The Banner

Leading at All Levels: Liz Tolkamp
06/23/2021

Department: Author: Eric KasI first met Liz Tolkamp at the Inspire conference in Windsor, Ont., in 2019. I quickly realized she had a heart for people and further for children, restoration, justice, Jesus, and the church. Though she might not be comfortable with the description, in my opinion she i

McCartney III
06/22/2021

Department: Author: Robert J. KeeleyAs the Beatles were breaking up, Paul McCartney started doing some home recording, playing and singing everything himself. Those recordings became the 1970 album McCartney. He went on to form the band Wings and sell millions of albums. In 1980, as Wings were brea

The Anne of Green Gables Devotional
06/22/2021

Department: Author: Lorilee CrakerAs someone who considers Anne of Green Gables to be my “literary life coach,” I was intrigued but also a bit skeptical of this devotional. I knew Anne’s story held many substantial spiritual concepts about adoption, belonging, and redemption (so much redemption), b

The Joy of Being
06/22/2021

Department: Author: Paul Delger“The Joy of Being” by Citizens validates its title—it is simply a joy to listen to over and over again.The instrumentation is striking. The harmony and varied voices make this a rich listening experience. (Five talented women musicians—Shea Salisbury, Taylor Leonhardt

Catholic Foster Care Agency Wins U.S. Supreme Court Verdict
06/21/2021

Department: Author: Associated PressThe Banner has a subscription with Associated Press to republish religion and faith content from AP, Religion News Service, and The Conversation. This story has been lightly edited for The Banner’s binational readership and a related paragraph about Bethany Chris

Go in God’s Strength
06/21/2021

Department: Author: Susan LaClear“When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.” —Psalm 75:3“Quaking” seems like a good word to describe the world and its people in this season. In Hebrew, this word connotes tumult and commotion—of being helpless, disorganized, agitate

Four Decades
06/21/2021

Department: Author: Wayne BrouwerForty years ago, I was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacraments. It was the last hurdle on a journey that began when I was 16. In ways I cannot explain, God impressed on my introspective young heart a passion for service and mission. It led me stumbling thr

Is Our Christian Brand True to Christ’s Name?
06/21/2021

Department: Author: Linda L HanstraAs I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect t

One Earth
06/18/2021

Department: Author: Mary Li MaChildren need to experience the wonder and awe of nature before they desire to love and conserve it. This poetic picture book works well with young hearts to nurture that desire. Its vibrant illustrations also present the theme of creation care with a carefully crafted

Shadow and Bone
06/18/2021

Department: Author: Trevor DenningWhen J. R. R. Tolkien wrote “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future,” he unwittingly spoke of himself. The unassuming Tolkien brought to light an old form of storytelling that never fails to resonate with readers and inarguably changed the cou

Hobbit Virtues: Rediscovering Virtue Ethics Through J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
06/18/2021

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen FeddemaAuthor Christopher Snyder is referring to current divisive and destructive political, economic, and social realities when he says “civil discourse gave way too often to violence, protest, and abusive online taunts and insults.” In his timely, compelling n

Program Changes at Redeemer, Calvin Universities
06/18/2021

Department: Author: Kristen ParkerRedeemer University in Ancaster, Ont., and Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich., have both recently made cuts to their academic programs, leaving some students upset and hurt by the decisions that the schools found necessary for sustainability.Redeemer is cutti

Supreme Court’s Hearing of Mississippi Abortion Law Is a Gut Check for Pro-lifers
06/18/2021

Department: Author: Religion News ServiceAs I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily ref

News From the Church Worldwide: How and Why The Banner Uses Religion News Service
06/18/2021

Department: Author: Alissa VernonPoint one of The Banner’s mandate from the Christian Reformed Church’s synod is “inform readers about what is happening in the CRC as well as the church at large.” A great deal of that mandate is carried out by me, the news editor, and the team of news correspondent

Not a Real Synod: Council of Delegates Meets In Special Session
06/17/2021

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaIt wasn’t a real synod, but at times it felt a little like one. On June 15 and 16, the Christian Reformed Church’s Council of Delegates met in special session by video conference to deal with matters deemed unable to wait until Synod 2022. Synod, the broadest asse

Synod 2022 Delegates to Hear from LGBTQ Believers
06/17/2021

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church decided on behalf of Synod 2021 that the views of people from the LGBTQ community need to be heard by the delegates to Synod 2022. Synod 2021 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Council met in

Council Decision on Bethany Stands
06/17/2021

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaWhen the Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church met in special session in lieu of Synod 2021, it was sometimes required to approve its own work on synod’s behalf. The CRC’s normally annual leadership meeting was canceled because of the ongoing COVID

31 Candidates Move ‘Across Threshold From Study to Service’
06/17/2021

Department: Author: Alissa VernonThe Christian Reformed Church received 31 new candidates for ministry this week, with as much fanfare as it could manage across the video-meeting platform. David Koll, outgoing director of the Office of Candidacy, presented the candidates in an online ceremony strea

Neland Avenue: Council Defers Action, Sends Communication to Synod 2022
06/16/2021

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe Christian Reformed Church’s Council of Delegates deferred any action on requests for discipline of Neland Avenue CRC to Synod 2022. (The Council was meeting in lieu of Synod 2021, the church’s normally annual leadership meeting, which was canceled due to the C

Committee for Preventing Abuse Wraps Up
06/16/2021

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaAn ad hoc committee assigned to work on the prevention of abuse of power in the Christian Reformed Church turned in its last report to the Council of Delegates (the body that acts on behalf of synod between its normally annual meetings). Two years ago Synod 2019 i