Comment Stream

Mark Broadus June 10, 2021

Hi, the  Belhar page link does not work ...


Ken Libolt June 10, 2021

Sorry for the mistake Michele, I was just trying to give you support in your struggles. Most people ignore these posts and would rather talk about church order or other programs that are remotely related to the Gospel. I believe in living the Gospel by taking action one person at a time.

 I am disabled too and suffer every day, so I depend totally on the Lords grace. It makes you want to help those who are suffering too.

Eileen DeVries June 9, 2021

The arguments against paying have  some merit, but I have this deep down feeling that this is another case of the greater entity  (the denomination) being  too stingy.  I see that in making missionaries solicit for their most of their own support.   They already give up so much then we force  them on their furlough to go stumping for support.  That is not a  time off of work. 

Thank you so much for letting us know!  We hope it blessed your journey of reconciliation.

K Smith June 8, 2021

Thank you for posting this prayer and the resources. Maple Ridge CRC prayed the prayer as part of our worship service on Sunday morning. 

Michele Gyselinck June 7, 2021

  Thanks, but I think you misunderstood what I wrote.  My mom is still recovering from a sinusitis, so she gets tired easily--and she's 94 now by the way--but financially she's okay.  I'm the one living on social assistance, and she can afford to help me, so don't worry about her.

Michele Gyselinck June 7, 2021

  Thanks, but I think you misunderstood what I wrote.  My mom is still recovering from a sinusitis, so she gets tired easily--and she's 94 now by the way--but financially she's okay.  I'm the one living on social assistance, and she can afford to help me, so don't worry about her.

Sue Sikma June 7, 2021

For more information about this position please contact Scott Leenstra with your resume and cover letter. [email protected]

Hi Pastor Marg - our apologies for the delay in responding.  Thank you for desiring to include this in your service.  The fastest way to get a download is to use a program like this.  Please feel free to contact us [email protected] if you need more help.  

Eric Van Dyken June 7, 2021

Hello Veni,

There are many hymns within the church that are derived from scripture, either loosely or strictly, but perhaps the most straightforward versification of the Bible is found in the Psalter.  The Psalms were originally sung in ancient times by God's people and are still wonderful ways to worship.  You can find versification of the Psalms in an of a number of Psalter hymnals, including ones used historically within the CRC (including the blue Psalter Hymnal, grey Psalter Hymnal, and Lift Up Your Hearts) and within other denominations (such as the Trinity Psalter Hymnal).  You can find versions of Psalter songs on a number of online sources, such as  

Ken Libolt June 6, 2021

I am sorry Michele, I will pray for for your mom! It is sad in a society that is so rich, we allow people to live this way! The first church after Christ came use to share!

Veni Aurora June 6, 2021

Hi, could you(or anyone reading this) give examples of Christian songs whose lyrics are derived from Bible passages.


Thank you.

Pastor Marg June 4, 2021

  Thank you for the prayer and video.  We hope to include it in our worship this Sunday.  Is there a way to download the video so that we can embed it into our worship software?


Hi Ashley - we're glad this was helpful to you!  We would be happy to update this link to provide a version without the typos.  Please message us at [email protected] with what you need! 


Ashley Tamminga June 3, 2021

Thank you for posting this. I especially appreciate the calls to action.

I'd love to share a link to it, however there are some typos in the prayer.

CRC Communications June 2, 2021

Thank you Mike.  The Canadian Indigenous Ministries Committee also worked on a prayer that was posted right around the same time as yours (great minds think alike).  You can find it here

Wendy de Jong June 2, 2021

Thanks Mike. It's been a hard week and likely very hard for you and others living in Kamloops. We will use this prayer in our bulletin and likely as part of our worship service.

Meghan Kort June 1, 2021

Thanks for "producing" such a life giving article Anthony! I love the way you nuance the debate. Not all production is bad or good, it's more about recognizing the limits of our bodies and brains. I really appreciate the bottleneck metaphor in this line: "The imperative to produce, whether original content or reaction to and for everything and everyone out of every corner of the world has left our finite embodied selves as the bottleneck in the information supply chain of our disembodied digital world." 

John Vandonk June 1, 2021

Very thoughtful. 

If it had been this easy back then we might have had more than 4 gospels...

...which we might have had anyway, were it not for some inspired boundary-setting. 

Perhaps that is what is most called for today: inspired boundary setting. Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, before we kill eachother with content overdose.

Joyce Kaferle May 31, 2021

Correction- the date for the current pastor's retirement is January of 2022  (not 2021, as it says in the church profile) Sorry for the confusion!  

