“Webinar Wednesdays” began on January 25, 2012 under the auspices of The Network. They were promoted as a “no travel required” means for people throughout the CRCNA to get training and resources in a free, one-hour event.
Over the past four years, webinars have migrated from just Wednesdays to other days of the week and have produced a growing list of diverse topics. Ministries like Disability Concerns and Safe Church have used them to highlight and inform the church about important issues. Some events have trained and provided resources to elders and deacons. And all across the CRC, people have had the opportunity to engage with presenters on topics of special interest such as:
- Children at the Lord’s Table
- Disasters Happen - Is Your Church Prepared?
- Discerning God’s Mission Together
- Hemorrhaging Faith: Reflecting on Why Young Adults Leave the Church
- Icebergs in Our History – The Doctrine of Discovery
Our volunteer presenters have explored such challenging topics as:
- Disagreeing Agreeably: Practicing Grace Instead of Exerting Control
- Helping Veterans Suffering Moral Injury after War
- Learning to Love Muslims
- Nurturing Generous Spaciousness: A Response to Gay Christians in the Church
- Welcoming the Stranger
The "no travel required" aspect of delivering webinar presentations to a widespread audience has made for significant financial and time savings for ministries and church leaders and no doubt for some webinar attendees as well. Here are three noteworthy examples of this from 2015:
- Chaplaincy and Care Ministry reduced travel and lodging expenses for their annual Chaplains Conference when one of their main speakers “spoke” at the conference via webinar from his office at Duke University. His presentation "The Chaplain on the Spiritual Care Team" was streamed live to chaplains at Calvin College while others joined via the internet from other locations.
- Last August, in preparation for the Paris Climate Change Conference, the Office of Social Justice was able to provide the necessary orientation and training to their team in a timely manner by way of a private webinar. Regional Organizers from across US and Canada received instruction and resources — all with no travel required.
- Canadian Faith Formation Ministries staff launched a webinar-based youth leader training series late last summer. As a result, their team of presenters has been able to reach hundreds of youth ministry staff and volunteers throughout North America with resources related to teaching and curriculum, how to engage parents in youth ministry, and intergenerational faith formation. These webinar recordings are now valuable resources for future training purposes.
To date, over 80 public webinars have been produced and added to the recording archives here on The Network. More than six dozen volunteer presenters have invested their time and shared their knowledge, resources and experience with members of the CRC and beyond. Thousands of people have taken advantage of these free events, joining via the internet from as far away as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Greece, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Japan.
As each Ministry Support Services webinar ends, attendees hear and see the following message:
These webinars are made possible through the generous gifts of Christian Reformed churches in support of Ministry Shares. Ministry Shares account for nearly 25% of the ministry we’re able to do together as a denomination.
For your support of Ministry Shares we say “Thank you”!