Comment Stream

Shaun Jung March 16, 2017

Thanks for sharing Kevin. This sounds like a cool idea. I'm wondering how this would look like in a youth ministry that has more students than leaders... ?


Koenraad Beugelink March 16, 2017

Oh man, if I ever get to meet those leaders that switched to this programming I need to give them the coveted youth pastor awkward side hug, because they rock. Thanks for sharing Kevin!!!


Staci Devries March 16, 2017

Thanks for sharing this opening, Daniel!

posted in : Worship Director
Kirk Riddering March 15, 2017

If this persuades congress to enact more stringent clean energy standards it would also mean higher energy costs. from a social justice perspective wouldn't this be a hardship and added burden to the working poor and those on fixed incomes?  I think we should encourage stewardship of Gods creation but not mandate it through the government, as with all the commands in the Bible it should come from the heart not a law.

Daniel Harris March 15, 2017

I believe we are all set.

posted in : Worship Director
Staci Devries March 15, 2017

Thanks for sharing this great opportunity, Heather! 

Heather Kaemingk March 14, 2017

This is a wonderful church in Seattle! If you love kids, please come worship with us. 

Denise Posie March 14, 2017

Laura, I appreciate your words and wisdom because I know you're tried and tested! I'm late responding but now is as good as ever. You mentioned "legacy and tradition." I'm looking forward to our Black brothers and sisters to provide leadership in preserving and celebrating our legacy and tradition in informal and formal ways, along with others. May God's vision for all peoples be our vision! The best is yet to come! Thank you again for sharing!

Eric Kas March 14, 2017

Thanks Monica! Look forward to seeing you around. :)

Michele Gyselinck March 14, 2017

 Yes, blaming the victim is all too often the attitude adopted by many people.  And I was VERY disappointed with King David that he did nothing in response to this rape.  It was Absalom who did something, and he had his brother murdered, but what good did that do to his sister?  I remember reading that she remained a desolate woman for the rest of her life.  Imagine the sense of betrayal she must have experienced, not only of having been raped by a sibling but that her own father did nothing.  Tragic.

Daina Kraai March 14, 2017

I am curious how this works itself out in the sacraments and especially regarding children? Are children baptized as infants? What about those who have different beliefs in adult baptism? And are children allowed to take communion? Do they need to be baptized? etc. Thanks!

posted in : Worship That Welcomes
Jim Schaap March 13, 2017

Thank you, Sheila!--in so many ways. So happy to see Pastor Stan's name in your honor roll. What a saint! Blessings!! jcs


Staci Devries March 13, 2017

Love this, Sheila! Especially this..."If only people would understand that God is in control—we all have to learn to daily submit everything we are to Him."

John Zylstra March 11, 2017

And therein we have the crux of the problem... is it the preacher or the sermon that receives the critique?   What about the poor preacher who delivers a good sermon?  The unbelieving preacher who is still true to the text?  The drunkard who preaches true?   Or, the loving pastor who can barely put two words together coherently?   The juxtapositions and contradictions of life.   "He who is not against us is for us."  To give God the glory, rather than the preacher.....

Samantha Koehn March 11, 2017

This is an old post i can see. But i am doing my own looking into 'sonship' for my own reasons. I am glad i am still able to access this information on the internet and that a select group hasnt spoilt that for me. Persoanlly people have to prove their information to master the concept of christian thinking. I prefer to grow off the spiritual advice of those whom can balance the ability to seek not just mastering concepts but be sensitive to enjoy the mystery and revelations of the holy spirit. I think that is the main problem that is so called me that would be a poor use of words.

posted in : What is "Sonship"?
Harry Boessenkool March 11, 2017

Unless you see the real statements of the Defined Contribution plan you can never know if its better than what you have in teh CRCNA plan. The variations in a DC plan are enormous and folks can contribute more or less tha what the CRCNA put into your DB plan. It is almost impossible to compare.  DBs are based on the assumption that the employer will always pay the "Defined Benefit".  As you know from the city of Detroit and some other places this is not always the case.

Harry Boessenkool March 11, 2017

The question I had is the salary that this DB plan is based on. In Canada they subtract the housing allowance which can be up to 1/3 of a Pastor's income. To not include that allowance in the salary calculation will greatly reduce the pension. ON the other side it would greatly increase the cost of the DB plan.


In the US, DB plans in Detroit and in some places in California have had to severely reduce benefits. This risk in DB plan is not always properly understood.

Harry Boessenkool March 11, 2017

I heard a piece on the radio recently that members of Defined Benefit plans should consider options of opting out of these plans. I wonder if Pastors in our churches could do that and the church would stop paying the ministry shares for that Pastor. Those funds would then be provided to the Pastor to create his own plan. The church could even double that. That process would lead to elimination of the DB plan in the CRC and weaken it significantly. Jerry Hoytema's comment should be a warning sign that our Minister's Pension Plan needs a serious review.

Mark Stephenson March 9, 2017

Yes, Whitby is a long ways from Montreal. 

Michele Gyselinck March 9, 2017

 Sorry, can't make it.  That's too far for the duration.

