Dear Friends: I was just complaining about how it’s always gray outside and it’s dark in the morning when I drive to work and dark at night when I drive home. The person I was complaining to said, “It’s Indiana, just wait a few hours and it will change.” I hear that joke about Indiana weather often – maybe it’s said about your state too. It’s something to laugh at, but today it also reminded me to have patience. Patience is perhaps the hardest of all virtues to fully embrace. Whenever I think about trying to increase my patience I think of this prayer of Teilhard de Chardin: “Above all, trust is the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.” I’m sure you can apply this to something going on in your life right now whether it’s impatience about winter ending, or saving for a new purchase, or a trial to end, or whatever makes you impatient. Perhaps impatience is at least partially about a lack of trust in the slow work of God. Maybe we need to trust a little more when we find ourselves impatient about something. de Chardin closes his prayer with: “Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.” God’s hand is indeed leading us…may we trust in his work, no matter how slow. — Chad
We are still looking for a youth delegate to General Synod 2023 (June 8-13, 2023 at Central College in Pella, IA). The Youth Corresponding Delegate has the privilege of the floor to speak and engage in all activities of synod except voting, and also has special activities related to sensing a call to ministry. Typically this is a college-aged person who has already felt a call to some form of ministry. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for either of these corresponding roles, please email Chad.
Serve on an RCA Commission – All confessing members of the RCA (ministers, commissioned pastors, and laypersons) are eligible to serve on commissions, boards, and agencies. The Church Growth Fund is currently looking for a new board member with banking experience, and the Board of Benefits Services is looking for someone with executive director or CEO experience, and there are plenty of other openings each year. Please pass this information on to anyone in your congregation who might be interested; the first step is to indicate interest by filling out a profile form.
Understanding the Bible: How to study Scripture – In 2016, General Synod recognized that across the RCA, we didn’t have a shared understanding of what it means to read Scripture with a Reformed lens. Synod called for the development of resources to cultivate a Reformed understanding of Scripture. The video series that was created then, featuring J. Todd Billings, is still a helpful tool and has recently been updated as a three-part online course, offered free on Faithward. Todd, who is Gordon H. Girod research professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary, first developed this course as a video series that could be used in a church setting, and it was recently updated for individual use, too.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA Good Friday Prayer Walk – Come walk our grounds anytime on Good Friday (April 7) between 11:00am and 3:00pm as you read through the events leading up to the crucifixion of Christ. Click HERE to learn more.
Work Day! It would be difficult for us to imagine what the ministry of Camp Manitoqua would be like if we did not have the support of local churches and our brothers and sisters in Christ and so we invite anyone to come and help at our annual work day. Click HERE to learn more.
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Future Church: 8 Church Trends to Watch in 2023– The “new normal” seems to keep changing all the time. Following three years of extraordinary turbulence in the church, 2023 appears to be a year that will be about as ‘regular’ as anything church leaders have seen in a few years, while also introducing additional elements of the future church that’s being built as we speak.
What to Do with the Nones – This conversation with Ryan Burge about 21st-century ministry in light of dramatic changes in attendance and attention patterns is very insightful about the 30% of Americans who designate that they have no religious affiliation.