2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
President: Bob Wierenga (Wisconsin)
Vice President: Dale Buettner (Illiana-Florida)
At-Large Members: Jason DeVries (New Thing), Scott Stephan (Illinois), Chad DeJager (Chicago)
New Coordinator for Discipleship in the RCA is Jeff Allen. Jeff is a pastor in Colorado and the RSMA did a learning community on his book Small Church on a Big Mission. Jeff was gracious and joined us on one of our Zoom meetings and his passion and strategical thinking are contagious. We encourage you to watch this video and contact Jeff to find out more at email@example.com.
RCA Flourishing Churches Grants – Grants of up to $50,000 can be issued to six congregations for building expansion or improvement to serve missional ministry. Eligible churches must be RCA congregations that have been organized for at least three years, who own their building, demonstrate financial need, and have a flourishing ministry. Successful grant applications will be able to draw direct connections between the building project and ministry with the local community. More material on the qualifications for the grant can be found here, and here is a video from Eliza Cortes Bast, coordinator for local missional engagement, on the missional intent of the grant and guidance on how to best communicate your vision for the grant on your applicationWe will be receiving grant applications from June 1-August 1. Your applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journeying into Friendships Online Event – Having real relationships is one way to start breaking down walls between people with different skin colors, different cultures, different experiences—and these real relationships enrich our lives. They also create fertile soil for sharing about our faith and learning from each other. Journeying into Friendships is hosting an online conference for anyone interested in building relationships with refugees, immigrants, and people of other faiths. Sign up for the June 22-23 event to learn from one another, share resources, hear stories, and get support. Sponsored by Resonate Global Mission, this is intended for CRC and RCA folks but open to anyone who’s interested
RCA Dismantling Racism in America Webinar – Monday, June 22, 2020; 1-2:30pm Eastern Time. Join Rev. Liz Testa for this follow up virtual gathering to the June 8th session with Dr. Denise Kingdom Grier and Rev. Kelvin Spooner, which is part of an ongoing forum for dialogue, story and resource sharing, encouragement and support as we lead bravely and intentionally in this season and into the future. Note: June 8th attendance is not a pre-requisite to attending this one. Those who register for this session will be sent the previous session’s materials to provide a frame of reference as we engage together. Register HERE.
You can find all of the RCA’s COVID-19 resourcesHERE.
The RCA is offering free Spiritual Direction during the Pandemic – to learn more, and find a spiritual director, click HERE.
New Leaf Resources has established a special webpage for managing stress and other mental health resources in the time of COVID-19. You can check these our 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.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA
Camp Manitoqua will be having Day Camp this summer. To get the most up to date information, please check out their updates HERE.
THOUGHTS FROM WAYNE
From Wayne and Chad on Racism…
We, (Wayne and Chad) have been grieving not only the tragic death of George Floyd but also the light it has shown on the racial issues in our country. We denounce racism in all its forms. We stand together to speak out against the evil, pain and brokenness that has permeated our country and the world, and cling to the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
The light that shines in this darkness has given our churches opportunity. God is showing us a better way. We have been listening and reading and having conversations in order to understand.
I, Wayne, have learned to set aside my natural instinct to fix things like the complex challenges of racism and to recognize the limitations of my perspective and understanding of racism, since I grew up up in a small rural white community. I am learning to listen to the voices of my black brothers and sisters who have been the recepients of discrimination, judgement and abuse, simply because of the color of their skin. I’ve been reflecting on James 1:9 – “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”
I, Chad, attended a prayer vigil recently where one of the speakers said, “Not being a racist isn’t enough. We need to be anti-racists.” This has stuck with me and I feel a conviction that when God puts me into a situation where I encounter racism I will stand up and engage it with words of truth.
I’ve consulted friends and one of those friends is Cory Cunningham. Cory is a pastor, coach, and teacher and he recently sat down on Facebook Live with 3 other pastors in the Kalamazoo area to discuss the church’s role in healing this divide. Two of the pastors are from RCA churches and I thought the conversation was Biblical, poignant, encouraging, and helpful. You may find some inspiration for how your church may work toward Christian unity in your community. I commend it to you. Click HERE to watch.
— Wayne Van Regenmorter & Chad Schuitema
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Church Disrupt with Clay Scroggins – Clay Scroggins looks at trends in church, trends online, trends in business, and other trends from our culture and adapts them masterfully to the church. This 20 minute video will no doubt be helpful to you as you look to make sense out of having church online during the pandemic and what to do as you learn your way forward into our new normal.
The New Normal – from Reggie McNeal– This article from Reggie McNeal helps us examine what COVID-19 has taught us about church going forward. He says, “God is not caught off guard by COVID-19 outbreak nor the digital age revolution. He is not struggling to catch up. But he is waiting on the church to do just that. These critical shifts by church leaders will help us get there. The post-pandemic church in America has a chance to thrive if it realigns with God’s mission in the world—expanding his kingdom. The pursuit of the kingdom alone will position the church to be both relevant and robust in our unfolding world.”