News from the Regional Synod of Mid-America
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Small Town & Rural Church Planting Conference: Wednesday, October 15, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm at Bethel Reformed Church in Sterling, IL.  Presenting are: Brian Steenhoek, church planter of a Midwest town under 5,000 people, will be speaking about his experience in planting a church in a small town and offer guidance on what worked for his church and what did not work.  There will be time to ask questions following his presentation to integrate his experience with your own church context.  Ben Ingebretson, Church Multiplication Consultant of the Synod of Mid-America, will present Planting as Cluster Churches as well.  Joel Rohde, worship leader of North Ridge Community Church, will be leading a time of worship and prayer.  Any church leader is welcome to attend.  Please contact Tim Truesdell if interested.

Become an RCA Coach: The Reformed Church in America is offering coaching training to anyone interested through online webinars. RCA coaches come alongside pastors and those interested in receiving coaching to help them discover God’s agenda for their lives and ministries. As an RCA coach, you can help someone listen to God about where change is needed, and help equip and empower that person to make the necessary life changes.  And you don’t need to have any of the answers. Through coaching, you will help someone find his or her own answers.  For more information please contact Joann Koning.

2014 Financial Seminar for Churches Conference by Capin Crouse LLC.  This conference is being held in Noblesville, IN.  Identify how to move your giving to more than 50% through electronic sources, work with your board and leadership to create a generosity culture, and dismantle the church-giving default and the myths that surround it.  Assess the current tax law environment and identify key compliance issues for your church.  Assess ways that your board could monitor internal controls; identify typical weaknesses in internal controls, frequent errors in accounting, and some of the most significant estimates found in church financial statements.  For more information click HERE.

2015 Salary Schedule, Rules, and Guidelines for the region are now available by clicking HERE. Alternately you may access this document on our website on the resources page.

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.

News from Camp Manitoqua
Experience Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center’s Oak Leaf Festival, an autumn event for families, youth groups, and more on October 11, 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 for treats and climbing. All details available at our website:

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 November 1 from 10am – 4pm! Come play a full day of paintball on our wooded course. Space is limited; ideal for youth groups or young adult ministries; 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 by RSVP by October 29. For High School and older.  Questions? Call the office at 815.469.2319.

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.

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 contact Salli for kitchen positions and Don for housekeeping.

This issue’s story of celebration comes from Pastor Bob Abel and Remedy Church…

We knew God was calling us to plant a church.  We knew it where it was located would define the ministry God was calling us to.  We just didn’t know where that location would be.  After looking at nearly 40 possible locations, God placed Remedy Church & Ministries in a store-front location in the heart of downtown Sheboygan.  While the city population is just under 50,000, the downtown has an urban feel with people of all ages, income levels, mental and physical health capabilities, education levels, and family dynamics both living and frequenting the downtown.

Our desire is to be the church; to be missionaries.  Our call is to serve the downtown community through our people and our resources (primarily using the building as a community resource).  Through conversations with our neighbors several needs were identified.  One of those needs led to the Coffee & Community Tuesday ministry.  There existed a non-profit organization that provided a “drop-in” facility for people with mental health challenges, the elderly, people in addiction recovery, unemployed or underemployed, etc..  This organization was closed on Tuesdays.  Therefore there was a need for a safe, healthy and loving place for people of this community group to go… and the Coffee & Community Tuesday ministry was born.

The vision of the ministry is to provide a Christ-centered community center environment where people of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds and mental health abilities can gather, build relationships, experience the love of Christ, hear the Word of God, receive prayer, be served coffee/snack and be treated with the love and respect a child of God deserves.  Ultimately the vision is to bring people to Christ, and in their own ability have them lead others to Christ.  God has brought about so many beautiful blessings through this ministry.  He has taught us that in order to be missionaries we need to be accepted into other people’s communities rather than expecting them to join ours.  He has raised up leaders – those that started by attending are now leading the ministry.  He showed us how the body works together as we have supporting churches partnering in the ministry.  And God has helped us discover and experience that “church” happens whenever and wherever the Body of Christ is gathered; Coffee & Community Tuesdays has become a worship experience offering prayer, God’s Word (bible study and one-on-one conversations), worship music, a snack and fellowship.  Many people call Remedy their church home but have never attended on a Sunday morning.

