2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
President: Jason DeVries (New Thing)
Vice President: Bob Wierenga (Wisconsin)
At-Large Members: Dale Buettner (Illiana-Florida), Scott Stephan (Illinois), Chad DeJager (Chicago)
Growing Your Emotional Maturity/Having Difficult Conversations Workshop will be held in our region on November 23 at American Reformed Church in DeMotte, IN. Also during these workshops, participants will have a chance to examine and discuss the 3 scenarios put forward by the Vision 2020 Team of the RCA. Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor facilitate the Vision 2020 team and will lead us in these workshops. Lunch will be provided and there is no cost for this event. You are encouraged to bring as many people from your church as possible. We have held similar workshops in Illinois and Wisconsin and they have been very helpful.
What you will learn in the workshop:
A different way of listening to those with whom you disagree.
Everyone contributes to the results we are getting in conflict, even me. “You’re not stuck in traffic, you are the traffic.”
How to engage in conflict in a healthy way. Often we engage in destructive conflict where we make things worse or walk away, resigned and cynical.
How can you hold on to what you believe and also stay connected to those who see things differently.
The ability to act out of our deeply held values despite the pressure to do otherwise.
How do we stay calm and thoughtful when the emotions in and around us are so powerful.
Principles and practices for managing ourselves while the tension around us and in us rises.
How God will help you grow in your own emotional maturity in the face of conflict in ways that help you to be healthier and more effective in your congregation, the classis, the workplace, our families and in our marriage.
Please continue to pray for the Vision 2020 Team as theycontinue to work hard to research, discern, and gather input; they’ll meet again October 28-29.
FCC Changes to Wireless Microphone Bands – you may have already noticed some interference in your wireless microphones. That’s becauseWireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz service band will be required to cease operation sort by no later than July 13, 2020, and may be required to cease operation sooner if they could cause interference to new wireless licensees that commence operations on their licensed spectrum in the 600 MHz service band. Your church may even be fined if it continues to use these service bands. More information can be found HERE and HERE. Churches are encouraged to consult with their wireless microphone providers for more information and help with this change.
Churches Learning Change – a new monthly model beginning January 22, 2020 will begin for pastors and churches looking for tools and skills to more successfully navigate change. Pastors will receive monthly online training, coaching, and churches will receive great monthly content to help equip leaders, increase discipleship, and learn adaptive leadership skills. All for the low price of $250! There will be a informational session on October 30 from 1pm-2pm CDT online through Zoom where you will hear more and have an opportunity to ask questions. For the link and with any questions, email Chad.
New RCA Prayer Facebook Group Created – You are invited to join the ‘RCA Prayer Community’ on Facebook to hear about various prayer needs throughout the RCA, as well as to share prayer needs you know about from your own area. You can request to join this group HERE.
The RCA’s Mission 2020 will be held in Orlando, FL January 16-18, 2020 and will be a festival to God’s goodness. Throughout the three-day event, attendees will celebrate God’s goodness over 377 years of mission and together imagine the future of RCA Global Mission. Registration is now open by visiting mission2020.rca.org.
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.
The 2020 RSMA Compensation Guidelines are available by clicking HERE. These guidelines have been approved by all classes and can help guide churches as they budget for this next year. Also available on this page of our website are helpful resources for church personnel committees.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA Have a BLAST this winter break at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center – Registration will begin October 1 for our WinterBlast day camp program, a break from school, not from fun. 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 Manitoqua.org/winterblast, or call our 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, December 4th. 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 December 2.
Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center is currently hiring lead cooks and food service assistants. Shifts needed are mid-week days (ideal for moms with children in school), mid-week evenings and weekends all days. High School students and college students are ideal candidates as well! Fall season begins immediately after summer and stays busy through mid-November. Visit Manitoqua.org/jobs or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the office at 815.469.2319 for an application.
