The Banner

In Memoriam: Rev. Roger Earl Van Harn (1932-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusDuring his 42 years as an ordained pastor of the Christian Reformed Church, Roger Van Harn estimated he preached 3,000 sermons. His ministry over those years was impacted by several major events in American history. Van Harn died on Feb. 9. He was 86.A graduate

Banner Staff Changes

Department: Author: Alissa VernonThis spring The Banner is saying goodbye to two longtime staff members and editorial contributors Judy Hardy and Kristy Quist. Hardy, the magazine’s associate editor, began working with Faith Alive, the former publishing division of the Christian Reformed Church, in

In Memoriam: Rev. Gerald (Jerry) Frens (1943-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusJerry Frens loved being a chaplain. He was still working part time as an on-call chaplain at Northwest Community Hospital when he died unexpectedly and tragically on Feb. 15, after being struck by a vehicle’s sideview mirror. He had been cleaning leaves out of

Iowa Church Hosts Praise Band Fest

Department: Author: Kyle HoogendoornOn Feb. 15, a stormy Sunday evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Calvin Christian Reformed Church hosted its 15th annual Praise Band Fest, welcoming about 160 people to worship. Three bands, as has become tradition, participated in this year’s event: “All for Him,” from Cal

Resonate Will Consolidate U.S. and Canadian National Directors

Department: Author: Alissa VernonResonate Global Mission, the mission agency of the Christian Reformed Church, which formed in 2017 with the joining of the denomination’s Home Missions and World Missions ministries, is making a change in leadership. Resonate will be consolidating the Canadian natio

New Mexico Church Pastor Deployed to Kuwait

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerRev. Joe Kamphuis, pastor of Chelwood Christian Reformed Church in Albuquerque, N.M., will be deployed to Kuwait this July to serve as an Air Force chaplain. Kamphuis has pastored Chelwood CRC for seven years while also serving as a chaplain with the New Mexico Ai

Report Finds Allegations Against Willow Creek Founder Bill Hybels Credible

Department: Author: Religion News ServiceThe allegations of “sexually inappropriate words and actions” by Bill Hybels, the founder of Willow Creek Community Church, are credible, according to an independent group of Christian leaders advising the church.Hybels’ alleged behavior, directed mostly at

Bible Translation Standing Committee Proposed

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaIf Synod 2019 agrees, the Council of Delegates will establish a standing committee to review Bible translations for potential use in the Christian Reformed Church. (The Council of Delegates acts on behalf of synod, the annual leadership meeting of the CRC.) This f

Appointments to OSJ Committee Delayed

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaA committee to support and guide the Christian Reformed Church’s Office of Social Justice has no members appointed to it yet. The CRC’s Council of Delegates couldn’t approve names of those to be appointed because classis stated clerks had been overlooked in the no

In Memoriam: Dr. Andrew John Bandstra (1926-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusAndrew Bandstra, professor emeritus of New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, was a loving and dedicated family man and committed friend. Bandstra died on Feb. 8 at the age of 92.The youngest of nine children, Bandstra was born on a farm in Iowa

In Memoriam: Rev. Jon Christian (Chris) Schroeder (1944-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. Greidanus“He was a pastor's pastor,” said Dave Beelen, pastor of Madison Square Church, where Chris Schroeder served and worshiped. “His gentle way and easy transparency about his own burdens as a pastor invited pastors in need to share with him.” Schroeder died on Janu

Canadian Denominational Employees Get Pay Scale Bump

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church decided to raise the salary scale of Canadian denominational employees by 1.5 percent. (The Council acts on behalf of synod, the CRC’s annual leadership meeting.)The issue of pay for Canadian employees was

Centre for Public Dialogue Work Plan Approved

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe Centre for Public Dialogue (CPD) had its 2019 work plan approved at the recent meeting of the Christian Reformed Church’s Council of Delegates. (The Council acts on behalf of synod, the CRC’s annual leadership meeting.) The Centre is a Canadian ministry of the

Council Discusses Indigenous Ministries

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaDiscussion of Indigenous ministries in the U.S. and Canada came up in several conversations and reports at the recent meeting of the Christian Reformed Church’s Council of Delegates in Grand Rapids, Mich. (The Council acts on behalf of synod, the annual leadership

MOPS of Battle Creek Integrates all Ages

Department: Author: Eliza AndersonMarge Kool, an 86-year-old grandmother, didn’t expect to be involved in MOPS—Mothers of Preschoolers—at her age. The mother of six and grandmother of 19 says she’s more like a MOPS great-grandma than a “MOPS mom,” the term generally used for mothers who attend MOPS

New York Church Warmly Equips Local School

Department: Author: Eliza AndersonMore than 700 items are knitted at home each year by members of Rochester (N.Y.) Christian Reformed Church’s knitting ministry. Some of those creations go to community centers and health clinics, but many of them warm the heads and hands of students at John James A

A Year of Change at the Institute for Christian Studies

Department: Author: Krista Dam-VandeKuytPresident Ronald Kuipers described the past year at Toronto’s Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) as “daunting, challenging, but also very rewarding.” Appointed as provost of the interdisciplinary graduate school in July 2017, Kuipers’ title was changed to

In Memoriam: Rev. Herman Leestma (1925-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusBorn and educated in Michigan, Herman Leestma served the U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1952 and was ordained that same year. Over the next 40 years, he pastored several Christian Reformed congregations. Leestma passed away