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Happy New Year! I say that recognizing that some who read this might receive the greeting with a posture of arms raised in celebration for the turning of a new year with new joys, new opportunities and new hope. Some might receive it with arms crossed, frustrated with the year that passed and already disappointed by what 2022 has had to offer. Some might receive it with shoulders shrugged and arms raised in questioning and wonder. Will it be a happy new year? What is coming next? We all embark on this year not knowing what the future holds. We can do our best to plan, to fill in events on calendars, to come up with goals for ministry and our churches, but the last 2 years have certainly taught us to hold on to our plans loosely. A line from the beloved hymn “Be Thou My Vision” continues to run through my mind in these early days of 2022, and today I pray these words for you as well: Heart of my own heart whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.” May God bless you with the solid ground of God’s faithfulness in the midst of uncertainty. May God bless you with God’s vision to see where God is already at work. May God, the Ruler of all bless you with a sure presence that promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Happy New Year dear friends.

—Pastor Katie Ritsema Roelofs

As always know that you remain in our prayers. If there is something specific we can pray for or if there is another way we can support you please email worship@crcna.org

Worship Ministries Staff
Rev. Joyce Borger
Pastor Katie Roelofs
Mrs. Laura Meyering

What’s happening in Worship Ministries

Tuesday Roundtable Discussions

All are welcome to participate in the weekly Worship Ministries roundtables on zoom. We meet at 1:00 EST and cover a wide variety of topics. Below is a schedule for the next few months including zoom links.  

  • January 13: Children IN Worship. This is the upcoming theme issue for the "Reformed Worship" journal and we want to hear from you! What stories do you have to share? What can you tell us about your particular context and what has gone well, what has not? Come with ideas, come for ideas!
  • January 20: God is no stoic . . . the work of Lament. Pastor Micah Shuurman joins us to talk about why lament in worship is necessary and Biblical. In the midst of another Covid surge, after several years of loss and grief, how can we lament well personally but also lead our congregations to do so well corporately?  

January 27 and February 3: Lent Planning. We'll have two consecutive weeks of conversation about Lent planning. What are you doing this year and how can we do some good brainstorming and sharing together

Symposium Conversations

Don’t forget to register for Calvin Institute of Christian Worship’s Symposium which will take place primarily virtually from January 31–February 4. This is a free of charge event with many wonderful opportunities for learning and worship.  Worship Ministries plans to host a series of follow up conversations with several of the presenters. Be sure to register, watch the workshop and come with your questions. The schedule for these follow up sessions are posted on the Network.

Classis Regional Gatherings

Won’t you be my neighbor? Worship Ministries will be hosting virtual gatherings by regional classis throughout the year. These will be opportunities to meet other worship leaders in your geographic area and hopefully build connections for future collaboration and interaction. Look for more information and get excited about an evening hour of fun(!) and friends. 

Worship Resources

Martin Luther King Jr. Resources/
Black History Month

Lent

It’s not too early to start thinking about Lent. Ash Wednesday is March 2, with the first Lenten Sunday on March 6. Take some time to browse our resources as you plan.

Worship Calendar

Don’t forget to check out our full worship calendar which includes important liturgical dates, but also the CRCNA offering schedule with resources!

Church Highlight

Written by Pastor Nick Rosas. For the full story, visit our archive of church highlights

Back in July, my family and I received a call to pastor a small church on charming Whidbey Island, Washington named Oak Harbor Christian Reformed Church. Pursuing corporate worship during a pandemic has its challenges, but we came together in some pretty awesome ways. For starters, we rediscovered some of the benefits of being a church of under 100. The situation forced our council to reconsider things like how we go about visitation, how we provide a reasonable Sunday service experience to home-bound congregants, what things we were doing as a church to respond and serve to specific needs? These questions coupled with a series we did based on a book called The Jesus Questions led to an unexpected culture shift in our church that has been impacting everything (so far). A culture of question asking.

We have been nurtured in a culture that encourages answer-giving over question-asking, and that culture runs deep in church, too . . .

We realized these and other things by encouraging questions, not just in a personal setting (like my office or a coffee shop) but in a communal setting, where we are able to see and hear where others are on different things. For our church, this took the form of a Q&A style lecture Sunday nights we called Leftovers. We encouraged questions about faith and personal situations. On Sundays we also have different avenues set up where anyone can ask questions anonymously, even online. This has resulted so far in a church culture where we can be honest about our doubts and seriously engage each other. Oak Harbor is grateful that we are creating community space where we are safely able to share and be vulnerable together in our worship.

Upcoming Opportunities


We are grateful for the ministry shares that make all of this possible along with the support of generous donors. Help this ministry continue its work by donating now.
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The conversation continues on . . .

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