Home Missions' New Employees
Christian Reformed Home Missions welcomes four new employees to its ministry: Marian Lensink, Hilda VanderKlippe, Jeanette Vooys, and Peter Kelder have joined the staff or will begin work in the coming months.
In July Marian Lensink began serving as the new part-time small group ministry developer for Central and Eastern Canada. With her husband, Homer, and three children, Lensink is an active member of Faith CRC in Burlington, Ontario. She brings several years of small group ministry experience, including 15 years with Coffee Break—four as coordinator and director of the program.
Hilda VanderKlippe of St. Anns, Ontario, is the new ministry developer for evangelism for Central and Eastern Canada. VanderKlippe, who formerly worked with Home Missions as a small group ministry developer, will work with churches and classes to help them develop a passion for evangelism. She will begin her part-time position in January 2006.
Both Lensink and VanderKlippe will serve on Home Missions’ Central/Eastern Canada regional team.
Jeanette Vooys is the new part-time ministry developer for Alberta and Saskatchewan. She started work in that capacity this August. A resident of Edmonton, Alberta, Vooys is an active member of West End CRC in Edmonton, where she has been involved in small group ministry, including Coffee Break, for many years. In her new role, she will serve on Home Missions’ Western Canada regional team.
In September Peter Kelder began serving the Chicagoland churches and classes as regional team leader. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church since 1978, Kelder most recently served as pastor of Grace Fellowship in Pella, Iowa.
“Home Missions is grateful to God for the passion of these persons he is calling into service,” said Allen Likkel, Home Missions’ leader of regional teams. “We are excited to see how the church will benefit as each one uses his or her gifts to the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom on earth.”
—Don McCrory is senior writer for Christian Reformed Home Missions.
Guidebook Helps Link Generations in Ministry
This spring a team of teens and adults from Third Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Mich., worked side by side on a spring break service project in Jackson, Miss. They put age differences aside and worked as peers and partners putting faith into action.
Third Church’s intergenerational projects extend beyond spring break to a four-week “Winterim” series in which high schoolers and adults together dig into topics such as pop culture and racism.
“We’ve done Winterim for two years now, and it’s been very well received by both age groups,” said Pastor Ken Baker.
Baker said the church also began pairing up adult mentors with youths during their senior year of high school and added youths to their worship planning and vision teams.
He credits youth pastor Shari Witte with challenging and stretching the congregation to better incorporate youths into the life of the church. “We’re just scratching the surface—but it’s the right surface to scratch,” he said.
Intergenerational ministry projects such as these are popping up across the denomination on the heels of the “Together All God’s People” conferences held last year in eight regions across North America. Spearheaded by the Children and Youth Ministry Council (CYMC) of the CRC, the conferences presented the vision, importance, and potential for ministry that enfolds children and youths rather than isolates them.
Karen Wilk of Edmonton, Alberta, coordinator of children and youth ministry in the CRC, said the post-conference discussions in the 221 churches in attendance generated energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and a host of creative ideas and projects.
In an effort to extend the reach of the conferences, she began compiling the conference materials and post-conference application ideas into a resource guidebook that all CRC congregations could use.
This summer Faith Alive Christian Resources released the guidebook Together All God’s People: Integrating Children and Youth into the Life of Your Church. It contains workshop notes, resource lists, and more than 200 practical ideas and suggestions for doing intergenerational ministry.
Wilk guarantees that the guidebook “will help you explore biblical examples, evaluate your current ministries, and develop strategies to make your church community one that nurtures and empowers people of all ages to love and serve God together.”
To order the Together All God’s People guidebook, call Faith Alive Christian Resources at 1-800-333-8300 or go to www.FaithAliveResources.org.
—Bonny Mulder-Behnia is children/youth ministries pastor at Rosewood CRC in Bellflower, Calif.