Consistory – April 2015

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Youth Director Update – The Human Resources Committee is conducting first-round interviews for the youth director position throughout the month of April. We have several qualified candidates with different backgrounds and experience levels. Please pray for the Committee as they go through this process and ask that God grant them wisdom and discernment.
 
Please be in prayer for all the leadership positions that need to be filled – Pastor, Youth Director, and Worship Leader (Bren Shantz has resigned from that position effective June 7).
 
The Outreach Team is making efforts to reach into our community. For more information, please see the Outreach Team section in the newsletter.
 
June 14 is the date our summer worship schedule moves to one service at 9:30 a.m. We will continue with the new schedule through September 6, Labor Day weekend. The change in the schedule will be communicated in the local community and on our church website in the future.

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Adult Ministry – April 2015

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Welcome to Jim Scholten and Lisa Vergouwe who join Karen and Bazen and Nancy Steenwyk (consistory liason members) on the newly formed Adult Ministry Team. The scope of this team is still evolving, but we are certainly available to support existing adult ministries and actively provide leadership of the Sunday morning and Wednesday evening adult education offerings. We also plan to expand our Care Group small group offerings. The team will coordinate with the Outreach Team as appropriate in order to be a blessing to our Rockford community as well as to our own members. Our team members welcome any feedback that will help us nurture our adult ministry efforts.
 
Please take the time to review the many adult ministry opportunities that we already have in place and are described in church emails. There are many quality Bible studies and events with a variety of meeting times and purposes. There is something for everyone to help us grow in the knowledge of God’s Word and the fellowship of believers. Contact the church office if you do not receive email and wish to receive paper updates instead.

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Youth Ministry – April 2015

youth-ministry
We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders (Pslam 78:4).
 
What a joy it is to minister to and alongside the next generation of our church. As this year’s program comes to a close, we reflect on our studies. This spring we dove into God’s call on the church to respond to his grace with gratitude and worship. The church, as a whole, is called to do many things as we live out our faith. As Middle and High Schoolers, they don’t have to wait; they can play an active role in the church today. They are the next generation church.
 
April Calendar:
29:  Last MSYG & Last call for MS Summer Trip – $325
 
May Calendar:
1:  MS Guys/Girls’ Night
3:  Last HSYG & Last call for HS Summer Trip – $400
10:  No Sunday School – Happy Mother’s Day
17:  Last Sunday School
 
Parents’ Tip:
As mentioned above, this Spring we looked what the church is and how our students can participate in the greater life of the church today. We have been focusing not only on Sunday morning worship and its various elements, but have been going deeper into letting our faith affect our everyday life.  The article below is a challenging and uncomfortable read. It challenges how I worship, and what I worship. So why put it in the parents’ tip? I hope this article will encourage conversation in your families. Talk to your children about why you do what you do. Consider with your family if this is what worship should look like and what this kind of worship might look like in practice. May all we do, be done to worship our great God. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/do-you-worship-your-worship-experience

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Children’s Ministry – April 2015

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Can you believe we only have two Caravans left? We meet on May 3 and May 17. Keep your schedules open July 26-29 for Vacation Bible School! More info will be posted as the date draws closer.
 
We ended our year with another exciting Derby Car Race! Congratulations to our winners:
Girls 1-2
1st – Alayna O.
2nd – Brooklyn J.
3rd – Bailey J.
 
Boys 1-2
1st – Sam V.
2nd – Sawyer M.
3rd – DJ B.
 
Girls 3-4
1st – Lena J.
2nd – Breanna T.
3rd – Mariah B.
Boys 3-4
1st – Cameron C.
2nd – Chris D.
3rd – Peyton H.
 
5th Grade
1st – Ewan J.
2nd – Sami D.
3rd – Jamarcus C.
 
Fastest Overall: Ewan J.
Best of Show: Kennedy D.
Open Round: Austin M.

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Outreach – April 2015

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The Outreach Team has begun to study the principles outlined in the books Organic Outreach For Churches and Organic Outreach For Ordinary People, both by Kevin G. Harney. Over the next several months we will be examining and dissecting the ideas presented in these books, hoping to utilize many of the concepts to transform lives in our very own community.
 
