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Listening

Thinking before you speak is harder than it appears.  Conversation is by nature reflexive:  you speak and I reply.  It is dialogue. But how is it possible that as soon as you finish speaking, I can begin replying...  

Elders
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Don't Invite Them to Church

This book talks about relationships that are measured by whether friends have "refrigerator rights".  And that's only ONE of the delightful ideas you'll find. The subtitle of the book is "Moving From a Come and See to a GO AND BE CHURCH".  ..

Deacons
Blog
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Con-cent: When Your Consent Isn't Worth a Penny

Although it does vary, in most states and provinces, the age of consent is 16. Below age 16, a minor is regarded as unable to give consent; 16 or older and the minor is regarded as able to give consent. That does not mean, however, that everyone who is of age to give consent to sexual acts has given consent ... 

Safe Church
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A GIFT for our Network Friends

Youth Unlimited is offering its quarterly magazine to you, friends of the NETWORK, for FREE! Equip Magazine is intentional about equipping today's volunteer youth worker for ministry to today's youth.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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More on Mall Music--Hallelujah, Amen!!

As some or many of you know, that YouTube video I linked in this blog two weeks ago of Chorus Niagara singing "The Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah has "gone viral," as they say. With over 13,000,000 hits and counting, this stirring piece has captivated millions for a few minutes--or more; 13,000,000 is more than one-third of the population of Canada.

Pastors
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Conned-sent

Consent is not just permission; consent also implies that we understand the consequences of our actions.  Learn more about consent in this blog and in future blogs.

Safe Church
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Charity AND Justice for the Poor

Mary's song of hope becomes more challenging when it moves beyond charity for the poor to judgment: “…but he has sent the rich away empty.”  How are we to participate in the kingdom activity of sending the rich away empty? I can’t say I have ever heard a sermon about that.

Deacons
Blog
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Stay Connected

Connectedness cannot happen by merely rubbing shoulders in the coffee room or with a church handshake or a passing of the peace on Sunday morning or at some church event. And I dare say it rarely happens in a church classroom setting either...

Small Groups
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The One(s) Sent

Missions are typically not much on the minds of people or the calendar of congregations in Advent. The focus typically shifts to the coming of Jesus to our world as a baby born in humble circumstances for our good. But Advent is also a season to remember...

Global Mission
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New Songs for Christmas

It is with great courage that a worship leader deviates from the traditional Christmas carols at Christmas but there may be situations which call for a new song. 

Worship
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Two Newly Created Discussion Networks

We are excited to announce two newly created discussion forums on The Network: Hospitality and Young Adults. We hope these forums will foster discussions for those who participate in hospitality ministries and those who are interested in ministry by, for, or with young adults.

Network News
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Chicken or the Egg??

"People resist mission because they are under-discipled, but they are also under-discipled because of the absence of any missional challenge. " The problem is, we’ve become used to seeing discipleship as a passive thing as we sit and enjoy one another as we “huddle and cuddle” together. 

Small Groups
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Changing the Culture of a Meeting - Or a Church!

Deacons often build their meetings around problems, needs, shortfalls, and concerns. In a way, that's their job, but the wise deacon has her attitude shaped by graceful abundance, rather than by anxious focus on the problems. So how can one deacon make a difference in how a meeting flows?

Deacons
Blog
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Why Do Short Term Missions?

Over the last thirty years this innovative idea of short term missions has become a standard part of the annual cycle for many churches.  Youth teams within the US have been supplemented by international and intergenerational trips of many kinds: hurricane relief, sports and musical teams, mime, etc.  Much of the focus has been on making use of such trips in   

Global Mission
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Do You Care?

Have you wondered if you’re in youth ministry for the ‘right’ reasons? How do you know if you really care for the youth you are ministering to? These are tough questions. These are questions that every youth worker, either paid or volunteer, should consider a few times a year. It’s not redundant but rather a reality check.  

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Waiting

Waiting is hard. Especially in our culture of instant gratification. Waiting is an incubator of our hopes and fears. Waiting is a profound act of trust.  We wait because the most important action that can be taken is not one for us to make.  

Elders
Blog
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Mockery? OR a Lesson in Gospel Translation?

One of my all-time favourite songs—Christmas or other times—is “Ere zij God”/”Glory to God” (Psalter Hymnal #214). We’ll surely be singing it again during Christmas Day worship, perhaps other times as well. I had never heard this song until we moved to Canada from Venezuela in 1986. Now, though, to take a seriously comical (or comically serious) turn, I’ll relate the story of “Ere zij God” that I recently heard from the spouse of a second-generation Canadian of Dutch heritage.

Pastors
Blog
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The Boy in the Moon

Journalist Ian Brown applied his skills to plumb the depths of raising a son, Walker, who has severe disabilities resulting from a genetic disorder, CFC. In his quest for meaning, among others he seeks out wisdom from Buddhism, from a shaman at a native healing center, and from Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities. As a Christian, I can’t endorse all of his conclusions, but reading about his journey helped to enlighten my own path. It’s something that some of us Calvinists call “common grace.”

Disability Concerns

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