Brad Jersak is an author and teacher based in Abbotsford, BC, where he attends Fresh Wind Christian Fellowship and serves as Reader at All Saints of North America Monastery. He holds a PhD from Bangor University (Wales) and is on faculty at St. Stephen's University, New Brunswick and Westminster Theological Centre, UK. His heart is to share the good news that God is Love and that God’s love was shown to us perfectly in Jesus of Nazareth. Through his books and seminars, Brad teaches that anyone can learn to hear God’s voice through the simple practice of ”listening prayer.” Those who practice listening prayer find that God’s love heals wounded hearts and empowers them to heal this broken world.
Brad Jersak’s foundational book, “Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God who speaks” trains readers in the ways of “Listening Prayer.” This book provides biblical teaching and 33 practical exercises for tuning in to God’s voice.
Brad self-identifies as a follower of Christ. His spiritual journey includes his confession of faith and trinitarian baptism in the Baptist General Conference; followed by membership and ordination in the the Conference of Mennonites in BC. Then after planting and serving in a “small-c” charismatic church plant, he was chrismated and ordained as a Reader in the Orthodox Church (OCA). He is comfortable ministering with Orthodox, evangelicals and charismatics across the spectrum.
Andrew Klager holds a PhD in Religious Studies/History from the University of Glasgow and is on faculty at Trinity Western University (Langley, BC), the University of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, BC), Rocky Mountain College (Calgary, AB), and St. Stephen's University (St. Stephen, NB), where he teaches on peace and conflict studies. He is also a Research Associate at the Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre for Faith and Learning at TWU. He has made presentations at conferences, symposiums, and dialogues across North America and is widely published in various peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Ecumenical Studies; Greek Orthodox Theological Review; Mennonite Quarterly Review; Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies; Conrad Grebel Review; Journal of Mennonite Studies; Journal of Theological Studies (Oxford); Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace; Reformation & Renaissance Review; Direction Journal) and books (Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ [Eerdmans 2007], Compassionate Eschatology: The Future as Friend [Wipf & Stock, 2011], and Canadian Christian Zionism: A Tangled Tale [Synaxis Press, 2014]) in a number of research fields ranging from early modern European history, peace and conflict studies, Anabaptist-Mennonite studies, interreligious peacebuilding especially in Egypt and the Middle East, peace theology, history of Christianity, 16th-century Reformation and Humanism, the Church fathers (especially St. Gregory of Nyssa), and Eastern Orthodox theology/asceticism. Andrew has written for Egypt Independent (Al-Masry Al-Youm) and currently writes regularly for the Huffington Post.
After growing up in a conservative Evangelical environment in BC and Ontario, Andrew began attending a Mennonite church when he was 15 years old and received his undergraduate education at a Mennonite institution (Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, BC). His experiences during this time led him to pursue formal studies in both Patristics (MA, McMaster) and Anabaptist-Mennonite studies (PhD, Glasgow)—particularly history and peacebuilding. For the past eight years, however, he has attended an Eastern Orthodox parish and was brought into communion with the Orthodox Church through chrismation along with his family at Holy Nativity Orthodox Church (Antiochian) in Langley, BC on Pentecost of 2008. He currently attends Divine Liturgy at Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission Station (OCA) in Chilliwack, BC. Andrew is still strongly informed by the Mennonite peace tradition(s) and emphasis on social justice, simple living, peacebuilding, and conflict transformation—re-shaped and applied within an Orthodox theological, historical, and ascetic framework—resulting in his informal, somewhat tongue-in-cheek self-identification as 'Mennodox.'
Andrew is also the editor of the book, From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding (Pickwick, 2015). He will also release the book, Why the Creeds Matter: Gregory of Nyssa on the Iconic Function of Christological and Trinitarian Theology (St Macrina Press), later this year.
Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a Christian congregation located in the heartland of America in Saint Joseph, Missouri. For 31 years, Brian and his wife Peri’s vision for the church has been to be an authentic expression of the Kingdom of Jesus in a modern world. Brian is known for his focus on embracing the deep and long history of the Church and wholeheartedly participating in God’s mission to redeem and restore His world.
