Skip to main content

Regional Connectors

Regional Connectors (RCs) are available to support your congregation and ministry leaders by connecting them with denominational resources so you can thrive in the ministry God has given you.

Our Regional Connectors are experienced ministry leaders who are here to

  • encourage and equip your church
  • lead workshops 
  • 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 Connector, so feel free to reach out any time!

How to Connect with Your Regional Connector

Check out the list of regions below to locate the Regional Connector 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 Lesli van Milligen at [email protected]) We look forward to talking with you!

Trudy Ash


Trudy is our regional connector 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.

Becky Jones

Canada East

Becky is our Regional Connector for Canada East. Becky lives in Stratford, Ontario with her dog, husband and occasionally 4 children as they return from university. She is passionate about exploring faith creatively through art.

Laura Keeley

Great Lakes

Laura Keeley is a Regional connector for congregations in the Great Lakes Region. 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.

Idella Winfield pic

Idella Winfield

Great Lakes

Idella is a Regional Connector in the Great Lakes Region (Michigan). She lives in Grand Rapids and attends Madison Church:North.   Idella is passionate about justice and reconciliation and enjoys storytelling


Liz Tolkamp

Liz Tolkamp

Canada West

Liz is  Regional Connector 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.

 Sandra Gonzalez

Sandra Gonzalez

US East

Sandra, our regional connector for US East and administrative support person for Resonate Eastern USA, resides in New Jersey, calling Hudson County home. Fluent in Spanish, Sandra provides additional support to strengthen connections. Engaged with Madison Avenue CRC, Sandra finds joy in supporting the congregation's mission. She cherishes moments with loved ones and enjoys swimming. 

Lesli van Milligen pic

Lesli van Milligen

Team Lead

Lesli is Director of Congregational Ministries-Canada and oversees Thrive Regional Connectors. 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.

Note: if your region is not represented by a Regional Connector, please reach out to Lesli and she will be happy to support you! 

Affinity Group Connectors

The following Thrive team members specifically support CRC congregations in their commitment to youth ministry and our ethnic congregations and church leaders.

man with grey jacket

Ron DeVries

Youth and Young Adult Connector

Ron has been working to strengthen youth ministry in the CRC for more than 20 years. As Youth Ministry Connector 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.

Woman with dark hair wearing green and black striped shirt

Aura Guerra-Artola

Hispanic Connector

Aura works as a  connector with Hispanic churches within the CRCNA. She also provides assistance and support to Spanish-speaking pastors. In addition to her work with Hispanic churches, Aura is a customer service representative with Faith Alive and Libros Desafio. She is also working with CRC communications by assisting with English-Spanish translations.


Aura trabaja como conectora con iglesias hispanas dentro de la CRCNA. También brinda asistencia y apoyo a pastores de habla hispana. Además de su trabajo con iglesias hispanas, Aura es representante de servicio al cliente en Faith Alive y Libros Desafio. También está trabajando con el departamento de comunicaciones de la ICRN ayudando con las traducciones inglés-español.

Deibi Kapojos

SEAPI Connector

Deibi Kapojos Lapian works from home in New  Hampshire for CRCNA as Connector for SEAPI (Southeast Asian & Pacific Islanders)churches.  Also a local  mission leader (East coast) and recently joined Resonate Global Mission team as Global Coffee Break Coordinator working with international partners.  Loves music, making simple art and enjoys connecting with young adults.

Woman with long black hair and white shirt smiling

Catheryn Jo Kim

Korean Connector

Catheryn works with Korean-speaking networks to promote healthy, positive, and strategic relationships with CRCNA ministries and agencies. She engages in meaningful contact with Korean classes and congregational leaders. Catheryn is also working for CRC Communications overseeing Korean communications.


캐서린 조 전도사는 CRC 교단 내 다양한 사역부와 한인 교회/목회자 간의 건강하고 긍정적이며 전략적인 관계 증진을 위해 일하고 있다. 한인 커뮤니티의 필요와 교단의 비전을 연결하고, 또한 한인 교회 소식을 교단에 알리는 역할을 하고 있다. 이를 위해 한인 노회 및 교회 리더들과 의미있는 대화를 이어가고 있다. 그는 또한 CRC 커뮤니케이션 부서에서 한국어 관련 자료를 감독한다.

Korean CRC Website