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Got Faith Formation Challenges? We're Here to Help!

Regional Catalyzers (RCs) have one goal: to help you strengthen the faith formation efforts in your congregation.

Our Regional Catalyzers are experienced ministry leaders who are here to

  • encourage and equip your church’s faith formation leaders
  • lead workshops on a variety of faith formation topics
  • gather cohorts of CRC churches around specific topics
  • connect you with helpful ministry resources from the CRC and beyond.

There is no charge to CRC churches for consulting with a Regional Catalyzer, so feel free to reach out any time!

How to Connect with Your Regional Catalyzer

Check out the list of regions below to locate the Regional Catalyzer who serves your congregation. Then just send an email to introduce yourself and request a meeting by phone, videoconference, or in person. (If your region is not represented on this list, contact us at [email protected].) We look forward to talking with you!

Trudy Ash

Midwest (Minn, Iowa, Wisc)

Trudy is our regional catalyzer in the Midwest Region (Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin). She lives in Minnesota, and feels blessed to also work for the CRC’s Connections Project. In 2017 she opened up a coffee and ice cream shop called King Sparrow Coffee & Soda Shop in her hometown of Milaca, Minnesota. Trudy has a deep passion for local churches and loves to hear their stories over a cup of coffee! Learn more about Trudy in this interview.

Ron deVries


Ron has been working to strengthen youth ministry for more than 20 years. He serves as a Youth Ministry Catalyzer for the CRC and Canadian SERVE director for Youth Unlimited. His work focuses on supporting and equipping youth leaders. Read more about Ron in this CRC News article and this interview.

Laura Keeley


Laura Keeley is a Regional Catalyzer for congregations in Michigan. She also serves as director of children’s ministries at Fourteenth Street CRC in Holland, Michigan. Laura is the author of the Church Staff Handbook, several units of Faith Alive’s WE curriculum, and co-author with her husband, Bob, of articles on faith formation, Christmas dramas, and the books Celebrating the Milestones of Faith, and Psalms for Families. Learn more about Laura in this interview.

Liz Tolkamp


Liz is  Regional Catalyzer for Canada West. She’s especially passionate about faith formation with children/families and involving children and youth in the life of the church. Learn more about Liz in this interview.

Lesli van Milligen

Eastern Canada

Lesli is Director Congregational Ministries-Canada and oversees Thrive Regional Catalyzers. She is ordained in the CRC and has co-pastored in both Canada and the US with her husband, Tom. Along with supporting local congregations in strengthening their cradle to grave faith formation practices, Lesli is passionate about building into the next generation of leaders through leadership workshops for youth, young adults, and church councils.  Learn more about Lesli in this interview.

Children and Youth Catalyzers

The following Faith Formation team members specifically support CRC churches in their commitment to children’s ministry and youth ministry.

Ron DeVries

Youth Ministry Catalyzer

Ron has been working to strengthen youth ministry in the CRC for more than 20 years. As Youth Ministry Catalyzer for the CRC, his work focuses on supporting and equipping the denomination’s youth leaders. Read more about Ron in this CRC News article and& this interview. Ron is also FFM’s Regional Catalyzer for Alberta, and serves as Canadian SERVE director for Youth Unlimited. Ron can help your church with strengthening faith formation with teens and youth, reaching today's young people, connecting with Classis Youth Ministry Champions, and more.

Jill Benson

Dwell Curriculum Coordinator

Jill Benson is the Dwell Curriculum Coordinator. She has previously interacted with Dwell as a teacher, parent and Children’s Ministry Director and is passionate about bringing the big story of the Bible to kids of all ages. Jill enjoys in-depth study of God’s Word and holds degrees in Biblical Languages and Old Testament from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She lives just outside of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, Steve and their two children. Jill fills her spare time with reading, drinking coffee, knitting, writing and enjoying God’s beautiful creation with her family. If you have any questions related to Dwell curriculum contact Jill.