Comment Stream

Staci Devries January 16, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Worship Ministries January 14, 2022

Greg, you may find this post with its attachment helpful: https://network.crcna.org/church-order/what-does-church-order-and-other-synodical-documents-say-about-worship 

Basically, there is nothing forbidding you to utilize the Christian Year and liturgical colors. But as I often remind folks, they should be seen as tools for our worship and our worship should not be held captive by them. That said they are a great tool for congregations to make sure they tell the full arc of the gospel message and for including thoughtful visual elements that help people worship.

Congregations in the CRC have been utilizing both for many years. You can find many resources in the quarterly journal published by CRC Worship Ministries (and Faith Alive before them).  Some of those same resources without music and art can be found at www.ReformedWorship.org  You may also want to keep an eye on "Worship: Calendar of Events and Timely Resources" which also highlights specific resources for the Christian Year.  

If you have additional questions feel free to reach out to Worship Ministries staff at [email protected] 

-Joyce Borger

L. Mensink January 13, 2022

I have not read the interview; but, it seems the Church Order and Synodical Regulations will not answer your question. But, if your Church is open to worship practices not forbidden by Scripture, this is a vote in favor of the Church Year and Liturgical Colors. If your Church wants another visual reminder that they believe "a holy catholic church," this may be another affirmative vote. Furthermore, if your Church values the use of the Heidelberg Catechism, it takes but a little re-arranging to organize the Lord's Days to unfold in harmony with the Church Year. At more than one congregation in the past, I have seen profitable use of the church year, the common lectionary, the Heidelberg Catechism, and vestments that follow the liturgical colors. As far as I know, the chief critics in the congregations voiced no objections to the practices.

Bryce Mensink, pastor (retired)

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 13, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

CRC Communications January 12, 2022

This workshop will take place as part of Inspire 2022. Workshop options will be available after registration opens later this month. Stay tuned! 

Staci Devries January 12, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Diaconal Ministries Canada January 12, 2022

Hello there! When is this workshop taking place? As part of Inspire or beforehand? Thank you

Ralph Akin January 11, 2022

 Quite often the rules of church order seem to be too restrictive. The advice of Benjamin Gresik is sound. I would refer you to Henry DeMoor's commentary: Christian Reformed Church Order. Article 55 allows for "in the case of need, for an ordained person who has received the approval of classis". That would cover you or another elder, IMHO. Ministers of the Word are tasked with administration of the sacraments, but consider... The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized by (gasp!) a deacon! Bottom line, the sacraments are not about who administers but the Who that is celebrated. 

Staci Devries January 10, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 9, 2022

"Life in the Kingdom means living under God's law." 

Amen. 

posted in : January 6
Nick Monsma January 8, 2022

Les, thank you for articulating your thoughts with more respect in a later comment. I didn't find myself resonating with the original post and came to the comments to see what differing perspectives were offered. I was disappointed to find your sarcastic and dismissive comment. I hope you will delete the comment above as I don't think it reflects well on the mutual respect that God creates between us in Christ. I've also flagged the comment for review for these reasons.

posted in : January 6
Douglas Vrieland January 8, 2022

Les, you and I both served the same pulpit in our ministerial journey, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for your professionalism and the outstanding service you have given to the CRCNA.  I would suggest, however, that this response is pretty cynical and sarcastic.  To dismiss a fellow believer's sincere effort to put into words Biblical teaching as it applies to legitimate problems facing our nation as "Democratic talking points" certainly does not enhance conversation between fellow believers who have sincere differences in viewpoints.  As a church, we need to address the issues Biblically and theologically, which I think the CRCNA does exceptionally well.  We need to speak more in our native language as Reformed Christians:  words like Kingdom rather than the media's language of Democrat, Republican, and "talking points."  If the demands of responsible citizenship  in God's Kingdom coincides with a particular political party, even if many Evangelicals do not identify with that party, we fall in line with the Kingdom.  If the demands of the Kingdom oppose the platform of a particular political party, we need to courageously and prophetically stand for the Kingdom.  Life in the Kingdom means living under God's Law.  The Ten Commandments are a good starting place for discovering God's Will for our Lives (language I used almost every Sunday back in the day when we read the Commandments in Sunday morning worship).  One of those commandments is,  "You shall not murder."  Thus, the CRCNA is strongly pro-life, which in fact conflicts with the Democrats.  Another is,  "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," which certainly speaks to the lie that many Republicans continue to hold that Donald Trump won the 2020 Presidential election.   In my view, the most important sentence in the original posting is this:  ". . .to the extent that Reformed Christians share any historical or theological DNA with the wider evangelical moment we need to confront a poisonous patriarchal white supremacy in the genome."  The foundation of our faith is the Bible, to be read with the exegetical tools we have all agreed on (i.e., original meaning, context, original audience, etc.) not FOX, CNN, a sitting or former President of the US, or the current emphasis of either political party.    

