Synod wants to rethink deacons! The challenges of today's world demand that the ministry of deacons be renewed and strengthened. Churches and classes need to be allowed to structure diaconal ministry to address these issues:
Various barriers prevent people with disabilities from full and effective participation in society and in the church. Churches that want to break down these barriers and open ministry to and with people with disabilities need to take two paths to inclusion.
We were on holidays and decided to go to a “contemporary service” in a CRC with nearly 100 years of history. Now, I LIKE to be critical—part of the "old man" still kicking around, I guess. But my wife is a kind and gentle and just woman. So, imagine my surprise the next day when she energetically called it a “dipstick” service. Yikes. How come?
Elder David Stewart, Classis Columbia, said that young people need to have real roles in the church. “We have youth on every church committee,” said Stewart, who pastors the youth at Sunnyside [Wash.] CRC. “We’ve started to see a shift in the mentality. It’s becoming their church, as equals to the adults.”
Endless solutions exists to make your church run better, faster, and more efficient. As with any solution, there's a trade off between using a new technology since it's faster or cheaper, and the usefulness of it. Dan Hotchkiss explores the difficulties associated with new technologies and the shift to digital in an article from The Alban Institute, titled When to Adopt New Technology
Bible studies and discussion groups have their place, but in the context of the worship service, the authoritative Word of God (yes, from a pulpit) cannot be replaced by a discussion, however insightful. I would like a discussion on this topic. Maybe there is something I have overlooked.
Although there is still much that North American churches can contribute to the world in terms of ministry among unreached peoples, leadership training, and the application of Christian worldview, there is also much that we can learn and receive from our brothers and sisters in the Majority World (Asia, Africa, and Latin America).
I mentioned in my first synod blog the anxiety I felt driving to synod and then how it seemed to dissipate with meeting and greeting old friends and colleagues. I felt like the sparrow protected by God's almighty hand. So I'll refer to these synod blogs as the "view from the sparrow's nest".