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A project to "tell God's story through our stories" at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church is keeping congregation members connected during this time of physical separation (to help slow community spread of COVID-19). The podcast and video clip project features interviews with church members of different ages to hear how God is at work in their lives. Mike Hoogeboom, minister of outreach, and Jonah Gollihugh, communication coordinator, started the Psalm 40 Project in June 2019.

Inspired in part by Psalm 40:10, "I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly," the goal was to encourage the wider church with individual stories of God’s faithfulness.

“It started between Mike and I discussing how we could help our members connect with one another. We are a large church, and one of the areas we continually work at is connection. That was the root,” said Gollihugh. The two did a trial during Lent 2019, coaching three different people to share a testimony in a series of evening services. “It was received well, but ultimately we decided we could use a different medium. We landed on doing a continuous video/podcast series.”

So far the series includes 18 complete podcasts, two of which have been released since in-person worship services stopped in March. Those were produced by conducting interviews over video conferencing. At the time of writing, they were editing one and had three more interviews lined up to be recorded.

Gollihugh and Hoogeboom each have conducted interviews for the series. Interviewees have included senior members, high school and college students, and church ministerial staff.

Gollihugh said the clips have received between 50 and 475 views per video. “But the real success is hearing from interviewees that someone talked to them about their interview. There was a connection made, and that is what is important.”

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