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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
Blog
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Contentment and Spiritual Formation

Christians have always remarked that contentment is rooted not in the circumstances of our lives but in God who gives life. We would do well to ask: what is my source of contentment? How do the habits of my life display that I find more contentment in the Lord than a trip to the mall?

Elders
Blog
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A Spoon Full of Sugar

I appreciate Mary Poppin's spoon full of sugar adage, and invoke it often. For me, organizing is the medicine of ministry. Making sure that the supply cabinet is stocked and the substitute gets the lesson in time is not my cup of tea.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Mark Charles and Multicultural Learning in Siberia

I have learned a lot from Mark Charles. Mark is a veteran blogger and a long-time CRC member, who writes very thoughtful pieces on cross-cultural exchanges, especially for members of the church, from his home in Window Rock, Arizona. This piece is the fruit of Mark’s trip to Siberia for a gathering about culturally relevant worship practices. I especially like Mark’s honesty about the unsettling quality of encountering worship practices that are new to us.

Worship
Blog
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Sidelines: Turning the Frown Upside Down

So I'm on my own again. Me and the three kids. My husband, a youth pastor, is away for two nights for his job ... I'm going to share with you a few of the ones that help me through these times, and if you have some good ones to share, please post them and we can all help each other out!

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Who Attends Youth Group?

In the city where I live, there are four Christian Reformed congregations, several other more conservative Reformed congregations, plus a host of mainline and community churches. Over the last few years, our youth groups have seen a fluctuating attendance. We don't always know who are "members".

Pastors
Blog
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Owning Baptism

How do you and your congregation decide when to say “yes” to out-of-ordinary requests for baptism? Recently a family who live in another country requested our elders to baptize their eight-month old baby.

Pastors
Blog
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I Do, God Helping Me

I admit I wasn't taking this as seriously as I should have been. Greg called one day saying my name was up for nomination to deacon. Would I prayerfully consider keeping my name in the ring? I went through the common process of debating the time constraints and responsibilities with the opportunity for church leadership. You know...

Deacons
Blog
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Intergenerational Involvement in Five Verses Per Sunday

What if you could find five people in your congregation, perhaps each representing a different decade (one child, one teen, one thirty-something, one fifty-something, one-eighty something)to tell you what single Psalm verse best expresses the praise and thanks that they personally long to offer God.   The results are likely to be inspiring. Someone might choose a verse from Psalm 150, another a verse from Psalm 30, another a verse from Psalm 63. 

Worship
Blog
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Spiritual Leadership

Upon moving to Ontario, Canada to begin my ministry with Youth Unlimited I was asked to join a book reading/discussion on J. Oswald Sanders' book Spiritual Leadership. I was a little hesitant at first since I find myself often critical of self help books but this one surprised me in many ways.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Counter-Cultural Leadership

Henry Nouwen once argued that the three greatest temptations for Christian leaders are to be a) relevant, b) spectacular, and c) powerful (In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, Crossroads, 1987). 

Worship
Blog
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Prayer

If you’re a doer like me, you’ll find it easier to check things off the list than be still to pause for prayer. Like Martha in the kitchen, nothing that we do is as important as the relationship we’re cultivating with God.

PrayerChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Just-in-Time Learning

In our just in time culture, just in time learning has come to work of elders. Very few churches have a program of preparation in which people are enrolled prior to their call to be an elder. Which means most elders start the work of eldership feeling unprepared for the challenge of the work. Learning needs to happen on many fronts. Just by reading this, you are seeking information and encouragement for the challenges you face.

Elders
Blog
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How in the World Do I Start a Blogpost?

I have never written a blogpost before and had to be told what it was. I'm still not sure. But what I am sure about is that I believe this idea of "Network" is a pretty good one. So I'll learn what it takes to be a guide for this "Pastors" section. I won't be alone, I hope. I am looking forward to other colleagues, interested persons, perhaps aspiring pastors to help make this little website helpful, informative and participatory for our callings as pastors.

Pastors
Blog
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Sidelines: A Spouse's Perspective

At the end of a beautiful farewell evening at our church for my husband, who was the Youth Pastor, a woman came up to me and said "You worked just as hard as he did all these years, because you were the one who had to give him up every night and take care of your family on your own!" Her comment blessed me so much!

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Not What It Always Seems To Be

My van looks better on the outside than it did on the inside. This got me thinking about some of the youth that I worked with. They said the right things and some even did Profession of Faith. But in all reality, their faith in Jesus Christ was not as good as what the outside made it appear.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Urbana 2009

The Triennial Urbana Missions Convention gathered about 17,000 people, mostly college students, for information and inspiration about missions. The CRC was well represented with more than 50 taking advantage of our travel grant and quite a few others who didn't hear about it. We also had three booths. CRWM, Calvin Seminary and World Renew were there. In addition the new Mideast peace and reconciliation of CRWM called Hope Equals made its debut. Hundreds of interested convention goers visited. In addition, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, CRWM missionary in Costa Rica, was one of the plenary speakers...
Global Mission
Blog
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Drama With Kids

Some of my favorite Sunday school story times are ones that allow kids to take center stage. When a story engages our imaginations, it sticks with us long after the lesson. There are three things I keep in mind each time I tell a story with partners.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Neither Pity Nor Reverence

Most people with disabilities that I know don't want to be pitied. But neither do they want to be reverenced as if they were paragons of virtue or models of triumph of the human spirit. Way too many journalists who feature stories about people living with disabilities frame their stories in the "reverence" light. "Here's Joe who lives with X disability, but look at all he has done! What determination. What spirit. What an example for all of us!" If I lived with a disability...

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Just Like That...

Bad news never announces that it is coming.  Bam...just like that....it's there.  I've been occupying the office of Safe Church Ministry for 15 years.

Safe Church

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