Michele Gyselinck March 9, 2017

 I have mixed feelings about having the CRC associated with a woman who didn't do her homework prior to her being interviewed by the Senate for her qualifications as Secretary of Education.  I can admit she would have preferences, but that does NOT excuse her ignorance of rhe public school system in her own country and its strengths and weaknesses. 

Shannon Jammal-Hollemans March 9, 2017

Wonderful! Welcome, Eric!

Monica Brands March 9, 2017

So glad you're working with Safe Church, Eric! And this: "I believe God is continuing to raise up leaders in the church to be shepherds — specifically to protect the flock" -- absolutely love this. 

Here's the Worship Team mandate from Trinity CRC in Rock Valley IA.




      To achieve the stated purpose, the following objectives have been adopted:

  1. The Team will administer the worship at Trinity.
  2. The Team will promote the use of relevant worship at Trinity.
  3. The Team will provide opportunities for members of Trinity to learn more about worship.




      The membership of the Team will consist of seven (7) members of Trinity. A Church Council member will also be appointed to serve as a member of the team and as a liaison with the Council. The Pastor(s) will serve in an advisory role on the Team.
      Gifts that will be valuable for this team are creative communication, administration, leadership, helps, and discernment.


Terms of Service


      The terms of service will initially be for three (3) years and will be staggered. The Council may ask a team member to serve for more than one (1) term.


Areas of Responsibility


      The areas of responsibility include:

  1. Maximizing meaningful participation and use of member’s gifts in worship.
  2. Develop leadership in worship.
  3. Supervise and coordinate the worship planning team.
  4. Receive yearly report from a Children in Worship representative which includes a synopsis of the past year, positive, negatives and requests for assistance.
Staci Devries March 8, 2017

Welcome, Eric!

Staci Devries March 8, 2017

Thanks for sharing this opening, David!

Adom Postma March 8, 2017

This service gives you the ability to practice the song with your instrument either higher or lower in the mix. Doesn't give instruction as to how to actually play the song. So more effective from a rehearsal perspective, not as much from a learning perspective. Definitely has a place though.

Adom Postma March 8, 2017

I just had our worship coordinator point us in the direction of this service instead

I think it's a bit more mature - has the ability to practice in multiple keys, links with PCO, etc.

Worship Ministries March 8, 2017

We'd love to hear what you think - pros and cons.

Adom Postma March 7, 2017

This is an interesting website! Have not used online training before as I always go with the play by ear option, but I think I will have to give their free account a try to see what they have to offer.

Joe Serge March 7, 2017

  Paul sees things differently. "I urge, then first of all , that requests, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (Tim 2:1-2). 

posted in : Worship Reality Check
Kristen VanderBerg March 7, 2017

I'm so excited to see how God will continue to use both of these ministries for His Kingdom.  My prayers are with you, Reggie, as you take on this new role.  I pray that God will give you wisdom and discernment as you juggle the mandates of both offices and as you work to integrate them when appropriate.  My prayers are also with all of your staff.  Change - even good change - is always tricky during the time of transition.

Staci Devries March 7, 2017

I LOVE this idea, Felix. How cool to have a prayer of blessing from your church family as you enter a new year. 

Felix Fernandez March 7, 2017

We keep it simple in Miami.  We have a birthday cake available in our fellowship hall on the first Sunday of the month.  We invite those who have a birthday in that particular month to gather around the birthday cake for a special prayer of blessing for the new year by a Council member and then they get first dibs on a slice of cake.  If we missed anyone's birthday from our printed list, that's the time for us to update our directory.  Works like a charm and it incorporates anyone who wants to be recongized regardless of age. 

Hubert Krygsman March 7, 2017

Thanks, Bernadette.  Great post!  I expect that there are as many stories to Canada's history -- many of them painful -- as there are different people groups and cultures.  I'm reminded of John's beautiful vision in Revelation 21-22 of the new creation, where all the nations are drawn to the light of God's glory and bring their own splendor to worship the King of kings, and where the leaves of the tree of life bring healing to the nations.  Making Canada's "mosaic" more like this rich and healing tapestry would be  a beautiful way celebrate Canada's 150th and transform its future.

Doug Vande Griend March 7, 2017

What I hope, and pray, is that under new leadership, political lobbying and other political spoutings off about what government is doing, as opposed to what we are doing, becomes a much, much lower priority for OSJ.  After all, it is not the case that CRC members are in lockstep as to their theories of the role of government, economics and international relationships, and it is the case that the CRC has Article 28 in its Church Order.

How this institutional church (CRC) and its members might respond to those suffering from injustice, hungry, and in need of mercy is beyond a big enough task for us to take on.  We don't need to also take on political lobbying, as if there is nothing else that we can uniquely do (because there is lots of that) or as if we haven't covenanted together to be an ecclesiastical, and not a political, institution (because we have, see CO Art. 28).

Dan Winiarski March 6, 2017

Edwin Walhout's ideas are not new, not in line with CRC teaching, and not particularly interesting or robust.

Obviously, the worst example is his support for the idea that Jesus Christ is not divine.  How can someone abandon this bedrock Truth of Christianity and still claim orthodoxy?