posted in : January 6
Les Kuiper January 8, 2022

If you read my comment I was not "comparing" the events which I cited, but was providing context for the events of January 6 which indicate a pattern. This is a pattern, which I believe, will eventually erupt into a civil war. I further believe that the eruption into civil war will be initiated not by the right but by the left. While there are those on the right who are extreme (eg Jan 6), generally people on the right are more critical of violence. In contrast, the left has shown a willingness to engage in violence and to defend it as being appropriate. Even your comments were defensive of the massive violence in response to George Floyd's death. My prediction is that it is somewhat likely that this civil war may begin following the political earthquake coming with the midterm rejection of the Biden/Schumer/Pelosi agenda in November of this year.

posted in : January 6
Kris Swieringa January 7, 2022

I am not pointing fingers.  I feel you did that in your initial comment.  Guess we will agree to disagree.  I firmly believe Trump was behind January 6.  And my hope he is held accountable.  

posted in : January 6
Les Kuiper January 7, 2022

It looks like you are just interested in us pointing fingers at each other, and saying "Gotcha." For you to say that January 6 was "instigated by a sitting President" shows that you have been listening to MSNBC too much.

posted in : January 6
Kris Swieringa January 7, 2022

And the fact that January 6 was instigated by a sitting President makes it far worse that the incidents you cite.  

posted in : January 6
Kris Swieringa January 7, 2022

Regarding comparing this to Wisconsin https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/some-are-comparing-the-us-capitol-riot...

 

and comparing what happened on January 6 to the protests after George Floyd's murder (a horrible occurrence where as the Jan 6 insurrection was solely based on Trumps lies) and the protests in Washington is not worth debating.  I could say to you the same thing you initially commented except change "Democrat" to "Republican".  

posted in : January 6
Douglas Vrieland January 7, 2022

You present your thoughts around the theme of "Uncivil Religion." There is a "civil religion" which holds us as a nation together.  Our coins have imprinted on them,  "In God We Trust."  Sessions of Congress are opened with a generic prayer to  a rather generic "God."  When I served as a military chaplain, I offered numerous such prayers.  I suspect when you speak of "Uncivil Religion" you are suggesting this January 6 was Civil Religion gone amuck.  What if we consider January 6 under the them of  "Christian Nationalism"?   In unpacking this theme, let me limit myself to a discussion of the flags flown by the protesters on January 6.  Of course, there was the stars and stripes, our national ensign. But there was also the Christian or Church flag. God and country. Dangerous, but with our Augustinian "two Kingdom" worldview acceptable.    But what about the presence of the Confederate Flag?  I lived in South Carolina for ten years when there was a huge fight about that flag.   The Confederate Flag represents many things, depending on who you're talking to.  (1) Southern Heritage.  So is Christianity a Southern thing?  Is God a tribal god, whose influence is limited to the American south, similar to the local gods of the Old Testament?  (2) Racism.  The real issue behind the Civil War, in spite of Southern attempts to claim otherwise ("it was about states rights")  On January 6 we saw a Christianity affiliated with racism-- very disturbing.  (3) Rebel.  Many in the North have adopted this flag as the "rebel flag."  So is the Christian faith about rebellion?  As I understand the Bible, rebellion is the problem.  I have come to believe Christian Nationalism is a heresy as dangerous as the heresies of the early church.   As an American, I grieve the loss of democracy in our nation.  As a Christian, I take comfort in knowing that the Kingdom of God is not the same as the American Empire.  God's Kingdom survived the fall of Rome, it will survive the end of American Democracy, should that occur.  The loss of Democracy in the nation is sad.  Apostasy in the church is a much bigger problem, one that needs to be courageously addressed. 

 

posted in : January 6
Les Kuiper January 7, 2022

CBS News reported recently on a YouGov poll (a British international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, headquartered in the UK) that shows that a majority of Americans believe the January 6 Capitol Hill riot resulted from a “protest that went too far” rather than a coordinated insurrection.

