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The Spirit of Missions

The staff at Christian Reformed World Missions produces a number of materials on Pentecost and missions. We hope that local churches and mission committees are also exercising their creativity to inspire and remind their members to be involved in God's missions.

Global Mission
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Things I Learned from my Mother

Relationships began to be built and conversations were broadened. Because these strangers were included, they began to feel a sense of belonging and experienced a bit of “the communion of the saints.” 

Small Groups
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Fresh Eyes Ears

My grandchildren have me looking as if for the first time once again. They see what I pass over. They are delighted with what I consider common. They hear in a fresh way. Observing them takes me out of my world and into theirs. Fresh ears and eyes that see and hear with wonder. It reminds me of what Jesus said: “unless you become like a child.”

Elders
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Bill C-384 Defeated by Canadian Parliament

Good news!  Bill C-384, which would have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, was defeated on April 21 by a vote of 228 to 59. Thank you for raising your voice about how this bill would have impacted people with disabilities. Please continue to advocate for better palliative care throughout Canada, and for changed attitudes and improved services for people with disabilities.

Disability Concerns
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Sniff a True Wit’s Bare Pit

Every year at Christmastime, to my great pleasure, my wife gives me a puzzle-a-day calendar. Recently, one of the puzzles substituted each word in a familiar proverb with a rhyming word. The puzzle was to guess the proverb. For example, “Many guys sound ghoulish,” becomes “Penny wise, pound foolish.” Another was “Sniff a true wit’s bare pit.” Know the proverb? I’ll tell you the answer at the end of this post.

Disability Concerns
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On Finches, Disability, Business, and the Kingdom

A few weeks ago, my wife Bev found three tiny birds’ nests in the small maple tree in our front yard. A few days later, I saw finches hopping about the branches. So we decided to get a finch feeder to hang in the tree. Bev bought a feeder prefilled with Nyger seed which soon had gold finches gathered on its perches. What a gift from God!

Disability Concerns
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Paralympics Live Out the Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit seeks "to build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play . . . " No games better exemplify the Olympic Spirit than the Paralympics. See results from the winter Paralympics which ran from March 12 - 21 in Vancouver. 

Disability Concerns
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Virginia State Legislator Says that Disabled Children are Punishment from God

Long ago, or so I thought, people said that children born with anomalies were warnings to their parents that covenant with the gods had been violated. The Latin word for "to warn" is monere from which comes the English word, "monster." Thus, children (and adults) with disabilities were thought of as monsters to be feared, because they were proof that the gods were angered by violations of their laws. 

Disability Concerns
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We Need to Redefine Excellence in Worship

With the winter Olympics just behind us, the word "excellence" easily comes to mind. The athletes displayed brilliant excellence on the short track, the half pipe, the slope, and many other venues. After years of intense training with the world's greatest coaches these young men and women dazzled us with a feats of athleticism so that shockingly difficult maneuvers looked easy.

Disability Concerns
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How Can a Church Unleash Its Deacons?

Is there any regular and routine setting in which the deacons are asked HOW they have ministered to the poor, and to the wealthy during the past month?  Is the congregation regularly encouraged to tell stories about how they’ve lived out diaconal service? Are worship services planned regularly with references to diaconal messages, functions, roles, office?  Is there a story to tell? 

Deacons
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God's Counter-cultural Call

I’m concerned with developing small groups of people who covenant to a shared life together as they grow in Christlikeness and join God’s mission together.  That leaves me with this question. How do we establish counter-cultural groups in a culturally relevant way?

Small Groups
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Christian Maturity & the Call of the Elder

Paul desires a maturity in Christ. Clearly, to be filled with the fullness of God requires that the love of Christ shapes our very being. Jesus makes it clear that this includes loving your enemies and forgiving those who sin against us. Mature Christian living is not just a matter of experiencing Christ’s forgiveness but being transformed in Christ’s love to reflect the love of God for his world. Elders are agents of such transformation.

Elders
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Recruiting New Committee Members

Finding the right people for your missions committee or GO (Global Outreach) team is key to a vibrant missions program. What are you doing in order to discover and attract excellent committee members? Here are a couple of thoughts. 

Global Mission
Blog
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Daring All Deacons!!!

When is a deacon like a doodle bug?
In an entirely unReformed tactic, I dare you, in fact I double-dare you, to be the first deacon to post a story on this site. What do you have to lose?

Deacons
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Mission Emphasis Planning

Pentecost is past; the school year is winding up; and summer is upon us.  Before you know it fall will be here.  Many churches have a mission emphasis celebration between mid-September and mid-November, and now is a good time to plan those events.  The scope of mission emphasis celebrations runs all the way from prayer and the collection of Faith Promise pledges to a nine day period with four worship services and mid-week events that cover ...

Global Mission
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View From the Sparrow's Nest - Day Two

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".

Safe Church
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Synod - Day One

Synod for me is like a lot of training events.  In one respect, synod is a friendly environment to discuss a subject matter that is dear to my heart and therefore easy to talk about.  On the other hand, delegates, like conference attendees, often ask pointed questions and challenge the speaker's knowledge or the opinions of others.  It is this second respect which draws out the anxiety in me and probably in a few other speakers. 

Safe Church
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Church IT Survey

Ever wonder what operating system other churches are running on their servers? What they use for email? What solution other churches use for their staff intranet? What their IT budget is? The Church IT Survey is a survey that provides responses for these questions and forty others from over 150 churches.

Church Communications
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Adopting New Technology

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

Church Communications
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Joy in the Work of Elders

Elders have often said to me that one of the highlights of being an elder is listening to the testimony of those who want to become members of the community. Now they were given a chance to teach. And they found joy in their ministry.

Elders
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Great Question!

These answers sound so obvious to those of us who have been around small groups for a while, but we should take note of them as we evaluate our groups.

Small Groups

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