THOUGHTS FROM WAYNE
Observations About Humility…
Dan Rockwell of the “Leadership Freak” blog wrote a story of Sir Edmund Hilary. On May 26, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary along with a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzin Norgay, became the first climbers confirmed to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted himself to assisting the Sherpa people of Nepal by establishing a trust fund which helped in the construction of many schools and hospitals in Nepal. Hillary had numerous honors bestowed upon him and became one of New Zealand’s most famous persons. The following story about Hillary is found in the book Humilitas by John Dickson.
“On one of his many trips back to the Himalayas he (Sir Edmund) was spotted by a group of tourist climbers. They begged for a photo with the great man, and Hillary obliged. They handed him an ice pick so he would look the part and set up for the photograph. Just then another climber passed the group and, not recognizing the man at the center, strode up to Hillary saying, ‘Excuse me, that’s not how you hold an ice pick. Let me show you.’
Everyone stood around in amazed silence as Hillary thanked the man, let him adjust the pick, and happily went on with the photograph. It doesn’t matter how experienced that other climber was; his greatness was diminished by this intrusive presumption. We are repelled by pride. Edmund Hillary’s greatness, however, is somehow enhanced by this humility.”
• Humility serves people. Sir Edmund wasn’t obligated to serve the people of the Himalayas but he did. Likewise, Jesus was not obligated to serve humanity, but He gives us the ultimate picture of humility in His incarnation, and especially in His death and burial. “Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8) If we would like to grow in humility, the place to start is here, at the cross.
• Humility begins when we acknowledge our arrogance. God first says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves…I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14) The source of many of our problems is pride. We think we know better than God what will bring us happiness. It’s that pride that causes us to be disconnected from God on a personal level, a congregational level, and a national level. Pride gets in our way and we forget that we need God. It starts with you and me, but we need to lead our churches in a time of repentance as well.
• Humility moves us from self-serving to being a servant of Christ. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus confronts Zacchaeus’ pride with humility. Zacchaeus was a hated tax collector who had stolen money from the people of Jericho. Jesus Christ knew this when he looked in a tree in and saw him clinging to a limb. Like the other crowds that flocked to see Christ, Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was motivated by his own self-serving curiosity to see the Messiah. We can even assume that Zacchaeus’ hospitality to Jesus was self-serving: “So he came down at once and he welcomed him gladly.” (Luke 19:6 NIV)
We shouldn’t assume that Zacchaeus was more special than any one of us simply because he got a “shout out” in Scripture. Instead, what we recognize is that after encountering the Messiah and spending time in the presence of the Lord, Zacchaeus replaced his pride that allowed him to cheat and steal with the humility of becoming a servant of the Lord first! Zacchaeus declares before Jesus, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I will pay him back four times the amount.” (Luke 19:8 NIV) Our challenge is to expose ourselves to the presence of God and define ourselves as servants of Christ first.
Questions to ask ourselves: How are you living in humility? How do you measure humility in your life?
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Common Emotional Mistakes Leaders Make – Leaders often ignore emotions or don’t deal with emotions in their proper time. Sometimes leaders minimize emotions and other leaders are often ruled by emotion. This article helps us articulate what is going on within us.
Ways to Inspire Confidence While Saying “I Don’t Know” – People look to leaders to fix organizational problems; a leader who fails to resolve a problem quickly may be labelled weak or ineffectual. However, it isn’t in anyone’s best interest for a leader to start fixing things when the way ahead isn’t clear. How does a leader say, “I don’t know what to do next,” without seeming indecisive?
How Well Do You Know Your Community? – One of the best questions to ask a church is if it ceased to exist, would the community even notice? If the answer is no, one of the reasons could be that the church doesn’t know its community. If we don’t know our communities, how can we hope to minister to those outside our walls?
Churches Merge for Racial Reconciliation – Two congregations in Sikeston, Missouri have merged into one church. While a church merger usually comes about due to one congregation declining in size or facing financial difficulty, this merger happened for a different reason. Pastors Kenny King and William Marshall decided their congregations, which were predominantly black and predominantly white, respectively, would be better served (and better able to serve) together.
Ways We Drive Away First Time Visitors – Thom Rainer gives an updated list after continuing research on what drives away first time visitors. Check out this list and examine it with your leaders to see if your church can improve.