The RSMA Salary Schedule, Rules, and Guidelines have been published and are available for your information HERE. Each classis sets its own guidelines, using ours as a recommendation.
2016 Urban Ministry Grants Urban Ministry Grant Applications for the year 2016 are due TODAY September 14, 2015. Urban Ministry Grant assistance is for ministries to, in, and/or for areas considered urban in geography of our regional synod. The minimum criterion is that it is a ministry to, in, and/or for the urban area with a vision, plans, and goals for outreach into the community. Those ministries applying for a grant that aren’t in a traditionally geographic urban setting should take into account that the ideal of the grant is that it be used for those living in geographically urban areas, multi-cultural areas, and lower socio-economic areas. The synod’s goal is to see lives changed through the work of Christ and the Gospel. Grant Guidelines can be found by clicking HERE. Grant Applications can be found by clicking HERE. *Reminder, you can contribute to our Urban Ministry Fund by giving $4 per member in 2016.
The 2015-2016 Regional Synod Directory of Minsters and Churches has been updated and is available HERE.
Members of RCA churches are encouraged to serve on different commissions within the denomination. To be eligible, you need to have filled out a Profile form. The Profile form is available on the RCA website at http://www.rca.org/profile. (Also available at that address is a document entitled Commissions and Agencies Descriptions which contains brief descriptions of the various RCA commissions, agencies, and boards.) To guarantee consideration in this year’s process, the form should be submitted by November 27, 2015. This will provide adequate time to prepare materials for consideration at the Commission on Nomination’s January meeting.
The Missional Café is a gathering of missional leaders in the CRC & RCA. We are meeting at Christ Community Church (13400 Bell Road, Lemont, IL) on October 17, 2015 from 9 AM – 3 PM. LUNCH will be provided. The goal of this event is to gather missional leaders in the Chicagoland (including Northwest Indiana) region to spark momentum for church planting and church transformation.
The Missional Café is an intentionally designed time for people to engage in conversation with other leaders by gathering passionate missional leaders who are committed to leading churches that are gospel-centered, grow evangelistically and engage and impact their communities in redemptive ways. We want to help with discipleship, evangelism and initiative for churches. You will have plenty to take back to your church!
Dr. Soong-Chan Rah will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Rah is associate professor of church growth and evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. The American church is at a crossroads. Like the early church in Acts 15, we are faced with the challenge of prioritizing the gospel message over our own culture. Dr. Rah will talk about today’s culture and the current realities facing our churches. Dr. Rah spoke at a conference of RCA leaders in Phoenix in January of this year and also at General Synod in June.
News from Camp Manitoqua
Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center is now hiring cooks, kitchen assistants and part-time housekeeping staff. Cooks must have food service experience; sanitation license preferred. Call 815-469-2319 for an application or contact email@example.com for kitchen positions and firstname.lastname@example.org for housekeeping.
Teachers and Parents: Have your preschooler’s class attend our Fall Preschool Days, an edu-fun day for preschool groups, for an autumn hands-on learning experience, at Camp Manitoqua and Retreat Center, Tuesday, October 6, Wednesday, October 7, or Thursday, October 8. This outing includes a native animal hike, camp fire stories, playing our kid-sized Candy Land game, our pumpkin patch, and more – costumes encouraged! For more information visit www.manitoqua.org/events, or call our office Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm at 815-469-2319. RSVP required for this classroom attendance.
Experience the Oak Leaf Festival, an autumn event for families, youth groups, and more, at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center on October 10th, from 10am-3pm. Activities include tree & wall climbing, creation exploration, family scavenger hunts, campfire, inflatable jumpies, wagon rides, autumn arts & crafts, and food treats. $6 admission fee (2 and under are free), additional costs may apply for treats and climbing. All details available at our website: www.manitoqua.org/events.
Storm the base, capture the flag, and win the game! Camp Manitoqua and Retreat Center invites you out to one of the most epic days of paintball you will ever experience on October 24 from 10am – 4pm! Come play a full day of paintball on our wooded course. Space is limited; registration processed on first come first serve basis. Cost is $36 (includes gun and mask rental, 1000 paintballs, and a box lunch). Register online at www.manitoqua.org/events by RSVP by October 19. Ages: 7th grade and older. Questions: call the office at 815. 469.2319.
Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center’s fall retreat season has begun. At this time, we are offering groups a 15% discount on any retreat booked for December 2015 or January 2016. Please contact Ken at 815.469.2319, or at email@example.com for availability.
