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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
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Still

When I think of the word still, I think of that time between gusts of wind, you know when there’s this big gust, a pause, then another big gust. It’s that pause between gusts that give me a sense of calmness. It’s almost like nature takes a time out from its busyness...

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Follow a User Via Email Alerts [Feature]

Last week we introduced the ability to follow a conversation with email alerts.Today, we've added the ability to get email alerts of all the new postings by a particular user. So you can follow postings by your friends, fellow church members, or another user you've found to be particularly insightful. Or funny. Or profound. Or just plain interesting.

Network News
Blog
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The Easter Story and the Way of the Elder

As I was thinking about the sermons for Good Friday and Easter Sunday, it struck me (once again) that the story we tell was not intended to simply give us a wonderful celebration 2000 years later. Jesus came to bring change.

Elders
Blog
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Stickiness

A popular book on church development uses sticky church as its title. The book is largely focused on practices and programs that make suburban and sub-rural attractional style churches grow more quickly and retain more members. What qualities make ministries sticky if they are done just right?

Global Mission
Blog
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Synod to Get Overture on Deacons

Deacons as agents of transformation in church and society! This overture to Synod continues an excellent dialog!  The overture from Classis Grandville is asking Synod to create a task force to look hard at the ways the office of deacon could be made stronger and more strategic for...

Deacons
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Fail

Often times we are so afraid of failure. I guess what I’ve found out over time is that failure is almost a necessary step to success. When I worked in framing, I always said, “If you don’t bleed at least once during the day, you’re not working hard enough.” When I am skiing, I have said, “If you’re not falling, you’re not pushing yourself enough...

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Does Your Website Contian Speling Errors?

A couple of weeks ago I read an article on the NY Times blog section of their website written by one of their columnists. I was shocked to find the post rife with spelling mistakes. Not only was this distracting, but immediately led me to question the writer’s credibility.

Church Communications
Blog
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A Dream or A Vision?

They all filed in together at the last minute - just before the Minister himself appeared. They were all in dark suits, white shirts, and ties. Black shoes with lots of eyelets. Or was that just one especially old consistory member? Elders and deacons...

Deacons
Blog
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Email Alerts of New Comments, Posts [Feature]

 Since launching The Network we've had a number of people asking for email notifications in the forums. Thanks for that suggestion and it's now live on the site.In the first post of any forum thread (including this one!), logged-in users will see two options:

Network News
Blog
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Taking Care of the Pastor

Spring is slowly awakening my garden. We don’t plant much food. A little lettuce. Some beans. Still it is nourishment. In order for us to get the nourishment from this small plot, we need to tend the plot, ensure adequate water, and get rid of the weeds. It is neither instant nor effortless.
Often times the image of feeding is used to speak about preaching...

Elders
Blog
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Hearing Aids as Fashion Accessories?

In a comment to my blog post, "Do Older People Have 'Disabilities,'" J Cornelisse wrote: "Isn't it funny how we have so many things to make our lives more convenient (remote controls, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, little things on our key chains to lock and unlock our cars, automatic windows and doors, garage door openers - you get the point) and yet if using a hearing aid or a walker would make our lives easier..."

Disability Concerns
Blog
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What Does All This Mean for Ministry?

Over the course of the past year, I was introduced to a series of YouTube videos entitled “Shift Happens.” According to the video’s wiki page this video series originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. The presentation hit the web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers.

Pastors
Blog
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Perfect Storm?

Gargantuan federal deficits, increasing taxes, growing global competition, tapped out consumers, threats of inflation, corporations making profits but not hiring, banks making profits but not lending, continued unemployment, waves of foreclosures...

Deacons
Blog
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A Whole New World

With decreasing spiritual zeal, evangelistic fervor, and shrinking congregations, North America has become one of the largest mission fields on the planet.

Global Mission
Blog
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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
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Thoughts from Van Dop

The other day, while I was playing with my daughter, the news was on. There was a story of a couple in South Korea who had 3 month old daughter, who was born prematurely. This couple also had an internet addiction. Put the two together, and the end result was the death of their daughter – due to malnutrition and neglect, a terribly sad ending.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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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
Blog
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Taming the Pounce

Pouncers squash ideas. Have you ever been the squasher? the squashee?  A young person expresses an opinion, idea, or wish that's a little edgy or goofy or scary. An adult pounces on it to make sure it gets "fixed" before it goes too far. A spouse... 

Deacons

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