Valerie Van Kooten

Valerie Van Kooten (vankootenv@central.edu) is a writer from Pella, Iowa, where she is a member of First Christian Reformed Church and is active in her congregation’s youth ministries.
 

Articles by this author:

  • Text Message Worship

    Plugging Students into Holy Week

    In our church, two very different things came together to form the idea of a text message worship experience.

    First, my fellow high school youth group leaders and I noticed that we spend a lot of time “policing” cell phone use during youth group events. Kids are constantly texting each other, even when they’re sitting just a few feet from each other! Second, we wanted to try making the season of Lent—and particularly Holy Week—more of a focus for our students.

  • The Show Must Go On . . .

    and Other Advice from a Church Accompanist

    It probably all started in Mr. Klyn’s class. As fifth graders, we weren’t too cool yet to sing together every morning, and Mr. Klyn decided that anyone in the class who could play piano well enough would accompany that singing. He chose a tune from the Folk Hymnal for each of us newly-anointed accompanists to play the following week. I went home and practiced “He took my feet from the miry clay; yes, he did! Yes, he did!” until my parents begged me to stop.

  • "Who Do You See?"

    A Palm Sunday Reader's Theater

    Several years ago when I was teaching Sunday school for twelve- and thirteen-year-olds, my class was looking for a Palm Sunday reader’s theater to perform for the congregation. We specifically wanted something that would give worshipers an idea of what people along the route were thinking as Jesus entered the city. After checking out several drama websites and not finding anything, I decided to write a reader’s theater script. We have since performed this drama with both children only and adults only. You may use simple costumes or have all the actors dressed in black.