A show of works by artist Peter Reitsma entitled “Army of the Empty Handed” recently opened to the public at Flagship Gallery in Hamilton, Ontario. The paintings “speak of love, fear, devotion, loss and hope,” in the artist’s words.
When pastors and churches enter into a relationship, both parties arrive with their own set of expectations. Some of these expectations are spelled out in the letter of call, but in fact these often use broad brushstrokes which leave significant room for interpretation. But this simple reality is not the real challenge. What makes these relationships such a challenge is the fact that expectations are often unspoken, unwritten, sometimes unrealistic and often unmet.
This is the fifth question in our series on apologetics called Redemptive Windows, where Campus Ministers answer faith-challenging questions sent in by CC readers. You can view earlier articles at christiancourier.ca.
In my youth, pastors moved every five to six years. Their job descriptions were to preach, teach catechism and make pastoral visits. Today, pastors often stay in one church longer and their job descriptions include managing staff, casting vision and attending meetings. The Christian Reformed Church (CRC) of today is hardly recognizable from 50 years ago.
With these changing times come new blessings and new hazards.
For 20 years, Ashley Lucas only saw her father when she visited him in prison. She is the author of Doin’ Time: Through the Visiting Glass, a play about the families of prisoners, and co-editor of an essay collection called Razor Wire Women: Prisoners, Activists, Scholars and Artists.
She teaches at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the Prison Creative Arts Project – arts programming for, and a literary journal and annual exhibit by, incarcerated youth and adults.
When I pull out old photographs, Gerald doesn’t look any different than other kids his age. Sixties buzz cut? Check. Wildly patterned T-shirt? Check. Mischievous twinkle in his eyes? Check. But it’s not what you see that makes him want to forget his childhood.
Dale and Jean Quesnel have more than 100 children – and a few grandchildren – all living in China.
Four founding donor families who between them pledged $12 million over 10 years have made possible the establishment of a School of Business at The King’s University in Edmonton. The donations, one of which is the largest in King’s history, will enable the university to be a leading provider of Christian business education in Western Canada.
These twenty, hailing from across the country, have four things in common: they are all young-ish, they are all Reformed, they are all Canadian and they are simply not interested in talking about themselves. They want to talk about what they’re doing, thank you very much, and why they’re doing it.
And so what follows is not a glam list of up-and-coming Christian celebrities. Rather, it’s a series of snapshots of God’s nurturing, witnessing, society-changing work happening through these millennials
A prison cell is 6 feet long
and hardly 6 feet wide.
The piece of ground awaiting me
is smaller still, outside.
Elly Boersma’s path to ministry in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) wasn’t straightforward. Raised in Surrey, British Columbia, Elly graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BSc in Kinesiology. God’s Spirit eventually led her to Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she graduated with a MA in Worship.
Elly, 27, now serves as Pastor of Worship at Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario, where I attend. I recently interviewed her to discover how God led her to her present position and to plumb her thoughts on being a young leader in the CRC.
When younger people are added to a leadership team, something changes. Last spring I coached a group of young leaders in a leadership retreat. It was exciting. In the course of one and a half days, they analyzed the benefits and challenges their ministry faced. They assessed which challenges needed addressing. They addressed each of them, made the decisions necessary, assigned responsibilities for carrying them out and discerned a vision for the next year of ministry. So much got done, and yet there was time for prayer, play and reflection. God’s presence was vibrant. I was reminded of the strengths and advantages of young leaders.