Joy Engelsman

About Me: 

I serve as co-Pastor of First CRC in Denver.   I grew up in Nigeria as an MK, met my husband at Calvin, moved to Denver to escape God's calling into ministry . . but the eyes of the Lord followed!  After trying to quiet the Spirit's voice by working in Christian ministry as a teacher and in work with Youth for Christ/USA, I finally enrolled at Denver Seminary.  I graduated in 2004 with an MDiv, completed the EPMC program at Calvin Sem and was ordained in the CRC in 2007.

I have been married to Bob for 24 years.  We love our girls, Ana (2000) and Mia (2002) who were gifts from God through the privilege of adoption.

The instructions for this "about me" section asks  who I am, where I came from and where I'm going . . . and I don't know what to say since most days I have no idea where I'm going!

Interests: 

Music

Whatever my kids are interested in

Crafts (quilting, sewing, knitting)

Anything about Africa

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Using Gifts and Planning Worship

When we worship in community, we are blessed when we can engage the gifts and talents of a variety of people to lead various parts of the service.  Some of our churches use multiple musicians, some engage the speaking gifts of liturgists to read scripture.

Worship
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Wesley's Method of Singing in Church

We've argued for years about what to sing in our churches, but rarely talk about how to sing.  Leave it to the Wesley brothers to describe a "method" of how to sing. Since Charles wrote hundreds of hymns and John was a minister, it’s fair to say that they knew a think or two about how to sing a song in church. Here are the singing rules credited to John Wesley:

Worship
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Worship in a Word

Can you describe worship in a single word?  In a high school class on worship, students were challenged to pick a single word that expresed their ideas of worship. Here’s what one of them said:

Worship
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Sharing Symposium

If you attended Symposium, here is your opportunity to post a quick reflection or share an idea.  If you didn't get to go--like me--here's your chance to step up to the bulletin board and read what others in our churches are learning and practicing.  Let's learn and grow together!

Worship
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On the Potter’s Wheel

In our pious haste to assert that worship is all about God and not about us, are we missing out on what the Spirit is trying to do in our lives during times of worship? What does worship have to do with faith formation?

Worship
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Taking My Place

I wish I could go to the Calvin Symposium on Worship this year. However--for a very good reason--my Elders have asked me to stay in Denver at the end of January. So, since I can't go, why don't you go in my place? Take good notes and post them back here so I don't miss out on this great conference.

Worship
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Tears at the Manger

On Christmas morning everyone will be dressed in their festive best, but look closely--the slightly curved lips and muttered “Merry Christmas” won’t disguise the well of tears barely held back.  As we prepare to celebrate in worship, let's also bow in a prayer of hope for those who are in pain this season. 

Worship
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Where Does the Life Come From?

A friend commented on two worship services saying, "One was full of life, the other was not."  It made me wonder where the life of worship comes from and how our worship services can be full of life regardless of the style.  What brings life to worship and what drains our services 

Worship
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Seeing the Good News

God used words and images to tell the story of his love and presence to his people.  In many of our churches, we are comfortable using words in worship, but imagery seems more difficult.  What are some of the images that can be used in worship to help convey the message of God 

Worship
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Come, You Thankful People, Come

Canadian Thanksgiving is barely passed and US Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Worship planners put so much work into helping other people give thanks during this season, but how good are we at being thankful both to God and to the many people who help us do our jobs?

Worship
  • Great post, Al.  As the person responsible for finding and placing many volunteers in the life of our church, I wholeheartedly agree that we must look for the right fit of gifts and interests to...

    posted on: Are We All Equal?
  • Kevin, great topic!  Some of us are creatures of habit and defend our repetitions as faithfulness.  Others of us are not less creatures of habit who are habitually changing things up out of a...

  • Back to the bigger question--not just whether "untameable" is appropriate--but WHO gets to decide that for our churches?  What are the lines of communication, trust, learning and decision-making...

    posted on: Check Out the Music
  • Here's a five-year  old Prayer Coordinator Job Description.  We no longer have this position and there are several things in the job description that we'd change to fit our current church life,...

  • Thanks for these responses and for the notes on Facebook.  Today, as I worship in Botswana, I would use the word "global."  One God, many voices.  One faith, many expressions.

    posted on: Worship in a Word
  • The poem Darkness comes from a book titled Prayers & Litanies for the Christian Seasons.  It would be good to include the book title in the credits. The "c" above represents copyright--I'm...

    posted on: Tears at the Manger
  • Mavis, Thanks!  These are some great ideas--both for personal worship and for building community by seeing and hearing other worshipers from other parts of the world. 

    In our congregation I...

  • Thanks for the lively engagement in this discussion.  May it enliven our worship!

    Bev is looking for some insight into this question:

    I am  interested if anyone has any further...

  • Thanks, Rod, for the eloquent words of compassion and mercy.  I'll be borrowing your prayer on behalf of others.  

  • Randy,

    Sorry I didn't see your question until today and since we are on a snow day here in Denver, I can't easily get to our Child Protection Files.  In it, I have an application for...