Frustrated, Incomplete, Disappointed

A message from Luke Morgan to those in the Spiritual Formation: Growing in Christ Sunday School Class:

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Consistory – February 2015

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The recent consistory meeting was the first one where the committee liaisons gave a report. As explained in the last communication, members of the consistory are liaisons for different committees (look under the title of each section of this newsletter to see who they are).
 
One item from the Congregational update on February 8 needs correction. The start date for changing to the one worship service per Sunday is June 14, not June 21, as was stated at the meeting. We will meet at 9:30 a.m. from June 14 through Labor Day and change back to two services on September 13. September 13 will also be the date of the Fall Festival.
 
Apparently, spring cleaning has come early to RRC! The closet by the organ at the front of the sanctuary will be cleaned out and reorganized. Bren Shantz will move to the old Youth Director office in the Family Life Center so that his current office (also at the front of the sanctuary) can be transformed to a storage closet for musical equipment and other items related to the worship ministry. In addition, the worship team is looking at installing 90-inch TV screens in the sanctuary, to use instead of the projector. The current projector is having issues and is very costly to replace. Funds are available for the TV screens. There is still discussion going on as to the best location for the screens and how to mount them so they can be moved out of the way if necessary.
 
The search for a permanent Youth Leader has begun. See the HR Committee section for more info.

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Adult Ministry – February 2015

adult-ministry
The Adult Ministries Team is in the organizing stage, with members of the group to be finalized in March and April. In the meantime, there are some upcoming events for women, and we are thankful for people willing to use their talents to organize events like these. We encourage all women to take advantage of attending at least one of these events. Look for additional information on our website or at the info desk.
 
Women’s Lenten Morning: The Cross – A Revelation of Christ’s Character
Saturday, March 7 • 9-10:30am in the Fireside Room
For this Lenten program, we will wean our eyes away from ourselves and focus on the attributes of Christ as revealed in His word. Throughout the morning, we will get to know Christ better, increase our trust in His promises, and learn to take on His character as we live in the power of His Holy Spirit. All the women in your life (teens and up) are encouraged to attend!More information can be found at the info desk or on our website (rockfordreformedchurch.org/womens-lenten-morning).
 
Celebrating Women’s Leadership in the Church
Friday, March 13 • Western Theological Seminary
This full-day retreat will celebrate, empower, and encourage women. We will leave this day with tangible next steps on how to be co-creators with God and the broader church in the ongoing work of transformation, mission, and leadership. Co-leaders Rev. Liz Testa, the RCA’s coordinator for women’s transformation and leadership, and spiritual director Ms. Lesley Mazzotta will be joined by guest speakers Dr. Carol Bechtel, Rev. Denise Kingdom-Grier, and Rev. Jessica Shults. More information and a registration link is available on Western Theological Seminary’s Journey page (westernsem.edu/journey).
 
Ladies’ Day Event
Saturday, April 18
Last year was a first for this type of event that had a little of everything. For half a day, women can sing together, pray together, and learn together with an inspirational speaker and breakout sessions. If you would like to get involved, please contact Lori VerMerris. Look for more details on this next month.

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Youth Ministry – February 2015

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If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 1 Corinthians 13:3-8
 
February seems to be a month where love comes to the forefront of our minds. As we consider what love is, let us turn to Christ, the risen word of God, for the love of the father. May He be our first love and may His love be shown through us.
 
February Calendar:
15: HS Open Youth Room Night (mid-winter break)
 
March Calendar:
22: HS Open Youth Room Night
 
Parents’ Tip:
As many of you are aware, the ever popular novel, 50 Shades of Gray, is being released on the big screen. What is the big deal about this movie? And should you/your teen go watch it? This article shares some of the concerns this movie brings to the table: lifesitenews.com/static/to-the-christians-who-think-50-shades-is-all-sorts-of-awesome-please-stop-a.
 
Perhaps a better Valentine’s movie would be Old Fashioned. I was privileged to see this movie before the release date, and recommend it to you. The movie has a Christian base, and addresses real life situations surrounding the topic of sex and dating in our culture. The movie is rated PG13, so please use your discretion before having your student watch it. I do hope this can be a great conversation starter for you and your student to talk about what sex and love can look like in today’s culture: christiananswers.net/spotlight/movies/2015/oldfashioned2014. Trailer: facebook.com/video.php?v=809274535786213.

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Children’s Ministry – February 2015

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Caravan: Worship Ways!
We have begun our worship ways curriculum! The objective is to understand the importance of worship in our relationship with God and to explore ways children can worship – with the goal of leading the congregation during a morning worship service. If your child is interested in being a part of this please have them to Sunday school @ 9:50 am! We have a few more weeks of learning different ways in which we worship: dramatic reading, dance, singing, puppets, prayer, bells, instruments, and songs with motions. Please plan to join us on Sunday, March 1, for both services (8:45am & 11am) as we lead the congregation in a time of praise and worship to our great God!
 
