Hearts Exchanged is a learning and action journey that equips Reformed Christians to engage with Indigenous peoples as neighbors in ways that grow trust and transformation.
The Christian Reformed Church is now seeking participants from every Canadian Classis to participate in cohorts that will begin this fall.
Over the past year, the CRC’s Justice and Reconciliation team has piloted Hearts Exchanged cohorts in Eastern Canada and Alberta. They’ve developed a compelling program that includes connecting via monthly Zoom conversations. These conversations explore the reconciling gospel and model a posture of respect, reciprocity, and relationship-building using Indigenous teachings on belonging and generosity as the basis for learning.
Between sessions, participants complete learning activities designed to deepen their understanding of biblical reconciliation and Indigenous-settler relationships.
“So far, this has been time well spent,” said Justice and Reconciliation mobilizer Shannon Perez. “Participants are having real, sincere reflections, and this is a good place to be open to these kinds of reflections.”
Hearts Exchanged was inspired by the CRC Cross-cultural Ministry Forum of 2000 and gets its name from Indigenous participant Ray Aldred, who said, “When it comes to cross-cultural ministry, I could give you techniques, but what has made the greatest impact is when we exchanged hearts.”
Denominational staff took this guidance seriously and intentionally designed the cohorts to be places where it is safe to “exchange hearts” with honesty, humility, and a desire to be changed.
Anyone connected to the CRC in Canada who is wrestling with the challenges and opportunities of reconciliation and has a mind and heart open to transformation is welcome to participate in regional cohorts starting in fall 2021. Express your interest in joining a cohort at crcna.org/hearts-exchanged.
About the Author