“Growing Young” a Snapshot of one Gathering:
On a warm spring day in downtown Sheboygan at Remedy church a group nearly a hundred people gathered to understand what growing young means in the church. The ecumenical gathering showed the need for this message. Our speaker Steven Argue, PhD from the Fuller Youth Institute, came to shake us and stir our imaginations.
Churches growing young simply means helping young people discover and love your church, which brings overall vitality to the whole church. During our time together Steve led us through a broad array of points that focused on the topic at hand. Using both winsome expressions and telling stories he opened up opportunities for everyone to engage in conversation together on the points at hand.
Consider what it would look like if your congregation started a learning community using Growing Young as its guidepost. Starting with Keychain Leadership then moving through the other points such as Empathy Today, Jesus’ Message, Warm Relationships (which includes Growing Old), Prioritize Everywhere, and Best Neighbors makes these activities transferable and renewing.
- Unlock Keychain Leadership – share the keys; capabilities, power, and access to empower young people.
- Empathize with Today’s Young People – asking these three questions of our Emerging Adults (18-29 year olds); Identity, Belonging, and Purpose.
- Take Jesus’ Message Seriously – three key shifts; more about Jesus, more about life, and more authentic honesty.
- Fuel a Warm Community – Warmth defined by young people; Warm is the new Cool.
- Prioritize Young People Everywhere – Intentionally paying attention, prioritizing families, and young people must play a load-bearing role.
- Be the Best Neighbors – “Who is my neighbor?”, Mt 22:34-40 and Lk 10:25-37; Hospitable neighbors, patient neighbors, and courageous neighbors.
There is no myth; only, can we become people that empower others to lead. Nothing was nuanced, it was plain as day; taking it back to our churches requires our own letting go and seeking to hear the voice of our young people and embrace what Jesus has told us repeatedly to love one another. For me this was a reminder that wherever you are at in the church you have something to offer and that I need to open the doors so you can. I would highly recommend the book to the whole church.
— Rev. Tony De La Rosa
Reclaiming the Gates is a new 6-week training program for men high-school-aged and older involves 45 minutes of instruction and 45 minutes of small group interaction. Our vision is to empower men to empower leaders of the next generation. To accomplish this vision, we must:
- Identify those men who want to be a part of the solution of building the next generation of leaders.
- Equip them to heal from the wounds that hinder them from helping.
- Inform these men of opportunities to to serve young men.
- Deploy them to areas where they can make a difference.
Contact Jason Perry about leading your Men’s Group or young men through this 6-week series.
The Regional Synod of Mid-America’s Annual Session took place on May 2, 2017. Minutes from this meeting can be found here. The Rev. Jason DeVries was elected Vice-President of the region, and in addition to hearing reports from the president, synod staff, and the Mission/Vision Task Force, each classis examined the current reality of the regional synod and began discerning future direction.
The Regional Synod of Mid-America has launched the Ministerial Excellence Fund. The purpose of this Fund is to assist with alleviating some of the financial pressures facing clergy in their pastoral ministry. This fund is made available to both Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Commissioned pastors rostered in Illinois Classis, Wisconsin Classis, and Illiana-Florida Classis. Each classis began this fund with $10,000 which was matched by the Reformed Church in America for a total starting balance of $20,000 per classis. You will need to download and read the Ministerial Excellence Guidelines prior to filling out an application. Once the application is filled out, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Synod is June 8-13 at Hope College in Holland, MI. Delegates from classes and the regional synods will gather to do the business of the church. Please be in prayer for these delegates and the leaders who will attend. If you want to keep up on all things General Synod, you can click here.
News from Camp Manitoqua
Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center invites you to our Spring Into Summer event on Saturday, June 3, 2017. With a 12,000’ family friendly obstacle run to start the day, there will also be free swimming, food, and activities for kids and adults alike, as we kick off our 2017 summer camp season. Click HERE to register for the 12,000’ Obstacle Run and click HERE for more information about the rest of the day!
Cooks & Summer Kitchen Assistants: For cooks, food service experience and sanitation license is preferred. No experience needed for summer kitchen assistants. Contact email@example.com for an application or call the office at 815.469.2319.
Registration for ‘Summer Camp 2017 begins February 1st. Remember to register early for preferred dates. Visit Manitoqua.org for more information and to register, or call our office at 815.469.2319.