The Banner

Guide to the Acts of Synod 2019

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaWelcome to The Banner’s first-ever guide to the Acts of Synod.This is a companion to the Guide to the Agenda for Synod 2019, published prior to Synod 2019.If you followed Synod 2019 via The Banner’s online coverage or if you perused the July/August print issue of

Gary Bekker Closes Years of Service to Global Mission

Department: Author: Jenny deGrootGary Bekker, who has had a varied and faithful career within and for the Christian Reformed Church, will retire this month. Bekker’s CRC-connected vocations include roles as an educator, academic dean, pastor, missionary and church leader. He served 16 years as dire

Inspire 2019: Questions and Challenges Amid Change

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerInspire 2019, a denomination-wide ministry conference put on by the Christian Reformed Church, met Aug. 1-3 in Windsor, Ont. The event featured four keynote speakers, 94 registered presenters and 44 ministry fair/expo vendors to equip servants in the church. The f

CRC Statement on U.S. Refugee Resettlement

Department: Author: Alissa VernonThe Christian Reformed Church in North America cautions, “A drastic reduction in the number of refugee resettlements allowed next year would prevent our churches from following our longstanding calling to extend hospitality to refugees.” It issued the statement July

GEMS Conference Encourages ‘Connections and Mentorship’

Department: Author: Alissa VernonThe 50th annual GEMS conference met July 26-28 on the campus of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Close to 600 women attended the event with the theme “Loved.”GEMS stands for Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior. Many of the organization’s 680 active clubs in

Prosper CRC Celebrates 125 Years

Department: Author: Emily Joy StrobleA traditional, steepled sanctuary is the home of Prosper Christian Reformed Church in Falmouth, Mich. Built in the early 1900s and replacing the original building for the congregation founded in 1894, it’s the setting for some of the congregation’s 125th-anniver

In Memoriam: Rev. John Gerald Klomps (1934-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusEnergetic, humble and approachable, John Klomps lived life as an adventure. His love and compassion for people led him to be involved in many lives all over the world as a generous encourager. He had a particular passion for Palestinian Christians in Israel and

Building up ‘Faith Community Stewards’ for Support in Palliative Care

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerChurches are often in the business of equipping people for service—training deacons, instructing Sunday School teachers, preparing youth leaders. This past year at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, in Grand Rapids, Mich., some members became equipped to se

In Memoriam: Rev. Ryan Walter Veeneman (1953-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusMissionary, pastor, and social worker, Ryan Veeneman was a quiet man with a sense of humor and a heart for the Lord. He was a good listener and enabled people to feel comfortable around him. Veeneman was diagnosed with leukemia March 15, 2019, and died just 10

Hot Dogs and Community Connection: Churches Try Neighborhood Cookouts

Department: Author: Alissa VernonOn a Wednesday night in late June, members of Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., welcomed neighbors to come have a hot dog, enjoy “oldies” music piped through the outdoor speakers, and interact with members, young and old alike.“Our church does

CRC Ministry Director Among Faith Leaders Calling For Diplomacy, Not War

Department: Author: Alissa VernonLast week Colin Watson, director of ministries and administration for the Christian Reformed Church, signed a statement calling for diplomacy, “given the escalation of confrontation between the United States and Iran,” as a preamble to the statement reads.“It is tim

In Memoriam: Rev. Harry George Arnold (1925-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusHarry Arnold, who concluded his preaching ministry in 2015 on his 90th birthday, only wanted to be remembered as a faithful servant of the Lord. Arnold died June 16, just two weeks before his 70th wedding anniversary.Born in Paterson, N.J., Arnold enlisted in t

Pastor Sheila Holmes Honored for Commitment to Anti-Violence

Department: Author: Emily Joy StrobleRev. Sheila Holmes, longtime pastor of Northside Community Christian Reformed Church in Paterson, N.J., was honored this spring for her lifelong work in ending gun violence. Paterson’s Operation CeaseFire recognized Holmes at its annual celebration dinner, May 3

Pastor Issues Bring-Your-Bible-to-Church Challenge

Department: Author: Dan VeenemanOn May 12, 2019, Justin Caruthers, pastor of Gateway Community Christian Reformed Church in Abbotsford, B.C., asked the congregation how many of them had brought their Bible (print or digital) to church with them that Sunday. After about six hands went up, Caruthers

Iowa Church Reaches 125 and Beyond

Department: Author: Alissa Vernon“On Thursday afternoon, October 19,1893, a meeting was held in Leighton, Iowa, to organize a new congregation,” reads an anniversary booklet printed last fall. That congregation, Leighton Christian Reformed Church, now shares its pastor with Tracy (Iowa) CRC, and is

In Memoriam: Rev. William Gerrit Brouwers Jr. (1934-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusBill Brouwers, who died June 14, was a searcher of the truth and wanted everyone he met, Christian or non-Christian, to know about the creator God behind the universe. He encouraged every congregation he pastored to share the love of Jesus and salvation through

Grand Rapids Church Hosts Prayer Walks Over Gun Violence

Department: Author: Greg ChandlerIt has been a difficult start to the summer in the neighborhood around Oakdale Park Church, a Christian Reformed congregation in Grand Rapids, Mich.On June 4, a 21-year-old man was shot to death less than 100 yards from the church property. Then on June 23, a 10-yea