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Blog
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Reliability and Spiritual Life

I started looking for a new car. It is an interesting journey. One question I ask involved reliability. I want to drive the vehicle for a long time. This means I am looking not only at first impressions or even cheapest price; I want the vehicle that has long haul credibility. I will accept fewer luxuries to gain greater reliability. Reliability is a quality of the Christian life...

Elders
Blog
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Breaking More Barriers

The Reformed Church in America is just beginning to catch on—and catch up—to the Christian Reformed Church’s prophetic focus on disability concerns. After giving occasional consideration to disability issues over the past several decades, we in the RCA are grateful to be welcomed by the CRC in this promising partnership of inclusion...

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Forms: Living or Dead?

It seems to me that the CRC has mixed feelings when it comes to liturgical forms. For some they are seen as embodiments of all that is wrong with traditionalism, for others they are seen as a way of maintaining good theology and right practice. For some, forms are dull boring artifacts, for others treasured vessels...

Worship
Blog
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Using TheCommon.org to Connect Needs and Abilities in Your Church

Part of living in community is sharing needs, and abilities. As part of a church community, you probably share these needs and abilities through bulletin announcements, or someone tracking and matching up people to help. While this can be effective for some churches, it can limit the potential of helping each other by limiting it to only dire needs. 

Church Communications
Blog
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Identity or Intruder

I’ve wondered why many older people who live with significant disabilities do not identify themselves as disabled, and even take offense at being called disabled. Yet, other people who live with disabilities not only embrace the term but even talk about “disability pride.”

Disability Concerns
Blog
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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
Blog
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Clustering New Churches

Dr. Randy Rowland has produced several articles on clustering that will be appearing over the next weeks here. I hope you will read them and that they will spark ideas and action as we seek to be a denomination that plants churches which help people meet the Lord Jesus.

Global Mission
Blog
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Deacons Stepping Up?

Jeff Brower's post, "Deacons - Priests or Kings?" is a gem.  Wish I had written it.   It stimulates us to think about deacons and their authority, their relationship to the Kingly dimension of Jesus' identity.  But it also reminds us of a 43 year old report to Synod - where the "unfullfilled" nature of the deacons' role is acknowledged!    What's happened since?

Deacons
Blog
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Partner With Parents

Our 27.5 hours of Sunday school a year can’t compare to the time parents and caregivers have to invest in their own kids. So what can do to encourage these busy sleep-deprived saints that raise the kids we see in Sunday school?

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Spilled Salt: How About Some Pepper?

All I can think about is if you sniff in a little bit of pepper - you sneeze. Pepper is used in conjunction with salt - well, most often. When I order a sub from Subway - I only get pepper on it - no salt. I just find that they put on too much salt and it ruins the sub. So I stick with the pepper.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Facebook "Like" Button, Top 10 Lists [Feature]

 Who said denominations are slow?Well, OK, maybe I've said that once or twice too. But not this time! Just a couple of days after it was announced, we've implemented Facebook's new "Like" button on the Network site. It feels good to be johnny-on-the-spot sometimes!

Network News
Blog
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Leading When We Feel Like Tottering Fences

Yesterday, we reflected on what happened in elders lives this past year. When they said yes to serving as elder, they considered the pros and cons, their schedules and abilities. They knew they faced challenges. But all things considered they accepted, as the form says, that this was the call of God on their lives. Then life happened...

Elders
Blog
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Doubting Doubt

Thomas is Christianity’s first famous doubter. Odd, since his doubt surfaced on the very day Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. A week later doubt disappeared. What can dispel doubt today? Start by paying attention to how the Gospel of John is built. Its doubters are boxed in by stories of faith. 

Pastors
Blog
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Can Deacons Really Lead?

This question haunts me. I hardly dare to raise it. But so much depends on the answer.  I'm afraid to raise it - afraid of the issues and feelings it might call forth.  In a nutshell, I am hopeful, but cautiously hopeful. Deacons DO lead, lots of them. But where there is...

Deacons
Blog
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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
Blog
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On Justifying Self

As I woke up this morning, I was having imagined conversations with some people in the church and who were once members of the church. I wanted reasons for their actions. I was asking the question every young child asks: Why? For instance: why do you attend that other church? Why have you stopped attending church altogether?

Elders
Blog
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Grounded

Flexibility is vital in missions. The unexpected happens, more often than not. Serving God in the mission of the church requires a readiness to adapt to the roadblocks and the opportunities that unexpectedly arise. 

Global Mission
Blog
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Faith Stories and Testimonies

If we believe that God is at work we ought to be able to point to some evidence of it and what better place to share those stories then in worship.

Worship
Blog
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Stories That Touched My Heart

Today I discovered the Reformed Church in America's (RCA) booklet entitled "The Ministry of the Deacon" by Betty Voskuil. It offers a brief but helpful look at the biblical concept of deacon, and the working out of the concept in the history of the RCA. Voskuil notes that...

Deacons
Blog
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Kid's Art as Worship

Last week I met with Liz Tolkamp, the children's pastor at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church. She's always looking for ways to help kids engage in the worship service and be part of the broader church community.

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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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
Blog
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Self-Deception

The range of what we think or do Is limited by what we fail to notice...Failing to notice is a strategy we use to avoid truth that demands change. We all believe that we ought to love our neighbour. In fact most of us think we are doing alright in this regard. Of course we tend to surround ourselves with...

Elders
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Still Reflections

Its 9:58 pm on Saturday night, the church is quiet – although filled with 17 youth and 4 adults, a little contrary to the level of noise the previous night delivered. This quietness is not because of the amount of work we did today, but because of one woman who listened to the voice of God.  Her name is Mother Hasting.  

Youth Ministry

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