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It’s the first week on the job for newly appointed editor of The Banner Shiao Chong, and we’d like to give him a warm welcome! We can’t wait to see how God will work through him in this new role.

Like anyone starting a new job, we imagine that Chong may have some questions. Perhaps he will read through old issues of The Banner, looking at headlines to find hot topics. Or maybe he will personally seek out stories from local churches and individuals. Or he may use social media to discover conversations already taking place. Regardless of how he listens, we’d guess that in his role as editor, Chong will be interested in hearing what issues are on the hearts and minds of people throughout the CRCNA.

To give him a head start on the research portion of his job, we thought it would be fun to put ourselves in his shoes for a moment. Readers: We are curious. . . If you were the newly appointed editor of The Banner, what would be the headline or topic of your next editorial?

Head to the comments below to find MY headline suggestion and to add YOURS.


I would like to see an article focusing on the general topic of missions and what it looks like today, maybe how it has changed. Not a highlight of an agency's work but about missions as a practice and theology.

My headline:

Discerning what it is to be an institutional church denomination in a hyper-politicized culture - what should it mean, and not mean, to be CRC?

As the church, we need to model respectful dialog that honors the image of God in ALL people. We can disagree, but we should be able to talk with one another respectfully honor the value of each person by being willing to listen carefully and try to understand.


Welcome Chong!  Given your background in campus ministry, I think you could offer a great editorial on Young Adults and the future of our denomination.  Another topic that I'm passionate about and would love to see explored further is how we use our language (and social media) to really isolate each other.  We tend to surround ourselves with people who are like us and then slam those who think differently.  Has this hurt our ability to learn from each other and change?

I am highly biased (aren't we all?), but I would love to see more celebration of the impact we have on the secular and institutional world around us -- particularly the work done by our growing number of chaplains (nearly 150 endorsed, plus many campus chaplains and pastors serving part time as hospice, hospital or police chaplains). This is a significant missional aspect of the church influencing many institutions, agencies and individuals outside the church -- one that at times seems not fully embraced by the church. If 10 - 15% of our ordained clergy are finding their way into this arena that provides great opportunities for ministry at the "fringes," with very little cost to the organized church; might this not be something we wish to be more aware of and deliberate about? 

Ron Klimp - Director of Chaplaincy and Care Ministry

Be more aware and write about our culture. How the liberal views on abortion and sexual promiscuity creeping into our Christian world and life view. Find Christians who are involved with these issues and have them write about it.

My header would be, "The fallacy of climate change and what we can do to stop the madness"


Headline for Banner..........Gay people were born that way, it is just a matter of time when they "come out" to confess it.

Jesus loves ALL his children!

Yes, confessing your sins and your fallibility is a good thing.  God loves the sinner, but his children become saints through Christ, as revealed in their obedience to God.  

Do you know the top reason that churches end up in court? Find out here. What is is it? It's something experienced by1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys, yet we hardly ever talk about it; and about 40% of our congregations do nothing to prevent it. It's also experienced in one of it's most violent forms by 1 in 5 women during their college years. Intimate partners and even teen dating partners experience it at alarming rates in our culture. The effects can be devastating. And yet, most people in the CRC have no idea how to respond to this far-more-common-than-we-think issue. And many, many have left the CRC because of the lack of response, or the mishandled response. Maybe we need to write more about that! 

You can find out more about it on the Safe Church Ministry Website.

I would like to see an editorial about how Canadian Christians, and other international Christians, struggle to identify with a Christian faith that seems to be shaped more and more by American politics, especially those of the Republican Party.  

On another political note, I'd be interested in seeing a comment on how political parties can become idols. How can Christians protect themselves from total devotion to a political ideology, while still engaging in the political process in a meaningful way?  

We need to find our identity in Christ - certainly not in a political party (I'm sure Jesus weeps at his misrepresentation and misuse of his name), and not even in a denomination, which can also become an idol. When we are more concerned about our identity as a member of a political party, or as a member of a denomination, than we are about our identity with Christ - That's a real problem. 

Perhaps a study of the Gospels to learn better who Jesus is, so that we can model ourselves after him (and only in his power) would help us find a truer identity. 

Congratulations Shiao Chong and Welcome!  

I’m hoping for sensitivity in the language  we use for our Beloved Creator.  Too often we worship as if God’s name were ‘He”.  As if the Divine were exclusively male.  

For some of us, God is both Mother and Father, yet God’s face as reflected in our mothers and daughters is rendered virtually invisible by the language we use.


JoMae Spoelhof

What does it mean that we are a denomination in a time when we are becoming more separated.  What does unity look like when we disagree about theological discussions?  How do we grow relationships when we idolize full calendars and busy schedules?  When congregations no longer care about or respect denominational authority how can we work as one?  How can individuals experience the great work of our denomination when they only want a 30 second sound byte?

Congratulations on your new role. The issue I would like to see addressed is why leaders of the evangelical community such as Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwall, Jr and James Dobson are supportive of Donald Trump. Do they have a different Bible, interpret it differently or are we just so much more sophisticated than our brothers in Christ?

How should the Church respond to the current political uproar? What is the role of the Church, the leaders in the local church, and even our denomination?

Not the topic of an editorial, but an idea for an issue:  When I was growing up in the sixties and early seventies one of the summer Banners was a "vacation Banner"...a week of devotions to use while traveling, additional Kids Pages to keep us busy in the car, and other things that I can't recall 45 years later.  It was, as my Aunt Florence wrote in, "a gem".


Take a look throughout the history of the church and note what factors contributed to revival. Also note the effects of revival: churches and people who are pursing holiness and blessing their communities in practical ways. I think we often get the causes and effects backwards in the CRC.

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