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Rosemary Apol-Hoezee on Dementia and Inclusion
People who’ve served and attended churches faithfully often feel isolated when their cognition declines—and so do their caregivers. Your congregation can take simple steps to become more dementia friendly.
Conversation | September 07, 2023
Rosemary Apol-Hoezee on Dementia and Worship
Chaplains have been using the Evening Star worship manual in memory care facilities for almost twenty years. The second edition incorporates new research on dementia to create a worship model that is even better at engaging people who live with dementia.
Conversation | September 07, 2023
Keith M. Douds on Creating Safe Space for Church Groups
Church retreats, church governance meetings, and church small groups require honesty, vulnerability, and transparency to collectively draw closer to God. Psychologist Keith M. Douds explains how and when to step in with grace and preserve safety so that everyone has a chance to share and be listened to.
Conversation | September 01, 2023
Inesperadas Oportunidades de Crecimiento
El involucrarse en el Programa de Becas para Congregaciones Hispanas del Calvin Institute of Christian Worship abrió oportunidades inesperadas de crecimiento para Morada de Justicia Ministries de Miami, Florida.
Conversation | August 03, 2023
Dru Johnson on Bible Literacy, Fluency, and Engagement
Biblical scholar Dru Johnson explains how churches and even the U.S. criminal justice system might be different if more people who identify as Christian were more familiar with the whole of Scripture.
Conversation | July 07, 2023
Ronnie Farmer Jr. on Positively Addressing Racial Difference
Some Christians think that even talking about racial differences is racist. But the church has a crucial opportunity to promote honest cross-cultural conversations that help people recognize the image of God in every person.
Conversation | June 19, 2023
Ronnie Farmer Jr. on Visual Arts and Reconciliation
Christians often wonder how to use their God-given gifts to address an issue that God cares about. Ronnie Farmer Jr., an artist and pastor, explains how the path is sometimes revealed just one step at a time. Gradually we develop our imagination to see how the Lord intends for us to use our gifts and experiences.
Conversation | June 05, 2023
Ken Boer on Biblevox: Memorizing Scripture through Song
For many Christians, Bible verses and passages are often easier to memorize when set to music. Worship pastor Ken Boer designed the website Biblevox to help people find word-for-word scripture songs.
Conversation | May 30, 2023
Ken Boer on Scripture Memorization Methods
Memorizing Bible verses and passages can enrich family, school, and church communities. Internalizing God’s Word, whether by music or another method, helps Christians meditate, pray, and grow closer together with God and each other.
Conversation | May 17, 2023
Szabina Sztojka on the Ministry of Reconciliation
Christians sometimes believe that because God forgives our sins, we should always appear happy and should not talk about pain and anger. But Christians involved in the Healing Hearts, Transforming Nations ministry of reconciliation explain how inviting the Holy Spirit to surface our wounds can eventually lead us to see more facets of God’s glory.
Conversation | May 05, 2023
Szabina Sztojka on Mission To and With Roma People in Hungary
As in many denominations with a single ethnic majority, the Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH) is working to be more welcoming to other cultures. As leader of the RCH Roma Ministry, Szabina Sztojka focuses on reconciliation, health, and hope to nurture Roma gifts and leadership in churches and schools.
Conversation | April 19, 2023
Two Pastors on Leading by Giftedness and Stewarding Diversity
Kizombo Kalumbula and Artie M. Lindsay Sr. helped found a church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, modeled on leading by giftedness. Gradually Tabernacle Community Church realized that their natural diversity was a gift from God meant to be stewarded during “such a time as this” in American culture.
Conversation | April 11, 2023
Kizombo Kalumbula and Artie M. Lindsay Sr. on Work and Worship
Valuing diversity in worship includes but goes beyond multiethnic considerations. It also means helping people of different ages, abilities, and vocations see themselves as living out their part to usher in God’s shalom. Two pastors offer practical insights for congregations interested in work and worship.
Conversation | March 27, 2023
Artie Lindsay on Working as One Church in the Neighborhood
Artie Lindsay is the teaching pastor at Tabernacle Community Church, a multiracial congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In this edited conversation, he talks about the joys and challenges of serving the Alger Heights neighborhood.
Conversation | March 20, 2023
Jonathan A. Powers on Teaching Hymns Appropriate to Context
If your congregation experiences hymn singing as dull and lifeless, then try Jonathan A. Powers’ advice on finding, introducing, and teaching hymns that will resonate with your worshiping community.
Conversation | March 06, 2023
Katie J. Graber on Singing with Cultural Appreciation, Not Appropriation
Some congregations worry that singing songs outside their own tradition might be inauthentic or offensive. Ethnomusicologist Katie J. Graber gives reasons for using worship songs from other cultures and eras—and how to do so with proper appreciation and attribution.
Conversation | February 28, 2023
Herbert H. Tsang on the Beauty of Low-Tech Connections
COVID-19, “the triple pandemic,” and future universal health threats will continue to prevent many congregants, especially senior members, from attending worship in person. But for those willing to put up with some “holy messiness,” Herbert H. Tsang offers low-tech solutions to connect, sing, and worship together.
Conversation | February 23, 2023
LaTonya McIver Penny on Inclusion in Black Churches
The common thread in LaTonya McIver Penny’s pastoral and professional lives has been God’s calling to help faith communities, especially Black churches, become more inclusive. Learn why she sees inclusion as broader than welcoming people with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Conversation | January 31, 2023
Two Pastors on God at Work in Ordinary People and Places
Moses Chung and Christopher Meehan cowrote the book "Joining Jesus: Ordinary People at the Edges of the Church." They hope these stories will give people and congregations hope, encouragement, and imagination to see what God is already doing in their neighborhoods.
Conversation | January 23, 2023
William Phemister on Lively Piano Accompaniment for Hymns
Church pianists who apply William Phemister’s advice can introduce congregations to hymnody or more deeply immerse them in it. Typical worshipers may be surprised to learn that pianists don’t necessarily play every note as written in the hymnal—and there are good reasons why.
Conversation | January 13, 2023