Dear Friends: Happy Thanksgiving! As Christians we are to live in a posture of gratitude, yet gratitude seems to get misplaced every once in a while. We complain, we compare, we aren’t content with what we have – and so Thanksgiving comes as an opportunity to reset ourselves for gratitude. And then, with Advent right around the corner, keep that gratitude going, knowing that the Savior we await has indeed come and redeemed us. It is my prayer (for myself and you), that this Thursday is a reminder and a kick off for a season of gratitude. — Chad
Honoring Indigenous/Native American Voices Thanksgiving Toolkit – Faithward has put together a fabulous resource with ways to honor and listen to Native American voices and practices to help make Thanksgiving perhaps even more meaningful this year.
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. To find out more, click here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Everybody Belongs, Serving Together – This comprehensive online guide to church accessibility and inclusive ministry will help your church embrace people with disabilities, not only as recipients of God’s love, but as partners in ministry. This guide features a plethora of new insights, resources, and tips for becoming an inclusive church. Check it out by clicking 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.
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.
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Diverse Congregations Are Stronger Congregations – One hopeful trend in Faith Communities Today’s 2020 survey findings is that the percentage of multiracial congregations in the U.S. has doubled over the past two decades, from 12% to 25% of all faith communities. The 2020 FACT Survey Report also reveals that congregational diversity correlates to increased growth, spiritual vitality, and a clearer sense of mission and purpose.
Start Leading the Church You Have – Many are waiting for things (especially church and church attendance) to go back to “normal” or at least to the pre-pandemic “normal”. While waiting for that to happen, what opportunities might we be missing? It may be wise to see your church as the church it is now, and not what it might be once we get back to “normal”.
Five Key Practices for Building a High Trust Culture – Amy Barker says that the church should be a training center in the development of trust. She names practices that leaders can employ when groups come together to create environments that foster and facilitate a high-trust culture.
Three Strategies for Creating More Adaptable Ministries – Meghan Hatcher explains that churches capable of adapting in response to the needs and assets of a community make it possible for more people to experience the transformative love and grace of Christ. She outlines three strategies to help a church be more innovative and adaptable.