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Blog
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Virginia State Legislator Says that Disabled Children are Punishment from God

Long ago, or so I thought, people said that children born with anomalies were warnings to their parents that covenant with the gods had been violated. The Latin word for "to warn" is monere from which comes the English word, "monster." Thus, children (and adults) with disabilities were thought of as monsters to be feared, because they were proof that the gods were angered by violations of their laws. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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On Good Questions

So I began to wonder what have been some of the best questions in the context of the elder’s work in the congregation. Leading the congregation in good conversations that create fresh consideration of the way we seek to live our lives faithful to God is vital to our call.

Elders
Blog
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Worship Leaders as Guides

As worship leaders we serve as guides. We can take the safe, pleasant, straight and flat path or we can chose something more challenging. The flat path is known and even relaxing; you can enjoy your environment without exerting much energy. The challenging path requires all our senses; it makes us feel alive, and gets the adrenaline pumping. It offers great vistas, many rewards, but yet demands work; it isn’t easy. I think in general churches need a mix of the two sometimes in the same service. There are times for stability and there are times for challenges.

Worship
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Breathing

My daughter has a cold. My wife has a cold. I have a cold. In our house, we are all learning the valuable lesson of the importance of breathing. Through out the night, my daughter (almost 6 months old) coughs and coughs as she struggles to get the mucous out of her system so she can breathe as she needs. The bug is going around, I hope that you escape it.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Calendar Check

It's February and between snow days and special events your Sunday school might be lagging a behind schedule. Take a minute to look over the scope and sequence of the material you're using to determine where you are and where you’d like to be.

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Pastors as Career Counselors?

Lots of things that pastors do are not included in any job description. For example, did you know how often you might be asked to be a career counselor? This sort of thing happens to me much more often than I would ever have thought. The questions I field about jobs usually don’t have to do with how much money a given job will pay. Instead the issues go deeper.

Pastors
Blog
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Local and Global

You may have noticed an exchange in the "How is it?" suggestions section about the absence of local mission from this site. If not, I hope you take a look and offer your thoughts. At the risk of oversimplification I'll venture a few thoughts on the relation of local and global mission as a former pastor and a former missionary...

Global Mission
Blog
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Reflections on Prayer While Reading HOME

Sometimes by the time we get to pray we have already fretted and considered. By the time we come to God, our prayers reveal the solution to our crisis. God give me what I believe I need so that this moment will pass leaving me with the “appearance of dignity”.

Elders
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Living in Community

One of my favorite aspects about being a Christian is living in community, being constantly surrounded by people who support me as a whole person – not necessarily because of my position, but because I am a fellow believer (I hope that’s what it is anyways …), and vice versa.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Key Connections

It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re leading a ministry. If the attendance drops, a volunteer steps down, or parents are unhappy, everyone looks to you for solutions and direction. But who do you look to for support, encouragement, and advice?

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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When You Don't Know What to Do

What do you do when you don't know what to do? Shaken Haiti has been asking that for weeks. We ask ourselves that, as we respond to blows and shocks. Suddenly a contract you thought was sure falls through. You believe someone favoured a competitor's bid. You count on a scholarship, but a poorer student gets it instead. You suspect a teacher wrote you a weak recommendation.

Pastors
Blog
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Leadership Forum

Live near Palos Heights? On Saturday, February 27, from 8:45 a.m. to noon, Trinity Christian College will host The Chicago Disability Concerns Leadership Forum for church leaders as well as persons with disabilities and care givers. Participants will learn about the church’s role in supporting families dealing with disabilities in an era of insufficient social services funding. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Spilled Salt: A Little About Me

In 2007, I was coming to the end of my bible college existence. I was coming close to putting almost 7 years of study behind me, and was going to receive that piece of paper that says I hold a degree. In my quest of searching for what was to come next, I came upon a little CRC church in a small town. Their youth pastor position had just become vacant...

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Worship That's Out of this World

A few weeks ago I was at a choir concert where the Magnificat from Arvo Pärt was performed (listen here). An absolutely stunning piece with the music washing over you and bringing you into the presence of the holy.

Worship
Blog
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Say NO to Food

Over the past number of weeks as I was considering what to add to this webpage that would be beneficial to you, the youth worker, I came across a list of 8 fun filled games that revolved around food.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Youth Ministers: Elders in Disguise?

Each church within the CRC denomination has a different approach on how a Youth Worker/Pastor/Director reports to his or her superior. Take a look at this insightful article by Dr. Syd Hielema as he shares his experience when he was a Youth Pastor at Newmarket CRC.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Do You Love Me?

It is the question Jesus asked Peter. It is the question every member asks the elder.  
When we become an elder, the tasks of the office loom before us. We will have to attend meetings, engage in church management, arrange visits with members, and take on leadership responsibilities. If you are a first time elder, these responsibilities can be overwhelming.

Elders
Blog
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How to Correctly Display Photos

I recently registered for my first sprint triathlon, the Hawk Island Triathalon. While visiting their site I was surprised to see how they displayed images.  It is a colorful, informative, and photo-filled site however I would like to point out one no-no.

Church Communications
Blog
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Haiti: Earthquake and Beyond

As I wrote to one of our missionaries, "Our job is done, but yours is just beginning." Over the months and years to come there will be lots of work for our Haiti team, which is called Sous Espwa (Source of Hope).

Global Mission
Blog
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Confusion in Communication Strategies

At a council meeting, we were talking about communicating a particular concern and decision to the congregation. That’s where it began. The ones who were dealing with the youth suggested that we put in on facebook. The ones with email thought that was adequate. The luddites suggested that the mailslots in the church were adequate. Everyone agreed that just putting it in the bulletin was inadequate: it is never read well enough. 

Elders
Blog
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Jamie Smith on Repentance and Assurance

Jamie Smith recently gave a lecture in which he said that repentance and assurance in worship are remarkable formative practices that are indispensable to the Christian life. He noted that on Oprah, we can find a form of assurance ("you're o.k.," "just be yourself"), while our shopping mall elicits shame or anxiety in all of us ("none of us measure up to the standards of the good life projected there.")

Worship
Blog
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What Are You Reading?

We're just starting this Network project and I'm the so-called "Guide" for this page. I guess that makes some sense. I've been engaged in this calling for more than 30 years. (Yikes!) But for all the topics that we cover, I'd like your help. For example, what books are you reading that help with any part of our calling and task?

Pastors
Blog
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Try Out the Latest Version of Firefox

Yesterday, Mozilla released an incremental upgrade to it's popular browser Firefox 3.6. Even though this is a small upgrade there are numerous changes, which they detail in their blog post.  First, it's over 20 percent faster than the previous upgrade. Second, it includes better support for plug ins with a plugin updater. Firefox 3.6 has...

Church Communications

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