Recently a man with a very hardened heart who had struggled for years with alcohol and anger recently came up to me and said, “It is through this ministry that I have come to know Christ as my Savior and have peace in my life for the first time.  Thank you for doing this for our neighborhood.”  We praise God for doing this in our neighborhood.

*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!

If you would like to share a story for a future issue, please email

Making Good Decisions as a Team…

Should we engage in this new project or program or process?  Who will lead the new process?  How should we decide when to implement the new process?  How will we deal with the anxiety and tension this process creates?  When should we have our meetings?  What are the expected outcomes?  What are the strategic priorities?  When should we hold the event?  What will this cost?  We have probably had the experience of being on a team when these kinds of questions have been asked.  Sometimes making a team decision on these types of questions can become paralyzing and nothing gets done.  So how does a team make highly effective decisions consistently without friction, confusion and frustration?

Dan Rockwell writes a helpful post on Leadership Freak entitled:  “Solve the Frustration of Team Decision-Making”.  He asks the question:  Can we please make a decision and move on?  Decision making is an integral part of leadership and understanding how we make decisions is important.  Rockwell says that Ineffective teams don’t know how to make consensus decisions.  He identifies 7 negatives of consensus decision-making:
1.  Lots of talk – nothing done
2.  Talkers and power players dominate weak, passive, or quiet members.
3.  One negative person holds the team hostage. Some people feel most powerful when they disagree.
4.  Personal agendas distract from real issues.
5.  Decisions that address every concern feel lukewarm at best.
6.  Ambiguous accountability.  If things fall through the cracks who is held accountable?
7.  Turbulent environments call for rapid response.

He also identifies 5 positives of consensus decision-making:

1.  Engagement.
2.  Silo breaking.
3.  Diverse perspectives provide broad understanding.  You won’t say, “Oh! We didn’t think of that.”
4.  Achieve the greatest benefit for the greatest number of stakeholders.
5.  Minimize surprises.

So how much consensus is enough to make a good decision?  When do you know it is time to stop beating dead horses?  Rockwell reminds us that perfect consensus is a myth.  We need to shoot for informed consent.  Here is a helpful tool which can be used for team decision making.
— Wayne Van Regenmorter

6:  Office
7:  Conference Call, Coaching
8:  Synod Executive Team Meeting; Meeting/Cornerstone Church/Bourbonnais, IL
9:  Meeting/Naperville, IL
10:  Off
11:  Chicago Classis Meeting/Trinity College
12:  Sunday Worship
13:  Office
14:  Wisconsin Classis Meeting/Trinity Community Church/Brown Deer, WI
15:  Meeting/South Holland, IL
16:  Illiana-Florida MLT/Executive Team Meeting/Dyer, IN
17:  Off
18:  Illinois Classis Rural Church Planting/Sterling. IL
19:  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…
What You’ll Find When You Stop Running: Al Andrews tells the story of a dream he had to illustrate why we run from relationships and role God gives us and also tells us why we should stop running.

A Critical Need in Every Church’s Ministry: Scott McKnight talks about seeing youth ministry as a locale to encounter the revelation of God next to the humanity of young people themselves. Youth ministry, he says, should seek to reflect deeply on the action of God in and through the lives of young people who are both within and outside the church.

Focus on Developing Your Staff As Leaders: Dave Odom encourages innovation within the church says that nurturing talent across levels and roles is one way to build and equip those you serve with.

Amazing Church Rebirth Through Merger: This powerful video tells the amazing story of what God did in bringing new spiritual life to that 190-year-old congregation.

Low Budget Leadership Development: How do you develop leaders in your organization without funding? The executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches offers 10 ideas for leadership development on a shoestring.

6: Office
7: Office
8: Synod Executive Team Meeting; Meeting/Cornerstone Church/Bourbonnais, IL
9: Coaching; Office
10: Office
13:  Columbus Day, Office Closed
14:  Wisconsin Classis Meeting/Trinity Community Church/Brown Deer, WI
15:  Coaching; Office
16:  Illiana-Florida MLT/Executive Team Meeting/Dyer, IN
17:  Office

Chad’s Contact Information:
2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678

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8122 West Sauk Trail

FrankfortIL  60423

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