Save the Date! – Small Town Church Planting Event in Illinois, October 15, 8:30-Noon. Brian Steenhoek, who has planted in a small town will be one of the key presenters. More details soon.
Regional Synod Mailing Address – A reminder that the mailing address for the synod has changed to P.O. Box 2147, Valparaiso, IN 46384. The physical office address remains located at Camp Manitoqua, but please send all mail to the Valparaiso address. Thank you!
2015 Regional Synod Urban Ministry Grant Applications – Urban Ministry Grant assistance is for ministries to, in, and/or for areas considered urban in geography of our regional synod. The minimum criterion is that it is a ministry to, in, and/or for the urban area with a vision, plans, and goals for outreach into the community. Those ministries applying for a grant that aren’t in a traditionally geographic urban setting should take into account that the ideal of the grant is that it be used for those living in geographically urban areas, multi-cultural areas, and lower socio-economic areas. The synod’s goal is to see lives changed through the work of Christ and the Gospel. Check out the updatedGuidelinesand if applying, fill out anApplication.
Join the Illiana-Florida Church Multiplication Movement – The Illiana / Florida Classis Church Multiplication team is looking for church planters for upcoming projects! We provide assessment, training, coaching, support and funding for new church plants. If you are interested, go tohttp://www.iplantchurchplanting.com/and click “start process.”
There is no “official” story this month, but we want to celebrate the ministry that God is doing at Camp Manitoqua. Camp has been full and overflowing this summer and God’s Spirit is changing lives through the ministry. Please continue to hold up Camp Manitoqua in prayer and celebrate the great things God is doing there!
*Telling our stories is a way for us to encourage each other and to share what the Spirit is doing through the churches and people of our synod. As you share yours, others may be empowered to do similar things or the Spirit may use it as a starting point for another idea to reach people for Christ. We encourage you to share!
If you would like to share a story for a future issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Guided by the Spirit…
How much guidance do we really need for living? I’m amazed at how little faith some retailers have in our intelligence. No long ago I was folding up one of those cardboard sun visors that rests between the windshield and the dashboard of the car and I noticed the warning: “Do not drive with the sun visor in place.” I thought to myself – Really! Imagine that. Do I really need that much help? Well, maybe not with sun visors, but sometimes I do in matters of faith. I believe that is why God sent the Holy Spirit.
I am convinced that in the church today there is a real lack of understanding about the Holy Spirit in our lives. For some, the Holy Spirit is imagined as a touchy-feely warm fuzzy side of God that exists to make you feel good. For others, the Holy Spirit seems to be a theological concept about God’s inner being that has very little to do with everyday life. But the Bible is clear that there’s much more than either of these to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the active and guiding presence of God in our lives. He’s the still small voice that leads when we are receptive enough to listen. When Paul wrote about the Holy Spirit and the moral decisions the Galatians were making about lifestyle matters, he reminds them that if they “live” in the Spirit they would also be “guided” by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 NRSV) It is no coincidence that Jesus Himself refers to the Holy Spirit as an active guide. When speaking to His disciples in John 16:7 about His impending death, resurrection, and ascension, He says, “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” The word translated as “Advocate” means “helper” or “mentor.” The Holy Spirit is sent as our guide. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, our coach, our mentor.
A. J Russell imagines these words of Jesus. “As I prompt you–act. When you have no clear guidance, then go forward quietly along the path of duty I have set before you. No fear, no panic, quietly doing your daily duty. This attitude of faith will receive its reward, as surely as the acting upon My direct Guidance. Rejoice in the sense of security that is yours.” So be encouraged and open your heart to God’s guidance over all those decisions that cause you to struggle. When the guidance of the Holy Spirit is not clear, keep going anyway on the path God laid before you. God will initiate clarity when you need it. You will not be misled!
Wayne Van Regenmorter
5: Meeting/Camp Manitoqua
7: Coaching; Meeting/Tinley Park, IL
8: Conference Call
10: Preaching/Faith Church – Beecher, IL
12: Illiana-Florida MLT/Executive Team Meeting/Bourbonnais, IL
15: Meeting/Naperville, IL
17: Preaching/New Life Community Church/Wausau,
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… A Growing Movement To Spread Faith, Love — And Clean Laundry: From NPR: Laundry Love is a ministry that began at an Episcopal congregation in Ventura, Calif., and slowly but surely, it’s spreading. Now, more than 70 religious organizations around the country have adopted the practice as a way to tangibly love your neighbor. Four Ingredients of Successful Congregational Change: For any change to not only work but also be positive in the growth of a congregation, these ingredients should be present: set a tone of invitation and listening that helps to minimize congregational losses, take time to understand the system and to earn the right to propose change, and nest the congregation’s story in the larger sacred story of their theology. Why 20% do 80% – and How to Fix It:Mark MacDonald highlights 3 reasons we keep getting the same results of 20% doing 80% of the work in the church and gives some helpful ways to change the percentage. It Takes More Than a Swank Coffee Shop to Reach Millennials: This interview with Naomi Schaefer Riley sorts out what will draw young adults back to the faith. Riley recently wrote a book on the subject and this interview gets at the heart of her ideas. 8 Things the Church Needs to Say: In this opinion piece, Tom Ehrich thinks we should stop worrying about institutional outcomes — especially outcomes that we hope will prove we were right all along — and try instead just to be hopeful, joyful, active people of faith.
Chad’s Schedule: August
5: Staff Meeting – Camp Manitoqua
6: Meeting w/ Tony Campbell & Jason Perry – Living Springs Community Church
7: Office; Coaching
12: Illiana-Florida Executive/MLT Meeting – Manteno, IL
13: Office; Coaching
14: Office; Coaching