The Banner

Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras
03/01/2024

In Villa Nueva, Honduras, young Luis is aware that many sad stories hang like dark clouds above the people he encounters as he goes to the community well and when he sells tortillas at the market. Luis has a goal—he wants to ensure that no one has any reason to be sad so “he likes to fill the lives

King of Collectables: The Goldin Touch
03/01/2024

If you find yourself at a social gathering, and you’re looking to strike up an interesting conversation, try asking, “Did you collect anything as a kid?”It’s a fun question that will spark all kinds of interesting stories about bug collections, coins, dolls, baseball cards, action figures, beanie ba

Wisconsin Churches Offer Free Treats at City Ice Fest
03/01/2024

First Christian Reformed Church in Waupun, Wisc., participated in that city’s first annual Ice Fest on Feb. 17 and 18. The church outreach team, led by Mike Vander Berg, joined with four other area organizations to run a free warming station for visitors enjoying the community event.The station was

Land of My Sojourn: The Landscape of a Faith Lost and Found
02/29/2024

As a fan of Mike Cosper in his role as the host of podcasts such as The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, I was interested in what he might have to say about the rise and (sort of) fall of his own church, Sojourn in Louisville, Ky. As one of the founding pastors of this church, Cosper thought he had found

Calvin University Board Reports ‘Concerning and Inappropriate’ Alleged Conduct, President Resigns
02/28/2024

Calvin University’s Board of Trustees announced a leadership transition at the school Monday, Feb. 26, after president Weibe Boer resigned from the position. The board said it accepted the resignation after the university had “received a report alleging that President Wiebe Boer engaged in unwelcome

Al Postma Named Executive Director-Canada for CRCNA
02/28/2024

The Canada Ministry Board of the Christian Reformed Church in North America announced Wednesday, Feb. 28, that Rev. Al Postma, who has served as transitional executive director-Canada since May 2022, is now taking the role of executive director.The search for executive director launched in November

Finding God’s Voice
02/28/2024

Maraleisa VandenHeuvel reads in her favorite nook of her bedroom. Surrounded by play scripts, homework, sheet music, and her work uniform, it’s a rare moment of calm in her otherwise full schedule.While her days are full, VandenHeuvel regularly remembers why she serves and participates in so many ac

Reply All: March 2024
02/27/2024

DisagreementI am grateful that the members of Committee 7 at Synod 2023 disagreed well (“They Disagreed Well,” January 2024). That is what church should be. But where is that for me as an LGBTQ person? Synod 2023 voted to kick me out because of this committee's majority recommendation on confessiona

Artemis of the Ephesians Was Nobody’s Mother
02/27/2024

After Sandra Glahn had suffered eight miscarriages and her three efforts at adoption were disrupted, Glahn wondered what her role was to be if not a mother. So she embarked upon an academic journey that led her to becoming a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, a bastion of conservative theolog

Work Pray Code
02/27/2024

What happens when the familial and religious structures people rely on for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs are replaced by the workplace? That’s the story of Silicon Valley that Carolyn Chen tells in Work Pray Code.From big tech to start-ups, Silicon Valley companies, flush with cash an

Mixed Media Roundup March 2024
02/26/2024

Enemies in the OrchardBy Dana VanderLugtReviewed by Sonya VanderVeen FeddemaBased on a true story, this World War II novel written in free verse is narrated from the alternating perspectives of 13-year-old Claire DeBoer of Apeldoorn, Mich., and Karl Hartmann of Ulm, Germany.In September 1944, Claire

Seven Miles into Hell
02/26/2024

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. —Hebrews 11:1With an unquenchable thirst for adventure, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh huddled together inside a reinforced-steel submersible and slowly descended into a dark trench seven miles below the ocean surface

Costly Love
02/26/2024

I believe loving God and loving neighbor are intrinsically connected. I believe this is why Jesus mentioned both in the same breath as the greatest commandments (Matt. 22:37-40). I suspect you cannot properly love God without loving your neighbor nor properly love your neighbor without loving God. O

Diverse Dwellings
02/26/2024

The 2023 Christian Reformed congregational survey asked participants to describe the area in which they live. From nine choices, here’s the percentage of respondents for each type of setting.Image:The 2023 denominational survey was conducted by DataWise Consulting LLC with 1530 respondents. Find the

How Can I Convince My Elderly Mother to Discuss Details to Help Us Plan a Meaningful Funeral?
02/26/2024

My elderly mother has little interest in discussing details that might help us plan a meaningful funeral service. Any suggestions?It’s always best if a family member can share their end-of-life and funeral preferences, but not everyone is comfortable with having those conversations. Perhaps they are

Ministry Share Allocations Determined, Contingencies Discussed
02/23/2024

A decline in ministry share revenue was referenced several times over the February meetings of the Council of Delegates (the Christian Reformed Church’s ecclesiastical governance board) and its two operational governing boards, the U.S. and Canadian ministry boards. Ministry shares are pledged contr

Council of Delegates February Meeting Round-up
02/23/2024

Meeting by video conference Feb. 14-16, the Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church in North America took several actions in its role as the interim committee of synod, the annual general assembly of the CRCNA.The Council heard about and approved a project called “Gather,” which will s

U.S. Denominational Offices Prepare for Move, Canadian Board Discusses ‘Toward CRC Canada’ Group
02/23/2024

The U.S. and Canada ministry boards of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met in concurrent online video conferences Feb. 15, between meetings of the binational denomination’s Council of Delegates.The bulk of each meeting was receiving reports and updates from the board executives, trans

On Questions and Criticism
02/23/2024

From time to time, readers bring up questions, theological criticisms, or other issues with articles in The Banner.I thought a response to some recent criticisms might make a helpful post, particularly for newer readers or those who might be exploring the Christian Reformed Church as a home, in orde

Small-Girl Toni and the Quest for Gold
02/23/2024

In this charming children’s picture book inspired by the life of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison (1931-2019), Small-Girl Toni tells her family and her siblings, “My stories are going to change the world.”With her wild imagination, Small-Girl Toni spins stories about ghost