Community Builder

Karl Westerhof

About Me: 

What interests me: Books, babies, dogs,books, North Woods cabins, Liz my wife and Joe my son, organizational change, books, conflict management, community development, communication, discipleship, leadership, books...  and did I mention that I love to read?

I've always loved Jesus, but in recent years that love has become so much more central in my life.  Willard, Foster, Peterson, Chan and Wright, and the like have taken their places on my shelves along with Drucker, Collins, Heifetz, and Buckingham...   I'm on the journey of learning how spiritual transformation happens in my life, and how I can become more like Jesus, my Savior, Teacher, Lord, and Friend.

I worked for the CRC in one way and another since the late 60s, and much of that experience was strongly shaped by being a child of the 60s.   Race relations, justice, development, and social change were abiding interests.   And the North Woods of Michigan.

Most recently I've been with World Renew (formerly CRWRC), the denomination's relief and community development agency.   Our family lived in the Philippines while I worked as Asia Regional Director, and later I was Program team leader, coach to team leaders, and leader of the Advancement team.   In semi retirement I'm working as coach for classis renewal in the CRC, and as outreach pastor for Grace CRC. 

Blog
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Classis Renewal - The Momentum Builds

Classis was in the spotlight at synod—in part because of the big structure decision! Synod also asked to take a hard look at the purpose and structure of classis. This is momentous for classis leaders.

Classis
Discussion Topic
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Sarah's Death Four Years and Two Months Later

Four years and two months ago our daughter Sarah died of leukemia. How I miss her! Every November it's the anniversary, time to remember, and a sort of cold fog wraps our hearts and minds. But November is not the only time. We can't predict what might stir up that sadness, and sometimes there's nothing apparent - the sadness and the memories just happen. Vivid pictures, sharp feelings, pain, and sorrow. And the absence of a loved child... how deep an ache that is. Will we never, never get to hug and laugh again? And now comes the testimony part, because that dimension of the experience is...
Faith Nurture
Blog
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The Church and the Exercise of Non-Ecclesiastical Power

When the CRCNA wants to speak on “issues” such as race relations, justice, etc., voices of caution and concern are always raised about whether the church may speak on issues such as these which are not within the church’s realm of expertise or responsibility. 

Elders
Blog
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The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good about Synod

When I think about the things that make me impatient with synod, I confess to the sin of cynicism. (Is cynicism de facto a sin? I’ve come to think so. Christians just don’t get to do gratuitous negativity.) On the other hand, when I’m feeling good about a particular synod, and someone snidely says to me, “Yeah, but what did they actually ACCOMPLISH?” I feel deflated... 

CRCNA and Synod
Q&A
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Regional Prayer Summits Happening?

This is the "in-between year" — between Prayer Summits, and regional and local prayer summits are being planned. Would you let us know here if you know of one?

Prayer
Blog
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Mining for Old Gold

Could we be refreshed by recovering a tired old practice, and injecting it with some new vision and vigor?

Classis
Blog
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Classis at Prayer: Discerning God’s Will for the CRC

Could a classis ever slow down and get quiet enough to hear the Holy Spirit's voice?  How might we arrange our meetings so that we increase the likelihood that we'll discern wisely and respond promptly and sincerely?

Classis