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Following, Step by Step

Department: Author: Susan LaClear“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” —John 12:26I’ve only used a travel agent to plan a vacation once in my life, and it was a delightful experience. But there was something about the itineraries that felt like an awkward fit

Controlling Spiraling Toxic Thoughts

Department: Author: Lorilee CrakerEthan Kross, a world-renowned expert at controlling the conscious mind, found himself sinking into a hole of paranoia after receiving a handwritten letter from an angry individual who had seen him talk about his research on TV. There was nothing controversial about

Fire and Water

Department: Author: Sam GutierrezOn Christmas night, 1971, Alger Park Church caught on fire. A single light bulb illuminating a stained-glass window was left on after the Christmas service. Sometime late in the night, the overheated bulb fell onto a pew and ignited the fabric. The fire quickly spr

Church Shopping in a Pandemic

Department: Author: Emily BosscherJuly 2021: Officially time to look for a new church. I was struggling with loneliness and longing for community, and in-person requirements were easing up in Colorado enough to allow me to walk into a church again. But getting to this point was not easy, as my jour

Dying and Rising

Department: Author: Darrell L. DelaneyThis story is based on a true story: Once upon a time there was a girl who grew up in a dysfunctional home. She had been raised by a single parent. As she grew older she saw her mother become addicted to drugs, and as a result she suffered from neglect and was

Queens CRC: The Future of a Signature Congregation in Dispute

Department: Author: Clayton LiboltWhat will be the next chapter for Queens Christian Reformed Church? Several years into a long-simmering dispute between the signature Christian Reformed ministry in the Jamaica area of New York City and Classis Hudson, the regional body of churches that includes QC

Seeking Shalom in God’s Mission and Christian Discipleship

Department: Author: Matt LundbergEditor’s note: This article is the last in our series, “Seeking Shalom in the Midst of Polarization.” The series, in collaboration with The Colossian Forum, aims to examine the state of polarization in the U.S. and Canada and explore Christian strategies to overcome

Covenantal Communication in a Polarized Culture

Department: Author: Stacey WielandEditor’s note: This article is the fourth in our series, “Seeking Shalom in the Midst of Polarization.” The series, in collaboration with The Colossian Forum, aims to examine the state of polarization in the U.S. and Canada and explore Christian strategies to overc

A Biblical Woman

Department: Author: Thea Leunk“Pastor Thea,” she asked, “can you direct me to some specific passages or a book of the Bible that will help me better understand how to grow my faith as a Christian woman?” We had just ended a gathering of our women’s Bible study, and the question came from a woman wh

Polarization as a Spiritual Problem

Department: Author: David M. BaileyEditor’s note: This article is the third in our newest series, “Seeking Shalom in the Midst of Polarization.” The series, in collaboration withThe Colossian Forum, aims to examine the state of polarization in the U.S. and Canada and explore Christian strategies to

What Causes Our Polarization?

Department: Author: Andrew HanauerEditor’s note: This article is the second in our newest series, “Seeking Shalom in the Midst of Polarization.” The series, in collaboration withThe Colossian Forum, aims to examine the state of polarization in the U.S. and Canada and explore Christian strategies to

Our Currently Polarized World

Department: Author: Daniel HarrellEditor’s note: This article is the first in our newest series, “Seeking Shalom in the Midst of Polarization.” The series, in collaboration with The Colossian Forum, aims to examine the state of polarization in the U.S. and Canada and explore Christian strategies to

Racism and the Bible

Department: Author: Shiao ChongAs recently as May 2013, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website had to answer this question: “Is it true that God cursed one of Noah’s sons, who became the founder of the Black race? My uncle is very prejudiced against people of other races, and he uses thi

Let’s Get Serious About Forgiveness

Department: Author: Amanda W. BenckhuysenSylvia had been working as the administrative assistant at the church for three years when the new pastor came up behind her, pressed his body against hers, and began groping her breast. She was horrified, ashamed, and embarrassed. Still, she decided to repo

With Tempered Impatience

Department: Author: Chris Schoon“Stay angry, Little Meg,” Mrs. Whatsit whispered. “You will need all your anger now.” —Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in TimeMy parents named me “Christopher James,” desiring that I would become a “carrier of Christ” and that I might have “the patience of James.” It’s

Women’s Suffrage and the CRC

Department: Author: Will KaterbergAmerican women won the right to vote in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Women were winning the right to vote in Canada at roughly the same time. For many suffragists, their Christian faith had led to participation in missions a

The Right Kind of Worldliness

Department: Author: Will KaterbergSocial context typically shapes church conflicts, inclining people toward one view of Scripture, theology, or a moral issue rather than another. An example is Christian Reformed views of “common grace” theology and “worldly amusements.”In 1928, the synod of the Chr

Through the Storm

Department: Author: Jonathan Umran, Rev. Naji UmranChristians Around the World Face Deadly PersecutionYusuf* was born in Gerewah, Sudan, to a Muslim family. Tensions between the government and a local political party were high, however, and Yusuf’s family was driven to relocate to the nearby villag

Guys in Funny Hats? A History of Lodge Membership and the CRC

Department: Author: Will KaterbergWhen I was a kid, lodges meant guys in funny hats and the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes on The Flintstones. I also remember signs for the Odd Fellows Hall in the small town where I grew up. In 2006, I visited the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alex

Thinking Historically About Church Conflicts

Department: Author: Will KaterbergEditor’s Note: This article is the first in an online series called “Past Controversies, Present Insights.” The series explores issues that shook our denomination at the time, but now we might wonder what the big deal was. In the articles, William Katerberg, curato