Jeff Brower

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Lent Series Preaching and Worship Ideas

It's too late to share ideas for Advent but as my Christmas gift to anyone who will take it (and in hopes of getting some fresh ideas back in the process) here are a few Lenten series I've done in the past. 

Worship
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Church Membership Transfers

I was reading through my Christian Reformed Church Order Commentary (which every pastor should do on a Monday) and ran across something in the section on membership transfers. There it is mentioned that in the case of a member leaving a congregation and becoming part of a congregation not in ecclesiastical fellowship, that "the council provides the transfering member with a statement of membership indicating only the facts, date of baptism, date of public profession, length of membership and so on. * The member, not the council, then presents that document to the receiving church .* (emphasis...
Church Order
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Post baptismal use of waters of baptism?

I am sure I am not going to ask this correcly, but what are the "liturgical limits" of using the font/waters of baptism in worship times that are not, strictly speaking, baptisms? For instance, I've read a couple of times about "renewal of baptism" or "rememberence of baptism" services within presbyterian/reformed churches in which part of the liturgy may include placing ones hand in the water or using the water to place a sign on one's forehead. If this is allowed, how much water is allowed? A sprinkle? A handful? What is appropriate, and when would it stray into a theologically "ambiguous"...
Church Order
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Ministry Fair--Tips or Practices?

We're hoping to do a mid- year ministry fair to highlight some existing groups and new groups that are starting, but it is the first time that we have ever done a ministry fair. Right now we're thinking of doing it right after the morning service, with various tables set up around the fellowship hall. We're good on the basic concept but wondering about specifics. Has anyone done this, and what have you found to be your best practices?
Small Groups
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Does the CRC have an official position on godparents?

Is this something that goes contrary to our theology or is it something that has just not been part of our tradition? I thought I read somewhere that this was part of the baptismal ceremony in Geneva. If it is within the tradition, are there any resources you know of for exploring its role in worship? Thanks.
Church Order
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Assumptions about Deacons

Some years ago, the Christian psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend published a book called "12 "Christian" Beliefs that can Drive You Crazy." In it they detailed some common beliefs about life and psychological health that people often assume are Biblical. The book was written in the hope that people will critically reflect on these assumptions, and ask themselves if they truly emerge from Scripture. The Diakonia Remixed report, and hopefully the process that is emerging from it, may be an opportunity for us to do the same when it comes to the office of deacon. It is a good time to...
Deacons
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Diakonia--We've Passed This Way Before

The schedule for Synod 2013 tells us that the Diakonia Remixed report will be discussed on Wednesday evening. Synod will be discussing, among other things, the role of deacons in the broader assemblies of the church. This is one live webcast I'm going to pop the popcorn for, because it will hopefully be a moment when this noble but often under-rated office will be encouraged to enter a new chapter. But will we see a new chapter being written on Wednesday, or will we see a chapter repeating itself? It's not the first time that we've had this discussion. Throughout our history as a denomination...
CRCNA and Synod
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Network Changes?

Just noticed on the BOT report about the changes to the network, that it will no longer be run as a seperate entity...how does this affect how things will be run, posted, etc...I have enjoyed it and want it to continue. I appreciate all the work the various forum leaders and website coordinators have put into it.
Network News
  • Edward,

    Here is something that I think would be a great investment for our denomination, a short video walkthrough of our denomination's history and current ministry. Maybe there is one out...

  • Does anyone know why this information is no longer published in the yearbook? It would only be an extra ten or twenty pages.

  • Alex, that's a great question and one that I'm glad you're getting the opportunity to wrestle with.  Maybe the first thing that we should look at is defining our terms.    What do you mean when...

  • Gordon is where I got a DMin but they have a lot of offerings. I would check out their Shoemaker Center or talk with Steve Macchia who works at the Pierce Center for Disciple Building.

  • Bruce,

     

    I've benefited from what Gordon-Conwell has offered--they have several programs, and it looks like it would not be too far from where you serve.

  • Doug,

    I've found it helpful to think of missional as an aspect of one of the attributes of the church spoken of in the Nicene Creed--one, holy, catholic and *apostolic* church, an apostle...

  • Gin,

     

    Keep up the good work.  If there has been turnover in youth group leadership lately they may be testing you as to your response.  In that case it may not be as much about a...

  • Terry,

     

    I've noticed that with all of the discussion around decisions made at Synod 2016, very little was said about the delegation of deacons to Synod, the first time that this has...

  •  

    I appreciate Mulholland's insight.  In a world of "niche" spirituality, he urges us to not only appreciate how God has made us but also how we need to sometimes "play against type" in...

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    John,

     

    This is a good and healthy discussion to have. Two questions come to mind right away:

    1. How would you define "heart-knowledge"?

    2. To what...