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Reimagining Church: Being Patient

Editor’s note: This article is the final one in a three-part series on the missional church based on the authors’ book Joining Jesus: Ordinary People at the Edges of the Church.From its start in 2011, The Table has been a nontraditional Christian Reformed Church ministry community. It calls itself a

Make Every Day Ascension Day

How does this make any sense? We go all out and celebrate Christmas, the beginning of Christ’s humiliation. We commemorate how he “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Phil. 2:7). To a lesser degree we also celebrate Good Friday and Easter, when Christ passed through the dep

Reimagining Church: Going Slowly

Editor’s note: This article is the second in a three-part series on the missional church based on their book, Joining Jesus, by Moses Chung and Chris Meehan.I (Chris) needed to have abdominal hernia surgery right after the first of the year. Recovering painfully at home, I had lots of time on my han

Hymns for Life

I was planning the music for a church service a few weeks back. I lead a small ensemble and was thinking about the flow of the service centered on Psalm 129. Everything was in place except for a postlude that would fit the joyous theme. As I looked through our hymnbook, I saw “There Is a Redeemer,”

Reimagining Church: Embrace Small

Editor’s note: This article is the first in a three-part series on the missional church based on their book, Joining Jesus, by Moses Chung and Chris Meehan.At a conference several months ago, I (Moses) met pastor Andrew Yi and Sunna, his wife. They invited me to preach at an anniversary celebration

Conservative Compassion

“Mom and Dad, we need to talk.” Sensing the gravity of the conversation, Mom suggested they sit down. Then came the words their son had been holding back for five years: “Mom and Dad, I’m gay.” In stunned silence, conservative-to-the-core Monte and Tammie paused and simply responded, “We love you.”N

What’s in a Name?

About a year ago, a young couple approached me asking whether the Christian Reformed Church is “comp” or “egal.” To clarify, “comp” and “egal” are shortened forms of the terms “complementarian” and “egalitarian,” words used to describe different beliefs about what the Bible teaches about women. This

A Journey to Chains of the Past

One day, when all our people were gone out to their works as usual, and only I and my dear sister were left to mind the house, two men and a woman got over our walls and in a moment seized us both, and, without giving us time to cry out, or make resistance, they stopped our mouths, and ran off with

Dust and the Divine

“For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19).I’ve always found these Ash Wednesday words to be beautifully poignant. As my pastor imposes the ashes and looks me in the eye, the words move that part of my soul that’s shaped for mystery. They connect to a primordial part of me that feel

They Disagreed Well

At last year’s synod of the Christian Reformed Church, a group of delegates tasked with advising on some of the more difficult questions being considered nonetheless spoke of being truly thankful to do that work alongside brothers and sisters with whom they disagreed.Eighteen men and five women were

The Journey to Healing After Abuse

Each time Casey drove near the church, she could feel her body involuntarily tense up and her breathing quicken. Fear and rage would course through her veins against her will. Though she hadn’t been to the church in several years, her circle of friends and some family still attended, which made her

The Christmas Clock

Pumpkins on the front porch are rotting. Thanksgiving leftovers are almost gone. It’s time to crawl into the storage closet under the stairs to bring out our Christmas decorations. As is our annual habit, we replace our normal decor with festive trimmings.We set up the freshly cut tree, and within h

Wintering Wisdom: Five Ways to Make the Most of the Coldest Months

I was having brunch with my cousin Leah recently when she mentioned that she had accepted a job in Ottawa, Ontario, but would be working remotely from the certifiably coldest big city on Earth: Winnipeg, Manitoba, our mutual hometown. While Ontario climes would be balmier, Leah was firm: She could n

Belonging in New Ways

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series about what enduring values have helped hold us together in the Christian Reformed Church and what might continue to hold us together going forward. You can read the first and second articles online at TheBanner.org or in print in the September

The Work and Role of Pastors

The work and role of a minister is in some ways very visible: leading worship services, preaching, and officiating weddings and funerals. But what are some aspects of ministry work that church members might not see or know about? We asked nine pastors from around the Christian Reformed Church in Nor

Belonging Gets Complicated

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series about what enduring values have helped hold us together in the Christian Reformed Church and what might continue to hold us together going forward. You can read the first article online at TheBanner.org or in the September issue.The Christian

Misreading Scripture Cross-culturally

I vividly remember the time in my youth that I was in a Bible study with my pastor and we were looking at Luke 14:25-35. I got stuck on Jesus’ words in verse 26: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person

How Does Belonging Work?

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series about what enduring values have helped hold us together in the Christian Reformed Church, and what might continue to hold us together going forward. In 2021 I wrote a series of articles for The Banner on controversies in the Christian Reformed

Leaving Everything to Follow Jesus

Brady is missing teeth from doing crystal meth. He has scars up his arms from street fights and from cutting himself. He started doing drugs at 14. By his early 20s he was living in a flophouse, selling drugs, and stealing stuff in the neighborhood—bikes, tools, and electronics. It was all to gain m

The Evolving Face of the CRCNA

Because of an intense interest in the Reformed tradition in recent years, the Christian Reformed Church in America has become substantially more diverse. While elements of diversity have been there all along, there is great cause for celebration as people from Korea, Central and South America, Afric