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Displaying all posts by Jeanna Boase.
Prayer Letter, December 2015
December 9, 2015 | Jeanna Boase
Prayer Letter, December 2015
"People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."  - Luke 21:26-27 Dear Friends, My kids love Christmas music. I'd like to say their tastes are liturgically well-formed and artistically refined, but alas, they prefer Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" over "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." While I try in vain to save Christmas music for the 12 days of Christmas, whenever I'm not looking my Pandora feed mysteriously reverts to "Christmas Radio." For the kids, there's just no wait in them . . . or in their culture. I suppose a bit of such fun is appropriate, especially for someone who takes himself far too seriously most of the time. Yet I can't help wondering if today's trite jingles equip us with a hope robust enough to face into today's headlines: San Bernardino, Paris, Beirut, Syria, ISIS. No wonder so many prefer the dissolution and distraction of Black Friday's bliss to the harsh realities of our broken world. "People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world." I'm thankful for Luke's stark reminder that we worship a Lord who doesn't dance around difficulties but places himself so vulnerably in the middle of them. And in so doing, disarms the powers of death and destruction. So please join me in praying for a joyous Advent season, but let's do so realizing that in this dark world our joy is made possible not by the market but by a God who came and is coming again--Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel. Advent blessings to you all! Michael [div id="blockquote"]This post is excerpted from our December prayer letter. If you would like to pray for TCF on a regular basis, please contact admin@colossianforum.org and ask to receive our monthly prayer letters. Thank you.[end-div]
Fall 2015 Newsletter
December 2, 2015 | Jeanna Boase
Fall 2015 Newsletter
Click here to download the full newsletter. Request to be added to our mailing list here.  
TCF Welcomes Jennifer Vander Molen as New Manager of Communications
November 25, 2015 | Jeanna Boase
TCF Welcomes Jennifer Vander Molen as New Manager of Communications
The Colossian Forum is pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer Vander Molen as our new Manager of Communications. A Michigan native and graduate of Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa), Jennifer most recently served as the Electronic Media Associate for the Reformed Church in America (RCA) providing oversight of the RCA’s website and social media communication. During her seven years at the RCA, she established a robust social media strategy and substantially grew the denomination’s presence on major social media outlets. Jennifer also gained extensive experience working as a communications coordinator for a large church in Des Moines, Iowa where she wrote extensively for the church’s newsletter, worship bulletin, and website as well as planned major, community-wide events for the church. Concerning her hiring, TCF President Michael Gulker said, “Jennifer brings a wealth of communications experience to TCF and has a strong passion for the church. We are excited to welcome Jennifer to the TCF Team and anticipate she will play a central role in helping us invite more Christian communities to embrace conflict as a catalyst for authentic spiritual growth.” Jennifer will start her tenure at TCF at the end of November, and you are certain to hear more from her in the coming months. Until then, drop her an email at jvandermolen@colossianforum.org and join us in welcoming Jennifer to The Colossian Forum.
Thanksgiving for Christ the King
November 20, 2015 | Jeanna Boase
Thanksgiving for Christ the King
As we come upon the holiday (holy-day) season, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time to give thanks for the many blessings God has lavished upon us. More recently, however, it has become the last day before Black Friday. Thanksgiving for God’s abundance is replaced by violent conflicts over the last [fill in the blank] on sale at Walmart. How did we become such a people—rich beyond measure yet squabbling over trinkets? And how might we become a different kind of people? [div id="callout-right"] I am the Alpha and the Omega. ~ Rev. 1:8 [end-div] TCF Fellow James K.A. Smith regularly reminds us that we are what we worship. In a consumer culture where the consumer is king, we tend to worship our own desires. But what if Christians were to take up Thanksgiving not so much as a national holiday dedicated to satiating our desires and instead celebrated with the church around the world giving thanks for Christ the King? What if instead of focusing on what we lack and hope to acquire by shopping, we turned our hearts to worship the one who has already given us everything we need to be faithful? To help us redirect our focus during this season, I’d invite you to join me in spending time over the next several weeks contemplating and discussing with loved ones the lectionary texts for the celebration of Christ the King Sunday. How does this very strange King we worship teach us to expect a very different kingdom? And how might we participate in that kingdom today by living out the truth that God has already given us everything we need to be faithful? Peace of Christ, Michael [div id="blockquote"]This post is excerpted from our November prayer letter. If you would like to pray for TCF on a regular basis, please contact admin@colossianforum.org and ask to receive our monthly prayer letters. Thank you.[end-div]
The Colossian Way Training Recap
November 4, 2015 | Jeanna Boase
The Colossian Way Training Recap
On October 22–23, 2015 we gathered leaders from ten churches and schools for The Colossian Way small group pilot training. The Colossian Way is a small group curriculum series designed by The Colossian Forum (TCF) to help Christians of all ages who disagree to engage difficult questions in ways that build up love of God and neighbor. Our time together began with Michael Gulker who shared TCF’s history and mission. Rob Barrett then introduced the concept of wicked problems, and then James K.A. Smith discussed (via video) Christian virtues as the way through these wicked problems.There was plenty of time for discussion, both during these times together, as well as over dinner that evening. The next morning, I proposed a new image for the Church – the cat’s cradle – where the Church is seen as a body in tension. This was followed by a practice session where participants had the opportunity to see how the curriculum works. Each lesson begins with an invocation and confession. The group then views and discusses a video clip as part of the “Unity” section. This is the 2 Peter 1:3 portion of the curriculum: “God has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” A time of prayer follows, and then a second video clip is viewed and discussed as part of the “Engage” section. The lesson concludes with a confession of hopes and fears, and a closing prayer. Reduced to an equation, the curriculum might be described as follows: Wicked Problem + Christian Virtues = Conflict as Opportunity The small groups kick off December 1, and run through May 31. Please pray for them, and for us as we guide them through this pilot with plans to distribute the curriculum more widely.
Prayer Letter, October 2015
October 7, 2015 | Jeanna Boase
Prayer Letter, October 2015
The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed…" - James 5:15-16 Dear Friends, In their book, Church Refugees, Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope begin with three very important questions: Q. Why are so many people leaving the church today? Q. Why is church such a bad experience for some people? Q. What are the implications for our society if this central institution, the church, continues to decline in appeal and influence? These are some of the same questions we at The Colossian Forum have been asking. It’s clear to many who’ve had bad experiences in the church that there are sins and sicknesses ailing the body of Christ and many wounded members to whom we must attend. And so the first step in responding to these questions is to examine ourselves and pray together—to pray for forgiveness and to pray for healing. This month over 20 church and campus ministry leaders will gather to be trained as part of our new initiative, The Colossian Way. It is our prayer that this training becomes a catalyst for just this sort of healing, helping Christians begin to transform divisive cultural issues that tear apart our societies, churches, and families into opportunities for spiritual growth. Please join me in praying for these leaders—that God would use them in powerful ways to call forth repentance, healing, and hope for God’s church. Pray that through these leaders, the church becomes a place where we love one another in such beautiful, honest, vulnerable, and Christ-like ways that even when we deeply disagree none of us could bear to leave! Help us to trust that a prayer of faith can indeed save the sick and forgive our sins. Finally, just as you pray regularly for us at TCF, we'd like to pray for you. Please drop us a note with specific requests, and we would be honored to include those during our staff prayer time. Peace of Christ, Michael [div id="blockquote"]This post is excerpted from our October prayer letter. If you would like to pray for TCF on a regular basis, please contact admin@colossianforum.org and ask to receive our monthly prayer letters. Thank you.[end-div]

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