The Regional Synod of Mid-America is changing it’s web address. Due to some hosting issues, effective immediately, the new web address is www.rsmam.org. Wayne Van Regenmorter’s email address is now firstname.lastname@example.org and Chad Schuitema’s email address is now email@example.com. Please update your contacts accordingly. The existing msyn.orgdomain will continue to work until all changes have been completed. Urban Ministry Asking: This year the regional synod received grant requests totaling more than $100,000! While we wish we could fully fund every request, we were only able to fund approximately $30,000 of those requests. The money to fund these urban ministries comes from an asking we have to every church of $4 per member and/or $2 per Sunday School participant. Would you consider helping to fund urban ministry within the regional synod in 2015? For more information please contact Chad Schuitema.
The Multi-Racial Task Force of the Regional Synod of Mid-America has its next meeting meeting December 9, 12-4 pm at Calvary Reformed Church in South Holland, IL. This team works to help our regional and the RCA move closer to a multi-racial future freed from racism. If anyone would be interested in joining the team or checking out the next meeting, please contact Alfonzo Surrett.
Young Adult Delegate to 2015 General Synod: Next year’s General Synod will be held at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL from June 11-16. Each year we can send one young adult to be a corresponding delegate. That person participates like a regular delegate but is not able to vote. A young adult delegate is one who is somewhere around traditional college age. In addition to participating in the regular business of the General Synod the young adult delegates form around the country have activities together. Do you know of someone who might be a candidate for this youth delegate? Keep this in mind as you might see these folks during Thanksgiving and Christmas times. Contact Chad Schuitema with or for information.
Women Corresponding Delegates to 2015 General Synod: The regional synod can also send up to two women who would be corresponding delegates to General Synod. These delegates participate like regular delegates but are not able to vote. We hope the voice of women from this region can better be represented at General Synod and also that these delegates can share this experience with other women in our region. If you know someone who might be interested or are interested yourself, please contact Chad Schuitema with or for information.
Ridder Church Renewal: If your church may be interested in Ridder Church Renewal a new group of churches and teams will be starting in the Fall of 2015. A preview event to learn more information, ask questions, and learn what RCR is all about will be held at Heidel House in Green Lake, WI February 6 & 7. For more information, contactChad Schuitema.
Millennial Voice for Peace Washington, DC Advocacy Summit Wednesday January 7-9, 2015: Millennial Voice for Peace (MVP) is a coalition of young Christians committed to designing, organizing, and implementing a national campaign for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Convened by World Vision, this group has Christians from across the U.S., especially Millennials, who are becoming increasingly educated, aware, and engaged in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The MVP Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., is an occasion for a process of discernment and action. It is an opportunity to meet young leaders from across the country, learn from experts in the field, share your message of peace, and discern how Christian Millennials can join together as an instrument for peace. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Way of Doing Life 2015 Winter Forum with Shane Claiborne; February 27-28, 2015 in the Wisconsin Dells. Christians are meant to be radical non-conformists, interrupting the patterns of our world with prophetic imagination—a holy counterculture. Join the Wisconsin Council of Churches and Winter Forum Presenter Shane Claiborne for a weekend of exploration around what it means to be both disciples and church in a culture that seems increasingly at odds with the heart of the gospel. The retreat will focus on: The Irresistible Revolution, Christian Troublemakers, The Economics of Rebirth, and Resurrecting Church. For more information or to sign up, click HERE.
Children’s Ministry Director Position Open: Does working with children energize you? Are you looking to help create generations of kids and families that love Jesus and want to make a positive impact in their neighborhood and community? Join the staff of North Ridge Community Church to develop your career as the Children’s Ministry Director. North Ridge Community Church is a casual and contemporary bible based church that was planted in Eldridge, Iowa. For more information email the church.
News from Camp Manitoqua
Have a BLAST this winter break – Registration has begun for Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center’s WinterBlast day camp program, a break from school, not from fun. Held during winter break for grades 1-5; featuring classic camp activities, winter snow games, hot lunches, and more. Additional information (including downloadable brochure) available at www.manitoqua.org/winterblast, or call our office at (815) 469-2319.
