Merry Christmas from the Regional Synod of Mid-America!
The IRS mileage reimbursement rate
will be decreasing to $.54 for 2016. For more information, click HERE.
The Regional Synod of Mid-America can send one Corresponding Youth Delegate to the Reformed Church in America’s General Synod each year. A corresponding delegate participates like a regular delegate but is not able to vote. A “youth” delegate is one who is somewhere around traditional college age or a little older, but who is considering formal ministry training.
In addition to participating in the regular business of the General Synod, the youth corresponding delegates meet and do some things together. It is anticipated that the youth delegates have given some thought about the possibility that God may be calling him or her to be a pastor. That does not necessarily mean that a decision has been made. It is an intention of the participation in General Synod as a youth delegate to help that person discern hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice. The person would basically do everything a regular delegate would do except not vote, and there would be some special events or meetings for the young adult delegate.
General Synod 2016 is at Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL) from June 9-14, 2016. All expenses are paid for this trip. If you know of anyone who might be interested in being our delegate for this coming General Synod, please contact Chad Schuitema.
The Illiana-Florida Classis Revitalization Team will be hosting an Engaging Your Community in Mission event with Blaine Newhouse, RCA Coordinator for Local Missional Engagement January 30 from 10am-4pm Central Time at First Reformed Church of South Holland. Some of the highlights of the event will be:
Allowing space for congregations and/or congregational leaders to introduce themselves and share their current local mission engagement reality.
A time of vision/values casting/content delivery by Blaine.
An interactive experience inviting congregations and/or congregational leaders to identify local ministry strengths and growing edges (where are we stuck or having greater difficulty), acknowledge how God has prepared them historically AND where/how/why God may be inviting them to engage during the next season of the churches ministry.
Introduce and/or build on the concept of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
Develop a basic action plan around possible next steps.
Report out to the group and determine if/how we might hold one another accountable for these outcomes.
News from Camp Manitoqua Summer Staff: Have you considered spending a summer in ministry? Applications for 2016 summer staff at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center are available online at www.manitoqua.org/jobs and are being accepted starting in November.
Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center is now hiring cooks, kitchen assistants and part-time housekeeping staff. Cooks must have food service experience; sanitation license preferred. Call 815-469-2319 for an application or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for kitchen positions and email@example.com for housekeeping.
It Does Make a Difference…
Every year at Christmas we hear these words: “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.” We’ve heard those words a hundred times as churches everywhere remember the promise of the angel Gabriel that Mary will have a son named Jesus, which means “savior.” Every year we’re reminded that it was a virgin birth. Mary was engaged but not married. Same story every year; but what difference does it make?
Have you ever considered how powerful the virgin birth is? That simple detail in the Biblical story is a key to unfolding a deep, life changing mystery. Christ was conceived both of God and of a woman. God came through the presence of His Son to live and dwell among us. We’re talking real flesh and blood, the divine in the human. It was an incarnation. That means God came not incognito but in “carnate” – in the flesh. That truth is absolutely fundamental to our faith. Don’t yawn about this one.
Ever since the tower of Babel, people have tried to get a handle on God. We’ve tried to clutch, grasp, and take hold of the divine. We’ve tried to transcend ourselves. But ultimately we can’t. That’s why God came to us. He crossed over the great divide that sin brought about. The divine became human because the human just couldn’t become divine. As Christians we have embraced the power of the cross; we live in the victory of the resurrection; let’s not forget the mystery of the manger. The raw truth is that without God, we are a broken, hurting, lonely bunch of people with nowhere to go. As hard as we try, we’ve never get a handle on God. That’s why God came to us – the divine became human.
Have a joyous Christmas and Happy New Year!
– Wayne Van Regenmorter
21: Meeting/Homer Glen, IL
22-23: Vacation Days
24-25: Christmas Holiday
27: Meeting/Rolling Hills Community Church/Zellwood, FL
28-31: Vacation Days January Schedule
3: Sunday Worship
4: Meetings in Orlando, FL
5: Meeting/Lakewood Ranch, FL; Conference Call
6: Meetings/Orlando, FL
7: Travel Day; Coaching
10: Sunday Worship
Wayne’s contact information:
10088 Prairie Knoll Ct.
St. John, IN 46373
Mobile: (941) 302-1281
The following are some links you may find helpful…
Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out – Western Seminary Professor Theresa Latini writes about self-care in the midst of conflict and how to create within you a way to handle conflict in much healthier ways.
Leaders Must Develop Qualities of the Heart – Good leadership isn’t about status or power or faking it till you make it, writes Harvard Professor Bill George. Instead, good leaders take the time to discern who they are, and to follow the deeply held beliefs, values and principles that guide them.