You might ask – what is organic outreach? Organic outreach is simply a way of sharing our faith in a way that is authentic and real, and feels natural to the people around us. It is loving people, serving in our community, building authentic friendships with those who are far from God, modeling Christ’s grace, and telling stories of Christ’s transforming power in our lives.
 
What kind of person does outreach best? Outreach is done best by extroverts, introverts, and everyone in between. It’s best done by people who are thoughtful in their thinking or have an intellectual bent. It is most effective when it’s done by someone who is bold and fearless, by someone timid and sensitive, and by everyone in between; by those who are mature in their faith and by those who are brand new believers. Look in the mirror! You’re exactly the kind of person who does outreach best!
 
What are you waiting for? Matthew 9:38: Then he said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” God made each of us for such a time as this! There is someone out there who needs someone just like you to be the hands and feet of Jesus! The Holy Spirit is willing and waiting to reach out and touch someone through you! Let’s say a prayer, take that leap of faith, and then watch what God will do!
 
Encouraging one another! There are many of you who are already practicing organic outreach in your daily lives and are reaching out in love to the people around you. We would love to hear your stories so that we might be able to use them to encourage and inspire others. I Thessalonians 3:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up just as in fact you are doing.
 
What we’ve been up to:
  • Hopefully everyone saw the new ad in the Rockford Squire for RRC. We are hoping to gain more exposure in the community – especially for those who are looking for a church home.
  • We gave a “just because card” with a free bag of popcorn to the people who came to the church garage sale. This is a business size card that is given with a small gift as a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day. It includes a note that says, “Just For You, Just Because! We hope this small gift brightens your day!” It also includes our contact information, address, worship times and an invitation for the recipient to be our guest. It is estimated that we gave out about 200 at the garage sale along with some additional ones at the Easter egg hunt. We will be using these “just because cards” for various events throughout the year.
  • We have plans under way for an outreach opportunity during Rockford’s Start of Summer Celebration in June. More information will follow as plans develop.

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Property – April 2015

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Our building has received a new security feature! We now have a camera intercom for the “front door” on the west side of the building. During the day, all doors will be locked and Marcia (or someone else in the office) will control access to anyone that doesn’t have a key. All other doors are still accessible with a key, but everyone without a key is required to be permitted into the building. The door will remain unlocked during normal high-traffic times.
 
Our green van is beginning to require more maintenance. And – praise – our transportation needs are maxing out our two vans. Please pray for guidance in our transportation.

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Pastoral Search – April 2015

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Special Worship Service: Sunday, May 3, 2015
We are excited to announce that Rev. Dr. Paul Bradford has been recommended to the consistory to be our next pastor at Rockford Reformed Church. The announcement was made during services on Sunday, April 26, 2015.
 
We have invited Rev. Bradford to spend next Sunday with us. He will preach at both services. You will have an opportunity to meet him casually between services and at a buffet luncheon after the second service. Your feedback will be important to us, as consistory will meet on Monday, May 4, to vote on whether a call should be extended to Rev. Bradford. Please make every effort to join us on this important Sunday. If you desire to listen to a sample sermon or two, use the links below. Watch for a message from your elder/deacon team early this week with more details.

 
From the sermon series “The Radical Middle” – Spring 2014
  • Already and Not Yet – an overview of the theology of the Kingdom of God.
  • Power Points and Process – a discussion of the apparent tension between gradual spiritual growth and the dramatic work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Grace and Holiness – an explanation of why God’s grace and living according the the high standard of God’s Word are not in contradiction; in fact, they are in harmony with one another.
  • Truth and Passion – his final sermon preached at Great Oaks Church. This is an exposition of Deuteronomy 6:1-9, the Shemá Yisraél, one of the most important passages in the OT.
 
Earlier series
  • Toxic Thoughts – a part of a series called “Virtual Deception” discussing the dangers in our contemporary culture.
  • Myths About Love and Marriage – the opening message in the series “Does Marriage Matter?”
  • Living a Consecrated Life – a message in the series “The Law of the Spirit of Life” which discussed the Ten Commandments in the context of the New Covenant. This message discusses living in Sabbath rest. 
 
Video (2008)

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Workshop Updates

Notes on the class Spiritual Formation Workshop:  Knowing & Showing Christ Read more…

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