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.
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.
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, contact Chad Schuitema.
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.
Dealing with Difficult People Workshop in Chicago December 11, 2014. This workshop will analyze what is happening in exchanges with difficult people and demonstrate how people can adapt their strategies to bring about more productive conversations with those they find difficult. Participants will also learn how to change their interactions with difficult people in order to influence their behaviour, resulting in more positive outcomes. Click HERE for more information.
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 Enjoy a taste of fall at the Red Oak Luncheon, a pleasant occasion for seniors, at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center on Wednesday, December 3th. 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 November 30.
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.
Camp Manitoqua also has job postings:
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 contactSalli for kitchen positions and Don for housekeeping.
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*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!
Visioning Great Things…
Transformed and Transforming is about a new vision for the RCA to move forward into God’s preferred future for the next 15 years. It’s an invitation from God to discover His unique ministry and missional opportunities that will transform you personally, your church, your community and even the world. In Exodus 3 and 4 when God gave His vision for delivering the Hebrew people from Egypt Moses immediately began to ask questions. It’s interesting that the more questions he asked, the more Gad gave him clarity about His preferred future for the Hebrew people. As our region, classes and congregations continue to gain clarity about living out Transformed and Transforming many questions are being asked and need to be asked:
Is this just a new denomination program that is being pushed down or does God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, really want to transform me personally?
Am I ready to “be the change” that God wants to do in the congregation I serve?
As church leaders are we willing to be vulnerable and allow God to show us an honest picture of the current reality of our congregation?
Are we willing to place participation in God’s mission ahead of personal preferences, treasured traditions, and valued relationships?
Are we ready to manage the tension and anxiety of change to become a more thriving, missional, culturally relevant congregation to our community?
Are we ready and willing to be held accountable to carry out the commitments we have made to live and love like Jesus?
Could our congregation be equipped to develop unique pathways through which people will be transformed into passionate outwardly focused followers of Jesus who live for the sake of others?
Could clusters of people from two or three congregations come together and learn from each other how to increase the impact of a particular ministry in their community?
How can we develop a clear and effective leadership mobilization strategy that will engage the next generation for significant service in the local church and in the world?
Do we believe that God has called us to share the Gospel message? If that is so, how do we do it in the context of our current culture?
What are the biggest opportunities in front of us as a congregation to express the Gospel of Jesus Christ in transformational ways, bringing reconciliation, justice, blessing, and hope to individuals and families in our community?
What are the unique “hidden” assets within our congregation that we need to seize to follow God’s call?
Who do I need to meet with in the next 90 days to walk with me to help discover God’s unique assignment for our church and community?
With a vision built on those disconnected from Jesus, how can our congregation be equipped to increase its global impact?
What are the opportunities as a volunteer for service for Christ? Where can I discover them?
What are the top 3 most important things that I need to do as a pastor in the next 90 days that will impact people with the love of God?
What will our congregation look like 3 years from now; 5 years from now; 10 years from now; 15 years from now? What foot print do we want to leave on our community?
What questions would you add? The Explore and Engage discussion guide is a good starting point for a congregation to dive into Transformed and Transforming. It can be found on the RCA website: www.rca.org/transform. Often in moments when we realize that deep change is necessary a battle takes place in our minds. I’ve fought that battle and continue to fight these thoughts: “I can’t do this”; “This is crazy”; “This is impossible in an old denomination like the RCA”; “This is God-sized and I say like Moses – they will not listen to me.” And then God says, “What is in your hand?” Sometimes I forget that great vision requires great risk and great sacrifice. I believe somewhere in each of our hearts God is calling us to do something great for Him. We follow a great God. Are you and I willing to have a vision for great things?
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
3: Meeting/Lemont, IL; Camp Manitoqua Board Meeting/Frankfort, IL
4: Synod Executive Team Go-To-Meeting Video Conference
5: Meeting/Lombard, IL
6: Meeting/Faith Community Church/West Chicago
9: Sunday Worship
11: Meeting/Faith Church/Dyer, IN
12: Vision Casting T&T/Trinity Community Church/Brown Deer, WI
13: Vision Casting T&T/Second Reformed Church/Fulton, IL
16: 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…
In Which I’m Staying in the Conversation – Nate Pyle courageously writes about how hard but worthwhile it is to stay in the conversation/debate surround LGBT people. He says, “staying engaged in the conversation begins with listening while in relationship with people.”
4: Executive Committee Video Conference; Missional Mosaic Conference Call
6: Coaching; Office
11: Meeting at Faith Dyer; T&T Local Missional Engagement Team Conference Call
12: Vision Casting T&T/Brown Deer, WI
13: Coaching; Office
Chad’s Contact Information:
2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678