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Cultural Engagement: Speaker Dr. David W. Hall

The Cultural Engagement Committee at our church serves to help us become more actively involved in the bringing of and the encouraging of true justice and righteousness in society. On September 12 & 13 the committee is bringing in pastor and author Dr. David W. Hall who will present "Questioning Politics - Five Essential Queries for Believers to Ask and Answer" delivered over 5 sessions, and we want to share this opportunity with other churches. Dr. Hall will be talking about: 1. The Origin and Divine Plan for Governments (Plural): Or Is Politics All There Is? 2. What Happens When...
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The Parched Place

We've been having a drought here in Michigan, much like many areas across the United States and Canada. For over a month it's been hot and dry and cloudless. Crops are parched and people seem that way too. Even non-farmers are getting interested in the weather, turning their faces to the sky hoping for a sign of rain. And then yesterday, finally, the skies broke open and it poured. Without thinking, I headed for the door. (My son) Eli watched me, "Where are you going Mama?" I opened the door. "I'm going to watch it rain." At the edge of the garage, the three of us stood in a line and just...
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Accountability and clarity in salary grid.

"The BOT recommends that Synod 2012 adopt the salary grid as detailed below for use in fiscal year 2012-2013. The Board is proposing a 3 percent increase over 2012" This what I read in the 2012 Synod Agenda supplement. It goes on to list the upper and lower Salary ranges at the demoninational level. I am assuming this refers to staff and mangement in GR and in Burlington, Canada. Correct me if I have this wrong. It does not show who is being paid how much and for what position. In Ontario, Canada, we have what is referred too as the "Sunshine Law" in which all public servants and those who...
CRCNA and SynodLet's Talk About...
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The CRCNA. A church in 2 countries, Canada and the United States

As a 65 year old Canadian member of the Christian Reformed Church, I have been a keen observer of our denomination and the way it works or doesn't work. For some time now I have come to the conclusion that it's time for the Canadian churches to have our own synod- to determine the will of God for our churches in a unique Canadian context. The cultural divide between our two countries has always been great , but it has become increasingly so of late. As some of you may be aware, the CRCNA is once again trying to figure out a new governance model. It will come before Synod again this June. Many...
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Who was Adam?

Who was Adam? This simple question has become the great controversy of the day in not only the Christian Reformed community but in Evangelical Christianity as a whole. New scientific advances in investigating the human genome have raised some serious questions concerning the origins of man. The latest claim is that recent genome studies of our species tell us that humanity had arisen from a pre-existent humanoid community of non-homo sapiens origins. In other words, humanity, they claim, didn’t come into existence through one individual, but through many individuals. So what does this mean to...
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Training/safety programs for ministering to at-risk population?

Our church is in the planning stages of forming a non-profit organization to minister to homeless in our community. We will take up residence at a local motel. We need to formulate a training program for our volunteers. We also need to develop a safety policies. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, does anyone have access to share an existing program fir either area with us? We would use as a reference and tailor to our specific ministry. Thanks!
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The CRC Mentioned On Prime-time TV

Recently the Christian Reformed Church was mentioned on the CBS prime-time television program The Good Wife . In the episode "Parenting Made Easy” a character who is involved in a legal arbitration case is accused of being homophobic. The character states her views are based on being a Christian and mentions that she is a member of the Christian Reformed Church. Did anyone else hear about the reference or actually see the program? What are your thoughts? Was this a fair portrayal of the CRC's position? If you haven't seen the show CBS does make certain episodes available to be viewed online...
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Denominational Structure

It is both interesting and telling that there isn't a category to talk about the denominational structure, given the fact that this occupied a considerable amount of time at the last meeting of Synod and it certainly occupies a lot of the BOT's time. That seems to send a strong message that denominational structure is the sole responsibility of the BOT and, ultimately, Synod. While it is indeed BOT's responsibility to present a report to a future Synod, I would hope that pew-sitting CRC members have an opportunity to provide input into the process. If ever there was a need for a...
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How about a Singles CRC Private Google group site being formed?

This could be a way for singles to connect - for friendship, encouragement, ideas, and even planning & sharing events. A way of connecting to each other & perhaps some groups would form out of different areas & start planning events. This has happened from various different denominations of churches - by regular email, or Facebook groups which I don't like re privacy issues within Facebook + what people post on their private sites. If it was private Google site - there would not be the sharing of personal info that can happen through Facebook - with peoples lack of proper settings...
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Embracing Purposefully Vague Theology & Doctrine

Here's a thought for all of us: what's wrong with being clear about the fact that we're not clear about some things? Let me be clear (Ha! Ha!) ;-) There are some things about which the Bible is very, very clear. Like, for example, the fact that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light and no-one comes to the Father except through him. Or, as another example, "God is Love"--those are both clear statements from the bible. Not only that, but they are central statements too. We believe (rightly so, I think) that the choice for everyone is to either believe those things (and some others) or to...
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What is the best way to create a collection of family pictures for the church's book?

For as long as I can remember my parents' church has put together a book with pictures of every family every 3-5 years, and the process always goes something like: -Choose a national company to take photos (they don't charge for the session or the resulting book) -Family schedules a time to come sit in front of a neutral screen, all lay their hands on eachother's shoulders or arms and smile for the camera. -The national company tries to sell them photos beyond what will go in the book. -Several months later everyone in the church receives a book. I understand that this is a very cost...
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What are best practices for conducting a Congregational Meeting dealing with controversial issues?

I am a first term elder and council clerk who is now going to be partly responsible for guiding discussion and voting on a few "hot button" issues - selling a parsonage in order to fund new ministries and a renovation/addition, as well as gathering perspectives now and voting in May on building a small barrier-free addition to our church. Do those of you who are experienced in conducting and fielding questions in this type of situation have any hints for keeping the discussion on a helpful track, or any words of wisdom on what to say and what to avoid? I am starting to sweat!
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Surprised by Hope

We're reading through and discussing N.T. Wright's book, "Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church." Has anyone else read this book with a group from church? I'm curious to hear about how other's feel Wright's theology .

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What kind of church ministry is effective with singles, spiritually single, widows and divorced persons?

We've recently done some demographic work in our church and have realized that the following categories of people make up almost 50% of our people altogether: Singles (traditional un-married sense) Spiritually single (married but spouses are not attending church at all and/or are not interested in faith, etc.) Widows/Widowers Divorced and/or Separated I realize that you can't minister to all of these people in exactly the same ways, but what I wanted to know was whether our situation was unique or not, and what things churches out there are doing with/to/for/from any/all of those groups in...
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