Grief & Springs of Hope
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Grief & Springs of Hope

A Christian Courier lead article on Lifewater Canada, “Blindness to Vision”, told the story of Jim Gehrels’ life and work to provide safe, clean water for towns in Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria and Haiti by drilling community wells. Community is the key word. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Jim organized teams of a few volunteers from Canada…

New ways to find Christ this Christmas
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New ways to find Christ this Christmas

Many people attend Christmas church services who would never otherwise set foot in a church building – and the season is upon us. How will churches host Christmas and Advent gatherings during COVID-19? How can we share the gospel during a time when so many people are ready for hope and peace? These are questions…

Not Allowed to Sing in Church? Maybe That’s a Good Thing
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Not Allowed to Sing in Church? Maybe That’s a Good Thing

There are no rollicking versions of “Way Maker” or thoughtful renditions of “O Come to the Altar” blasting over the sound systems of most churches these days. Health officials have banned corporate singing in many areas for how it can spread COVID-19, as it did at a single choir practice of 61 people in Washington, which resulted…

Let’s Connect This Fall
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Let’s Connect This Fall

Congregations have always struggled when it comes to tweaking their worship service. Worship committees may make recommendation to councils, but then council needs to seek clarification and it’s not unheard of to have a few months go by before change can occur!  COVID-19 certainly threw that process for a loop. Congregations suddenly had to deal…

Helping Children in Your Ministry Express Gratitude
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Helping Children in Your Ministry Express Gratitude

Because children are growing up in a consumer-driven world, it’s easy to fall into the habit of being me-centered. How can we intentionally nurture gratitude in their hearts so that they turn their eyes toward others too? How can we engage the faith practice of gratitude within our ministry with children?  Here are just a…

The Doctrine We Never Discuss
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The Doctrine We Never Discuss

Do you remember discussions about free will and predestination? About total depravity or limited atonement? Should women hold church office? Should the church bless faithful, covenanted same-sex marriages?  I’ve been involved in discussions on all these topics, and although they’re important, as I get older, I think that there is a doctrine that should take…

What Will Sunday School Look Like?
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What Will Sunday School Look Like?

The start of school often heralds the return of churches’ children’s programs – Sunday schools, after school clubs and youth groups. The pandemic, however, is altering those pre-set plans. Many churches still aren’t meeting in person, and those that are meeting physically are still trying to determine if and how children’s programs can be done safely.

‘Let Us Make Man in Our Image’
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‘Let Us Make Man in Our Image’

The COVID-19 pandemic has welled up a large inner fear within many Christian leaders in North America. They fear empty pews, forever. I have heard pastors postulating that the self-isolation, necessary in our current pandemic, will translate into a self-absorbed “I don’t need the church community” kind of attitude when the pandemic is over. The church of tomorrow, they say, will be characterized by a hyper-individualism.

A Legacy of Learning: Institute for Christian Studies Marks Milestone
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A Legacy of Learning: Institute for Christian Studies Marks Milestone

It was 50 years ago this month that the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) held its first Family Conference in Niagara, Ontario, on the August long weekend. Beginning in 1970, the ICS, originally the Association for the Advancement of Christian Scholarship (AACS), gathered Reformed folks together to worship, learn and camp.