Grocery donation program: Eric Schmiedl, former Inn Out of The Cold Coordinator (left) and Stephen Giuliano, Executive Director and Chaplain (right).
A small, formerly bi-national Anabaptist denomination has more than doubled in size in Canada over the last 15 years — in an era when most mainline denominations are experiencing decline. The Brethren in Christ (BIC) grew from about 3,500 members to over 10,000 Canadian attendees in the last 15 years. While the numbers are due mostly to the crowds that gather at expanding regional sites of The Meeting House megachurch in southern Ontario, it signals a new day for the denomination.
Bert Witvoet interviews Rev. Darren C. Roorda, the newly appointed Canadian Ministries Director for the CRC. Read about his desire for churches to “imagine wholehearted ministry practices to their communities.”
To put it briefly, those who serve the Church – specifically those who serve at denominational headquarters – seem to be demanding a voice. In order to do something about it, the denomination has assembled three task forces to study different angles of the same issue: the culture of the CRCNA.
Why should we, as Canadians, care about Christian academics in the Czech Republic? Or, to put it differently, how might we encourage a tiny handful of evangelical Christian leaders trying to make headway in one of the most secularized countries of modern Europe?
Even now, 29 years after my first visit to the island, many people shake their heads in disbelief and say, “I didn’t know churches existed in Cuba. Weren’t they were stamped out after Fidel Castro’s revolution?”
In extreme cases, social isolation can also be deadly. A 2010 review of studies of social isolation concluded that social isolation is as strong a factor in early death as alcohol consumption and smoking less than 15 cigarettes a day.
It’s official: Maranatha Christian Reformed Church of St. Catharines, Ontario, is no more. The church’s request to be allowed to disband after 65 years of ministry was approved at a special Classis Niagara meeting on April 9. It was a sad moment . . . .
Not only Cuban and North American churches need mutual international and national cooperation to live and witness to Christ; so do pastors and families in that island nation connected by decades of bonds across seas and national barriers. Such is just some of the power of the Gospel.
I am pleading with pastors to tune in to this need for belonging. If, as a pastor, I visit someone during the week, that person will listen differently — more openly, more receptively — the following Sunday.
There is no doubt some link between the implosion of the CRCNA and the increase in pastor/church separations. But as elaborated in a CC article last year, the leadership crisis entails a multi-faceted phenomenon, involving the failing character and competence of pastors, congregational dysfunction and bullies, denominational issues and broader cultural shifts affecting expectations about leadership.
We investigated three main questions: Does your church charge for the use of its facilities? Does your pastor receive an honorarium, and if so how much? And is any other staff member remunerated? It quickly became clear that no Christian Reformed church is making a profit from funerals.