One of the issues with a post on January 6 is that it may sound credible on the surface but it looses any credibility by ignoring the context. For example:

1. Over a decade ago, in the February of 2011, unionists stormed the Wisconsin State Capitol to prevent a vote on collective bargaining reform – the Act 10 protests. News reports at the time noted, “thousands of demonstrators managed to enter the building by violently breaking down doors and shattering windows.” In response at the time, Nancy Pelosi not only refrained from words like “insurrection” or “terrorism” in reference to the public disorder, she outright praised the occupation as “democracy in action.” I was living in Wisconsin at the time, and our representatives personally told of VERY harrowing experiences. In addition, a local CRC "social justice" pastor was among those who stormed the Capital.

2. In May of 2020 masses of people gathered in Lafayette Square in Washington DC, joined by such leaders as then-Sen. Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. By night, rioters hurled bricks and bottles at the Secret Service; Trump had to be evacuated to a bunker for his own safety. Mobs of far-left rioters tried to storm the White House. They were repelled by police, who were assaulted and hit with projectiles. Democrats and leftists condemned law enforcement at the time for stopping the rioters.

3. In June of 2021, there were days of insurrection in Minneapolis and in the major cities of the United States following the death of George Floyd, resulting in the destruction of a police precinct and billions of dollars of property damage nation wide.

4. The insurrection continues in Portland, now at 18 months and counting.

There is no question that what happened on January 6 was traumatic. But to ignore the context drains away any credibility one might have. January 6 was not an isolated incident perpetrated by "those bad guys." January 6 is a reflection of the fact that we are living in a setting in which the foundations are shaking. Pointing the finger in one direction will do no one any good.

posted in : January 6
Kris Swieringa January 7, 2022

I would be curious as to your thoughts on what happened on 1-6-2021

posted in : January 6
Staci Devries January 7, 2022

Thanks so much, Donald. Apologies that your first post expired. Next time, please feel free to email [email protected] and I'd be happy to republish. Thanks again for sharing! 

Staci Devries January 7, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 7, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Vern Swieringa January 7, 2022

I believe many church leaders feel they are much like the capital police on Jan. 6, 2021.  They fear that if the speak out against the "Big Lie," they will be run out of their congregations.  As I watched the footage of the reconstruction of Jan. 6.  many of the capital police seemed a bit passive, not daring to resist the crowd, but when they did they got run over.  As a pastor in know that feeling very well.  The danger in avoiding confrontation is that the "lie" continues to gain momentum, just lke the violent protestors did on Jan. 6.  While I have a deep concern for the well being of our Country, I have a much deeper concern for the witness of the Christian Church, the Body of Christ.  The Christian symbols peppered throughout the protestors and the "Christian" prayers by them have left a hideous scar on the face of Christianity that needs the balm of Gilead.  And the balm is the bold proclamation of the truth, which confronts all the lies, especially the "Big Lie" that fueled the anger of the violent protestors.  

May the peace of Christ reign!!!  

I want to thank Tim for leading the way!           

posted in : January 6
Lynette van de Hoef Meyers January 6, 2022

Thank you for this, Brian. We worked through the book of Lamentations together during Advent this year. Spending such intentional time with and in lament together was very powerful. A much-needed practice in today's world, for so many reasons. Thanks for sharing these prayers with us. - Lynette

(Prayer)
Zach Vandenberg January 6, 2022

Thank you for putting this into words.  I appreciate what you wrote here.

posted in : January 6
Staci Devries January 6, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Donald Sterk January 6, 2022

Reposting as original expired.

Jen Becksford January 5, 2022

Lead Pastor

Hamilton Reformed Church

Staci Devries January 4, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Dick Kranendonk January 4, 2022

This questions requires more detail. E.g. is the church located in Canada or the USA? Does your church have a scholarship or grant program for students entering ministry or missionary service?

Benjamin Gresik January 4, 2022

Another church I served in moved to weekly communion, and we requested permission from Classis for two of our elders to administer the Lord's Supper on weeks when no ordained Minister was present. The "need" was to maintain weekly service of the sacraments and Classis approved this need. They approved our request at that time. I don't think church order prevents you from asking Classis for this kind of approval, especially if your study has led you to move towards weekly communion as a congregation. Classis is supposed to support the ministry of your congregation and this is one way in which they can do that.

Staci Devries January 4, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 4, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 4, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 2, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

Staci Devries January 2, 2022

Thank you for sharing this opening! 

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