Upcoming Events:
 
Pioneer Clubs:
Our current unit of study is “God’s Family.” We heard the parable of the Lost Sheep, which tells us that God is not willing for any to be lost. God sent Jesus to be our Good Shepherd, to die for our sins and invite us into God’s family. We also read the parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, which shows that God wants us to build our Christian lives on the strong foundation of his Word. In the next two weeks we will talk about how we can help others join God’s family, and that Jesus will help us when we ask.

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Missions – February 2015

missions-ministry
RCWS. Clancy Street Ministries. The Other Way. HFAP. Harrisons. ALPHA. Do you know the purpose of all the ministries that Rockford Reformed Church supports? Neither do members of the Missions Committee! That is why our team is taking a closer look at the ministries RRC funds and why. We are hoping to better understand how RRC came to be invested in so many different causes. There’s a lot of history here and we are digging deep!
 
Currently, RRC has over 20 different missions that it financially supports each year…that’s a lot for a congregation our size. We tend to spread our missions budget out and give to many different causes. Because of this, we have not been able to maintain strong relationships with all the ministries that we support. This is unfortunate and has prompted the Missions Committee to take a closer look.
 
If you are involved in one of the ministries that RRC supports (or one that you think we should), we would love to know about it. Please feel free to email the  committee at rmdekuiper@rockfordschools.org to share your thoughts. Our end goal is to build stronger relationships and be more intentional with our support! Thanks!

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Outreach – February 2015

outreach-ministry
God’s solution is His church – it is for each individual Christian to be passionate about their faith; sharing their faith with everyone around them.
 
The Outreach Team met for the first time on Monday, Jan 26. This initial meeting was spent building the foundation and working toward establishing God’s vision for Outreach at RRC. The majority of the meeting was spent on devotions, discussing trends in Christianity and outreach, looking at God’s solution, and sharing personal testimonies.
 
True Facts: The Great Evangelical Recession by John S. Dickerson reports that in the U.S.,
  • 2.6M Christians are lost per decade
  • the fastest growing sub-cultures express a militant antagonism against Christians
  • true evangelical Christians represent only 7 to 9 percent of the U.S. population
  • unbelievers come to church or Christ because a friend or relative asked them
 
But in your hearts set Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.  I Peter 3:15
 
The apostle Peter says all believers, of all ages, incomes, spiritual gifts, genders, and so forth must “always be prepared to give an answer.” Not always prepared to invite to an event, though that’s profitable. Not always through a silent living example, though that’s also important. But every believer is to be “always prepared” to speak with their mouth and explain the Good News behind the goodness of their life.
 
Real Faith: In his book Why Give?, John DeVries shares how one little girl was prepared.
 
There was a 9 year old girl in India who was transformed by Christ during a Mission India Bible Club. Her immediate impulse was to give away what she had. So she asked her teacher for materials so that she could teach her friends. Her teacher said that she was too young to teach, and besides they had no more workbooks. The little girl was undaunted. She would do it without the help of books since she had memorized all of the lessons! She rounded up her friends, all ninety of them, and held three of her own Children’s Bible Clubs, teaching Bible lessons as she remembered them. She taught each club for two weeks.
 
Many of her friends were transformed and started to give to their parents. And as the stream of life flowed through these little ones to their parents, within a year 50 parents had been transformed and started a little church.
 
This little girl has become the headwaters of a massive river of streams of eternal life that is continuously expanding. What is happening to those boys and girls she led to Christ? How many others are they touching? What about the families and the parents? How much living water is flowing through them? What will it be like when we get to heaven to see the eternal consequences of every gift that we thought so inconsequential? Think of how God’s giving will increase during her lifetime. Think of how it will increase throughout time until Jesus comes again!
 
Pressing Forward: The next Outreach meeting will be on Feb. 23 to prayerfully consider God’s vision for Outreach as it relates to RRC. Here are a few opportunities to help and to grow:
  • PRAY. Please pray for our team and how God will use you to reach those you come in contact with each and every day.
  • STUDY GOD’S WORD. Please consider joining a bible study, small group, or Sunday school classes. Mark your calendars for March 22 and join us for a Sunday School workshop on “How to Know and Show Christ”.
  • SERVE IN LOVE OF CHRIST. Consider serving in the many outreach opportunities RRC has to offer!

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Worship – February 2015

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Praise in the Park: Though it’s still several months away, we wanted to let you know that we are participating in Praise in the Park once again! Our music team will take the stage on Sunday, July 12, at 6pm. More info to come.


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Property – February 2015

property-ministry

The team is continuing to make improvements and look for cost savings. We have changed our internet and wireless networks slightly because there was notice of high traffic levels on the WiFi. These changes, as well as upgrades to computers and equipment, continue to be in flux. We have a few purchases on our list for the near future as well to make sure ministries have what they need and that the building is in good shape.


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HR Committee – February 2015

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The search for a permanent Director of Youth Ministry is underway! The new Human Resources Committee added Jason Vergouwe and Sharene Fleetham on a temporary basis for the duration of search. Their hope is to have someone in place for the 2015-2016 session beginning in the fall. Thursday, February 12 was their first meeting.


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