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“Let’s get back to normal.” “We’re finally returning to normal.” “It feels so normal!”

We all are starting to hear more and more of these phrases uttered in all aspects of our lives, including in our churches. Restrictions are lifting, people are gathering, our video editing software is lying dormant for the first time in well over a year. We are returning to ministry in many of the familiar and wonderful ways that we were used to, but there’s also moments where we observe changes - within ourselves, within our staff, within our congregations. Life will go back to some level of “normal” but after all that we have experienced together, this “normal” will look different. In these summer months where the pace of ministry slows a bit before the big gear up towards the fall, we encourage you to take some time to contemplate the new normals that the Holy Spirit is beginning to work in you and through you. Process the painful. Give thanks for the gifts. Open your hearts to the hope that God is doing a new thing. Here’s to the new “normal”.

—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
Pastor Jeremy Simpson
Mrs. Laura Meyering

What’s happening in Worship Ministries

Learning Opportunity

Worship Leaders start the conversation now with your church to consider signing up for the online Certificate in Worship Leadership course. See the Network post here for all the details and discounted price. Sign up starts July 15 and ends August 1.

Tuesday Roundtable Discussions

Join us on Tuesdays at 1:00 EST on Zoom for roundtable discussions about a variety of topics from worship planning, to COVID changes for churches, to technology, and much more. If you’ve got specific questions or ideas to share we welcome you for these weekly conversations. No RSVP necessary. Click here to join the zoom meeting! Contact Katie Roelofs with questions — kroelofs@crcna.org

Virtual Pulpit Supply

In collaboration with Pastor Church Resources, there will be a growing collection of recorded video sermons, preached by denominational agency leads available for download and use in churches. These would be wonderful resources for vacation Sundays, for vacancies and to give pastors and staff an additional week off to rejuvenate after such a difficult year. Check the Worship Ministries page for these sermons as well as worship planning resources in the coming weeks.

Worship Resources

Liturgical Calendar

We are approaching ordinary time in the liturgical calendar. As you start making plans for summer worship, there are several resources available on the Network, as well as in Reformed Worship

Summer Holidays

While the summer holidays are not liturgical holidays, many of our churches take time to recognize them in our prayers and preaching. See several resources available on the Network for these non-liturgical days.

Church Highlight

Lee Street is a bilingual congregation uniquely located in the middle of a diverse, changing urban community. What started in 1926 with a small group of Dutch immigrants continues to be a place where God draws His people “from every nation, tribe, people, and language” (Rev 7:9) for His praise and glory!

Twelve years ago a simple conversation between acquaintances opened the door for Lee Street to host a Spanish-speaking church plant, Alas de Aguila, with separate worship services and ministries. Over the years the church plant transitioned to Lee Street en Espanol (LSEE) with some ministries separate, some combined, and some entirely new. We intentionally and increasingly began to set aside special Sundays for combined worship to sing in both languages, learn new cultural songs, share beloved worship patterns with one another, and build relationships. Musical gifts and traditions are a passion for many and there is great effort to include our variety. It’s a large mix of mostly familiar hymns enveloped in new hymns, praise songs, ballads, coritos, and Christ-focused favorites. Regular instruments are piano, keyboard, saxophone, tambourine, organ, drum and guitar. Often added is trumpet, flute, cello, violin, trombone, and clarinet. The cajon, conga, mandolin, piccolo, french horn, bagpipes, and certain stops on the organ have greatly enhanced our worship at one time or another. 

In January 2020, we decided to start the year with a month of fasting and prayer for everyone. Where are you leading us God? What do you have in mind for us as a church together? Covid hit shortly after. Spanish speakers were able to continue to worship online via Zoom. Worship service outlines in English were shared for everyone to walk through with various YouTube links attached, including the pastor’s weekly sermon and music (some by our praise teams, some not). By summer we had the capacity to livestream and held worship services outdoors in the parking lot. 

Our full-time pastor retired in August. Our LSEE part-time pastor took a call to chaplaincy a week later. Covid limited our capacity to gather and build relationships. In November another wave of shutdowns came. Several in the congregation either had Covid or had friends and family who were ill or passed away. Others were going through major health crises and personal trials. Much needed physical gatherings couldn’t happen. Christmas services were live streamed with participants only. People were impatient and tired. Staff and leaders were weary of all the pivoting and wondering along with everyone else, what’s next? 

And God always answers! “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” (2 Chron 20:12). On Good Friday we held our first combined service in over a year, celebrating the Lord’s Supper together. In May we headed outdoors again for worship. We are currently in the final stages of calling two full-time pastors to co-pastorate ministry. Both are bilingual. 

Lee Street is a praying congregation and we praise God that he’s brought us to our knees more often this past year. Pray with us that we would be faithful to God’s call and receptive to the Holy Spirit’s work in us and in our community.

Upcoming Opportunities

  • The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship is offering several interesting and timely continuing education opportunities this summer. It’s not too late to sign up! Take a look at their calendar of events and consider using the summer months to learn and be refreshed in ministry.

  • Inspire Light 2021: The full Inspire Conference has been postponed until 2022, but consider participating in the Inspire Light events this August. Check it out and register to participate. 

  • CRCNA Events Calendar, check the full, updated CRCNA calendar here.


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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Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church
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