As you may already know, a 7.8 magnitudeearthquake hit the country of Nepal the morning of Saturday, April 25. More than 1,000 people are confirmed dead, thousands are missing and feared dead or trapped, and still thousands more are injured.
RCA Global Mission is working with our partner in international disaster response, World Vision, which has national offices in Nepal. Currently, the response to the earthquake is still focused on search and rescue. But in the coming days, that response will shift to immediate concerns of food, clean water, shelter, and protection for children. World Vision is mobilizing their teams to respond immediately to those needs.
Please pray for the people in Nepal and India who have been injured or displaced or lost loved ones, or whose loved ones are still missing. Pray for people who are trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings, and pray for search and rescue workers who are attempting to find them and free them. Pray for medical workers as they assist injured people. Pray for safety as aftershocks rock the area.
This year the RCA General Synod will be held in Chicagoland, as it returns to Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. In order for Synod to happen well, your help is needed, and there are several ways to be involved.
Rev. Christopher Poest is one of the point-persons for our region in coordinating volunteers and you can contact him either to volunteer or to get more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drivers, and church buses/vans, are needed Wednesday, June 10 & Thursday, June 11 to to shuttle people from O’Hare to Trinity.
Golf Cart Drivers:
This is often one of the most enjoyable ways to volunteer at Synod. Throughout the week, there will be golf carts to help transport people across Trinity’s campus, but the carts need drivers.
Host Churches (Sunday, June 14):
Synod delegates will worship at area churches the Sunday of Synod. If you are willing to host delegates, and provide transportation for them to/from church and Trinity, please let me know.
Shopping at IKEA:
Yes, you read that right! Women’s Transformation & Leadership staff are hoping to create a living-room type hospitality area in the vendor display space. We’re looking for a couple of people who can purchase the furniture (you’ll be fully reimbursed), assemble it, and get it to Trinity. Probably a couple of comfy chairs, a coffee table, and the like.
General Synod will be back again next year at the same location, so if you cannot help now, keep this in mind.
The Joy of Jesus…
This week I will be I am preparing to leave for Tampa, FL, to gather with over 5,000 church planting leaders for four days of inspiration, encouragement and equipping at the Exponential East 2015 Conference. The theme that sparks this year’s conference are the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (II Timothy 1: 6-7). Inside every follower of Jesus is the spark of multiplication and when that spark is “fanned into a flame,” it can ignite an entire culture of multiplication. I believe every follower of Jesus has a gift that was meant to be multiplied as it is manifested in the heart of God seeking to restore and redeem this lost and broken world. Do you believe that every follower of Jesus has a gift that is meant to be multiplied in others’ lives? As I prepare to leave for Tampa I am so thankful for Jesus’ gift of joy – meant to be multiplied. Max Lucado will be speaking at the conference. Enjoy this article written by Max on “The Joy of Jesus”.
“No man had more reason to be miserable than this one – yet no man was more joyful. His first home was a palace. Servants were at His fingertips. The snap of His fingers changed the course of history. His name was known and loved. He had everything – wealth, power, respect. And then He had nothing.
Students of the event still ponder it. Historians stumble as they attempt to explain it. How could a king lose everything in one instant? One moment He was royalty; the next He was poverty.
His bed became, at best, a borrowed pallet – usually the hard earth. He never owned even the most basic mode of transportation and was dependent upon handouts for His income. He was sometimes so hungry He would eat raw grain or pick fruit off a tree. He knew what it was like to be rained on, to be cold. He knew what it meant to have no home.
His palace grounds had been spotless; now He was exposed to filth. He had never known disease, but was now surrounded by illness. In His kingdom He had been revered; now He was ridiculed. His neighbors tried to lynch Him. Some called Him a lunatic. His family tired to confine Him to their house. Those who didn’t ridicule Him tried to use Him. They wanted favors. They wanted tricks. He was a novelty. They wanted to be seen with Him – that is, until being with Him was out of fashion. Then they wanted to kill Him.
He was accused of a crime He never committed. Witnesses were hired to lie. The jury was rigged. No lawyer was assigned to His defense. A judge swayed by politics handed down the death penalty. They killed Him. He left as He came – penniless. He was buried in a borrowed grave, His funeral financed by compassionate friends. Though He once had everything, He died with nothing.
He should have been miserable. He should have been bitter. He had every right to be a pot of boiling anger. But He wasn’t. He was joyful. Sourpusses don’t attract a following. People followed Him wherever He went. Children avoid soreheads. Children scampered after this man. Crowds don’t gather to listen to the woeful. Crowds clamored to hear Him.
Why? He was joyful. He was joyful when He was poor. He was joyful when He was abandoned. He was joyful when He was betrayed. He was even joyful as He hung on a tool of torture, His hands pierced with six-inch Roman spikes. Jesus embodied a stubborn joy. A joy that refused to bend in the wind of hard times. A joy that held its ground against pain. A joy whose roots extended deep into the bedrock of eternity.”
Looking forward to a joy-filled week of rich learning and growing deeper in experiencing the joy of Jesus.
– Wayne Van Regenmorter
27-30: Exponential East 2015 Conference/Tampa, FL
31: Travel Day
3: Sunday Worship
4: Meeting/Glenwood, IL
5: Ridder Church Renewal/Wisconsin Conference Call
How the Gospel Comes to the City Through Community – Cities need both worship gatherings and missional communities to intersect the people and needs of the city. This article will focus on the need for missional communities in the city. The gospel shines brightly, speaks clearly, and welcomes sojourners with questions and doubts in the context of relationships.