10088 Prairie Knoll Ct.
St. John, IN 46373
Mobile: (941) 302-1281
2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
President: Bob Wierenga (Wisconsin)
Vice President: Jason DeVries (New Thing)
Past President: Edie Lenz (Illinois)
The RCA is accepting applications for the role of General Secretary: In order to apply, candidates need to submit an application using this online form. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 10. The RCA excited to see where the Lord leads this process. Here is a link to the article posted on the RCA website as well about this process. That may help provide some language as you share this information with your churches and leaders.
Ridder Church Renewal has blessed so many of our pastors, churches, and leaders in the RSMA over the last decade. Recently RCR held its integrative retreat in Wisconsin and a task force was developed to continue the work of RCR in our region following the conclusion of this last retreat. This task force will be working to continue the work of RCR inviting past, existing, and new participants to join in this work of congregational renewal. More information will be shared in the coming months.
Dr. Tod Bolsinger will be at Illiana-Florida Classis leading the classis in adaptive change. Dr. Bolsinger is a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Chief of the Leadership Formation Platform. His book, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory has impacted many of the pastors in the classis and we are looking forward to hosting Dr. Bolsinger on October 26 at First Church in Wheatfield, Indiana beginning at 9am Central Time.
Consider Supporting RSMA Urban Ministry Grants – The Regional Synod of Mid-America gives grants to ministries in, and/or for areas considered urban in geography of our regional synod. 2018 will be the last year we provide these grants and we are asking our churches to consider giving to this grant fund generously for one final year. The asking is $4 per member and that amount can be sent to the RSMA at any time during the year. Thank you for your generous support to these grants over the years. Many churches and blessed many people with the fruit of these grants!
“Church finances don’t have to be overwhelming.” That’s the catchphrase of Church Excel, offered through the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Thanks to a grant we received, you can subscribe for free to access tons of resources: webinars, ebooks, tax guides, and more.
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.
News from Camp Manitoqua Is your church holding a retreat soon? Consider having it at Camp Manitoqua! Reasonable rates, excellent location, and the beauty of God’s creation will surely enhance your experience. If interested, please email Nathan@manitoqua.org or call the office at 815-469-2319.
STORIES OF CELEBRATION
We share stories of celebration to glorify God. This month’s story come from American Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. We hope these stories inspire and encourage others in our region. If you’d like to share what God is doing in your church (or classis), please email Chad.
In 1920, a group from First Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana left that church in order to form a new church that would worship in English. The new congregation would be called American Reformed Church and would also be located in DeMotte.
As American Reformed Church approaches the end of 100 years of ministry in the DeMotte community the congregation is working to build the foundations for the next century of ministry. In the past year, they have completed a vision process with the guidance of interim pastor Rev. Dr. Albert VanderMeer. Through this process they clarified a vision of “Connecting our Community to Christ and His Church” and a mission of “Glorifying God by Bearing Fruit”. At the end of this interim process they also called a new Senior Pastor, Rev. Troy Nanninga, who will help lead the development of this new vision at ARC.
They have done some extensive work on an aging facility to help prepare the property for a new century of ministry. In the past year, they have remodeled the front of the church, added new audio and visual to the sanctuary, resurfaced the parking lot, and redone landscaping at the church and parsonage. This has helped give a fresh look to the church as they reach out to their community.
ARC continues to be an active presence in the DeMotte community, especially through it’s partnership with DeMotte Elementary School. ARC provides 36 backpacks of food each week for children who don’t have enough food at home on the weekends, does mentoring through Kids Hope USA, and collects school supplies and other items that can be distributed to students.
It is the prayer of American Reformed Church that God will bless the next century of ministry, as He did the first, as they seek to connect their community to Christ and his church.
LINKS YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL
Church of England Resurrects Tradition to Attract Millennials – Despite growing secularism in England, the church has seen attendance grow over the past several years with the help of a centuries-old liturgical tradition: Evensong. Choral Evensong is an evening prayer service that is delivered mostly through song, offering a restful, reflective time to worship God and pause from the busy-ness of life. Explore how this return to “old school” worship has impacted the church.
Gospel-Driven Communities: Being a Church with the Biblical Vision of Justice – Christians who come to a passion for justice and social ministry often do so not because of their local churches but in spite of them. Throughout Christendom, persons are transformed through involvement with various Relief Services, Peace Fellowships, and Volunteer Corps, only to discover later that they have been birthed to a conviction that their parish does not support.
Sustaining Relationships is Key to Mission – Our Christian commitment pushes us to care for churches overseas and support people living in poverty. This commitment entails more than short-term projects; it is inherently a long-term affair. A mission relationship must be truly based in mutuality to endure.
Disruption and Leadership Development in Mainline Protestantism – The old model of leadership development in churches seemed to function well for both for the church and clergy in an era when congregations were homogeneous, candidates for ministry were mostly middle-class Anglo men, and clergy skills were easily transferable from one congregation and community to the next. In retrospect, that model never was as effective as people thought it was, but in that very different time, it at least appeared to be working OK. That time, however, has long since passed.
Church Vitality and Turnaround – To actualize, sustain and grow a vision, it is critical to discern what help you need at various stages in a church’s lifecycle. The process in this article could help you move forward in gaining vision traction.