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Record Attendance at Eastern Canada Youth Conference

The annual fall youth conference in Classis Eastern Canada of the Christian Reformed Church brought together 131 guests this year – the largest number of teens since the retreat was started more than 20 years ago. Classis youth ministry team member Ron Hosmar sees the record attendance as evidence t

In Memoriam: Rev. Dale W. Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen, who served faithfully in ministry as a campus pastor, preacher, pianist, organist and writer, died Oct. 25. He was 80.After graduating from Calvin College (now University) and Seminary and ordination in 1969, Dale and his wife, Edith, joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (

California Church Planter Writing Punjabi Mission History

Eric Sarwar, a Christian Reformed church planter in Artesia, Calif., is a global partner with Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary’s Overseas Mission Study Center’s 2023-24 Residential Study Program. A pastor, songwriter and author of Pakistani descent with a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from

California CRC Hosts Korean Church Disability Conference

With recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies estimating that 17 percent of children ages 3-17 in the United States have at least one developmental disability, the importance of churches focusing more of their attention and resources on disability ministry is evident. In response to

Groups Suggesting Pathways for Separation, Unity in the CRCNA

After the Christian Reformed Church synods of 2022 and 2023 declared and re-affirmed the church's prohibition on same-sex sexual relationships to be confessional and encouraged classes to "guide into compliance the officebearers of their constituent churches who publicly reject the biblical guidelin

Michigan Church Joins Neighbors in Restoring Native Tree Species

On October 21, volunteers from the Third Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Mich., planted 23 native saplings in the Kleinstuck Preserve, a 48-acre nature preserve owned and managed by Western Michigan University, just 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the church. Working with Stewards of Kleinstuck, whi

Ecumenically Supported School Grounded Its Unity in Educational Creed

Unity Christian Academy in South Holland, Ill., has that name for a reason. The group of ecumenical partners behind its creation united around a desire for a Christian high school education and started with an educational creed, said school board member David Larsen, a member of Hope Christian Refor

Edmonton Church Hosts Monthly InterActive Service to Engage All Ages

The River Community Church, which meets in a large, brick community center in south Edmonton, Alta., has been engaging its church members – from young to old and in between – with an InterActive church service on the first Sunday of each month since September. This latest focus is the result of two

Persistent Pastorates

We got a news tip about a British Columbia church celebrating its pastor’s 20th anniversary with that congregation. How rare is serving in one role for 20 years? 63 active Christian Reformed ministers and 13 commissioned pastors have been serving in their current role for that long or longer. That’s

In Memoriam: Rev. John Gerrit Groen

John Groen is described as a caring pastor, towering evangelist, a man of deep convictions, and one who knew the Holy Spirit's power, work and fruit. “Romans 6:1-14 were perhaps his ‘signature’ verses,” said one pastor and friend. “His entire ministry, and much of his preaching, was centered around

Classis Watch: Fall 2023

Two or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to their classis, a regional assembly of churches. Many of the actions taken by classes are governed by the CRC’s Church Order, the rules that govern denominational life. Here are some of the actions by classes in the pas

Churches for Middle East Peace Watch Conflict, Urge End to War

Churches for Middle East Peace, an ecumenical policy advocacy coalition formed in 1984 with more than 30 member organizations in the U.S., including the Christian Reformed Church in North America, has been releasing regular statements since the October 7 Hamas attacks and the subsequent military res

Fixing Fractured Country Starts With Neighbors, Author Says

The Banner has a subscription to republish articles from Religion News Service. This story by Bob Smietana was published on Oct. 18, 2023. It has been edited for length and Banner style.Author and researcher Seth Kaplan has some advice for Americans on how to address the country’s m

In Memoriam: Rev. Frederick F. Heslinga

Described as modest, humble, gentle, and super organized, Fred Heslinga had a great sense of humor and a wonderful ability to laugh at himself. Although he had endured cancer for nine years, with periods of remission, Fred’s death Sept. 26 was the result of a brain bleed after hitting his head in a

In Memoriam: Rev. Theodore (Ted) Verseput

Ted Verseput was a minister in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 40 years. For 30 of those years he also served as a chaplain for the U.S. Army National Guard. Ted died Sept.19, at age 96.Born and raised in Battle Creek, Mich., Ted graduated from Calvin College (now University) and Seminar

Council of Delegates: New Committees, Ecclesiastical Distinction

As the Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met last week in Grand Rapids, Mich., general secretary Zachary King welcomed delegates to what he called “a new epoch of ecclesiastical governance of the Christian Reformed Church.”King was referring to changes to the way