The Banner

“We Need to Deal with the Numbers”

Department: Author: Roxanne Van FaroweIt’s time for the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) to set its priorities, according to its executive director, Steve Timmermans.Timmermans addressed Synod 2019, the annual leadership gathering of the CRC, Saturday evening.The declining membership of the denomina

Council of Delegates Chair Addresses Synod

Department: Author: Clayton LiboltPaul R. De Vries, the first president of the Council of Delegates (COD), winsomely presented the work of this new and powerful board to Synod 2019 (the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church).The COD, now two years old, does three things, De Vries explai

Third Annual Women’s Dinner Celebrates Story

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaFor the third time, a dinner took place during synod for women in leadership in the Christian Reformed Church. This year, more than 50 women attended to hear Trish Borgdorff speak about the importance of story.“Story work is worth pursuing,” Borgdorff told her aud

Synod 2019 Officers

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe officers elected for the Christian Reformed Church’s Synod 2019 reflect the diversity of the church. For the first time, a deacon delegate was elected as an officer.Rev. William Koopmans is president, a role he has played before. A pastor from Brantford, Ont.,

Celebrating 10 Years of Worship and Welcome in Basic English

Department: Author: Emily Joy Stroble“We filled in the corners,” said Helen Bonzelaar, retired chair of the Basic English Service at Church of the Servant, a Christian Reformed congregation in Grand Rapids, Mich. The service, which has grown from about 40 attendees at its inception in 2009 to frequ

Dwell Goes Digital, Gets New Coordinator

Department: Author: Faith Formation Ministries recently announced the launch of Dwell Digital—online accessible versions of the popular curriculum’s leader materials, available this summer. The ministry also has hired a curriculum coordinator, Jill Benson, to provide personalized support to Dwell u

Canadian National Gathering: From Emptiness to Fullness

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusFrom May 24-26, 119 participants representing every Christian Reformed classis (regional group of churches) in Canada and about half of Canada’s 263 CRCs, came together at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alta. This 2019 Canadian National Gathering was a foll

In Memoriam: Frederick “Fred” James VanDyk (1934-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusGrowing up on a farm, Fred VanDyk enjoyed helping in the fields and tinkering with things mechanical, especially farm equipment. He was a die-hard John Deere man. Farming provides a good metaphor for his life in ministry, as well. As a pastor, he worked in fiel

Iowa Church Celebrates 125 Years

Department: Author: Kyle HoogendoornPeoria Christian Reformed Church members in Pella, Iowa, marked 125 years of ministry last week, recalling 1 Samuel 7:12, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,” a verse of significance to the congregation as it’s literally written on the wall. Three former pastors o

Classis Watch: Spring 2019

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaTwo or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to their classis, a regional group 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

Banner Coverage of Synod 2019

Department: Author: Synod 2019, the Christian Reformed Church’s annual leadership meeting, will be underway June 14, and The Banner’s award-winning onsite news team will bring you the facts of synod decisions, along with the history and context around the important issues of the day.For continuous

Guide to the Agenda for Synod 2019 and Supplementary Reports

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaWelcome to The Banner’s first-ever guide to the Agenda for Synod and supplementary reports.If you are new to the Christian Reformed Church or to synod, or if you’re a veteran who doesn’t feel like wading through a 521-page book plus its supplementary material (76,

Banner Welcomes New Associate Editor

Department: Author: Sarah Heth, a journalist with 10 years’ experience with The Grand Rapids Press and The Holland Sentinel, has joined The Banner as associate editor. Heth accepted the position earlier this month after a candidate search. She’s filling the position left by Judy Hardy, who is retir

Church’s Boys Club Offers Free Bike Tune-Up Day

Department: Author: Eliza AndersonMore than 70 cyclists got a free bike tune-up this past April at Wheaton (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church. The church’s Cadet program, a character and faith formation group for boys, ran the tune-up morning for the second year in a row, hoping to offer something of

Sharing in Nashville Helps Churches to Serve

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerMinistering in the diverse, growing city of Nashville, Tenn., is a challenge for small churches. For the congregations of Faith Christian Reformed Church, Rehoboth Eritrean Church and Grace Village of the Presbyterian Church of America, sharing space is helping to

Bethany Christian Services Changes Foster Placement Policy in Michigan

Department: Author: Greg ChandlerBethany Christian Services, a child welfare organization approved by the Christian Reformed Church for offerings and support from congregations, recently agreed to allow placing foster children with same-sex couples in its home state of Michigan after a lengthy lega

Illinois Church Hosts Community Health Fair

Department: Author: Alissa VernonThe community care ministry team at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Berwyn, Ill., hosted a community health fair earlier this spring, welcoming their neighbors to “March into Wellness” as they grouped different healthcare providers in one place.“We see collabo

In Memoriam: Rev. William “Bud” Ipema (1938-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusBud Ipema, who died on April 14, leaves a 60-year legacy of urban ministry on Chicago’s south and west sides, where he was instrumental in promoting racial reconciliation and social justice. As one friend said, “Bud was tough and never backed down from a challe

In Memoriam: Rev. Barry B. Blankers (1936-2019)

Department: Author: A pastor for 58 years, Barry Blankers was gentle, humble, godly, wise, and a genuine role model who tried to live what he preached. Described by some as a “silent undertow,” he was a quiet, continuous force influencing people as he visited, baptized, married, counseled, and prea

Religious Communities Minister to Families Touched by Suicide

Department: Author: Religion News ServiceWhen Andy and Tina Plank discovered that their son Sam had died by suicide, one of their first calls was to the minister of their church.As soon as he got the news, J.C. Austin dropped everything and met them at the hospital.Newly installed as senior pastor