Claire Salas May 25, 2021

If you're interested or have any questions you may direct them to [email protected]

Harry Boessenkool May 24, 2021

This info is from 2014. Can it be updated. Also how about a sheet for Canada.  Thx

Brian McFarland May 23, 2021

I got everything connected and working yesterday and was operational for the service this morning.  All seemed to be good from what I could tell.  

Michèle Gyselinck May 22, 2021

 Since then the cost of a monthly pass for public transit has increased to $88,50.  And my mom is 94.

Beautiful. Profound. Thank you.

James Dekker May 19, 2021

Thank you, Jack, for this honest memoriam. I never knew Ken well, but appreciated his pastoring at Calvin where we came to know him a bit when we visited our daughter and son-in-law and family there. His death comes, of course, as a blow to his parents, who have now suffered the deaths of three of their children. May God have mercy and provide comfort for all. 

posted in : Ken Gehrels Memorial
James Dekker May 19, 2021

Thanks much, Dave. I've appreciated the several books by Barnes that I've read since I first heard him at Calvin Worship Symposium about 12 or more years ago. Since I do have resources, I'm going to check w/ my "charges" to see if they'd like a copy. Good work. Blessings, jcd

Ronald VanAuken May 18, 2021

The topic is a fascinating one and our theology around it presumes a great deal. 

Assuming we truly wish to be scriptural, we would need to ask the origin of what we do. There is no agreement amongst scholars here; but if we trace it to the Passover meal, then our Lord's words, "Whenever you eat . . " would clearly indicate that he was speaking of the Passover bread and cup and thus we would celebrate annually. Regardless, the "officiant" was not a priest or a rabbi; but the host or head of the household. That we have limited it to clergy and a few select others is clearly a departure. It was also clearly a meal. So once again we have departed. Note that it was also in homes, not in the synagogue, let alone the temple. So it seems to me that, setting an understanding that developed over decades of church history, what we do today is clearly a departure from the practice of the first gatherings of Jesus' followers.



Sue Sikma May 18, 2021

The Caledonia Gathering is a growing plant church in Caledonia, Michigan. 

CRCNA Finance May 18, 2021

This is what we do for International employees.


Full time employees, for those moving from the U.S. or Canada, or a Third Country National moving from their country of residence to their country of post, will receive an outfitting allowance of $5,525 (equal to 1 month salary based on our level J target) and an additional amount will be provided based on the formula outlined below:

    Employee – current airline excess bag fee x 10

    Spouse and eligible dependents – current airline excess bag fee x 5 per person

Return shipping allowance

$2,763 (equal to 1/2 month salary based on our level J target)  In addition an amount for the employee based on current airline excess bag fee x 5, and for spouse and/or each eligible dependent (see Outfitting Allowance section for definition of eligible dependent) an amount based on current airline excess bag fee x 3. 

posted in : Minister Relocations
Mark Stephenson May 17, 2021

Friends, thanks for your kind words. I plan to close out my full-time work with the CRC around the end of 2021. I'm praying that in these last few months I'll pass the baton to current and future staff in such a way that God is praised and God's people are served well. 

Don Jabaay May 15, 2021

Hi Mark, 

Congratulations on your retirement. I hope you will receive a blessing in this new season of life. 

I retired 6 yrs ago and now. after serving for 4 yrs at the Hammond CRC I retired for a second time. I am enjoying it!

Don Jabaay

Judy De Wit May 13, 2021

What kind of church training are you looking for?

I am a Christian Education Director for a Presbyterian church, taught in Christian Schools for 14 years, hold a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, wrote four books, soon to be 5 books about abuse and abuse in the church, and have several other degrees.

Judy DeWit

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Erich Clark May 13, 2021

I do not believe the Line Out use disrupts the regular outputs to the speakers.

To test that out, you could just move one of the Phoenix connectors to the Headphone/Line Out and see if the speakers still work.

Anthony Sytsma May 13, 2021

You can donate books to Christian Resources International, Mission Cry. They send shipping containers full of books to church leaders all over the world. We recently got their help to have one sent to Uganda to help the Pentecostal pastors here.  Mission CRY – Christian Resources International – Mission Cry | $330 Million in Free Books and Bibles Sent

Jeff Easter May 13, 2021

While I agree that donating to a young pastor is a wonderful thing to do, if any retiring ministers who wish to sell their private library or churches who are closing I have an outlet with a small Christian book seller who does business honestly and compassionately. All I would need is an email address to contact and readiness to sell.


