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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
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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The Sounds of Easter

Holy week was a whirlwind of noise, energy, and emotion! Help your kids wonder at the sound of tables crashing in the temple, the thump, thump of approaching soldiers, the crow of a rooster.

Children's Ministry
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

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