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Reformed Worship Changes Publisher

On July 1, ownership of 'Reformed Worship' will transition from the CRCNA to the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) to better reflect its ecumenical audience.

Thirty-six years ago the Christian Reformed Church (CRCNA) started a publication that was intended to be a practical journal for pastors, musicians, and everyone involved in leading worship. Today the Reformed Worship brand includes a quarterly print magazine, a growing website, and more than 15,000 email-based subscribers from dozens of denominations.

On July 1, ownership of Reformed Worship will transition from the CRCNA to the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) to better reflect this ecumenical audience. While this is a change in ownership and responsibility, the periodical will continue to offer a distinctly Reformed voice and will continue to be a partnership with worship leaders in the denomination.

“A key aspect to the success of this publication is the partnership between the CRCNA’s Worship Ministries (now part of Thrive) and CICW. These staff have collaborated on content, marketing, and distribution of Reformed Worship for many years,” said Chris Schoon, U.S. director of Thrive. “Today we are continuing that partnership but shifting overall editorial and financial responsibility.”

“The CRCNA and CICW have been partnering on Reformed Worship since CICW began as an institute 26 years ago. CICW has provided some of the staffing, writing, and funding for special projects. This move to CICW ownership is more like an organic development than a radical change,” said director John D. Witvliet. “It fits well within CICW because both Reformed Worship and CICW have an ecumenical focus, which serves churches within and beyond the Christian Reformed Church.”

The shift in ownership lifts up the ecumenical nature of the journal and the practice of Reformed Christianity around the globe, both key commitments in the mission and vision of CICW’s work.

Part of this shift included Rev. Joyce Borger’s new staff role with CICW as a resource development specialist, which began earlier this year. In this role Borger continues to serve as senior editor of Reformed Worship along with taking on other responsibilities at CICW. Associate editor Kai Ton Chau serves on the CICW staff as a program manager. CRCNA staff will continue to collaborate with Borger and Chau to provide content and other support.

“We are deeply grateful for the thoughtful leadership of so many RW writers, editors, and contributors over many years,” said Witvliet, “and we look forward to RW’s practical resources and pastoral and theological articles continuing to equip so many people for leadership roles in congregations.”

This article was first published in CRC News by Kristen deRoo VanderBerg