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Becoming a Listener

Throughout the Scriptures we hear that listening is how we approach our relationship with God (1 Sam. 3:9) as well as how we cultivate healthy communities with one another (James 1:19). It’s how we pursue lives of discipleship (Mark 9:7) and grow in maturity (Prov. 19:20). In fact, the most importan

Using Data for Ministry

Love them or hate them, surveys are part of our everyday life. From government-endorsed censuses to customer feedback forms, we are regularly asked to provide input to help inform and improve products and services. Employers use surveys to measure employee engagement and satisfaction. Even churches

Do our prayers get answered if we don’t believe they will?

Do our prayers get answered if we don’t believe they will?When it comes to prayer, there are several biblical themes we ought to hold together. We are told to pray expectantly, with confidence that we are heard and that our prayers make a difference (Mark 11:24). We are also told that there are thin

By the Numbers

Since 2019 the CRCNA has been trying again to “reimagine” ministry shares—the money collected from member churches to pay for the running of the denomination and the ministries we hold in common. Instead of synod requesting a per-member amount, congregations can pledge what they like. But the pooled

5 AAPI Children’s Books My Kids Love

As a Korean American mother of two, I’ve made it a priority to fill our shelves at home with children’s books that celebrate Asian American stories and cultures. Over the years, a few titles have stood out as favorites. Here are five books that my children request to read over and over again. Bee-bi

The Old Way

In a moment of loss C.S. Lewis noted that “In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out.” He was considering his social circle, how he’d never again see Tolkien’s unique reaction to a deceased friend’s joke and the loss to their community. Everyone we meet

Midlife Pause and Self-discovery

My husband is a natural-born optimist who is always content with life. But the other day when we were watching TV after putting our children to bed, he mumbled: “I am at a low point in my life.” This struck me as an unusual and uncharacteristic confession coming from him. Then I asked him back: “Wha

Christian Labour Association Represents Trinity Western Faculty

In March the Christian Labour Association of Canada became the representative union for the full-time teaching faculty at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. Trinity Western is a Christian liberal arts university, the largest in Canada by student population. This is CLAC’s first representati

Hebrew Bible Purchased for $38.1M for Display at Jewish Museum

The Banner has a subscription to republish articles from Religion News Service. This story by Kathryn Post was published on May 17, 2023.The Codex Sassoon, a late ninth- or early 10th-century book Sotheby’s has dubbed the “earliest, most complete copy of the Hebrew Bible,” was sold

The Simple and Counterintuitive Truth about Church Growth

At the end of his gospel, John remarks: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25). Much is written about Christianity and church growth. I’ve read a lot of th

Chicken Scratch: Lessons on Living Creatively from a Flock of Hens

Author Ann Byle draws on the delightful, humorous, and at times sad, real-life experiences of caring for a flock of chickens, along with her family, and skillfully forges parallels to the challenges, joys, and victories of people, like herself, who long to be creative in different ways. Byle’s “drea


Life can be overwhelming and sometimes it’s helpful to just pause and live quietly in the moment. ICF Worship, based in Zurich, Switzerland, provides listeners such an experience with its instrumental project, “Moments.” This 13-track, almost 60-minutes-long project is a treasure. Each selection is

ChatGPT Blues

ChatGPT is the new artificial intelligence tool upending higher education. It is a language-based computer model that simulates human thinking by generating language. By gathering language from different sources such as Wikipedia, books, websites, and other texts, it can predict a missing word and w

Reply All: June 2023

To send letters to the editor, please see our guidelines at Ship MagazineIt was nice to see the January 2023 edition of The Banner in the library of our cruise ship when we were on a Caribbean cruise this month. I had left mine at home and was glad to be able to finish r

What Are Your 3 Current Favorite Apps?

What are three of your current favorite apps?Here are three of my current favorite apps and a bit about why I like them. Search for them online by name if you want to check them out.Merlin Bird ID: I’m not a birder, but this app could make me one. Offered free by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Merl

Guide to the Agenda for Synod 2023

Synod 2023 might end up being remembered as the confessional alignment synod. Discussions will be dominated by issues around human sexuality. Many classes and churches are asking Synod 2023 to overturn the decision of Synod 2022 that declared that same-sex sex—and by logical extension, marriage—is i

Justice Is…: A Guide for Young Truth Seekers

In this illustrated children’s book, former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara introduces the important and complex concept of justice to young people. Each statement is accompanied by examples of historic events and justice seekers. For example, the book begins by showing Frederick Douglass conversing wit