The Banner

Stated Clerks Meet in California

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe role of stated clerk is probably the most unsung task in the Christian Reformed Church. They are the hardworking souls that keep classes (the CRC’s 49 regional groups of churches) running. They receive mountains of information and make sure it gets sent to the

Inmates’ Artwork Displayed in Michigan Church

Department: Author: Anita Ensing BeemFor 20 years, Marianne Tanis has been teaching art classes for inmates at Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Mich., and recently exhibited some of her students’ art at First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Tanis said the exhibit was

In Memoriam: Rev. Rodger James Buining (1931-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusA compassionate, loving, and humble man, “Rodg” Buining loved the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind. He died Nov. 26 at the age of 88.Buining grew up in Muskegon, Mich., graduated from Calvin College and Seminary, and was ordained in 1955. Over the followi

In Memoriam: Rev. Gerrit A. Bieze (1936-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusPastor and historian Gerrit (Gary) Bieze died Dec. 15 after a brief struggle with cancer. He was 83.Born in Chicago, Ill., Bieze graduated from Calvin College and Seminary and was ordained in 1962. It was rare in those days for a minister born in the U.S. to se

Prison Church Seeks Organized Status

Department: Author: Krista dela RosaNew Life Prison Community Church in Newton, Iowa, has applied to their classis (Central Plains) to move to organized status in 2020. Started as a church plant of the Christian Reformed Church in February 2011, New Life serves the inmates of Newton Prison and Rele

University of Alberta Campus Pastor Serves in the Midst of Tragedy

Department: Author: Janet A. Greidanus“On Wednesday, Jan. 8, we received vague news,” said Rick Mast, full-time Christian Reformed campus pastor at the University of Alberta, “that academic community members had died in the tragic crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. We did not know

Focus on Scripture, Discipleship Builds Leaders in Hudsonville, Mich.

Department: Author: Greg ChandlerChad Schreur, who leads the men’s ministry at Hillcrest Christian Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Mich., is seeing leaders develop with a focus on discipleship.Since 2016, Schreur has used the discipleship program Every Man A Warrior to encourage men to grow deeper

Alberta Churches Explore Support for Mental Health

Department: Author: Dan VeenemanClassis Alberta North has appointed a task force to investigate how to equip churches to care for and serve people who struggle with issues related to mental health. The task force was formed after the Christian Reformed Church of St. Albert began a dialogue with cla

Study Looks at Religion, Family Size, and Single Parenting

Department: Author: Yonat Shimron,, Religion News ServiceDana Perry, a 42-year-old divorced mother of three, lives in the small North Carolina town of Wilson, where she is rearing her sons in the Christian faith.Her boys, ages 18, 16, and 11, go to church alongside her on Sundays and attend youth g

Scripture Based Art Challenge Inspires Creativity

Department: Author: Elizabeth DrummondWhen Pastor Daniel Claus preached from the book of Revelation this fall he challenged his congregation at Shoreline (Wash.) Christian Reformed Church to engage deeply—requesting as many as would participate to create artwork inspired by the scripture. Members

Reflections on Art and Faith From The Banner's Open Mic Artists

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerThis fall in the first-ever Banner Open Mic, readers submitted videos of their original music, poetry and spoken word. Out of the submissions, 19 videos were selected to be shared on We were curious about how the artists see their art interacting wi

Congregation Hosts Reconciliation Workshops in Alberta

Department: Author: Kristen ParkerParry Stelter, an Indigenous man and a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Stony Plain, Alta., is leading a series of workshops aimed to aid reconciliation between Indigenous people and the settler community. Stelter is the founder of Word of Hope Ministry,

University of Toronto Christian Reformed Campus Ministries Turns 50

Department: Author: Kristen ParkerFor the past 50 years, Christian Reformed Campus Ministries at the University of Toronto, Ont., has had the mission to “challenge, mentor, and enable students to think, work, and live as Christian disciples in the academy and in their professions. Rooted in the con

Top 10 Most-Read Banner Online Articles in 2019

Department: Author: These are the news stories, features, and columns from 2019 that readers engaged with most, according to data collected by Google Analytics. Thanks for reading!1. Pew or Canoe: The Unexpected Black Hole (Feb. 2019)Feature writer Gary M. Burge revisits a question posed by Chicago

U.S. Religious Freedom Agency Reauthorized Until 2022

Department: Author: Religion News Service, Adelle BanksThe independent religious freedom watchdog whose future was in question in recent months has been reauthorized as part of an omnibus bill United States President Donald Trump signed Dec. 20.The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Hamilton Church Issues ‘Kingdom Assignment’

Department: Author: Kristen ParkerPastor Everett Vander Horst of Meadowlands Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ont., surprised his congregation Sept. 8. After preaching a sermon on the generosity of God he followed the song of response with a request: “We have a very special project

Americans to Religious Organizations: Stay Out of Politics

Department: Author: Yonat Shimron,, Religion News ServiceAs Americans gear up for a long and bitterly contentious presidential election year, their message to religious leaders and institutions couldn’t be clearer: Keep out.That’s the finding in a recent Pew Research poll, which found that 63% of A

Global Bazaar a Decade-long Tradition at Denver Church

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerFor the members of First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colo., Christmas shopping comes with an international twist. Every year at its Global Bazaar, vendors offer products made by people in economically challenging circumstances whose communities, domestic

In Memoriam: Rev. Peter Sluys (1927-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusKind, caring, gentle and studious, Peter Sluys lived a joyful life serving his Lord and Savior. After struggling with dementia the past few years, he died Nov. 8 in Edmonton, Alta., at the age of 92.Sluys was born in Andijk, the Netherlands. He was in grade nin