Comment Stream

Lambert Sikkema October 12, 2019

Izaak:

The two sacraments do not function differently. They function the same way. Also, I didn't say that taking communion is a profession of faith. Both sacraments are means of grace. According to the Heidelberg Catechism they are signs and seals of the covenant presented in the O.T. and N.T. which combined have their "yes" in Jesus Christ. They are by definition lesser than the word of God preached. These two covenantal sacraments are intended to supplement the gospel of God. Communion doesn't supersede the preaching ministry. We bring covenant children to church to be placed under the Word of God preached, ipso facto they ought to be participating in the sacraments. 

With regard to Paul's admonition that "people" examine themselves I take it to mean that adult believers are the intended recipients of that caution. It is unthinkable that children in the N.T. era would have been excluded from the communion table. It was the leadership of the church that was tolerating the fracturing of the body. We do the exact same thing when we suddenly render children, who were participants in worship, into spectators of a sacred right that suddenly doesn't included them. We should never have allowed this custom to take hold in the first place. 

Staci Devries October 11, 2019

One picture book I keep buying as a gift for friends (should really buy my own copy) is Who Sang the First Song? by Ellie Holcomb. It's a heavy duty book (can't be ripped) with beautiful pictures and words written in a sing-song style, inviting kids to imagine and place themselves in God's story alongside all of creation.

We all have a song to sing, how cool is that?

Izaak De Jager October 11, 2019

Lambert,

I appreciate your response.  Since the apostle exhorts that a person must examine him or herself before partaking, that must be done.  An infant cannot do this.  A toddler cannot do this.  Maybe an exceptional 8 year old can do this.  It is probably to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Some 8 year olds have a good understanding of the work of Christ and wish to serve Him.  I would have a hard time saying that such a child cannot partake just because they are only 8.  What I am against is the idea of babies and toddlers who have no conception of faith being given the elements basically in some superstition that they work ex opere operato.  Of course, baptists would say that we do the same thing with baptism - but then of course we must realize that the two sacraments serve different functions.  One is a sacrament of admission, the other of participation.  I agree with you that taking communion is essence a profession of faith.  But we have to ensure that we don't simply administer it to someone on the basis of the fact that they are baptised - they must also profess faith.  How that profession looks is another matter.

Lambert Sikkema October 11, 2019

Izaak: The "body" to be discerned isn't Jesus'...it's the church/congregation. The apostle isn't chastising the Corinthians for failure to know Jesus as lord and savior. He is upset because the wealthy left out the poor. They created a division in the "body" where isn't supposed to be one. We do the exact same thing when we leave out the children of believers from celebrating the sacrament of the covenant that is ours in Christ. Our congregation has had children at the Lord's table for more than 14 years already. The sacrament is all about what the Lord says to us, not what we say to him. What we say in response is our "profession-of-faith" and it marks our entry into confessing member status in the body of Christ as "believers". 

Heather Grisales October 10, 2019

We'd love to hear from you, interested candidates!  

Joel Duifhuis October 10, 2019

We redid ours recently. Our office manager/secretary is a good photographer and for a few weeks she would catch people on their way into church in the morning and take their picture in front of a nice plain background. For the few that were missed she had them email in a photo. She then used the same publishing program she uses for the bulletin and made the photo part of the directory (photo with names beneath). Then she printed the directory portion (phone numbers, emails, etc) out of Servant Keeper and put the two parts together just using a basic slide bar report cover. Our copier does color, so we just printed on normal paper and it looks fine.

We then also took the photos and added them to the Bridge directory.

