Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. King – A Call to Unity
The Multi-Racial Initiatives Team of the Synod of Mid-America stands on the words of Matthew 5: 9:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
As believers, we are called to be peacemakers during this most challenging social justice time. The events in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio, Staten Island, New York and across our entire nation is an opportunity for the Churches and Ministries in the Synod Mid-America to come together as ONE in the 1st Regional Synod of Mid-America youth driven celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Living Springs Riverdale Ministry Center, 14242 South Wabash Avenue, Monday, January 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm. Adults and youth are invited and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact: Ann Bilbrew (708) 646-8349 or Alfonso Surrett (708) 738-7775.
The Regional Synod of Mid-America has changed it’s web address. Our 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.org domain 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.
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.
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.
Favorite Gift Ever Given
What’s the most favorite gift you’ve ever given? Think for a minute before answering that question. Remember the details of the moment – like to whom you gave it to, what it was, and where you were. I know my favorite gift given. It wasn’t Christmas, or my wife Linda’s birthday, or our anniversary or anything like that. It was in the early part of May on a beautiful spring day when we had arranged some babysitters for our children and finally managed to schedule some time to go out on a date alone. We were both excited to get out of the house and take a leisurely walk in a park. As we sat on the park bench enjoying the warmth of the sunshine, I started telling Linda how much she meant to me, what an excellent mom she was to our two children, and all the ways she was special to me and our family throughout our years together. Even now I can remember exactly how I felt that day – overwhelmed with love for the woman who sat on that park bench with me. Then the fun part came. I said, “Linda, you know I love you, but sometimes I think you wonder does he really love me all the way? I have something for you. Take this ring and wear it so that when you wonder, you only have to look at your hand to remember that I love you all the way.” It was a special moment for me and Linda and I wanted her to have proof that on an ordinary day I love her and am committed to her.
On an ordinary day to most people some 2,000 years ago, God’s heart was overwhelmed with love for His children. He wanted every human to know that “yes, He really does love us all the way.” So He didn’t reach in His pocket and pull out a ring. He put on human skin, entered the body of a teenage girl, and was born a helpless baby. Jesus grew up and at the age of 33 willingly and sacrificially died on a cross to show us the extent of His love for every human. Those two ordinary days long ago now have titles and celebrations around them. We call them Christmas and Easter. God knows them as His best He’s gift ever given. God is love and love has a direction toward someone, or it’s not love. His love is directed at every human on every ordinary and extraordinary day. Remember that – You are loved all the way by Love Himself. So what’s your favorite gift you’ve ever given? Tell someone else. And then tell them about God’s best gift.
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
19: Consistory Meeting/Reformed Community Church/Venice, FL
20: Meeting/West Palm Springs, FL
21: North Dade Community Church/Miami, FL
22: Meeting/Christ Community Church/Pompano Beach, FL
How to Live On Mission (Even with a Busy Schedule) – How is it possible to live life on mission in the midst of a busy schedule? In this video, Jayne Vanderstelt speaks to the reality that mission is not something that we add on to what we are already doing in our compartmentalized lives. Rather, mission happens when we respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit, intentionally loving and serving those whom God puts in our path as we live lives that are visible and consistent.
Congregational Leadership As Spiritual Practice – Claiming our role as spiritual guides is a matter of seeing God’s presence and then encouraging its emergence within the congregation. In a time of spiritual challenge, limitations, and frequent polarization, such spiritual vision is the result of a commitment to nurturing awareness of God’s presence in ourselves and others.
Six Questions from Newcomers – What experience are people having in that first critical year at your church? Are they finding acceptance, community and significance? What could you do to come alongside them as they ask these questions?
15: Staff Meeting/Merrillville, IN; Office
18: Coaching; Office
22: Meeting/Merrillville, IN; Office
23: RSMA Multi-Racial Task Force/South Holland, IL
24 – 26: Vacation/Christmas Holiday
29: Coaching; Office
1: New Year’s Day
7: Regional Synod Multiplication Roundtable/Naperville, IL