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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?

Children'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.

Children'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
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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Sharing Faith Stories With Kids

Two thumbs to Holly Gort, director of education at South Grandville CRC, for sharing this excellent idea! Holly’s plan is to offer a two-part workshop that will help adults and teens share their faith stories with younger members of the congregation.

Children's Ministry
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

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