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Q&A
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Should wine or grape juice be served at Communion?

We currently serve both wine and grape juice, giving parishioners a choice. But we also have several AA groups that use our facility during the week, and know that they have an open invitation to worship with us. There are a couple of members who have strong objection to switching to all grape juice, so it would also be a pastoral issue to switch. Does the presence of wine in the communion tray offer too strong a temptation to a recovering alcoholic?
Elders
Q&A
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Concerns About an Elder

I was a member of a congregation that elected a man to become an Elder without knowing his true background. What next steps should I take?

Elders
Q&A
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Is Commissioned Pastor a separate office?

When I was originally ordained as an Evangelist I was told I held a fourth office in the church, along with Elder, Deacon, and Minister of the Word. Through the title changes we seem to have lost that concept. I am wondering why we don't have a section under the Network for Commissioned Pastors that would provide training and helps to us much as we have sections for the other offices? It would seem that those charged with planting new churches and serving as evangelists in established churches would benefit from such help. I recognize that we have a place in the Discussion Forums that most...
Pastors
Q&A
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Is congregational approval required to lease part of our building?

New to this list--pardon if the topic has been addressed before. Our church has an offer from a cell phone company to lease a part of our building for placement of a booster antenna. Assuming that all our questions and concerns are answered to council's satisfaction, must the measure still come before a congregational meeting for approval? This is not a revenue expenditure (happily, the opposite!) but it does entail leasing church property so might qualify as a 'money matter.' Thanks for any advice you can give.
Church Order
Q&A
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Leadership Development Database Setup Ideas?

We as Administrative Elders have set a goal to develop future leaders in our congregation. We're currently finding out who has served in leadership roles in the past (leadership being elder, deacon, small group leader, other team/committee leader, etc, etc) and we're going to ask current ministry leaders and staff to suggest names of potential leaders. Then we'll plug all this into a database of some sort, and then we'll provide leadership opportunities for this group in the future. A couple of benefits of this are knowing what gifts/strengths are in our congregation, and when we have a new...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Pastor Reimbursement of meals-Should his portion be a taxable benefit? (Canadian)?

Hi there, Our Pastor tends to take the Youth Group or other members of the congregation out for meals from time to time for various reasons and then submits his receipts for reimbursement. Should his portion of the meal be considered a taxable benefit? I have wondered a few times about this as although he is technically working, he is receiving a free meal which makes me think this is likely a taxable benefit under Canadian Tax Law. I was going to call CRA and still might but I wondered first if anyone has already looked into this as all too often you can call 3 times and get 3 different...
Treasurers
Q&A
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Is the Walking With People With Mental Illness webinar on Sept 26 or still on the proposed list?

Is the Walking With People With Mental Illness for Sept 26th.or still a proposed one? I'm confused. I received an email saying it was scheduled and to register which I did. I was just getting the details to ask others to join me and saw it was still in the proposed section. Could you clear this up so I can ask others to join when it is scheduled? Thanks so much. The contact option in the webinar section isn't supported by email server, gmail. There is no email address given so I'm trying this way to find out the answer to my question.
Disability Concerns
Q&A
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Once an elder, always an elder?

I was ordained as an elder and served my 3 year term. Now that I am done with that term, am I still considered to be an elder? If I happen to be at a service where there is a call for elders to participate in Communion or laying on of hands for an ordination service, may I participate as en elder?
Church Order
Q&A
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Volunteer Schedule Conflicts Ideas?

At our church, we have a lot of volunteers who serve in mulitple ministries. For example, one person might be on the Nursery list, they might be on the list to serve at after-church coffee time, and might also teach in one of the children's programs that meets during worship. Each of these ministries asks people to serve every 8-12 weeks, so we inevitably encounter schedule conflicts. Recently, someone suggested that we try to centralize and streamline our schedules to avoid scheduling conflicts. This sounds like a great idea! But also something that would take some time - and is just...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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How do we set up an electronic calendar that reminds us of significant dates in the lives of widows/widowers?

We would like to schedule visits to coincide with a widow's or widower's wedding anniversary or anniversary of the date of their spouse's death. We would like to enter the data into a calendar once and then have the calendar update itself every year. Further, we would like to have the ability to mark the calendar after visits are completed--both when and by whom. Our church records are on ACS. Unless we are missing something, we cannot use our current software according to the above preferences. Sincerely, Bryce Mensink, Associate Pastor Palos Heights, IL Christian Reformed Church
Church Communications
Q&A
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What are your thoughts on the Title of Commissioned Pastor?

What are your thoughts on the new title we've been given? During the debate, it was mentioned that we haven't landed on a final solution, but a better one in order to elevate the position. The video is Monday Afternoon from time 33:00-1:02:45 at the following link: http://www.crcna.org/pages/synod_webcast_archive.cfm Would it be totally out of whack to propose a new name already, for Synod 2013's consideration? Just Wondering?
PastorsCRCNA and Synod
Q&A
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What figure do you use to calculate Ministry Shares?

Hi there, I'm new to the treasurer role at my church and would like a quick confirmation on ministry shares. In my reading on the CRCNA website and resources passed on to me, I have a fairly comprehensive understanding of how it all works. What I'm curious about is how the exact calculation on membership takes place. For the 2012 year, I know its based on the total membership in the 2012 yearbook, but am I to reduce the calculation by 'inactive members'? On what membership figures is the denomination and classis expecting?
Treasurers
Q&A
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Validating voting members at Synod

How are participants (voting members) of synod validated? Does someone make sure they have signed the form of subscription? And if not (and I understand from an overutre that some members of the CRC are not willing to sign this form) what other procedure is used? Just curious.
CRCNA and Synod
Q&A
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List of CRC pastors serving as US military chaplains?

I'm a church planter in an area with Army, Air Force, and Navy installations. Recently connected with a new couple that just moved here. They're not Reformed, but told me they had developed a relationship with a chaplain at their last post (Fort Hood) who they thought had attended CTS. This chaplain was re-assigned about the same time they were, and I believe is now in the Washington DC area. I am wondering if there's a way to find out which Army chaplains are affiliated with the CRC? Is there a list somewhere that I can look up? Someone I can contact in GR?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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How to do elder/deacon orientation and hand-off?

In June, our congregation will elect new elders and deacons. As deacons, we have recently begun talking about ways to effective transition the tasks of retiring deacons to those who remain and those who will be joining, and to orient the new deacons to the office and its responsibilities. Rather than trying to continue going it alone, we were hoping that some folks out here on the network would have some good ideas on how to do transition and orientation effectively.
Deacons
Q&A
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Training/safety programs for ministering to at-risk population?

Our church is in the planning stages of forming a non-profit organization to minister to homeless in our community. We will take up residence at a local motel. We need to formulate a training program for our volunteers. We also need to develop a safety policies. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, does anyone have access to share an existing program fir either area with us? We would use as a reference and tailor to our specific ministry. Thanks!
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