The Church’s Business…
How many business cards do you have? I know people who have several kinds of business cards. I have one – it identifies the Regional Synod of Mid-America, my name and title, my cell phone number, my email and an address. You may have collected hundreds of business cards in your lifetime. You’ve probably swapped cards with ministry colleagues and friends, and maybe even thrown dozens of unwanted cards into the trash can. In the business world, the business card serves as a way for customers and colleagues to remember you after the first meeting. They are important for networking. They convey the spirit of the company’s culture, values, and approach to business.
Think for a moment about what is the church’s business. What would you put on the business card of the church? What is the vision? What is the mission? What is the purpose? In the Reformed Church in America our mission is…”a fellowship of congregations called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the very presence of Jesus Christ in the world. Our shared task is to equip congregations for ministry–a thousand churches in a million ways doing one thing–following Christ in mission, in a lost and broken world so loved by God.” With the 15-year vision for ministry, the business card for the RCA today would read: Transformed and Transforming: A church that lives and loves like Jesus. So what are some basic Biblical purposes of the Church?
First, the Church exists to Worship. No faith life can be complete without an authentic community to celebrate it with. Celebration is a part of life! John 4:24 notes that “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Notice that there are only two requirements. There is no “right” style, method, formality, informality, music, or liturgy. If it connects our heart to the heart of God, it’s good!
Second, the Church exists for Transformation. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ means to be open to be changed by the Holy Spirit. A disciple is someone on a deeper spiritual journey of growth, learning, the intentional mentoring of others and being outwardly focused on mission for the sake of others. Here are some discipleship pathways to explore in your congregation that have been identified as transformational: Faithwalking, 3DM, VantagePoint3, Vitality pathways, and small groups.
Third, the Church exists for Authentic Community. Our view of God has a powerful impact on our willingness to be authentic. God calls us to live in community: a community of grace and truth. Authenticity requires risk taking and vulnerability with a small group of people who can help us bring our hidden self to the light of God’s healing and restoration. We need others to help us practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, solitude, study, worship, silence, confession, etc.
Fourth, the Church exists for Equipping Leaders. God calls, youth, young adults and those who are older to be leaders in His church and the world. There needs to be a commitment in the Church to come alongside leaders of all ages to help them grow and thrive in developing their leadership skills. It may mean joining in partnership with other congregations that are successfully raising up new leaders.
Fifth, the Church exists to Evangelize. Jesus promised “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8). It is every Christian’s responsibility to be a messenger, to share the story of Jesus and be a beacon of God’s love in big ways and small.
Sixth, the Church exists to Engage in Mission. What we do with our hands, our calendars, and our checkbooks says more about our faith than what we say we believe. Do you have a heart for people who are far from God? How are members of your congregation building bridges into the local community? What efforts have been made in your congregation to share the love of Jesus, in word and deed, with people around the world? The writer of Ephesians says, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us…” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
So how is the business going?
–Wayne Van Regenmorter
14: Conference Call; Chicago Classis Coordinating Committee/Calvary Reformed Church/Orland Park, IL
15: Illinois Classis Executive team/Community Reformed Church/Clinton, IL; Illiana-Florida Vision/Nomination Conference Call
17: Illiana-Florida Executive Team Meeting/Living Springs Community Church/Glenwood, IL
18: Meeting/Lombard, IL
20: Sunday Worship
22: Synod Executive Team Go-To-Meeting
23: Meeting/South Holland, IL
25: Meeting/Palos Heights, IL
27: Sunday Worship
Wayne’s contact information:
10088 Prairie Knoll Ct.
St. John, IN 46373
Mobile: (941) 302-1281
The following are some links you may find helpful…
From ‘Sit Back and Watch’ to ‘Get Up and Go’ – this article believes we’d see many more people fired up for the gospel if we would step out in faith and actually engage the community around us. And that all starts by empowering the people of God.
Blessing Our City through Holistic Outreach – Untapped outreach possibilities lie just beyond the church doors. Some go unseen because they aren’t well publicized. Many are overlooked because – let’s be honest – we church leaders focus too much on filling the volunteer positions in our own programs. We ought to think more precisely about kingdom work. Most of it doesn’t happen on the church campus.
14: Conference Calls; Office
15: WI Classis Servant Team/First Cedar Grove
17: Illiana-Florida Ministry Leadership/Executive Team Meeting/Living Springs, Glenwood, IL
18:Office 21: Office
22: RSMA Executive Team GoToMeeting
Chad’s Contact Information:
2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
Ben Ingebretson has been facilitating the church planting movement since 2013.
Ben’s Contact Information:
765 Eastridge Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Mobile: (616) 481-7566