Izaak De Jager October 10, 2019

The function of communion and baptism are different.  They are both sacraments but they do not have the same participation requirements.  Baptism is administered even to infants on the basis that they should receive the sign of covenant inclusion as was the pattern in the old testament.  There is no cognitive requirements for receiving baptism.  However, participation in communion requires that one "discern the body" (1. Cor. 11).  Certainly someone must be able to do that.  People can tell horror stories about how they spent the whole week in fear "examining themselves", but the fact is that the Bible says that this must be done.  Communion is a sign of participation in the body and shed blood of Christ, and someone who cannot examine themselves and who does not comprehend the atoning work of Christ is someone who cannot partake in the Lord's supper.  Baptism marks inclusion in the visible church.  Communion is a sign of personal participation in the atoning work of Christ.  There is a big difference.  

Hi Jon, 

I'm not sure if this will still be helpful to you but the Live Just.ly series has some foundational information on justice.  

Hi Keith!

We'd recommend Live Just.ly or Living the 8th Fire as two good video series!  Hopefully these may get some discussion started.  

Joel Gustafson October 10, 2019

Hi, all! I'm the Director of Music and Worship at Kelloggsville Church in Kentwood. I'm about two months into the job and very much enjoying it!

Worship Ministries October 10, 2019

Yes. Email [email protected] and I'll make sure you get a copy.

Syl Gerritsma October 10, 2019

I was wondering if it is possible to get a copy of the readers theatre on Ps. 105 that I understand was shared at the workshop?

 

Cindy Bodini October 9, 2019

Sorry, a little late on the reply to this. Have been a volunteer music coordinator, but am transitioning to a position as worship ministries director at CrossPoint CRC in Brampton.

Staci Devries October 9, 2019

I love this story. I'm deeply encouraged by how you followed God's call (not easy to say the least) and how God surrounded you overseas by other ordained women. How cool! 

Staci Devries October 9, 2019

Figured I could start :) One thing that God has been showing me recently is how his power is not hindered by my weakness. God uses us me in spite of myself, much like he used Jonah (a story I recently read again). 

Carolyn VanAllen October 9, 2019

Hi Jack! I'd be happy to help. My firm is Monroe Sweeris & Tromp in Grand Rapids, MI. 616-554-5800  mstpc.com

I spend a significant amount of time working with non-profit organizations and a large portion of that is with Churches and pastors.  I am very familiar with the unique tax reporting for clergy and we have a lot of Churches where we help with the payroll reporting.

Feel free to give me a call.

Carolyn Van Allen, CPA

 

Staci Devries October 9, 2019

Thanks for sharing this opening! 

Colleen Hoyer October 9, 2019

Hello, I'm a worship planner, sometimes leader, and absentee coordinator (until February 2020, when we move back to Canada). Back home, we are members of New Westminster CRC, happily and contradictorily located in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Kevin Soodsma October 8, 2019

Hi! I'm the worship director at Beckwith Hills CRC in Grand Rapids.  I am basically the "jack of all trades" when it comes to worship.  I'm the organist, choir director, praise team organizer, orchestra arranger, scheduler, worship planner, etc.  

Kevin Soodsma October 8, 2019

Hi! I'm the worship director at Beckwith Hills CRC in Grand Rapids.  I am basically the "jack of all trades" when it comes to worship.  I'm the organist, choir director, praise team organizer, orchestra arranger, scheduler, worship planner, etc.  

Kevin Soodsma October 8, 2019

Just started using EasyWorship this past week.  It has its bugs, but maybe a little on the operator error side of things.  I 'll be following this thread.  I see people like proclaim.  But I need something that someone can come in and run without much training.

Audrey Roorda October 8, 2019

We use Easy Worship. Although we did have some issues with incorporating PowerPoint a few years ago (crashing etc.), we haven't had any issues in the past few years. I like that each user can install it on their machines at home without any extra costs.

Staci Devries October 8, 2019

No advice just wanted to say I appreciate this question. I have been asking around and have heard from many people that the printed directory is still valuable to them (as many churches have a diverse age demographic). 

Eric Van Dyken October 7, 2019

Denise, more directly to your question, my main approach is one of prayer and encouragement.  I'm not much for programs and such as much as I am the individual deliberative practice of love.  Loving each other in the church, when considered in its full-orbed scope, leads us to recognize and encourage the use of gifts in those around us.  This is probably most easily and widely practiced in/with those that we are closest to, but should not be limited to that.  

My wife happens to be better at some aspects of leadership than I am (particularly in organization), so she not only leads but also helps me when I am called to lead.  My wife currently fills roles as Classical Treasurer, Youth Group Coordinator, Minn-I-Kota Youth Network Board Member, pianist, and Sunday School teacher among other roles outside of church.  As a husband, but also as a brother in Christ, I am called to encourage and support her in these roles as she uses her gifts to glorify God.  

Pastor Church Resources October 7, 2019

Thanks for sharing what you've done for your pastor Aviva. May more people show their appreciation for their pastor. 

Wendy Hammond October 7, 2019

Jamie, is he working with an organization that has a US partner?

Jamie Hudson October 7, 2019

I know this is an old thread. Our Church is considering supporting a missionary i. Kenya who is a national. It is difficult for him to get support because hecis not a US citizen and has no US sending Church. What is the best and legal way for our Church to support him (send funds)? It is very expensive to send wire transfers through a bank. Thanks

Diane Dykgraaf October 7, 2019

Denise Posie is on vacation from Sept. 30- Oct. 13, and she asked me to let you know that she looks forward to responding to your comments after she returns. Thank you.

 

Ken Libolt October 5, 2019

I support we women in church office by treating them the same as the men, with respect and a helping hand if they ask! My wife is a Deacon and it’s a important role to play! Thx

Tim Postuma October 4, 2019

Yes, I think most churches will need/want both a print directory and online (whether through their ChMS or a separate tool like the Bridge app, InstantChurchDirectory, etc). And I agree that instead of wrangling with whatever print directory template comes with your ChMS it might be easier/cheaper to simply export the raw data (photos and text) and give it to a designer to lay out. Professional tools like InDesign can even do directory layouts from a data file (basically a fancy mail-merge). Which means that, once the directory template is set, doing next year's version might be as easy as having the designer hit 'refresh' from an updated data file.

Izaak De Jager October 4, 2019

Good distinction Eric.  I have no problem with women leading many things in the church - just as long as they are not elders, deacons, or ministers - in keeping with the requirements of the scriptures.

By merging the two (women in office and women leading other things), the proponents of the traditional (biblical) view are indeed painted as misogynists who just can't stand to have women leading anything.  Such is not the case.

If there is a gifted woman who is recognized by the elders as fit for the role of leading children's ministry, or ladies bible studies, or certain mercy ministries - just to name a few - I have no problem with that, so long as those things are under the authority of the elders and deacons of the church, who should be male as per the creation order.

 

Izaak

Ken Bosveld October 4, 2019

Some interesting questions and ideas you have raised here, Rachael.  BTW, thank you for what you and your congregation are doing to utilize The Bridge App, as one of the US churches that have asked to use the app.

In terms of print vs. electronic directories, this is a bit of a transitional time for many congregations; some members still prefer and want to have a print directory of photos and contact info.  Other members enjoy the convenience of having instant access to that info wherever they may be.  And church leadership is acutely aware of privacy/confidential laws and that a physical/print directory can easily become a major leak of info, whereas an electronic directory (like the one in The Bridge App) is only accessible to verified members.

Tim paints a great picture (sorry, no pun intended) of how a church can facilitate the gathering of photos.  In some cases, the quality of a directory may be fine if you choose the route of exporting photos and text from a ChMS.  But don't rule out using a volunteer who is familiar with InDesign or some other high quality publishing program to assemble a customized directory that could also contain a bit of additional info about the congregation -- an opportunity to build 'community' through the directory.  For someone familiar with InDesign, assembling a directory would not be a major undertaking once the raw content is ready (photos, names).

