Open to Wonder
By Christian Reformed Church in North America - Faith Formation
In each episode, we’ll ask our guest to share insights from where their experience intersects our shared wonderings. Join us for a communal conversation about where we are struggling, growing, and wondering as we live out our faith together.
Faith Formation is a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church of North America.
Open to WonderApr 11, 2023
Making Room for Connection… Kitty Litter and All | Faith Practices: Hospitality
Amy Peterson’s understanding of hospitality—a practice she believes is at the heart of Christian identity—was formed during an experience she had as a 22 year old living in Southeast Asia. More recently it’s been shaped by the details she discovered while researching the Biblical story of Lydia, the university students with whom she shared a weekly dinner, and in the hands of the unhoused man who offers her candy over breakfast. Amy Peterson is a writer, teacher, and priest in the Episcopal church. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children, and three cats.
Marking Milestones of God’s Goodness | Faith Practices: Remembering
Heidi De Jonge began keeping a diary when she was 9 years old—and regularly reads excerpts of her diaries to her three daughters. Heidi has been an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church for 17 years. She is currently working as a chaplain in long term care and as a restorative practitioner with FaithCARE. She and her husband, Tim, have three daughters and a beloved husky-lab mix.
How to Inhabit Time by James K. A. Smith
Introducing Season 3: Even More Faith Practices
Hi everyone! During Season 2 our guests shared wonderful stories of how weaving a faith practice into their daily life has grown their faith and then provided simple ideas for ways we could all try that practice at home.
This season we’re exploring even more faith practices and we cannot wait for you to hear the conversations we’ve been having with each of our guests. So pull up a seat, and wonder with us.
The Only Wrong Way to Pray Is Not Pray | Faith Practices: Prayer
Jill Weber, Global Convenor of the Order of the Mustard Seed, lives near the ruins of a 12th century monastery on the Waverley Abbey Estate, in the United Kingdom. Her response to the question “does prayer really work?” is just as lovely. (Plus: find out the five words from the Order of the Mustard Seed that Karen wants to see on a t-shirt.)
What 3-Year-Olds Already Know (and We Can Learn) | Faith Practices: Wonder
As a child, ‘Lib’ Caldwell was introduced to the spiritual practice of wonder by her mother: a woman who loved earthworms in the garden, set up art easels in the kitchen, and embraced spontaneous prayer. Now an author, teacher, gardener and quilter, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Caldwell shares what the practice of wonder looks like in her life today as well as a do-able suggestion for the practice that anyone can try.
When the Corporate Ladder Is On the Wrong Wall | Faith Practices: Service
In the midst of a tense corporate merger, more than 50 staff members joined a spontaneous prayer meeting in the company auditorium because Colin Watson told his CEO, “we need to pray about this.” Years later, retired CRCNA Executive Director Colin Watson shares how being attentive to God at work shapes his faith and guides the ways he serves in leadership.
Following the podcast, Colin shared some of his favorite gospel artists with Chris and Karen. We thought you’d enjoy them too.
Is It My Lunch Speaking Or The Lord? | Faith Practices: Listening
What does God’s voice sound like? How does God speak today? Summer Mohrlang, spiritual director with Soul Formation, responds to the questions we’re wondering about, including “what does a spiritual director actually do?” And her suggestion for how to get started with faith practices is both accessible and life-giving.
Summer Mohrlang is a spiritual director with SoulFormation.
Appreciation Is A Muscle You Can Strengthen | Faith Practices: Celebration
April Fiet describes herself as a pastor, parent, and recovering perfectionist. She’s also an author, weed-puller, and backyard-chicken-feeder. She shares why watching asparagus grow brings her delight, the “holy rhythms” she weaves into her life, and how learning to embrace “holy interruptions” helps her stay attentive to God at work.
April Fiet’s essay The “Enough Resume”
April Fiet’s book The Sacred Pulse, Holy Rhythms for Overwhelmed Souls
Introducing Season 2: Faith Practices
We’re back for Season 2 of Open to Wonder! And this time we’re asking big, small, weird, and hard-to-talk-about-in-church questions about faith practices. Listen to the end of this teaser to find out when we originally planned to release this season. (Thanks for engaging the faith practice of patience with us.)
