Reformed Church in America looks to experimental mode

A variegated vision
In and around Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Reformed Church in America offers churchgoers a surprisingly variegated vision for such a venerable denomination.

John Veld enjoys the mix of traditional and contemporary elements in Sunday services at Third Reformed Church in suburban Oshtemo. Barbara Barrett is equally satisfied with the spirit-filled activity at The River, a newly opened “postmodern” church in Kalamazoo. And Lon Bouma appreciates the chance to be part of Within Reach Ministries, a collection of cell-group churches that gathers once a week for prayer and praise in Kalamazoo’s former First Reformed Church sanctuary.

Although Veld, Barrett and Bouma are drawn to different styles of worship, they share the RCA connection and represent in microcosm the expanding forms of a denomination that has been a stronghold of Dutch ethnicity and conservative values since its founding in New York nearly 400 years ago.


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