By now you’ve read all sorts of reasons to support the Reformed Journal and The Twelve.

You’ve read about the exciting updates coming down the line. You’ve read about the importance of Reformed voices in current conversations, about the rather surprising reach this blog has, about the call to truth-telling we writers are trying to live out, about our purpose – as both writers and readers – to engage in good conversation for the benefit of all. What more is there to say?

So allow me simply to express my own gratitude for this blog, and for the opportunity to be a writer here.

I’m still gob smacked that “here” is a place I get to be, that I get to write alongside people whom I have long revered. Pastors and church leaders whose books I’ve read in my own ministry training. Authors whose lectures I attended during Festival of Faith and Writing. Professors of history and English whose course notes and assigned texts I still refer to frequently as I write sermons. These writers, and those before, have been a part of my journey into ministry and my own engagement with Reformed thought and practice, and as a reader, I remain deeply grateful for their wisdom, words, and wonder.

As a writer, I am grateful for what this space has given to me over the last year. Most of my writing each week, my engagement with the world, is in the form of a sermon. Sermons aren’t the place to air your own opinions or parse out your own thoughts about current events. They require a balance of trying to speak enough into a situation to be relevant while not being overly specific and potentially alienating.

Sometimes this is frustrating. But most of the time I’m more-than-okay with getting to hide behind the text, keeping my thoughts and opinions to myself, and not having to put myself out there with any sort of vulnerability.

But here…here I’m just writing about my take on things, whether those are big moves in politics or the slow shuffle of the processional at a funeral. And as this first year of writing has passed, I’ve felt myself grow more comfortable with that. More comfortable formulating and offering an opinion. More comfortable with my own voice and my own self. Having to write about what I think has forced me to figure out exactly what it is that I think. Being a writer here has, therefore, helped me get to know myself a little bit better with each week’s frantic wondering of “What can I write about this time?”

This has been a profound gift. An unexpected one.

So thank you for reading, for commenting, for challenging, for encouraging – for engaging in the conversation and giving all of us this space in which to explore the world and our own place in it. I am humbled and honored to be here, and I hope that this place is as much a gift for you as it is for me.

As you’ve read before, it takes financial resources to keep the lights on here. So if this space has been a gift for you, would you consider making a gift in return?

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Your monthly financial contribution allows us to continue to express the Reformed faith theologically; to engage issues that Reformed Christians meet in personal, ecclesiastical, and societal life.


Laura de Jong

Laura de Jong serves as pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan.

2 Comments

  • Jon Lunderberg says:

    Your gratitude is good lesson for me remember in everything. Thank you.

  • Jane DeGroot says:

    As a member of the search committee that brought you to Second CRC, Grand Haven, i cant help but recall your response to one of our interview questions, that you were fearful that you might lose yourself if you were selected. I am grateful you have not only not lost yourself, but you are predictably finding yourself more all the time. Your preaching offers us a creative and beautiful revelation of the Word. Your writing does the same. May you continue be blessed and be a blessing as you mine the depths of your self in Christ.

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