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Blog
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Living the Gospel

Imagine this. You’ve been in an ongoing spiritual discussion with someone and are asked, “So what is the Gospel?” How would you answer? I had a pretty pat answer in mind until I spent time reflecting on the first four verses of Isaiah 61. This passage points out a bigger understanding of the Gospel than I’m used to thinking

Small Groups
Blog
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Interagency Global Partnership Strategy (iGPS)

Many churches which have done a number of short term missions trips have been struggling with some common questions. "We have done construction or other tasks. Is there more? Is there a way for us to develop a relationship with another church or community? What are the pitfalls to avoid and the opportunities to embrace in doing joint ministry? What about serving together in a third location?

Global Mission
Blog
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Here Comes Trouble!

Yes, good ideas are often trouble. Timing is wrong, or they're not really that good, or they're great but no one can execute, or you have to exert energy heading them off without offending the source, and on and on....

Deacons
Blog
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Claudette's Cancer: A Hard Sanctification?

Yesterday a 40 year-old wife and mom from our congregation died. She had suffered from cancer for just over a year. It started with a mole in the small of her back that he husband saw one evening. Though discovered early, that made no difference to the raging cancer that devoured multiple organs.

Pastors
Blog
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Do We Need More Songs?

Maybe we should declare a moratorium on all new congregational songs… at least for a few years so we can catch our breath.

Worship
Blog
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Deaconal Power Lines

What if the most important thing a deacon could do to facilitate CHANGE would be to build a couple of really good relationships with members of the congregation? What if the purpose of the relationship was to discover together how to live a more Christ-like life, a life more marked by grace, and sensitivity to needs, and better use of gifts, and increased generosity? 

Deacons
Blog
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Guest blog: Inclusion and Excuses

With Rich Dixon's permission, I've copied an entry from his blog, Bouncing Back. In it, Rich applies an excuse analysis to physical accessibility of church buildings. The same analysis could be used to consider accessibility and inclusion in church communications, language used in worship and other settings, educational programming, youth group, small groups, outreach activities, work projects, and all other church related activities.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Litter

It was a simple piece of paper, could have been a newspaper, or some sort of brochure – all the ink had been washed away, the paper fibres were barely hanging on to each other. And in the middle of the paper, a little purple flower had grown through.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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You Use The Network, Now Tell Others About it!

Not only is there a sample bulletin announcement and other ideas on this page to spread the word about The Network, but there are two images that you can post on your church website. This not only showcases your support of The Network, but helps us get the word out so that we can add to the number of voices on the site and share the knowledge and wisdom for the many different roles in a church.

Church Communications
Blog
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I Have a Dream for the Church

In my wildest dream for the church, I dream of the day that churches are so welcoming, so eager to have people with disabilities use their gifts, that the percentage of people with disabilities in the church is greater than the percentage of people with disabilities in the population at large.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Taking Time to Grow

I was working on new material for our catechetical program for the fall. In our first sessions, we want to focus on how we grow as Christians. I want youth to know what they need to practice in order to grow to maturity. In the process I listened to some youtube videos of Richard Foster. (Get a Life: the with-God life ).

Elders
Blog
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Is There a 50% Barrier?

Rather than evaluate the success of a small group by the percentage of a church’s people involved, I’m much more likely to ask questions about how people are demonstrating discipleship and mission in their lives. How are people growing in spiritual disciplines? How many are inviting friends to try out the group? How deep are the relationships within the group? How does the group care for one another and their neighbors?

Small Groups
Blog
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A Deacon Reflects

The Christian Reformed Church down the street sat silent, waiting. The deacons were coming. Tomorrow they would come. They would meet. They would turn on lights; they would talk and drink coffee. They would follow the agenda. They would turn out the lights and ...

Deacons
Blog
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"Contemporvant" Worship Video--Funny? Offensive? Satirical? Mean?

Well, since my last blog post about ten days ago about a contemporary worship service Rose and I attended, there has been a fair bit of traffic on this page and a few comments--both on the Network and to my personal email. So now maybe it's time to keep the fires burning, the sparks flying, the synapses clicking (or whatever synapses do). A friend sent me the following link to a video that really...

Pastors
Blog
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WCRC Reflections

The uniting general council meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches is now history.  It's hard to know what impact this merger will have on the mission effort of the 80 million Christians who belong to one of the member denominations.  Concepts of mission certainly vary within and across denominational lines. 

Global Mission
Blog
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Twitter Possibilities

Recently I had an interesting experience on Twitter. While it's not revolutionary, it is simple and effective at finding people in your area that have similar interests, are looking for a new church, or just searching.

Church Communications
Blog
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Perspective

One of the delegates challenged me to hold in mind the children who are affected by war, famine, and oppression as I read Bible stories. What would children who are displaced find in this story? What would children who are hungry hear in this story? What questions would...

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Inclusive Community

The call of community isn’t about finding people just like us, at the exclusion of others. Community, in the biblical sense, is clearly about unlike people finding Christ at the center of their inclusive life together. Thus, issues of community reflect powerful dynamics of how God brings very diverse people together for his glory and his witness in the world.

Small Groups
Blog
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Discipleship, Discipline and Naming Sin

In order for elders to exercise their shepherding responsibility and name sin in a person’s life, there needs to be a relationship of some meaning. We may be frustrated by another’s behavior but perhaps we need to reflect first on the nature of our relationship with the person.

Elders

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