Summer 2014

Toby Gruppen describes worship at LifeQuest, an RCA church plant in Holland, Michigan, as laid back and casual.

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Prayer took center stage at a November event in Byron Center, Michigan.

“Fanning the Flame: Rekindling Our Heritage of Prayer” was a joint effort of the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America.

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"A lot of the main mojo of our church was creating a community where people could process the claims of the Christian faith in an intelligible way," says Jared Ayers, pastor of Liberti, a newly organized RCA church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"We wanted to start a community that would be hospitable for people to be able to investigate the Christian faith, while not assuming they had any background or prior knowledge, or that they would assume large parts of the Christian story were true."

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To be a "multi-everything church." That's the hope of three planters of a new church in Long Beach, California.

Their passion is to gather and disciple people of all ages from a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

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Before taking Vantage I was in the group of people who had done church for a long time. I was growing but felt it was no longer enough. There had to be more…but I didn’t know what that was or what it looked like or how to get there. My Vantage experience has been an awakening experience.

By investing two years in weekly homework, readings (Bible and other books), meetings, and talking to a mentor, my eyes were opened and so was my heart.

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I traveled to Cuba in January with a team of seven women, two of whom were pastors’ wives. We went under the auspices of Missionary Ventures and spent a week with two pastors there. We spoke at three one-day conferences for the women in the area churches; one of these was for the pastors’ wives. The women spent time in worship and listened to our speakers, who were told that they were an encouragement to them. We also visited some of the poor and sick in the community, bringing food and a gift.

(UPDATED: December 22, 2015)

By Jeff McIlrath

What happens when a pastor with a heart for youth ministry moves to a church with a heart for youth ministry? The Pier.

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What's remarkable about this camp is that while other camps were building zip-bang-boom and buying jet-skis and ramping up technology, Fowler was scaling back. Fowler was committed to leaving a smaller footprint and stripping away all that clutters. It challenged the assumptions about camp programming for kids and stiff-armed a high-energy, high-tech, high-demand, high-passion, high-pressure youth ministry assault—in the name of Jesus.

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In 2010 my husband and I, both pastors, were discerning our next call in ministry. My father’s lung cancer had metastasized, which strengthened my conviction that I could not possibly move away; “I will serve you, God…but it has to be in Michigan.”

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