The Illiana-Florida Classis Revitalization Team will be hosting an Engaging Your Community in Mission event with Blaine Newhouse, RCA Coordinator for Local Missional Engagement January 30 from 10am-4pm Central Time at First Reformed Church of South Holland.  Some of the highlights of the event will be:
  • Allowing space for congregations and/or congregational leaders to introduce themselves and share their current local mission engagement reality.
  • A time of vision/values casting/content delivery by Blaine.
  • An interactive experience inviting congregations and/or congregational leaders to identify local ministry strengths and growing edges (where are we stuck or having greater difficulty), acknowledge how God has prepared them historically AND where/how/why God may be inviting them to engage during the next season of the churches ministry.
  • Introduce and/or build on the concept of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
  • Develop a basic action plan around possible next steps.
  • Report out to the group and determine if/how we might hold one another accountable for these outcomes.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Chad Schuitema.

The recent Missional Cafe event in Chicagoland featured Dr. Soong-Chan Rah speaking about the future of Christianity in America.  Here are some videos from the event as well as some information on who to contact if you are interested in exploring this further.  A person need not to have been in attendance to take advantage of these great resources.

      Your Local Mission
  • Mission Insite study of your community.   This can help your church look at ministry from the perspective of outsiders especially immigrant and ethnic groups.  Contact Peter Kelder or Ben Ingebretson.
  • Connect to your neighbors and stir missional efforts in your community. Coaching and other resources available. Contact Eric LeRew.
  • Reach out to local ethnic church leaders for conversation and learning. Contact Tim Hoekstra.
  • Cultural Intelligence assessment and training.  This tool and training can help you prepare to work more effectively across cultures and can come to your leadership team meetings.  Contact Ben Ingebretson
      Church Planting
  • Meet with RCA/CRC leaders to consider partnering with others to plant a church (we will facilitate the process). Contact: Peter Kelder or Ben Ingebretson.
  • Consider becoming a host to an ethnic church plant. Weekend emphasis and discussion in your congregation about this opportunity is available. See attached brochure and contact Ben Ingebretson.
  • Seeking a hispanic planter?   Eddy Aleman from the RCA has identified qualified and assessed Hispanic church planters that may be willing to relocate to Chicagoland.

Members of RCA churches are encouraged to serve on different commissions within the denomination.  To be eligible, you need to have filled out a Profile form.  The Profile form is available on the RCA website at (Also available at that address is a document entitled Commissions and Agencies Descriptions which contains brief descriptions of the various RCA commissions, agencies, and boards.) To guarantee consideration in this year’s process, the form should be submitted by November 27, 2015. This will provide adequate time to prepare materials for consideration at the Commission on Nomination’s January meeting.

Sympathy is extended to Joan Zeldenrust, former Christian Education Consultant for the Regional Synod. Joan’s husband Bob, died this past week.  A celebration of life service was held November 22 at Trinity, Munster.

News from Camp Manitoqua
Have a BLAST this winter break – Registration has begun for our WinterBlast day camp program, a break from school, not from fun, at Camp Manitoqua and Retreat Center.  Held during winter break for grades 1-5; featuring classic camp activities, winter snow games, hot lunches, and more.  Additional information (including downloadable brochure) available at, or call our office at 815-469-2319.

Enjoy a taste of fall at the Red Oak Luncheon, a pleasant occasion for seniors, at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center on Wednesday, December 2th.  Coffee & Rolls will be served at 10:30am.  Our program will begin at 11:00am with lunch to follow at 12:00pm.  Tours of the grounds will be available after lunch.  Cost for the event is $10.00.  Please make reservations at 815-469-2319 by November 25.

Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center’s fall retreat season has begun.  At this time, we are offering groups a 15% discount on any retreat booked for December 2015 or January 2016. Please contact Ken at 815.469.2319, or at for availability.

Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center is now hiring cooks, kitchen assistants and part-time housekeeping staff. Cooks must have food service experience; sanitation license preferred. Call 815-469-2319 for an application or contact for kitchen positions and for housekeeping.

