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In this next installment of our series introducing you to the staff of Faith Formation Ministries, I would like you to meet Karen De Boer, Creative Resource Developer, who works from her home in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. 

Karen, describe for us a key person (or people) who played an important role in your faith formation.

My faith has been nurtured by so many people and situations. Here are a few that come to mind: through the people of Grace CRC in Chatham, ON where I was raised and who made sure I knew that I belonged to God’s family; in the presence of a church member who “just showed up” when they were needed most; through a song sung at the funeral of a loved one; reading “Love from Oma, Proverbs 3:5-6” at the bottom of every card my grandmother ever sent me; and through the wonderings and thoughts of the children I lead (and who lead me!) each week at church.

For nearly ten years you served as a curriculum editor for Faith Alive Christian Resources. How has your work with Faith Alive shaped your work with the Faith Formation Ministries team?

In my work with Faith Alive I was blessed to be able to work with a team of people who cared deeply about the faith formation of children. They taught me that theology matters whether you are 3 or 103---how we teach our children God’s stories and how we help them find their place in those stories matter. That foundational truth shapes every aspect of my work.

Which Faith Alive resource are you most proud to have been a part of developing?

One of the strengths of Faith Alive was that a resource was never created in isolation--it was  always a team effort and included the input of many people from congregations across North America. I’m thrilled to see so many churches embracing Dwell and, as someone who has been involved in children’s ministry for almost 30 years, I can honestly say it’s the best curriculum I’ve ever used. I’m thankful for the wisdom so many people shared with me when I wrote the Home Grown Handbook for Christian Parenting. Other favorites include the You’re Invited family devotional on the Lord’s Supper (I love hearing how churches are blessing families with that resource); the God’s Big Story Cards (written by Carol Reinsma), and of course, the revision of the God Loves Me storybooks.

What books or authors has God used to shape your faith formation (or understanding of faith formation)?  

Helping Our Children Grow in Faith by Robert J. Keeley and Intergenerational Christian Formation are two books I turn to often.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it in your role as Creative Resource and Curriculum Developer?

Mrs. Incredible (aka Helen Parr) because in addition to her super-stretch skills, she’s incredibly resourceful. I’d stretch my way into every CRC to listen to and learn from each one and use what I’ve heard and learned in a resourceful way to equip and encourage others.

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Karen De Boer

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