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‘Inspiring Gifts’ Campaign Launches

October 6, 2021

Launched this week, Inspiring Gifts is a new initiative that seeks to remind everyone in the CRCNA — even though the past 18 months have been tough on us all — that we have many resources and programs available to help one another.

We’ve had to adapt how we work, worship, and interact with each other. Many of us have struggled with feelings of anxiety and isolation. And we know that many church and ministry leaders are exhausted.

We also know that members of the Christian Reformed Church are generous people, and this campaign, which focuses on the church’s Congregational Services,  asks them to consider supporting ministries that have worked hard to support congregations and church members over the years.

“This campaign provides a great opportunity to feature some of the things that ministry shares and individual gifts have helped to support,” said Jeff Bolt, advancement director for the CRCNA.

“This is one of the first times individuals have been invited to make a significant impact in the life of churches or individuals who are supported by Congregational Ministries,” he added.

As part of this new campaign, members of various ministries appear in short videos to talk about the work they do.

For instance, Cara Milne, a Disability Concerns advocate from Calgary, Alta., speaks about the passion she has for building community and working to include people, including those with disabilities, “to be active members of their faith community.”

Jane DeGroot, a Safe Church coordinator for Classis Muskegon, talks about the challenges of her task of “developing strategies for abuse prevention” and especially to help churches “respond to abuse in ways that are survivor centered.”

Jen Rozema, a Calvin Theological Seminary graduate and pastor in Holland, Mich., spoke of the friends and support she needed and received, especially through the Candidacy Committee  during her seminary education. “They made me aware that they were brothers and sisters and were there to help. They let me know that they were with me and I was with them.”

Zach Olson, a ministry consultant with Pastor Church Resources, suggests that people consider getting behind PCR’s peer support program, which helps sustain pastors in their work and lives. And David Chin, who holds a master’s degree in education from Calvin Seminary, talked of the scholarship he received from the Office of Social Justice to attend seminary and suggested people offer a gift to OSJ to help people such as himself train to get engaged in justice issues in their careers..

“I think it’s great that the ministries asked people who have benefited from the work of Congregational Ministries to tell their story. These are the people being directly helped by your support,” said Jeff Bolt.

Congregational Ministries are deeply involved in the life of the local church, he added, and “these videos give a unique perspective on the impact of Congregational Ministries on the local church and people.”

Bolt added: “If someone asked me, ‘Why should I donate to Congregational Ministries?’ I would say, ‘Because you are helping the local church or a local individual. You are better preparing them to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. You are making churches healthier and better able to do discipleship.

“So often people don’t realize how important the work of Congregational Ministries is to individual people and churches. Getting a chance to see some of the services and materials they provide gives people the opportunity to see better how they can support our congregations.”