2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
President: Jason DeVries (New Thing)
Vice President: TBD
At-Large Members: Dale Buettner (Illiana-Florida), Bob Hoffman (Illinois), Bob Wierenga (Wisconsin), TBD (Chicago)
A Great opportunity for a college-aged person considering ministry: General Synod 2019 Corresponding Youth Delegate. These delegates are typically college-aged young adults who are sensing a call to some form of ministry in the future. These delegates have special programming during synod, make connections with other RCA young people, and get to speak into issues of General Synod. General Synod 2019 is in Holland, MI from June 6-11 and all costs are paid. If you are interested or know someone who would be interested in this role, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Synod Council urging restraint in sending overtures which require action at General Synod 2019. The formation of the Vision 2020 Team reflected the 2018 General Synod’s consensus that the RCA cannot realistically continue to do “business as usual.” The proposed change to the 2019 General Synod’s time allocation would constructively signal a disruption of the status quo that the work of this team represents. It would begin to prepare us for General Synod 2020, when the team will bring its final report and recommendation. In place of overtures requesting action, classes and regional synods might consider sending a letter to the General Synod that would not entail floor debate while still expressing concerns and/or viewpoints. To read more from GSC Moderator Lee DeYoung, click HERE.
Advent Devotions: 2019’s Advent Devotions are written by Grace Claus, managing editor of RCA Today. You can subscribe by visiting www.rca.org/adventdevos. The devotions will be sent in both English and Spanish this year. You can also choose how many days a week you want to receive devotions.
New Jesse Tree resources for Advent 2018: Jesse Tree is one of the most popular resources on our website, year after year after year. It’s a way of preparing for Christ’s birth by looking at the ancestors of Jesus and how the promise of a Savior unfolds throughout Scripture. This year, we’ve got new Jesse Tree art and a new Jesse Tree resource kit. Click HERE to see the resources.
Proposed Change to Assessments: After many years with our current funding structure, a possible overhaul to assessments is in the works. The proposed funding structure, called Covenant Shares, is based on contributions rather than membership numbers. (You may have heard about it at a fall classis meeting.) The committee working on this proposal would like your feedback before bringing their final report. Fill out their survey by the end of the month to register your thoughts.
Last Chance: The Reformed Church in America is partnering with the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) to host a Growing Young Cohort in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is an incredible opportunity for up to 30 RCA churches to transform their ministry to teens and young adults using research-based strategies to help young people love your church. The Growing Young Cohort includes:
– Two in-person summits
– Regular online webinars
– One year of personalized coaching
– Comprehensive online diagnostic tests
*Registration is already underway and will end on November 20. To learn more about this opportunity and how your church can register, email email@example.com. Watch a video on the impact of Growing Young HERE.
The RCA’s Board of Benefits Services Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential Christian counseling either at at an outpatient clinic in your area (Pine Rest in Grand Rapids), 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 Have a BLAST this winter break – Registration is underway for the WinterBlast day camp program, a break from school, not from fun, at Camp Manitoqua and Retreat Center. Held during winter break for grades 1-6; featuring classic camp activities, winter snow games, hot lunches, and more. Online registration and additional information (including downloadable brochure) available at www.manitoqua.org/winterblast, or call the office at 815.469.2319.
Enjoy a taste of fall at the Red Oak Luncheon, a pleasant occasion for adults, at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center on Wednesday, November 28th. Coffee & rolls will be served at 10:30am. Our program will begin at 11:00am with lunch to follow at 12:00pm. Tours of the grounds will be available after lunch. Cost for the event is $10.00. Please make reservations at 815.469.2319 by November 26.
Retreat season has begun at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center. At this time, we are offering groups a 15% discount on any retreat booked for December 2018 or January 2019. Please contact Todd at 815.469.2319, or at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
Apply for Summer Staff at Camp Manitoqua! We are looking for ministry-minded college students who love kids and have a desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are taking applications and would encourage you to apply today! For more information visit our www.manitoqua.org.
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Using Your Church Building for More Than Church – Read about how one church began to be a community hub rather than just a place of worship. Their pastor says, “As a small church, you can’t be all things to all people. Find your niche. Then do something radical enough to get noticed.”
Strategies to Leverage Christmas to Reach the Unchurched – Christmas is still the one holiday where the message of “God so loved the world” is still present in our culture. Many Christian leaders complain about the culture and the commercialization of Christmas and are far less effective than leaders who figure out how to leverage it.
How To Start Training Your Church Leaders To Become Equippers, Not Just Doers – Making the transition from the doer of ministry to the equipper of ministers is very hard for most pastors to do. And it can be even harder for church members to understand, let alone step up to. After all, pastors are in ministry because we’re passionate about doing it, and we’ve trained our congregations for generations to let us do it for them. Shifting from doing all the ministry, to training others to do ministry doesn’t come easily. But it is essential. And it’s biblical.