As we live into this new year of 2021, let us remember that we serve a God of hope who will fill us with all joy and peace as we follow him. We have hope that better days are ahead with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. We have hope that the church can lead in re-creating a culture of peace, kindness, and love for our fellow human beings. We have hope that our churches grow disciples of Jesus who live and love like him in their families and communities. We have hope for increased growth and unity in our region as we seek to increase We have hope that we can all grow into the fullness God created us for – and find peace in our lives as we follow our Savior. — Chad
New Online Store from the RCA – Beginning in 2021, resources specific to the Reformed Church in America (RCA) will be available through an online store rather than being housed and distributed through Faith Alive Christian Resources. The RCA’s online store will have selected resources specific to the Reformed Church in America: liturgical resources and certificates (downloadable), ; churches are encouraged to continue looking to Faith Alive for wider ministry resources.
RSMA Staff Roles: As of January 1st, Wayne Van Regenmorter has begun serving a part time role as the Facilitator for Multi-Ethnic Church Partnerships and Chad Schuitema is now serving as the Regional Synod Executive. To read more about this transition in a letter from the RSMA President, click HERE.
There is a new RSMA Directory of Ministers and Ministries available for 2021. Please keep this document private and do not share it anywhere online. You can download it HERE.
The Regional Synod of Mid-America is looking for a Corresponding Youth Delegate for General Synod 2021. This delegates attends all the sessions of General Synod and have the privilege of the floor but do not vote. There are also a few special opportunities for these delegates at General Synod. The Youth Delegate is open to anyone connected to an RCA church with a sense of call from God to go into ministry. Usually, these youth delegates are college-aged and discerning a call to ministry in any form. General Synod 2021 will be held June 10-15, 2021 in Pella, Iowa. Lodging and food is covered by the RCA and travel will be reimbursed by the RSMA. Email Chad Schuitema if you know of someone or you yourself are interested in serving in this role.
RSMA is Hosting Vision 2020 Conversations – In January, each classis will be invited to participate in a Zoom online meeting to hear from members of the Vision 2020 Team, RCA Staff, and have an opportunity to discuss the proposals together as a classis. If you are a pastor who does not know the date for your event, email Chad. If you are an elder in a church and would like to be invited to attend, please contact your pastor.
The RCA continues to offer free/reduced fee Spiritual Direction (and coaching) during the Pandemic – to learn more, and find a spiritual director, click HERE. To hear General Synod Vice-President, Phil Assink, share about his experience with spiritual direction, click HERE.
Free Christian Counseling for Pastors and Church Employees – The RCA’s Board of Benefits Services Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential Christian counseling either at at an outpatient clinic in your area or via an online telehealth session. Up to 3 sessions per issue are provided at no cost to any employee of an RCA church. Some common issues addressed are depression, anxiety, work-related problems, marital issues, family issues, substance abuse, and others. The 24 hour hotline number is (833) 244-2490. For more information click HERE.
You can continue to find all of the RCA’s COVID-19 resourcesHERE.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA
To get the most up to date information about Camp Manitoqua, please check out their updates HERE.
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Is Your Church Ready to be Ethnically Diverse? – The ethnic diversity has been changing all around us. It’s true, some of us may live in largely homogenous communities, but it’s probably we’ve been somewhat blind to the changing demographics. Our churches should reflect this demographic change. Indeed, the church should lead with this demographic change. Public schools will become ethnically diverse simply because of who moves into the neighborhood. Why shouldn’t our churches also make this same shift? The church should move out to them. Ethnically diverse neighborhoods are a taste of Heaven.
Impact Your Workplace in 2021 – You have the opportunity to have the most impact in your workplace and surrounding life than anyone else. You have the ability to help create and change the culture around you. This article points to gratitude as being one powerful tool to create that change.
5 Steps to Lead Strong in 2021 – Hopefully, the New Year is an opportunity for us to evaluate not just our diets and exercise routines, but also the condition of our faith and spiritual disciplines. Good leaders would be wise to do these steps as we are still in the infancy of 2021.
Chuck DeGroat on Narcissism in the Church – In this episode of the podcast Craft & Character, Steve Carter interviews Western Theological Seminary pastoral care professor Dr. Chuck DeGroat about narcissism in the local church. If you’re a church or ministry leader, Chuck’s wisdom will help you recognize and combat unhealthy narcissism within yourself, your ministry, and Church culture as a whole..