Brian and Peri founded Word of Life Church in the autumn of 1981 with a handful of other young people in an old Methodist church building. For years, the church struggled to draw members. But as Brian began to be formed in a spirit of faith and prayer, the church proceeded to grow dramatically. After years of moving and expansion, the church moved to its present ministry campus on the east side of the city in 1996.
Today, Word of Life Church is a thriving congregation seeking to heal and help the people of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Through times of worship, instructional teaching, social justice programs, and many other avenues of outreach, the church helps its members to connect, grow, and serve others and Christ.
Brian is the author of three books: Beauty Will Save The World, Unconditional: The Call of Jesus To Radical Forgiveness, and What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life.
I write about faith. Labels are limiting but I imperfectly identify as a progressive Christian. I drive a Prius, am more interested in being evangelized than evangelizing, am super social justice-y, and a Feminist. I am mostly drawn to those who are outside of faith, on their way out, or teetering on the edge of it. I’m uncomfortable inside the faith circle, a stranger to those outside of it, but I dance right at the perimeter. I see faith in the irreverent, miracles in the ordinary, and beauty in the margins.
I struggle with belonging. Although I am Taiwanese, I was educated in an American school, married a Colorado man and am raising two TCKs (Third Culture Kids). Bilingual, bicultural, like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, I go both ways. It’s sometimes lonely, but mostly interesting. Stick around for conversations of East and West cultural issues or if you’re a therapist trained in managing identity crises. I could use the help.
Who wants to be serious all the time? I live on a tropical island with my husband and two fabulous kids who make me laugh every day. They inspire me to
complain about them capture moments of our family’s shenanigans in writing.
Every night, on the nights I pray, I snuggle with my kids and say, “Dear God, please help us learn about You and Your wonderful world.” I think there is so much beauty here in this earth of ours, whenever I find something awesome, I’ll be sure to share it.
Henry (Henk) Smidstra retired in 2012 from serving as Prison Chaplain for 21 years in British Columbia. Since then he has been reading and digging into theological, moral- philosophical questions about the current Canadian justice system that plagued him in his work. During the last few years he has been trying his hand at publishing some of his thoughts on select criminal justice issues looked at from a restorative justice perspective. Two issues particularly in focus are the question of the ethics of punishment, and the over-representation of Aboriginal people in Prison and in the System in general. Henk does some awareness raising on Restorative Justice in his own denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, as well as spending time with his grandchildren and in his garden. Having been a history major at Calvin College, he is still vitally interested in Canadian History and in his own history as a 5 year old Dutch immigrant kid coming to Canada in 1949. He is slowly writing his memoirs.
Henk obtained a M.Div. from Calvin Seminary in 1977 and then spent 8 years as a missionary in Manila, Philippines. He then came to Vancouver and worked as a mediator with Christian Conciliation Services of BC, and for Victim Offender Reconciliation in Langley, BC. As well, he worked as coordinator for M2W2 before entering the Chaplaincy at Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women in 1990. For on-going education he took courses in Criminology and Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University. He also obtained a certificate in conflict resolution and mediation at the Justice Institute of BC., as well as taking some studies in Spiritual Direction at VST. Before his formal education at Calvin College and Seminary he had worked as a licenced auto mechanic in Ontario. His keen interest in Aboriginal issues began on his urban ministry internship in San Francisco; working largely with Navaho families trapped in urban poverty and addiction as a result of the American Aboriginal relocation policies of that era (Indian Termination policy and the Relocation Act of 1956). Henk considers himself a “jack of all trades and a master of none”; a student of life and a practical theologian, with a heightened awareness of the immanence of the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ in daily life, in common grace; and believes, as the neo-Calvinists have said, “all of life is lived religion.” The Biblical concept of shalom informs vitally his perspectives on Justice. Henk considers himself an eclectic neo-Calvinist, influenced by life-experience and the exegetical courses he took at Calvin Sem., both Old and New Testaments; and by the moral philosophy of Henry Stob, Allen Verhey, and Nick Wolterstorff.
Originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, Kevin always dreamed of being in the movie business but never actually believed he’d get there. So he’s as surprised as anyone to go onto imdb.com and find all of those credits listed under his name. Some of Kevin’s most recent projects include Hellbound?, spOILed, Sex+Money and With God On Our Side—not to mention a brief stint portraying Lex Luthor on Smallville.