Intersections of Worship and Culture as the Diverse Body of Christ with Jeremy Simpson
Imagine you’re around 7 years old and you’ve been learning how to play the piano. One Sunday the pianist and the organist at your church are sick and your pastor looks at you and says, “Hey you’re playing this morning.” And before you know it, you’re 8 years old and directing the adult choir. That’s the story of Jeremy Simpson.
Currently a Reformed pastor currently serving in the oldest Baptist church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jeremy shares wisdom on discipleship, the connection between culture and worship, and the difference between being invited to sit at the table and being welcomed to the table as a full participant.
Worship, Justice, and the Two Words That Can Shape How We Love Our Neighbors with Sandra Van Opstal | Bonus Episode
Sandra Van Opstal, executive director and co-founder of Chasing Justice, joins hosts Karen and Chris to discuss how “worship without justice is just not worship.” They also explore how the choices we make about what to spend, what to give and what to keep are connected to justice; the two words that can shape our practice of loving our neighbors; and why it would be great to have a 7 year old in every small group!
New Year, New Season! Season 2: Faith Practices Coming Soon
The new year has begun and we know what’s going on. You’ve made a bunch of new year's resolutions and, if you’re anything like most people, you’re going to break them sometime between Quitter’s Day on January 19th or by the second week of February.
That’s why now’s the ideal time to start thinking about resolutions that are life giving in addition to life changing. Faith practices require commitment that’s similar to showing up to the gym or cutting back on sugar or promising to call your mother once a week….but they’re also different because as we do them we’re connecting with God. We’re becoming more attentive to the Holy Spirit. And we’re being shaped like Jesus in ways which strengthen our love for God and others. So join us soon for Season 2: Faith Practices!
Beyond Sunday: Season 1 Wrap-Up with Karen De Boer and Chris Schoon | Beyond Sunday, Episode 5
In this episode, Karen and Chris reflect on the “wow” moments of their conversations with guests this season. They also share one short takeaway (well, Karen keeps it short; Chris is a preacher at heart) that they hope sticks with listeners for a long time. And, last but not least, they reveal the theme and questions they can’t wait to wonder about with you in Season 2.
Mike Hogeterp | Beyond Sunday, Episode 4
Mike Hogeterp, Director of the Centre for Public Dialogue, joins Karen and Chris for a candid conversation about what it actually looks like to live justly in daily life. They also talk about how being an attentive listener formed his faith, about the elders who have mentored him and the gift of mentoring others, and about what gives him hope.
Mary Hulst | Beyond Sunday, Episode 3
In this episode, Rev. Dr. Mary Hulst, University Pastor at Calvin University, explores with us how faith is formed in the lives of students and young adults. She and hosts Chris and Karen also talk about approaching Scripture with curiosity, why it’s important to pay attention to God’s provision, and the two words that strike fear in the hearts of her students…and possibly in your heart too.
Reggie Smith | Beyond Sunday, Episode 2
Basketball. Quilting. Tuxedos. You’d never think they’d all be in the same episode, right? Reggie Smith, Director for Diversity for the Christian Reformed Church in North America, joins us to talk about how those three things are part of the practices and people who shape his faith. Reggie also shares how embracing our limitations provides opportunities for God’s grace and how he navigates being an “African American pastor called by an old Dutch church to serve in a quickly changing Hispanic neighborhood.”
Ruth Padilla DeBorst | Beyond Sunday, Episode 1
Ruth Padilla DeBorst joins hosts Chris and Karen for the first episode of Open to Wonder Season 1: Beyond Sunday. Ruth lives in an intentional community at Casa Adobe in Costa Rica and shares what it means to live into and out of your faith seven days a week. And her honest answer to how we can intentionally live our faith in our neighborhoods and communities is a do-able life-changer (it may or may not involve a lawnmower.)
Introducing: Open To Wonder | Beyond Sunday
Welcome to Open to Wonder, the podcast where we wonder about all kinds of questions about faith: big ones, small ones, weird ones, hard-to-talk-about-in-church ones. This season we’re going beyond Sunday morning to explore how faith is formed during the hours we spend outside the church’s buildings and programs. If you’ve ever wondered how faith is both formed and lived out in daily life, you won’t want to miss these conversations. Pull up a seat and wonder with us!