But once you have the photos, it only makes sense to also upload those to the app directory.  An electronic/app directory is a great way to stay current with photos of new members, and families welcoming new children, not to mention the ability for families to upload a fresh photo after their child has gone through the recent growth spurt.  I know you are aware of this Rachael, but just so others know also, any user photo uploaded to The Bridge App directory needs to be approved by an administrator, and I presume most if not all other directory apps have a similar requirement.

Eric Van Dyken October 4, 2019

I think something really gets lost when "women in leadership" is equated with "women in ecclesiastical office".  The two are not the same, yet I think in the church too often we use the first as shorthand for the second.  This is unhelpful.  One thing it does is paints churches who hold to the historically orthodox position on women in ecclesiastical office as against the use and appreciation of women's gifts in the life of the church.  Such could not be further from the truth.

I am very supportive of women in leadership.  There are a plethora of ways in which women can and do have leadership roles in the life of the church without ever holding ecclesiastical office.  I have observed and celebrated it all my life. 

The CRC has placed itself in an awkward position.  It has decreed that two exclusive positions are both correct.  One would suppose that such an incoherent position would only be able to survive in the long term if both positions were allowed to exist side-by-side with impartiality.  Yet such has not been the case.  The CRC puts its institutional weight behind egalitarianism while marginalizing complementarianism.  For example we have the denominational ministry called Women's Ministry which states explicitly "We affirm and support women in all levels of leadership."  This ministry then uses denominational resources and platforms to promote teachings and practices at the expense of the other position that the denomination ostensibly holds as "a" biblical position.  We also see practices at synod that are not only inconsiderate by also seem to be designed to purposely marginalize complementarians and affirmatively violate their consciences.  

It is hard to see this pattern leading to greater denominational unity or cohesiveness over time.  In fact, it seems almost designed to either "convert" or drive out a portion of the church so that over time one position is normalized while the other position is marginalized to the point of being considered unacceptable.  Perhaps this was inevitable given the logical incoherence of a position that says that "A" and "Not A" are both true.  

Chris Walker October 3, 2019

Ben!  Welcome to Grand Haven!  Let's grab coffee sometime, since I'm right around the corner.  Also....

  * We have a FB group for lakeshore worship leaders, from all different denominations

  * And I've been through seminary recently (Western Theological in Holland + Calvin Sem), so if you ever need any encouragement, or an ear to talk through assignments, I'm in....

 

You can catch me here: [email protected], and I'll get you my number later.  Peace!

-cw-

Chris Walker October 3, 2019

Hi Keith - my charge in this particular call is to "shepherd the worshiping life of the church family."  So, while much of my energy is aimed at our weekly Sunday morning gatherings, where Word, sacrament, song, and the arts all intersect, the scope is much broader than just that hour and ten minutes on Sunday.  

I get to work with high school students who lead in various worship spaces (Sunday services, high school youth group, middle school youth group).  I get to work with our visual artists for art installations.  I get to preach regularly.  I get to support our small group ministry, our ministry to families with special needs, and our kids ministry.  I get to incorporate worship expressions into pastoral care calls.  And there's a lot more as well.

I'm grateful for such an exciting vision from our elders (and sometimes I get it right, and in other ways I'm stumbling forward, still learning how to handle or manage it all).  I'm a year into the new, expanded role - it's been a bit of chaos and a lot of joy!

-cw-

Keith Knight October 3, 2019

That's a great position, Chris.  I take it that Pastor of Worship and the Arts pertains only to the worship service and the sanctuary. Or are you also Pastor of Worship as it pertains to worship that takes place within small groups, youth ministry, and all other expressions of worship carried out by parishioners?

I guess that you get my point: We tend to assume that worship only happens on Sundays. In a church setting.  I know of a large manufacturing plant with 1,000 employees who gather for worship on Wednesday mornings on the factory floor.

Imagine a church that advocates for that sense of worship.