Walhout's over-reliance on modern "science" also leads him to faulty theology.  In fact, some of the scientific theories he elevates above Scripture have already been abandoned and/or modified by secular scientists, demonstrating why the Church should never alter its teachings to fit the fickle scientific theories of the day.

Read his writings to gain an understanding of poor theology; read Scripture for Truth.

Jeff Brower March 6, 2017



I've benefited from what Gordon-Conwell has offered--they have several programs, and it looks like it would not be too far from where you serve.

Angelyn Kuiper March 6, 2017

I just happened to stumble on this post today, and wanted to say thank you, David/Gary. As a mother who unexpectedly lost her 4-week-old daughter 5 months ago, I found the points in this post to be so accurate. 

I especially liked your point: "Bereaved parents can be parents who have lost children in utero, at birth, while an infant, while a youth, or even as an adult. The age doesn’t change things—children will always be sons and daughters of parents." 

While I know that everyone means well when trying to offer words of comfort, the words often have the opposite effect. As you pointed out, grief is a journey, and others' attempts to help us "move on" or somehow lessen the significance of her death are not at all what bereaved parents need. We will always grieve the loss of our daughter, and until we're reunited with her in heaven, there will always be a big part of us that's still actively hurting. I think these suggestions, though, are really helpful for friends and family looking to show compassion and care to bereaved parents.


Staci Devries March 6, 2017

Love this idea! It's a tangible and helpful way to stick with a Lent plan. 

Staci Devries March 6, 2017

Hi Gillian, 

Did you want to add more in the comments? Let me know if I can help. 



posted in : Faith as Power?
Gillian Ferwerda March 5, 2017


posted in : Faith as Power?
Kristen VanderBerg March 3, 2017

Thanks Elaine and Herb for your helpful responses.  As I said, I've seen a lot of CRC churches go the same route.  Some have gotten rid of their "Christian Reformed" middle name altogether (many replacing it with a new middle name of "community").  Some have decreased the size and prominence of "Christian Reformed" but continue to add it as a tagline ("a Christian Reformed ministry"). Others exclude it from the name and signage but do nod to their CRC heritage in the "about us" or "what we believe" sections of their website.  

Your explanations about the reasons behind this make a lot of sense. Churches should want to be more inclusive and accessible. If our names are a hurdle that block people from walking through our doors, then we should humble ourselves and change them. 

The flip side, however, is that when more and more churches remove their denominational name, it becomes harder and harder for people to understand what we're all about.  Herb mentioned that people don't understand the term "Christian Reformed" and think that it might be related to prison ministry.  How can we help the term have meaning when we use it less and less?

I'd love for the term "Christian Reformed" to become synonymous in our broad culture with a people called by God to live a life dedicated to faith formation, servant leadership, gospel proclamation, worship, mercy, justice and mission. I wonder how we can better build up that understanding when we downplay the words. 

Then again, maybe we need to humble ourselves and not worry about how well our denominational name is known or understood, but just focus on how well Christ is known and understood. 


Steve Grcevich March 2, 2017

This is a great resource! I'm sharing in a Facebook group our ministry launched for mental health ministry leaders.

Elaine May March 2, 2017

Thank you for your question Kristen. The brevity of the article doesn't adequately communicate the complexity of our decision. I'll attempt to fill in and clarify a few things. Although it's difficult to convey the tone of the healthy conversations that took place in Council and with the congregation through out this process.

First, it's worth mentioning that we didn't approach this decision with a desire to "get rid of our denominational identity", to be "more appealing", nor "to appear non-denominational".  The decision was part of a larger conversation to clearly communicate our commitment to and life in Jesus Christ. We chose to humble ourselves by removing our middle name to be inclusive and accessible to those who didn't grow up in our tradition. The motive for minimizing of our middle name was not an attempt to achieve something better. We lowered ourselves so others could experience the richness of reformed faith.

We are still Christian Reformed; we just don't lead with it. We lead with being followers of Jesus Christ.

Karen DeBoer March 2, 2017

Thanks for sharing this idea, Wendy. It's wonderful!

Vern Vander Zee March 2, 2017

Thank you, Mel. 

Mel Karr March 1, 2017

 this is our job description for the worship committee: 

Worship Committee

a. Mandate

The mandate of the Worship Committee is to enable the congregation to join together in celebrative worship that reflects the church’s vision, mission, and core values. The committee works under the supervision of Council, reports to the Administrative Committee, and is advised by the Elders.

b. Members

The Worship Committee shall consist of a minimum of three persons

recruited by the Administrative Committee and approved by the Council. One Elder shall serve as liaison to and member of the committee. One of the members shall be designated as Chair and one as Secretary. The term of service shall be three years; normally, members will not serve more than two terms. A simple majority of members shall be considered a quorum.

c. Responsibilities

Planning, carrying out, and reflecting on the worship needs of the church

Planning the annual calendar of services.

Arranging for the staffing and scheduling of the services.

Providing for sanctuary décor.

Providing resources to enhance worship services.

Preparing for administration of the sacraments.

Reporting to the Administrative Committee and presenting it with a brief, annual outline of priorities that includes its budget needs.