Kevin’s work has taken him to over a dozen countries across five continents. He’s done everything from spelunking under the streets of Moscow to interviewing war-criminals-at-large in the dusty, fly-infested markets of Sierra Leone.
In addition to making films, Kevin teaches screenwriting at a number of film schools and conferences across North America and around the world.
Kevin is fascinated by theology; philosophy, film and meta-theories that seek to explain everything from storytelling to the origin of evil. Kevin’s key influences include Rene Girard, Ernest Becker, Joseph Campbell, Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway, Werner Herzog, Walt Disney, George Lucas, James Cameron, Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky and anyone else bold enough to rewrite the rules in pursuit of a vision only they can see.
When he’s not on the road, Kevin can be found hanging out with his wife and four children and occasionally sneaking away to play hockey, hike, snowshoe—or write his own bio in the third person.
Ron was on staff with Amnesty International before he joined UFV in 1990. Ron has an interest in Canadian Nationalism, Canadian Red/High Toryism, Literature and Politics, Religion and Politics, Human Rights, World Religions, International Relations, International Organizations, the clash between the Ancients and the Moderns, Political Philosophy, Mountaineering and Mountaineering Culture, Ecology and Politics. He has also done work on political Zionism (Christian and Jewish) and the impact of Zionist ideology on the Palestinians.
Ron is the Political Science advisor to the Stephen Leacock Home/Museum, on the National Executive of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada, and he has written/published on George Grant, Stephen Leacock and Thomas Merton. Ron has published 22 books.
Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes.
Greg Albrecht directs Plain Truth Ministries, an outreach ministry to those who've suffered spiritual abuse, legalism or disillusionment. After triggering the wholesale conversion of the Worldwide Church of God in the late 80's, Albrecht, the media director at the time, was released to run the magazine as a ministry to former Armstrongites. He deliberately chose to maintain the name of the magazine until 2014, as it represents a testimony of God's grace. Moving forward, Greg's ministry has broadened to the broader Christian world and so has slated a name change for their flagship magazine in 2015 to CWRm (Christianity Without the Religion Magazine). He will continue to challenge legalism and promote Christ-centered, grace-based faith. Albrecht conducts a weekly online service, also titled Christianity Without the Religion along with audio and video resources at www.ptm.org. He has authored many books, including Bad News Religion and Revelation Revolution. Plain Truth Ministries is a member of the Evangelical Press Association and National Religious Broadcasters.
Caleb Miller (The Imperfect Pastor) is an ex addict, ex charismatic, ex pastor. After filling nearly every position within the four walls of the church from janitor to senior pastor, he now travels, blogs, writes and studies where theology meets life.
Michael is a grateful graduate (1988) of North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago where he studied Dietrich Bonhoeffer with F. Burton Nelson and Rene Girard with Edwin A. Hallsten and earned his MDiv. He is currently a PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University where he is engaging doctoral research on Karl Barth and Rene Girard. He lives in Lancaster, PA (in the heart of Amish country). Michael and his beloved Lorri have three daughters and two granddaughters, all named from characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Simarillion.
My name is Rob, and I live pretty much in the middle of England with my wife, our daughter, two cats and a dog. We also have a son who recently moved out.
I’ve been trying to follow Jesus for the best part of thirty years. Outside of family and work, church is what I’ve poured most of my time and energy into, mainly as a worship leader and musician.
I’m an avid reader, but it took me a long time to get around to starting my own blog, mainly because I wasn’t sure I’d have anything fresh or unique to say. But I enjoy writing – in fact, I write for a living, mainly by expressing other people’s thoughts in my own language (I’m a freelance translator). I finally decided to take the plunge and begin writing some of my own musings in August 2013.
I mainly write about theology and faith, and what I’m often trying to do is strip away layers of accumulated non-essentials that get added to our faith over time. I sometimes also comment on various aspects of the wider culture. For most of my first year of blogging, I tried to publish two posts most weekdays, plus maybe a post or two at the weekend. I found that this pace was not sustainable in the long term, so have now eased back to around two posts a week.