Audrey Roorda October 3, 2019

Hi, I am a worship planner, musician, and projection person at Hope CRC in Brantford, Ontario.

Izaak De Jager October 3, 2019

I'm not supporting it, because it isn't a biblical concept.

Chris Walker October 3, 2019

Salutations, friends!

I've been the Director of Worship and the Arts at a church in Grand Haven, MI for nearly ten years.  Last year, after completing seminary, my church called me and I was ordained as a Minister of the Word in the role of Pastor of Worship and the Arts.  What a strange and beautiful and odd and holy thing we all get to participate in, right?  Thanks be to God....

Tim Postuma October 3, 2019

I think our church recently switched from PowerChurch to Realm. But from an online search it appears that ServantKeeper can store photos and create print directories as well.

Rachael Klein October 3, 2019

Thanks Tim! We have a ChMS program that we use (Servant Keeper). Which one do you use?

Tim Postuma October 3, 2019

Good topic! Here's what we do...for a few weeks each year, we announce that we'll be taking directory photos after the service. Those photos are taken in a prominent location, so even those that miss the announcement see what's happening and join the line. One of the staff just takes photos on her phone, but it could also be a good volunteer task for someone. A few people choose to email their own photo to the church office.

The rest of the directory info comes from our church management system (ChMS), and then the photos are added as part of the page layout. But this year, with our new ChMS, I believe they'll be adding photos directly into the ChMS so they're available there as part of the online/app directory as well. And then everything - photos and text - are dumped out from the ChMS to build the print directory.

I know some other churches use Instant Church Directory with success, so might want to check that out as well. Especially if you aren't currently using a ChMS.

So that's roughly how we do it....but I'm really curious to hear how other churches do it. Others???

John Westra October 2, 2019

Hi Kevin,

I agree with your comments.  I do think it is connected to the whole range of changes in worship style/music, transitioning from traditional to contemporary. A lot of todays current worship music is done by a lead vocal supported by back ground singers stringed instruments and a keyboard playing chords.  Traditional church music is usually sung with 4 part music, and in my experience our organists could not (or did not want to) adapt to changing the way they have always done it. They may have the musical talents and ability but have a difficult time blending into a supporting role.   

I'm going off topic here a bit, but I believe it is connected to the challenges some churches face today in mixing sound coming off the stage. 

Staci Devries October 2, 2019

Ken, looks like the link to the Ministry Evaluation form is no longer working. Do you know where the document is currently housed? Thank you!  

(Elders)
Linda Roorda October 2, 2019

I'm a music worship leader in a small rural church. With pianist and co-leader/guitarist no longer able to participate, I select lyric videos of contemporary praise and traditional hymns which fit well with pastor's sermon Scripture. We also sing some hymns a cappella. As music worship leader, I/we are amazed that when a last-minute song change seems appropriate, it so often shows God's hand was in it as either the change touched someone deeply, or it fit the sermon itself better! Serving as part of worship planning has been very meaningful and humbling.

JoyceGB . October 2, 2019

We are thrilled to have you join the Regional-Advisory group, Ben! 

JoyceGB . October 2, 2019

If you haven't already,  join the 455 CRC worship folk on facebook.  "CRC Worship Ministries" is a closed group and you are asked to answer a few questions before joining but it is full of delightful, encouraging, and helpful folk.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/crcworshipministries/

 

Wanting to know what is happening in the CRC related to worship? Sign up for the monthly worship enews at crcna.org/worship/ 

JoyceGB . October 2, 2019

Keith, you may find these resources of interest to you: 

"The Heart of Worship: Learning to Inhabit the Liturgy for the Life of the World" by Prof. Cory Willson 

"Everyday Church -Iglesia Cotidiana" by Rachel Bouwkamp and Kent Rottman

"Sunday's Prayer and Monday's Work: Praying for Discipleship in the Workplace" by Dr. John Witvliet

Webinar: "Work and Worship" by Prof. Cory Willson

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