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Great topic!

I actually proposed something very similar to this a few years ago. It was the result of a project I did in a church planting class at Calvin Seminary. I was inspired by Stedford Sims who was, at that time, planting a church within the (I believe it was) Sherman Street CRC, to minister to the African American community. To be effective at reaching people outside the "upper-middle-class white" culture, the new church plant needed to have African American leadership and be able to function in a way consistent with the culture of the folks they wanted to bring together.

My thought was that the "un-churched" and "de-churched" are also a different "culture" from the "traditional CRC church folk" culture; and that the only way to effectively reach out and enfold them would be to plant a new church. But, why not plant it within an existing CRC church, for the reasons you mentioned?

Unfortunately, my proposal never made it out of committee. I still think it's a great idea.

Robert Felton on September 5, 2011

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)


I don't know the answer to that question for sure, but my impression is yes. My understanding was that the church plant was a fully separate plant, but maybe Stedford (if he's a member) or somone from Sherman St. can answer that.

Posted in: Loop System

We don't have a loop system, but we use a Sound Mate system (personal wireless receivers with ear-buds).

The receivers will also use a "loop" that hangs around your neck and connects to the pick-up in your hearing aide, if you have one that is so equipped.

In other words, we don't have a big "loop" that goes around the sanctuary, but small "loops" that hang around your neck.

This system works really well for us, because it works for both those whose hearing aides are equipped with receivers and those whose hearing aides are not.

Bob Felton
Ellsworth Christian Reformed Church

Posted in: Study Software

I use Logos. I bought it when was taking classes at CTS, but at that time, I was a Windows-only user. Now I'm primarily a Mac user.

Logos 4 for Mac is officially still in Beta. They had a release version for Logos 3 (which I now use), but it was missing quite a bit of function. Since I have a working Logos 3 for Mac installation, I'll wait to upgrade to Logos 4 until the Mac Version is a full release.

I have way too much invested in Logos to consider switching to Accordance (or anything else).

Bob Felton
Ellsworth Christian Reformed Church

A great resource for principles and suggestions on "slide" design is: A Guidebook for Visual Worship by Stephen Proctor. You can purchase it here.

Also, as a comment, I'd like to see us think more in terms of communicating visually as opposed to simply putting text on a screen in a way that is readable. Certainly text communicates, and it would be hard to sing a song without the words, but it seems the "problem" we are trying to overcome is more profound than "we needed the words and we didn't want to get a book out." I would contend that the "problem" to solve is our disconnection from our God, and that good visuals, whether on the screen or in the stained glass or projected on the walls help us experience God in a way that words alone cannot.

Just my $.02

A little shameless self promotion here: There are several hosting/content management systems available as well. They combine the software, the hosting, and all of the ad-ins you mention above (plus support), but in a neat package for a monthly fee.

Faithwebsites is one such package that you can read about on my website

Bob Felton
Ellsworth Christian Reformed Church

I'll second that!

I get the Today devotional in my inbox every day. It has absolutely made a difference in the consistency of my daily devotions. A book can be neglected on a busy morning, but with that quick devotional and a link to the bible passage right there on my i-phone, I actually do it every day!

It might not be the same for others who don't check their email every day (several times a day) but it certainly works for me.

When you search, you will want to keep the words together. Youversion will get you there.

The NIV is free on YouVersion, as long as you are connected to the internet. You can only view it online. There are some translations you can download and use offline, but NIV is only available online.

Warning, I have a vested interest in this answer, but I'll offer it anyways. is a powerful and user-friendly CMS made specifically for churches, and modified slightly for Christian Schools. We have over 700 organizations using the system, and many CRC churches and Classes. Monthly hosting and support starts at $35/mo.

You can contact me for more information, or check out



CCLI now offers a streaming/podcasting license for worship. The license seems pretty reasonable.

Robert Felton on March 23, 2010

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)


EasyWorship is developing a Mac solution, but it isn't to the point of beta yet. That's what held up the 2009 version until late in 2009, was the fact that they wanted to release 2009 as a cross-platform version. They finally released 2009 with the extra features that they had perfected, and left Mac development for 2010. We will have to wait and see when that happens. MediaShout has also been working on a Mac solution for the last 5 years with not much to show for it just yet.

ProPresenter is a great choice for the Mac. There is certainly a learning curve moving from EasyWorship; but it is quite intuitive, and the windows version will be released this summer.

You can download the free trial from my website here:

The trial never quits working, it just has a watermark on the display; so you can try it out indefinitely. I also do free demonstrations if you want to see how it works.

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