Rev. Steven Koster has been appointed the English-language minister for The Back to God Hour, the electronic media ministry of the Christian Reformed Church.
Koster, 39, comes to the ministry after working with Avid Technology in Boston on the creation of video production equipment, with a detour through seminary.
“Part of what my wife, Deb, and I learned in Boston was what a blessing it is to have the Reformed upbringing,” he said. “We developed an even stronger heart for ministry, outside of the bubble, in New England.”
Koster wanted a way to integrate his passion for ministry with telecommunications, so he returned to Michigan to complete a master-of-divinity degree at Calvin Theological Seminary and finish his master’s in telecommunications at Michigan State University.
Koster has plans for the BTGH to partner with other Christian radio outreach programs and to work on specialized English-language broadcasts for people who are learning English in such countries as Ecuador and Albania. He says the BTGH is an impressive ministry. “I just hope to be able to add to it and build Christ’s church through it.”
When Canada’s Parliament resumes sitting this month, one of its members will be a new member of Neerlandia Christian Reformed Church, Alberta.
Brian Storseth, Conservative Member of Parliament for Westlock-St. Paul, publicly professed his faith during the church’s worship service June 18.
Storseth, 28, came to know the church and community of Neerlandia through his wife, Jennifer, and her family. When his sister passed away at the age of 16, he began to seek spiritual answers and was first introduced to God.
“With supportive, strong people, such as Pastor Randy Blacketer, a strong church community, and my wife’s family, I searched and struggled through that time with their help,” said Storseth. After attending profession of faith classes and studying on his own, he decided to publicly profess his faith.
“I am thankful that God has put the Neerlandia CRC and community in my path and allowed me to be a part of it. Being an MP, with all the traveling and work, I could never have done this without the support of my community, family, and my incredible wife,” he said.
Rev. James Vanderlaan, 68, recently retired after serving 14 years as director of the Christian Reformed Church’s Disability Concerns ministry.
Vanderlaan came to Disability Concerns after serving 21 years as a pastor. He also taught Christian ethics and philosophy as a guest lecturer at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich.
A graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary with a doctorate in Christian ethics from Princeton University, Vanderlaan is blind. The church should be a place where people with disabilities should be made to feel welcome, he said. “I’m convinced that a church can’t be healthy if it neglects people with disabilities.”
Vanderlaan’s retirement plans include volunteering as a court mediator, helping people resolve family and marital issues before reaching trial. He would also like to canoe, catch up on his reading, do some writing, spend time with his seven children and 15 grandchildren, and ride his tandem bicycle with his wife, Eunice.
Rev. Joyce Borger has been appointed as the new editor of Reformed Worship, the worship magazine published by CRC Publications.
Borger, 35, works for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship as well as CRC Publications/Faith Alive Christian Resources and was previously associate editor of the publication.
In her opening editorial about the leadership change, she writes about staying the course, yet moving forward. “I don’t see any fundamental change in our purpose,” she says, “but . . . as trends change or worship changes, the magazine changes too.”
When asked what she thinks the future holds for Christian worship, she replied, “As technology develops, obviously that will have an impact on worship. I see contemporary worship going back to stronger theological roots and being more rounded.”
Borger has observed many recent changes in worship, including a greater emphasis on reading Scripture aloud and a return to the Psalms and firmer theological foundations in songwriting. “People are being more careful about the lyrics that they write,” she said. “There’s definitely renewed interest in good preaching—preaching that connects and communicates.”
Borger hopes the church will be welcoming to all ages. “[Young people] are looking for places where they can belong, and that is through involvement.”