spiritual formation. We love this Carolyn Arends piece with the honour it gives to the arts, and of course, with its connection to our first ever, wildly popular colour it yourself Faith Today cover. This was so much fun to pull together and it was awesome to see readers respond and send in coloured covers from all across Canada.
Tangled and Troubled Times at Gospel for Asia
We thought long and hard before we did this investigative piece on allegations against one of the world’s largest Christian charities. Before we ran it, we received multiple emails from concerned donors and ex-board members asking us to do this story. After we ran it, we received multiple emails asking us why we did it. An interesting journalistic dilemma. We worked hard to make it fair though, and we think we pulled it off. We need to tell these kinds of stories too, and who better to do it than fellow believers?
For the love of the Church by Mark Buchanan
Sometimes, we ask our most trusted writers to just work with an idea, and see what comes up. That’s what we did with this piece with Mark Buchanan. We were all thinking a lot about the Church, and we wanted a piece that expressed some love for our beleaguered spiritual home. That’s the challenge we gave Mark. He did that and more, by also making some suggestions for the Church with a spirit of love and respect. If you liked this piece as much as we did, you’ll be happy to know we’ve approached Mark again, to see what is on his heart and mind these days.
FT Interviews, especially with Patti Miller.
When we redesigned Faith Today in Jul/Aug 2015, we decided to always have an interview, in each issue. That had not always been the case. We’re so glad we did. We might not have been able to hear from folks like Montreal pastor Patti Miller, or Ambrose’s Gordon T. Smith, or the colourful Sarah Bessey. When we are deciding who to feature in the FT Interview, we look for people with something to say about things we are all thinking and talking about: Canadian leaders we need to hear from.
Responding to a Refugee Crisis in 1915
When writer Peter Bush suggested a feature that showed Canadian’s history of responding to refugee crisis, we leaped at the idea. We don’t do a LOT of history pieces (besides our regular and quite lively Kevin Flatt history column, of course), so we were intrigued. And we were glad we did it.
Embracing Sexual Minorities in our Care
We confess, we were a little nervous running this piece, anxious that readers might not see that our writer, Sid Koop, was biblically faithful to sexual integrity and compassion. But we think you got it. We love his careful, transparent, humble Kingdom way. Thanks Sid.
Do you want to know what really stirred you this year? At least evidenced by the amount of letters to the editor? Drumroll please….It was Patricia Paddey’s Foul Mouthed and Faithful: Why are Christians swearing so much lately? This piece really touched a nerve, for two reasons we think. One: we didn’t include Bible verses that teach about swearing. And we think you were right. We could have easily brought in a sidebar of helpful verses. And two: you have noticed this too. People of faith are swearing more these days, so this piece shed light on something many of us are noticing.
So as we close the door on 2016, and another great year of excellent Christian journalism, we thank you our readers for being there, for being so great, and for subscribing!
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