Mary Sytsma

Mary Sytsma is an elder and worship planner at Wheaton Christian Reformed Church, where her husband is the choir director. Mary also teaches English at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL.

Articles by this author:

  • Psalms to Sustain Us from Gethsemane to Golgotha

    “When Jesus expressed his anguish on the cross with the words of Psalm 22, he highlighted one of the precious facets of the psalms in general, namely, that as songs they uniquely convey the inward depths of the soul, and especially of Christ’s soul. Not only do the psalms help shape our response to God in the trials and joys of life, they also reveal to us something of the inner life of Jesus Christ, glimpses we do not have through the gospels alone.”
    (L. Michael Morales, Jesus and the Psalms)

  • The Love of God

    Holy Communion and Tenebrae Service

    The service of Tenebrae, meaning “darkness” or “shadows,” has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Once a service for the monastic community, Tenebrae later became an important part of the worship of the common folk during Holy Week. We join Christians of many generations throughout the world in using the liturgy of Tenebrae.

  • Teens at the Table: We All Need the Gift of Assurance

    When I ask a young person if he or she is interested in making profession of faith, the answer is almost always a variation of “I’m not ready.” When pressed to explain, the young person will often say, “I’m not good enough,” or, “I’m not sure about some things.”

  • Longing for Home

    Why do we make such a fuss about being home for Christmas? Those who have been blessed with happy childhoods may enjoy going home even after becoming adults. We like to be at home with the people we love; sometimes we even long for it.

  • Reinventing the Youth Service: Discipling young people in a way that benefits the whole congregation

    If you’ve ever suffered through trying to organize an unfocused group of teenagers into a cohesive team of worship leaders, you may have asked yourself, “Why are we doing this?” That’s the way we felt when we started working with our church youth group eight years ago. It took us a while to figure out how the youth service we had inherited fit in with the rest of the youth ministry program. Were we only going through the motions each year because “We’ve always done it that way”?