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Blog
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When Deacons Shine

Unemployment! Can deacons help? In this economy, and in many communities, our churches come in contact with job seekers. What can deacons do?  The church is not an employment agency, but deacons can be a powerful resource to support discouraged job seekers...

Deacons
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Transition Planning

Over and over again, I hear of elders – especially first time elders – struggling to get acquainted with the tasks before them.  Not everything can be overcome through good planning. Some tasks simply have to be done the first time in order to learn the dynamics of the ministry.  But there is no question that planning 

Elders
Blog
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Getting the Word Out

That’s “word” with a small w, although it may also be “Word.” I’m talking about ways that the church shares their news -- especially events to which they are inviting their community. What technology, if any, works well for getting the word out?

Church Communications
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What Does Our Language Communicate?

How does the language in which we communicate the gospel affect people? Do our words give the impression that God is irrelevant to “normal” life? Do our words help or hinder people in their relationship to the church, and more importantly, to God?

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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Wondering Out Loud

One of the wondering questions for the Parable of the Ten Virgins was "I wonder who the foolish virgins were?” A child answered, "I know, it was Jill" (another child in the class).  What is the best way to respond?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Vacation Bible School as Missions

Whenever I meet with a church to talk about their global missions strategy, I always ask what they are doing locally. Inevitably they mention VBS as a primary outreach tool. So I decided to do some research.

Global Mission
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Connecting via Skype

Saturday morning I attended an event in which a missionary family spoke face to face with their US home church from their living room in Vienna.  Has your church used Skype to connect with missionaries at a distance? What would you think of having a moment for missions by Skype as part of the regular worship service?

Global Mission
Blog
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Is it Important for Youth to Attend Church with Their Parents?

At one of my previous churches where I was a youth pastor, the lead pastor did not want us to pull students out of church for our own youth service.  I now attend a church that has a church plant right on the same campus and some students prefer to go to this service, rather than the regular church service.  We are getting pushback from parents 

Youth Ministry
Blog
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People of Color in Leadership Positions

This year’s Agenda is first to report on our progress in incorporating ethnic minorities and women on denominational boards. It reports “a decrease of five women and a decrease of four persons of color on the boards over the previous year (p. 26).” No Agenda has ever reported on our progress in attaining our goal of at least one ethnic 

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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Tired Deacons

"...the more we pursued spiritual formation, the more we were convinced that Christlike people intentionally reach out to those who are ignored, forgotten and marginalized....  We make room for them... because this is what Jesus did."

Deacons
Blog
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Annual Review

As we head into May, we are approaching the end of the church year. Now is a good time to review the work of the past year. We usually like to gloss over this moment. After all, some are coming to the end of their terms of office and are fading out of the job. Others feel a little guilty about what they failed to do. Hopes and ambition 

Elders
Blog
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Suggest a Blog Topic (ALSO: Guest Bloggers Welcome)

When cruising around The Network, have you ever thought: "They should really blog about...."Well now you can use this handy-dandy form to suggest a blog topic for one of our Network sections. We'll make sure it gets to the right guide for their full consideration.

Network News
Blog
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Delegates by the Numbers

Who's coming to Synod 2011? What do the numbers say about our efforts to reflect our ethnic and gender diversity in our broadest assembly? What do they say about our members' interest in this assembly? It would be interesting to hear some perspectives on

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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At Your Baptism...

I’m always looking for ways to help kids “remember” their baptism and understand what it means. So I was excited to see the latest board book from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. It’s called At Your Baptism

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Classical Exams

This examination is the last step in a long process of being declared a candidate. I wonder if it is a bit redundant. Before the classical exam the candidate has been through four years of theological education, been examined and approved by the faculty of the seminary, been examined and approved by the Synodical Candidacy Committee and been approved at Synod.

Classis
Blog
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The 'Resignation' of Our Executive Director

Recently, our denominational Board of Trustees (BOT) told us, "Rev. Jerry Dykstra informed the CRC Board of Trustees of his desire to resign as Executive Director of the CRCNA for personal and family reasons." However, in an interview with the Grand Rapids Press Rev. Dykstra said "the BOT made the decision

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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Easter Deacons

"Who today is the focus of [the deacons'] task? Our church order and ordination form emphasize the necessity of addressing widening circles of need that center in the congregation. Is this a good distinction for us to be making? Do we run the risk of ignoring greater needs because we see only

Deacons
Blog
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Easter Meditation: What Good is the Resurrection?

Denying Jesus' resurrection started the day he arose. It’s natural to deny the resurrection. We modern folks like to get to the root of things. And at the root of all things biological is that life will end in death. That's all there is, folks. There ain't no more.

Pastors

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