Discussion Topic

Ideas and resources for getting involved.

February 20, 2017 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

As Reformed Christians, we can view “Canada 150” as a celebration of Canada as a nation, but we should do more than this. Let's take this opportunity to ask, "How can we live out our faith in new and exciting ways?"

February 9, 2017 2 2 comments
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Hi Elly;

Amen to that!  As you say, one of the best ways to to commemorate Canada 150 is to show God's love to our neighbours, right in our local communities.  A small drop in the bucket can ripple across the whole country;  many drops just might, with God's help, be transformative!

Hubert

Hey, Bro, good article. Allow me to add a few additional thoughts. With everything that is going on in this world that is based on hatred for one another, the theme of love (so appropriate on this Valentine's Day!) needs to be a very important part of our celebrations.  There is a movement in the CRC that is encouraging and equipping churches to show that love to the neighbours that surround our churches (i.e. Renewal in the CRC, Inspire 2017, and more indirectly Faith Formation).  I would like to challenge every CRC in Canada to celebrate Canada's 150th by reaching out into their community and looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus by showing their love to whoever needs it.  This may not have a global effect, but it will certainly have a positive effect on the little piece of the world that our churches are located in.  May God bless the efforts of those who reach out in love to their neighbours.

  

      Stay Strong David ! Muslims are my friends also !....Dean Koldenhoven Palos Heights, IL

Thanks, Dave. I don't know how many others participated in similar events, but in St. Catharines I know both Jubilee Fellowship and Covenant  CRCs sent email invitations to all on their lists, inviting people to participate in a vigil downtown. We gathered in front of city hall, the imam led prayers for Muslims, who bowed on the ground facing east. The prayers were followed by brief, fitting speeches/comments by several political leaders. From city hall we moved, many carrying candles, with police traffic patrol to the mosque about one kilometre away. There the imam welcomed the marchers, led recited passages from the Quran in Arabic, then translated them to English. Those he recited shared Christian and Jewish moral and spiritual values and principles. As well, three Christian clergypersons made brief speeches, ending with a prayer or blessing. The mosque congregation had several large containers of Tim Hortons coffee and boxes and boxes of Timbits, but there were far too many people--and there was no multiplying of coffee and Timbits, though that would have been a really nice touch. The next day the St. Catharines Standard said about 500 people attended, though I think that was well under, because the column of walkers stretched three blocks, occupying one land of Church Street--with about 10 persons in each row. During and after the ceremony at the mosque, members of the congregation walked through the crowd thanking attendees for showing up. It was a blessed occasion caused by a great wickedeness and hatred. I was very pleased to see at least 15 folks from local CRCs and I might not have seen anywhere near all.

Here's another interesting CRC response to this crisis.  This one was written by CRC pastor, Bruce Adema, and first appeared in the Hamilton Spectator:  

http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/7093464-faith-matters-hope-in-dark-...

Hi Cindy!  Welcome to the CRCNA.  I look forward to working with you.

Marc: Although I'm not entirely sure what you are getting at - maybe that it's best to have a regional/Classical YM in place B4 we hire a denominational coordinator - but YM is quite a different ball of wax than pastoral ministry. The pastors 99% of the time have beyond excellent educational practicum. The average Youth Leader/Durector if they have a degree have VERY little experience. They need leadership; they need resources; they need ideas to jumpstart programs; they need stories of success to get motivated, at times. Although, it's more cost effective to do it by region/Classis in the short-term, in the Long-term vision, if the the programs are universal and flexible (each youth group is unique) I think the best way to get everyone on board is through a denominational coordinator. Starting small, simple and things that have a proven record.

While I appreciate the desire and need to enhance our own "in-house" networking, communication and support for our youth leaders, I am not yet convinced of a few things.  First is throwing out all of YU and all that they bring to our youth ministry table. It is truly unfortunate that YU has had to let go of both the personnel and opportunity to offer leadership development opportuntities, but YU can, and still does, offer a lot to Canadian youth leaders.  

Second, while I love the idea of developing a "Canadian Youth Worker Director" position, I'm pretty sure that there are many many steps between the average youth worker and a potential Canadian YM director that are just plain missing.  Within the denomination, there are many steps of communication between Synod through to the local pastor.  But I would assume that few pastors have direct access to the Directors of the denomination.  There is a solid method of communication and support through Synod, regional classes, to the pastor and church council.  I would daresay that the levels between the volunteer youth leader, or even the paid youth pastor, up to a Denominational or Canadian Youth Ministry Director are almost nonexistant.  While many of our classes do have a classis youth ministry team of sorts, there is no uniformity from one Classis to another as to the vision of Classis youth ministry or how this body functions.  Many classes do not have a regional youth ministry coordinator or consultant, something that was strongly encouraged by Synod (of late '70's or early '80's) that each classis consider.  Without these structures and positions in place, it would seem unreasonable that a Canadian Youth Ministry Director would be dealing with every local youth pastor or youth leader in all of the denomination or Canada.  

There is no doubt - we are slowly getting closer.  The Ontario Youth Ministry Team, while only about 5 years old or so, is barely cutting its' teeth, but is makings its' way to developing strategies for assisting in what is so sorely needed for the local youth leader - support, communication, vision. 

Before we start talking denominational, perhaps our efforts are best served for now focusing on regional support, developing our classis youth ministry and regional (provincial, perhaps, like the OYMT) levels of support and communication.  

Jeff:

You mentioned earlier a possible Youth Ministry Summer Summit, to help in tackling this problem

Please keep me informed and updated as to what they will focus will be and if it is going to happen.

If I can fit it into my schedule, I would like to possibly be a part of that if it could benefit all of Canada's Youth Ministry Scope.

Thanks!

Thanks, Ron, for that clarification. I stand corrected. Dynamic Youth Ministries oversees Cadets, GEMS and Youth Unlimited.

It is listed in the CRC Yearbook as a "denominationally related or affiliated ministry", much like Friendship Ministries, Diaconal Ministries Canada, Partners Worldwide and Partners Worldwide Canada.

It is both interesting and tragic that fully one-third of our total CRC membership -- children, young people and young adults -- have no denominational board or office that provides leadership, resources or oversight of their spiritual development beyond the formal church school program.

The March issue of The Banner points out cultural differences, and otherwise, between American and Canadian churches. Because the 'tough economic times' have hit YU, this may be an appropriate time for the denomination -- and the Canadian side of the denomination in particular -- to re-examine and perhaps re-invent the nature of youth ministry. 

I think some of your comments are incorrect. YU does not oversee Gems and Cadets, rather they are all part of DYM (Dynamic Youth Ministries). Also, YU is really only a Junior and Senior High directed ministry with elements of conversations tied to other areas of ministry through tools like Compass 21. I believe that this may be important to the conversation. We certainly do not want to mislead anyone.