The Banner

Judicial Code Committee Asks Synod 2019 For Review

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaFew people in the Christian Reformed Church have ever heard of the denomination’s Judicial Code Committee (JCC) and even fewer know what the committee does. That’s because its work is generally done behind closed doors and the results are usually discussed in exec

Saving Face

Department: Author: Nicki KuiperShe sat across from me, a look of disbelief on her face. As she spoke, her eyes grew larger, her voice stronger. “These things would never, ever happen in my country,” she said. “But if they did, there would be a big problem for that person and for that person’s fami

The Ordinary Work of Justice

Department: Author: Jonathan Nicolai-deKoningNot long ago, when I worked as a reintegration chaplain with men leaving prison, I would often talk about my work in local churches and schools. I could count on a few people to come up afterward to say, “I’m so glad you’re doing that work. It’s so impor

Blooming Beauties

Department: Author: Sandy SwartzentruberFlowers are one of the most beautiful parts of God’s creation. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They also remind us how much God cares for us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “See how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work or make clothing.


Department: Author: Judy Cook Why can’t my stepdad and I get along any more since he and my mom got married? He and my mom had been dating since I was 12 (three years ago) and I liked him a lot at first. But now we fight all the time.It might help if you stop thinking of your mom’s new husband as


Department: Author: Paul DelgerBethel Music keeps producing powerful tunes; its latest release, Victory is no exception. Listeners will hear songs from worshipers who are battling trials and gaining victory just like them. The album is based upon King Jehoshaphat leading the people of Judah in vict

Keller's Heart

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen Feddema A young girl named Raven has had a lot to say for someone who has never spoken. Both deaf and mute, she communicates with her hands, smiles, and hugs. Raven longs to fit in with her classmates, but she feels their discomfort when they’re around her, as

School Seeks Adult Mentors, Church Steps Up

Department: Author: Susan Vanden BergIn the fall of 2018, the superintendent of the local school system contacted Fruitport (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church. Would they be interested in a partnership to support struggling students? The church was eager to get on board. Now, a few months into a men

‘Skype Has Allowed Me to Continue Playing in Band’

Department: Author: Jenny deGrootWhen a problem presents itself, the solution might just be the one that gets tossed out as an offhand impossibility. And going the extra mile to solve the problem might end up being 2,000 miles. That is the true story of how Nicky DeBoer, who lives in Byron Center,

In Memoriam: Rev. Marinus A. Harberts (1930-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusMarinus Harberts, also known as Mike or Reeney, ministered for 35 years in New Mexico, where he grew to love the people of the Navajo Nation. A humble and generous man, he was always willing to give what God had blessed him with to others. “Live life as though

Shaky Steps and Germinating Seeds

Department: Author: Jenna C. HoffAs I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the

The Difference a Call Can Make

Department: Author: Scott DeVriesBetty-Ann Coleman had a simple question. She is an administrator at Westside Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Kingston, Ont., and was unsure about a certain aspect of The Bridge App, a smartphone app created in partnership with the CRCNA. Coleman sent an emai

‘The Question of God and Race’

Department: Author: Matthew CookeThis year’s Stob Lecture Series featured Willie James Jennings, associate professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University. The Stob Lectures, a joint effort of Calvin Seminary and Calvin College, invite conversation on important issues in th

A Church of Connection and Collaboration

Department: Author: Steven TimmermansOne of the five desired futures expressed in our denominational ministry plan, Our Journey 2020, focuses on collaboration: “Our churches and ministries will work hand in hand with each other, and with partners in our own communities and around the world, to fait

Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

Department: Author: Natalie HartRayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee is a young adult novel of two girls about to graduate from high school, but it’s not a high school book. Nor is it about finding your tribe—they’ve found their tribe. It’s about what happens when your tribe has to transition. Are e

Black Earth Rising

Department: Author: Jenny deGrootThe January release of Black Earth Rising on Netflix is no coincidence in its timing. Twenty-five years after the Rwandan genocide, this series is a stark reminder to the world of how horrific, complicated, and forever life-impacting it was for so many.Kate Ashby, p

Faith Formation

Department: Author: Robert and Laura KeeleyOur church has a lot of programs for children and teens but nothing for those of us who are retirement age. I feel as if I don’t count. Shouldn't the church have things for us too?Feeling as if you don’t count in the church means that things are not as the

Reply All

Department: Author: Thanks for the Freebies!Thank you so much for making Joanne De Jonge’s kids’ pages available for printing (“Just for Kids: A Baker’s Dozen,” free PDF download available at I have been meaning to request permission to copy some of the children’s pages from The Ban

More Than Just Stuff

Department: Author: Phillip LeoStuff is just stuff. If you’ve lived a few years and have yielded to the claims of the gospel, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion. Although it sounds simple enough, the underpinnings of this statement are profound and inform our discipleship at a very pra

In Memoriam: Rev. Steven J. Van Heest (1952-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusDescribed as thoughtful and a man without pretense, Steven Van Heest blessed many in his years of ministry as a hospital chaplain. “Countless hurting patients and families were ministered to with grace and compassion because of Steve,” said one colleague. Van H