Women, please join Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center for a Garden Getaway in the middle of winter as we dig into Ecclesiastes 3, reflecting on God’s timing in the seasons of our lives, on January 9-10, 2015. This overnight retreat for women, with biblical teaching from materials from Group Publishing, group worship, and small group discussions, will be a rich and rewarding experience. For more information visit www.manitoqua.org/womens-retreat, or call our office at (815) 469-2319.
Summer Staff: Have you considered spending a summer in ministry? Applications for 2015 summer staff at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center are available online at www.manitoqua.org and are being accepted starting November 1.
There is no story this issue. If you wish to be part of a future issue, please email email@example.com
*Telling our stories is a way for us to encourage each other and to share what the Spirit is doing through the churches and people of our synod. As you share yours, others may be empowered to do similar things or the Spirit may use it as a starting point for another idea to reach people for Christ. We encourage you to share!
The Church Should Go Where?
Leonard Sweet tells a story of a famous athlete named C. T. Studd. Everyone in the 1890’s knew C. T. Studd, just like everyone in the decade of the 1990’s knew Michael Jordon. Studd was the captain of the British croquet team. To top it off, his father left him tens of millions of dollars – a lot of money in the 19th century. One day C. T. Studd went to a revival meeting led by Dwight Moody, a well known evangelist at the time, and gave his life to Christ. He became a missionary in Africa, India, China, and gave all of his fortune to Moody’s ministry. When he was criticized for his actions, he wrote this little poem:
· Some choose to live a quiet life with church and chapel bell,
· I choose to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.
C. T. Studd gave his life to work in ministry ‘within a yard of hell’ in the name of Jesus. In other words, he engaged the real world, where the real pain, hurt, woundedness, brokenness and lostness was to do his ministry. He gave it all to make a difference.
Where did Jesus choose to found His church? In Caesarea Philippi, after asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and hearing Peter’s faithful response, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus says, “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” An interesting fact is that on our Israel study tour we learned that Caesarea Philippi was a noted tourist center, the capital of the worship of Pan (a pagan Greek god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs), and home of the landmark Cave of Pan. It was often referred to as the “gates of hell” because this huge cave went deep into the earth. The Roman myths held that it was the entrance to the underworld.
In other words, Jesus founded the Church in a danger zone, not a comfort zone! So we too are called to take the gospel to the places where the most hurt, most emptiness, and the most evil, lostness and brokenness exists A follower of Jesus is by definition a missionary. Yet how often do we find that most of our time and energy is spend in the ministry of the Church for those who are already in it? Give it some thought. Give it some prayer. Where is God calling you and the Church to be engaged in local mission? If a fellowship of believers truly desires to remain a relevant, redemptive force in the community, what commitment must exist among church members to respond pro-actively to the changes taking place within the community and surrounding geographic area? What are the people, financial and spiritual resources available to make a difference to impact the community with a positive kingdom presence? Perhaps God may be nudging you toward a ministry in the brokenness of the community.
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
1: Staff Meeting; Office
2: Synod Executive Team Meeting/Camp Manitoqua, Frankfort, IL
3: Meeting/Faith Church, Dyer, IN
4: Ridder Church Renewal Meetings/Illinois
5: Ridder Church Renewal Meetings/Illinois
7: Sunday Worship
8: Meeting/Beecher, IL
10: Ridder Church Renewal Meetings/Illinois
11: Ridder Church Renewal Meetings/Illinois
14: 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…
The Rise of the Dones – They’re sometimes called the de-churched. They have not abandoned their faith. They have not joined the also-growing legion of those with no religious affiliation–often called the “Nones.” These people are “done” with church. What can we do about this growing trend?
Loving Accountability – Churches often think about accountability in one of the first two ways: either as a word to be thrown around to appease immediate sentiments, or as an anguished last resort, deployed only when there are no other options. What does loving accountability look like?
Three Ways We Can Foster Gratitude in Our Churches – Gratitude is also communal discipline. These three suggestions show ways we can foster a gifts perspective in our churches. They are Asset Mapping, Appreciative Inquiry, and Asset-Based Community Development.
1: Staff Meeting/Merrillville, IN; Office
2: Executive Team Meeting/Frankfort, IL
3: Coaching; Meeting/Dyer, IN
4: Coaching; Office
8: Meeting/Merrillville, IN; Office
9: RSMA Multi-Racial Task Force/South Holland, IL
10: Meeting; Homewood, IL
11: Coaching; Office
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