Thank you for your time and thought,


Jeff Easter

Brian McFarland May 12, 2021

Hi Erich. Do you recall if the headphone/line out port on your organ was a live output at all times and if it would cut off the main organ speakers if used to feed a sound board.  

John Cleveringa May 12, 2021

Thank you for making this such an intuitive process.



Harry Boessenkool May 11, 2021

I have a question of a general nature. How many non ordained employees of the CRCNA in Canada or the USA are responsible for raising their own salaries and expenses? I am thinking of people like Greg Sinclair, as an example? Of course the better question might be is there a policy that might cover this type of situation?

Thank you.

Harry Boessenkool May 11, 2021

How does the CRCNA handle the moving costs of a non ordained person to a foreign country?

That is on the way out. What about returning from that assignment after, say, 20 years?


posted in : Minister Relocations
Joel Hogan May 11, 2021

God bless you, Mark, with fresh purpose and refreshing new rhythms after retirement!

Shawn Brix May 11, 2021

Wishing you all God's best, Mark!!  I've always appreciated our personal interactions when I've visited Grand Rapids and Holland, and I've always admired your leadership as I've watched you serve.  You've been -- and will continue to be! -- a blessing!  Many Thanks!  Shawn


John Tamming May 11, 2021

Mark was my Chimes editor years ago at Calvin and we attended seminary together.  Never met anyone more genuine or with greater compassion.  Thank you for your years of service, Mark.



John A. Tamming 

Doug Vande Griend May 11, 2021

Thanks much for the book review and commentary John.  Much needed.

Responding to your question, "Is the CRCNA providing a wide range of reading materials on this subject [of Critical Race Theory]?", I don't know that it has provided any range of reading materials on the subject but rather has given the impression that it acquiesces in much of  what CRT represents.  There have been Banner reviews (by contributors) of books like Ibram X. Kendi's  How to be an Antiracist, and Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility, both reviews largely favorable.  I had read both of the aforesaid books myself and was quite dismayed at the reviews in the Banner, but even more dismayed that, again from what I have seen, CRT has received no negative review at all from official CRCNA agencies or departments.  To the contrary, my sense is that of unqualified acquiescence.

I personally regard CRT, as represented by authors like Kendi, to represent serious heresy, not so much unlike the heresy of kinism (which a recent synod as so declared), except much broader in what it represents, and thus perhaps much worse.  But from what I can tell, the CRCNA push back to CRT is non-existent.


Dan Vander Plaats May 10, 2021

Mark - thankful for your service and the opportunity to learn from and alongside you. While I was sad to hear that you are retiring, I am grateful that you have followed the Lord's leading in this decision as in so many others. Blessings on your journey ahead, and may continue to find your peace in Him, the author of life, the source of peace, the giver of all good things.

Nicole Van de Kraats May 10, 2021

I was so excited to read responses! But I see I am the first. Our GEMS ministry went completely virtual this year. We met for Theme and Badge nights using Google Meets (since most kids are familiar with it due to stints of virtual school). Our attendance was pretty much the same as when we were "live" in the past! Our GEMS leaders did a weekly Bible study via Google Meets, which grew into a second Bible study that included more women in our congregation. and, I suspect this is a practice that will continue! This was so fantastic-- it allowed a demographic of women who otherwise were not part of small groups or unable to attend ministries like CoffeeBreak the opportunity to grow spiritually and relationally despite restrictions.

Last year, our grads lost their traditional grad ceremonies. We got them together in social distance style, dressed in their formalwear and took socially distanced photos. We put these into a video celebrating them and letting the congregation know what their plans (for gr. 12 grads) were for the fall. This was given to grad families and live-streamed for the congregation during a worship service.

I believe there's more room for creative responses-- I'd like to host a virtual trivia night . . . if anyone has any tips and tricks for this, let me know!

Ken Libolt May 10, 2021

Inspiring story's ! Attitude towards your illness means everything. God can work with then!

Pastor Leon May 7, 2021

Thank you for writing this essay! I especially appreciate the emphasis on reaching out to our communities after the pandemic. I would like to encourage our churches to consider running Alpha courses, as it creates intimate community and effectively proclaims the gospel.


Theodore Lim May 6, 2021

As I experience this Covid19 pandemic, the theme of spiritual restoration was my great interest in preparing the sermon. Hence, I think it may be a meaningful to share Nehemiah's voice of spiritual renewal toward the Israelites with the readers of this blog.