Increase Your Family’s Thankfulness…

In the rush of living in the 21st century I wonder if the holiday we called Thanksgiving has lost some of its meaning somewhere.  Families will be gathering this weekend and there will be an opportunity for an insane amount of football, turkey, shopping opportunities, and maybe even stringing up the lights for the next holiday to come.  But Thanksgiving is more than just trying to fill the day with as many family activities as possible.  It’s a time to pause, not to focus on the things that we don’t have as a family but to reflect on the gifts, blessings and treasured relationships we do have.  It’s a time to remember all the ways that God has been good to the family over the past year.

John Murchison, Director of Children’s Ministry at Austin Stone Community Church, suggests an
easy activity that could be used with children to help lead them in thankfulness both on Thanksgiving, and throughout the years.  He highlights the story in Joshua 4, where under Joshua’s leadership the people have crossed into the Promised Land through a miraculous parting of the Jordan River.  After that crossing, Joshua instructs the Israelites to find twelve large stones, one for each tribe of Israel, and to place them together.  Joshua says to the people in verse 21:  “…When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”  (Joshua 4:21-24 ESV)

“How about considering this Thanksgiving that in your family you follow the example of Joshua and the Israelites to remember God’s faithfulness, his goodness, and his might?  All you need is a clear vase or container of some kind, some light-colored stones, and some Sharpies.  Have each family member write down one thing that God did over the past year that they are thankful for onto the stone with the Sharpie.  After everyone shares what they wrote down on their stone, have them place it in the clear container.  Display that container in your home somewhere that your kids will see often.  Then, whenever you want, you can review what God has done for your family.  Even people who come visit your home may ask, “What do these stones mean?” and you get to share the goodness of God with them!  Imagine, over the years, how many stones will be piled up by your family, reminding you each day how great and mighty the LORD is!”

May Thanksgiving be a meaningful experience in your family!

— Wayne Van Regenmorter

November Schedule:
23:  Office; Conference Call
24:  Office
25:  Vacation Day
26-27:  Thanksgiving Holiday
28:  Off
29:  Sunday Worship
30:  Meeting Friesland Reformed Church, Friesland, WI
December Schedule:
1:  Meeting/Naperville, IL
2:  Coaching; Conference Call
3:  Wisconsin Ridder Conference Call
4:  Travel Day
5:  Meetings in Florida
6:  Congregational Meeting/Reformed Community Church/Venice, FL

Wayne’s contact information:
10088 Prairie Knoll Ct.
St. John, IN 46373
Mobile: (941) 302-1281

The following are some links you may find helpful…

Five Ways to Cultivate Gratitude at Work – this study done by Berkley is specifically in regards to the workplace but there are many applications to the church and even a family.

Great Systems Make Vision Happen – Systems are designed to get the results that they are currently getting.  To improve a church’s Gospel impact, it’s important to examine your systems and structures for fruitful ministry.

Seven Beautiful Things about Being a Leader in a Small Church – Dr. Wayne Brouwer writes about the beauties and advantages that small churches have in ministry.

Church Health Starts with Healthy Leaders – Many church leaders forsake their emotional, physical, and spiritual health in the name of one excuse after another.  The author says you will that all relationships from family to parishioners are connected to the health of the leader.

November Schedule:
23: Office
24: Office; Coaching
25: Office; Coaching
26: Thanksgiving Holiday
27: Thanksgiving Holiday
30: Vacation
December Schedule:
1: Office; Coaching
2: Office; Coaching
3: Office; Coaching; Ridder Church Renewal Implementation Team Conference Call
4: Office

Chad’s Contact Information:
2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678

Ben Ingebretson has been facilitating the church planting movement since 2013.

Ben’s Contact Information:
765 Eastridge Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Mobile: (616) 481-7566

Copyright © 2015 Regional Synod of Mid-America, RCA, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp