Tag Archives: Alex Newman

Behind the scenes with our “Helping Children After Divorce” story

Alex Newman, the writer of the Sep/Oct Faith Today’s story on helping children after a divorce, takes us behind the scenes of her own story and her research.

by Alex Newman

I’m an eternal optimist. After the initial alarm over the bad stats on kids of divorce, I decided to look at the percentage of kids who did well. What happened to make them thrive and overcome the odds? It’s something I’ve discussed with my friend Esme Fuller Thompson, a social work professor whose research is precisely in this area. Although I’d done a ton of reading already, she was especially helpful in directing me to studies I would never have come across, like the Israeli one that shows when a mom and the paternal grandparents stay close, the kids do better.

Read “Stability is the Key” in the latest Faith Today.

It’s all that research that is so challenging in writing a story like this, because it becomes almost impossible to condense it all into one article. I did my best but I’m afraid it only scratched the surface. Below all those studies are real people and real people can react in different ways and require different handling. So while there are some fundamental and foundational guidelines for helping your kids, there’s a lot of latitude depending on the child, the parents, the siblings, and so on.
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Alors et maintenant: Charles Foster et Marc Pilon

English version anglaise

Les expériences de Charles Foster et Marc Pilon font ressortir les défis uniques du travail d’évangélisation dans la Belle Province du Canada.

Par Alex Newman

Charles Foster. Photo par Jessica Darmanin pour Faith Today.
Charles Foster. Photo par Jessica Darmanin pour Faith Today.

Alors : Charles Foster

Il n’avait fallu que 500 dépliants placés dans des restaurants, autobus et écoles un peu partout dans la ville de Québec pour que trois lignes téléphoniques spécialisées se mettent à bourdonner. C’était en 1965. Le petit dépliant posait une question, citait un verset et donnait un numéro de téléphone à un message préenregistré de 30 secondes présentant un message de l’évangile.

Quelques jours plus tard, Bell Canada devait ajouter sept autres lignes téléphoniques. Quelques semaines plus tard, les circuits téléphoniques surchargés desservant Québec tombaient en panne. Bell affecta plusieurs techniciens de service travaillant jour et nuit pour faire face à la demande.

C’est alors que le procureur général se rendit – dans une limousine noire – à la porte du missionnaire baptiste Charlie Foster pour faire enquête et décider si la littérature qu’il distribuait était séditieuse ou révolutionnaire. Charlie parvint à le rassurer, mais le projet fut suspendu.

M. Foster, maintenant âgé de 90 ans, apprit de cette mission que la province de Québec était affamée de vérité spirituelle.

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Community and Dating Again: Alex Newman goes behind the scenes with her recent Faith Today story

By Alex Newman

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Read Alex Newman’s piece “Middle-Aged, Divorced and Dating Online” in the Sep/Oct Faith Today

When I was in my 20s, I loved writing caustic letters to friends about hilarious antics, real or imagined, while doing the dating scene. I’ve loved listening to or reading horror stories about other people’s disaster dates, both online and face-to-face.

But at my age, it’s a more delicate topic, since it exposes things I’d rather not talk about. Like having to make public that I failed at marriage, as well as its corollary – I’m alone and officially on the hunt for someone new. It’s like advertising the fact you’re the scrabble player nobody wants to play with.

But that’s not actually the real issue of dating, or remarriage, at this age. While I struggled plenty with writing this piece – and how much to lay out for all the world to see — I missed a major chunk of the equation: your community of friends, family and even more important church.
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A Church of Many Colours

– By Alex Newman

100_0284I have a “thing” about Ann Voskamp. It’s called envy. Not only of her significant writing ability, but her stillness and openness to the Holy Spirit as well. We are polar opposites – me impatient and easily irritated versus her life on the farm which is in the moment as she meditates over the laundry basket.

Too willing to give in to anxiety – juggling schedules and worrying about things beyond my control – I forget those sparrows and lilies (Matthew 6:25). Not that Voskamp spends her entire day in contemplative prayer – with six children and a farm to oversee with her husband she has more than enough to do – but her writing has that quality which indicates a nature that is calm at its core. This is what’s thoroughly and utterly beyond me.

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Church Planting, So What?

– By Alex Newman

Click picture to see the original article in Faith Today.

You can usually tell you’re on to something when research raises more questions than it answers. While working on the church plant story, one thing kept nagging at me. So what? And who cares?

Sounds shocking, but let’s consider the times we live in. The church is under fire not only for its claims of knowing Truth, but its intention to spread that Truth. Evangelizing the developing world was one thing, but turning its missionary zeal on the developed, enlightened, self-determining and relativistic world is sure to raise hackles. Especially since North Americans have made it clear that Christianity’s demise is not only natural, but desirable. In short, they don’t care to hear about it.

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