News from the Regional Synod of Mid-America

Florida Dreams
Discipleship & Leadership Training
Small Church Learning Communities
Elder/Deacon Resources
Links You May Find Useful

For previous newsletters, resources, and other information, visit and like us on Facebook.

Florida Churches Gather to Dream about A New Classis – Nearly 40 leaders gathered at the end of January for a one day event in Sarasota, FL to dream about a new classis in the state Florida.  Existing RCA churches and church plants, as well as nearly a dozen churches at the beginning stages of joining the RCA met to discern, pray, dream, and discuss the amazing opportunities God is showing us in Florida and Georgia.  Stories in Spanish and English were told to each other as relationships were formed and deepened at this multi-cultural gathering.        

Develop More Disciples and Leaders – Come and spend time in an incredible Leadership and Discipleship Intensive at Alto Reformed Church in Alto, WI with the RCA’s Transformed and Transforming Team. Solidify an effective Leadership/Discipleship pipeline and also introduce you to some excellent continuing education opportunities through the Transformed and Transforming Initiative.  Rod Tucker, RCA Coordinator for Discipleship and Sung Kim, RCA Coordinator for Leadership Development will facilitate this free event.  Any volunteers or staff involved in discipleship ministries for children, youth, or adults are urged to attend. This is not intended to train your teachers, but is designed to help you rethink how you are making disciples. Small teams coming together will be most beneficial. Please RSVP by Feb. 25, 2019 to

RCA Elder and Deacon Leadership Development Resource is a downloadable guide to further enhance your church’s ministry as your elders and deacons are trained to be active leaders in the congregation, rather than simply a board of managers. This comprehensive resource will help congregations develop and equip their elders and deacons for effective church leadership.

Small Church Learning Communities Forming in 2019.  Based on the success and interest in our first Small Church Learning Community we will be leading two more in 2019.  If you are looking at a more general learning community on pastoring small churches, we encourage you to choose: Small Church Essentials by Karl Vaders.  If you previously did the Small Church Essentials Learning Community and are looking to focus more specifically on missional discipleship in smaller churches, you should choose: Small Church On A Big Mission by Jeff Allen.   Dates and times are not set yet.  If you are interested in either or these, please email Chad and let him know which one.

General Synod Council urging restraint in sending overtures which require action at General Synod 2019.  The formation of the Vision 2020 Team reflected the 2018 General Synod’s consensus that the RCA cannot realistically continue to do “business as usual.”  The proposed change to the 2019 General Synod’s time allocation would constructively signal a disruption of the status quo that the work of this team represents. It would begin to prepare us for General Synod 2020, when the team will bring its final report and recommendation. In place of overtures requesting action, classes and regional synods might consider sending a letter to the General Synod that would not entail floor debate while still expressing concerns and/or viewpoints.  To read more from GSC Moderator Lee DeYoung, click HERE.  

The RCA’s Board of Benefits Services Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential Christian counseling either at at an outpatient clinic in your area (Pine Rest in Grand Rapids), 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
Registration for ‘Summer Camp 2019’ begins February 1, 2019 at 5am. Remember to register early for preferred dates. Visit for additional information and registration. Call our office at 815.469.2319 if you need any assistance

Looking for some fun winter activities?  Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center is hosting family game nights on Mondays in February.  The game nights will include rotations based on age and activities (1st grade through adults).  Cost is $5 per person per child each date (parents are free) or $15 if you come all 4 weeks!  Dates & times are Feb 4, 11, 18 & 25 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.  To RSVP, please contact or call 815.469.2319. Payment can be submitted upon arrival.  Space is limited so RSVP soon!
Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center is currently hiring in a couple of departments.  We are in need of hiring part-time staff to be AZ facilitators with training taking place this spring.  We are also hiring cooks and kitchen assistants for weekend shifts starting as soon as possible and summer 2019. Cooks must have food service experience; sanitation license preferred. High school students & college students are ideal candidates for the kitchen assistant shifts!  Visit or call the office at 815.469.2319 for an application.

Apply for Summer Staff at Camp Manitoqua!  We are looking for ministry-minded college students who love kids and have a desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are taking applications and would encourage you to apply today!  For more information visit our                           

LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL                                  
 Don’t Miss the Entrepreneurial Lessons That Only a Small Church Can Teach – Small companies are fueled by passion, innovation and risk-taking. A Small church should be, too.  As companies get bigger, passion is often replaced by profits, innovation by budgets, and creativity by quality control. Big companies tend to take fewer risks because they have too much to lose. Unfortunately, small churches don’t have the same reputation that small businesses have. Instead of being a nexus of passion, innovation and risk-taking, we try to behave more like we’re big companies—or big churches. How could this change? 

Our Job Is Not to Keep the Church in Business – The Episcopal bishop of Connecticut says his role is prodding, challenging, inviting and encouraging the faithful to ask the question, “What is God up to in the neighborhood?”  How could asking this question change our churches?

What Are the Next Chapters of Your Church’s Story? – Leading a congregation into the future requires understanding its story – and helping it envision what new chapters might come next.  

Are You Obsessed with Safety and Security? Instead of experiencing “adventure or journey or quest” inside the church (taking risks), we strive to keep everything “nice and safe.” However, if we were to take real risks, we would be invested in the outcome of the church. Hirsch implies that if the church were truly embracing the gospel, we would be risking things more important than membership in a club.  

Managing Secrets Maturely: Family Systems Theory for Church Leaders – Every pastor faces the constant challenge of how to handle personal and congregational “secrets.” Because of the unique relational nature of our work, pastors probably wrestle with how to navigate secrets more than any other profession. Who among us has not wrestled with how to negotiate the blurred lines between those who are our members, parishioners, acquaintances, friends or even perceived adversaries in our faith communities?  And what about our own personal secrets?  How do we manage those maturely?  

Discover the 5 LOVE Languages of Pastors – Thom Rainer asked 24 pastors how a church member might speak to each pastor in his own love language. And though 24 people do not constitute a massive survey, he was amazed at the consistency of the responses.Copyright © 2019 Regional Synod of Mid-America, RCA, All rights reserved. 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list