Dear Friends: If you’ve ever worn noise-canceling headphones you know how the effect of putting them on literally drowns out all the noise around you but what song you are listening to. I was recently doing some work in a busy coffee shop, listening to Christmas music without noise-canceling on and all the sound was competing and distracting. I switched to noise-canceling mode and the complete immersion in the song while simultaneously getting rid of the coffee shop noise was striking. I wish it was that easy in other parts of our lives…wouldn’t it be great if we could just press a button and all the distractions and noise from the world would disappear and we could simply focus on Jesus this Christmas? It isn’t that easy, but we do have a choice about our focus. Distractions will always be there. Busyness may not go away. But what competing voices do we let into our lives? How much “noise” is there because we let it be there? May we be less distracted and more focused on Jesus during this Advent season.
The RSMA has made some staffing changes – Wayne Van Regenmorter will be continuing in his role as Facilitator of Multi-Ethnic Church Partnerships and Chad Schuitema will be continuing as Regional Synod Executive, but in a much more part-time role. We will continue to be a resource to our classes and churches, and because of these changes, we will be lowering our Regional Synod assessment rate to $5 per confessing member for 2022.
Bless Your Pastor is Back – This season, from pastor appreciation month in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December, we want to encourage churches to be generous by taking a special offering to bless their pastor. The added bonus? If a church takes a special collection to help a pastor pay down student loans or medical debt, the Board of Benefits Services will match their gift up to $2,000. These matching funds are limited, and will be given on a first come, first serve basis with a deadline of January 6, 2022. To find out more, click here.
Delegates to General Synod 2022 – We are looking for 2 Corresponding Women Delegates and a Youth Delegate to General Synod 2022 at Central College in Pella, Iowa from June 9-14. 2022. Corresponding Delegates participate in all the discussions of General Synod and have a voice, but not a vote. If you are interested in serving our denomination in this way, or know of someone who might be, please have them contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Commission on Nominations is looking for committed, talented, passionate individuals to serve on RCA commissions, agencies, and boards. They may have more vacancies to fill than usual this year and the Church needs your help. If you are interested in serving our denomination, visit this link and download a profile to fill out and email back to the commission at email@example.com.
General Synod 2021 made some decisions for our denomination. You can read a recap of those decisions here. If you prefer to read the journal (minutes) you can click here.
The RSMA’s 2022 Compensation Guidelines are available HERE. These guidelines are created by a team and then sent to all our classes for approval. Some classes have met and approved these already, others will be meeting soon to do so.
Free Christian Counseling for Pastors and Church Employees – The RCA’s Board of Benefits Services Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential Christian counseling either at at an outpatient clinic in your area or via an online telehealth session. Up to 3 sessions per issue are provided at no cost to any employee of an RCA church. Some common issues addressed are depression, anxiety, work-related problems, marital issues, family issues, substance abuse, and others. The 24 hour hotline number is (833) 244-2490. For more information click HERE.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA
Winter Blast registration is open! Camp Manitoqua is looking forward to another opportunity to serve you and your family this winter season. The WinterBlast program seeks to introduce children to Christ and His message of salvation as well as to provide a setting and community where their lives are enriched through intentional and high energy programming. Our staff is committed to providing a safe and caring environment for your child. For more information, click here.
Camp Manitoqua is looking to enrich the land God has provided with new trees. If you would like to donate to this project, click here.
To get the most up to date information about Camp Manitoqua, please check out their updates HERE.