Dear Friends: Recently I was at a gathering with multiple cultures, ethnicities, and languages were present. To me it was a beautiful picture of heaven where all of God’s people will be gathered from every nation. As hospitality was shown to me in so many wonderful ways, it reminded me to be hospitable, respectful, and honoring of every person God places in my path. How often do we see someone who doesn’t look like us or talk like us and we judge them? How often do we hear someone saying something we don’t agree with and we instantly categorize them (often dismissing them for being “wrong”)? We must do our best as followers of Jesus to never judge those who are different than us and try our hardest to be welcoming to all people. Sometimes we don’t speak the language of God when we argue and fight, sometimes we don’t live in theculture of Jesus when we engage in sin, sometimes our lives don’t agree with what the Bible calls us to – and yet God welcomes and loves us and doesn’t judge us. Let’s seek to do the same towards all those he places in our path. — Chad
The Regional Synod of Mid-America and the Reformed Church in America are partnering together to offer three upcoming webinars: Reaching the Next Generation (April 13), Discipleship in a Digital Age (April 27), and Local Mission in a Pandemic (May 11). All three will be held via Zoom and more information will be coming soon. *Congratulations to Pastor David Bordy of Creek Road Community Church in Delavan, WIfor winning the $25 Amazon gift card just for filling out a doodle poll to help us schedule the date and time of the event.
Helping Make Discipleship Matter MORE to Young People – this online webinar from the RCA Discipleship Team will be held on March 18, 2021, at 1:30 pm (CDT). This webinar will look to answer the fundamental question of how do we make discipleship matter more to younger people? This is an opportunity for the church to come around these young people, to be generous toward them with time, talents, and opportunities, and to disciple them. Click HERE to sign up.
The RCA’s fifth annual Women’s Stories Day will be held on Saturday, March 13, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. (CDT). This will be an online webinar via Zoom and is free for everyone. We do ask that you kindly register in advance. This event will include information about various storytelling projects going on within the RCA and ways participants can bring them back to their faith communities, creating generous space for the unique stories of their members to be honored and shared.
RCA Flourishing Churches Grant – thanks to the generosity of the Church Growth Fund of the RCA, if your church wants to increase its missional capacity, consider applying for one of the 2021 round of Flourishing Churches grant. There are five $50,000 grants available to help congregations repair or improve their building for outward-focused ministry to the community. You can find more information and get the application HERE. Applications are due by May 14.
General Synod Rescheduled and Read General Secretary Eddy Aleman’s vision for the future of the RCA as well as the Vision 2020 Recommendations and other information about General Synod by clicking HERE. Also, General Synod 2021 has been tentatively rescheduled for October 2021 and more information about that rescheduling can be found HERE.
The RCA continues to offer free/reduced fee Spiritual Direction (and coaching) during the Pandemic – to learn more, and find a spiritual director, click HERE. To hear General Synod Vice-President, Phil Assink, share about his experience with spiritual direction, click HERE.
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.
You can continue to find all of the RCA’s COVID-19 resourcesHERE.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA Registration for Camp Manitoqua’s summer day programs is open. Programs available for registration include day camp, encounter camp and SAM’s camp. All programs are day programs. For additional information, visit Manitoqua.org/Summer
Camp Manitoqua is hiring college-aged students for summer 2021. If you or someone you know loves children and is interested, please visit Manitoqua.org/jobs to read more and apply.
There will be a work day on April 17 from 8am-1pm (CT). Lunch will be provided and there is a list of projects to complete. Volunteers have been a huge asset to Camp Manitoqua over the years and the work day is a great opportunity to prepare the camp for the witness it provides to young people. For more information and to RSVP, contact Leah Meskis.
To get the most up to date information about Camp Manitoqua, please check out their updates HERE.
6 Reasons You Need to be Intentional about Culture – What is the culture of your ministry? Who is important in your culture? Is culture “just there” or are you intentional about it? This article gives some practical help and some level of evaluation of the culture of your church.
I Want to Immerse People in Hospitality and God’s Love – Purpose is about obeying our Savior’s commands, chiefly to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36–40). Not only does this article talk about ways to live those Scriptures out, it also highlights a model of church that may be appealing to you.
What Will Your Church Look Like Post COVID-19– Falling back into the busyness and non-missional activities pre-COVID-19 could spell a crisis for the church. This article may help your church examine its mission and its activities as we continue toward life post-pandemic.