The Newest Issue of the RCA Today with stories from our region can be viewed HERE.
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 The regional synod received grant requests totaling in excess of $92,000! While we would like to grant all requests, the RSMA Executive Team made decisions to give out a total of $33,000 to 9 different ministries. We pray for fruitful blessings as these ministries seek to live out the Kingdom of God in their specific setting. *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 firstname.lastname@example.org for kitchen positions and email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
Learning to Graze…
After a busy weekend of church activities and celebrations I feel the need to learn to graze. Most pastors at one time or another can identify with what Kayla McClurg shares in her article, “Learning to Graze”. I pass it on as a reminder of the need for grazing. Kayla writes:
“I have been meditating this week on a picture of one solitary sheep grazing in a green pasture. That’s all this sheep is doing—not pawing at the ground in search of better food, not dangling off a cliff from having climbed too high, not discussing with other sheep how to become better, smarter, more self-actualized. She just grazes contentedly, chewing quietly on what is.
My soul longs for such repose, such absence of striving. The sheep is not pacing anxiously, wringing her hooves about the state of the whole broken world, but quietly attends to what Catherine de Hueck Doherty has called the duty of the moment. She just gives herself, in all her humble sheepiness, to what is before her. The shepherd is not in view, but the sheep is not concerned about dangers. When she hears the one voice, her ears undoubtedly will lift, curious as to what will be asked of her, but in the meantime she dwells in the stillness of peace, the abundance of not over-thinking, over-doing, over-strategizing, over-imagining her important role in the grand scheme. She simply enjoys the abundance of her small place in the pasture.
The serenity of the picture does not translate easily into my daily scenes, where so many gates, so many shepherds false and real, so many other sheep abound. Dwelling in quiet repose seems illusory most days. No wonder we have relegated it to the sweet by-and-by instead of our calling in the sweet here-and-now. Extended periods of stillness, grazing slowly, attending to each moment, seem a bit of a luxury with so many dire and urgent needs. Aren’t the best prayers the ones we say with our feet and hands in direct action? Isn’t the primary instruction written on all our hearts the one to stay busy? Waiting to hear the real voice that calls us by our real names might mean missing hundreds of opportunities right now.
Something in this picture heightens my longing even as I struggle. I want less, I want more, I want to slow down, I want to hurry up, I resist my own small sheepish callings, I want to be a bold citizen of the world, I want to be a hermit hidden from life’s noisy conflict, I want to avoid, I want to connect. In the midst of this cacophony, I am learning to listen for the one voice that matters. Little by little, I am learning to graze.”
–Wayne Van Regenmorter
28: KEZ Meeting/Calvary Reformed Church/Orland Park, IL
30: Meeting/Cedar Lake, IL October Schedule
1: Classis Supervisor Workshop – Part 2 Online Meeting
2: Meeting/Tinley Park, IL
4: Sunday Worship
5: Meeting/Lombard, IL
7: Meeting/Merrillville, IN
8: Go-to-Meeting Check-in
9: Travel Day
10: 75th Church Anniversary Activities/Sioux Falls, SD
11: Preach/First Reformed Church/Sioux Falls, SD
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…
Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Ward Presbyterian are partnering to buy condemned homes in a blighted area, rehab them and help low-income residents settle into the houses.
How the Church Can Learn From the Emergency Room – It might sound far-fetched to look for Christian leadership lessons in the emergency room, but two brothers — one a university chaplain, the other a doctor — find similarities in how to achieve excellence in both settings.
Pastor With 9000 Member Church Says We Should Stop Focusing On Numbers – J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with “gathering and counting” and instead get excited about the possible impact of “raising up and sending out” their members.
29: Coaching; Office
30: Coaching; Office October Schedule:
1: Ridder Church Renewal WI Implementation Team Call; Meeting/Lafayette, IN
2:Vacation 5: Office
6: Commissioned Pastor Advisory Team Meeting/Schiller Park, IL
7: Coaching; Specialized Transition Ministers Conference Call
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