Consistory – December 2015


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Celebrate the birth of our Savior with Christmas Eve worship at our Candlelight Services on December 24 at 4pm & 6pm. Childcare will be provided for children second grade and younger.

Results of Our Annual Congregational Meeting

Our annual Congregational Meeting was held on December 6.  The 2016 Budget was approved. We selected new Elders and Deacons. The new Administrative Elder is Megan DeVries; the new Shepherd Elders are Luke Morgan and Jason Vergouwe; and the new Service Deacons are Chad Kleis (1-year term), Emillie Clayton, and Peter Jolliffe. The new office holders will be installed during the January 3, 2016 worship services.

Thank You to the Outgoing Elders and Deacons!

We thank the elders and deacons who have faithfully served our congregation. Outgoing Administrative Elder is Wilma Nelson, who has served more than a few years! Shepherd Elders finishing their terms are Megan DeVries – though she will transition to Administrative Elder, and Karen Bazen. We also say goodbye to Service Deacons Wally Glaza, Laura Jolliffe, and Nate Jennings.

Are you “New” to Rockford Reformed?

Then you’re invited to join the Pastor for lunch! Perhaps you have come to RRC several times to “check us out” or perhaps you already know you want to become a member of our church.  Pastor Paul and his wife, Tammy, will be hosting a lunch in the Fireside Room after the second worship service periodically. The first lunch is December 13. The group will enjoy fellowship together and discuss any questions you have about the church.

Communion Frequency Changing

Beginning in February, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month, as a reminder and observance of Christ’s sacrifice for us. We will alternate the traditional serving of Communion with intinction, where the bread is dipped into the cup.

Online Giving is Now Available!

Online giving is an easy way to give if you are on vacation or out of town, or even if you want the convenience, and RRC now has it available. You have the option of setting up recurring donations or making a one-time donation. Check it out!  Look for the Online Giving logo on the church website,

Staff and Consistory Leadership Workshop Coming Up

On January 16, the Consistory, Staff, Ministry Team Directors, and Ridder Team members will attend a leadership workshop at Lincoln Lake Camp in Gowen. Andrew Bossardet, the RCA Coordinator for Equipping Thriving Congregations, will be the keynote speaker.

Joshua Rupp is our Interim Worship Director

Joshua Rupp began work as our Interim Worship Director in November and plans to continue with us at least through Easter if no permanent Worship Director is found before that time. If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet Josh yet, please stop and say hello to him after the service.


Adult Ministry – December 2015


Luke Morgan is the new leader of the adult ministries team. At this time, the primary responsibilities of the committee include finding leaders to teach adult Sunday School and adult Wednesday groups. The committee is also available as a resource for other RRC adult ministries.

On January 3, there will be a Concert of Prayer to celebrate and ask God’s blessing on a new season of church ministries. On Sunday mornings at 10:00, Bren Shantz will teach a class about the four portraits of Jesus, based on the four gospels. On Wednesday evenings at 6:45, Polly Johnson will continue to teach a women’s class using Andy Stanley DVDs. Concurrently, Pastor Paul Bradford will be leading a Discovery Life Group for newcomers.

Also on January 3, there will be a Winter Festival to introduce church-wide winter ministry offerings. Information and sign-up sheets will be available regarding ongoing and new Life Groups. Everyone in the congregation is strongly encouraged to participate in at least one 10-week session in a Life Group to facilitate personal spiritual growth and to build Biblically based relationships with other members and attendees at Rockford Reformed Church.

Details of winter adult ministry offerings will be shared via email, newsletters, church service bulletins and announcements. 


Youth Ministry – December 2015


Hello congregation, I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season. Please read over the following information about what is going on in the youth ministry.

What’s Coming Up?


  • Youth Group meets on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00pm
  • Girls Bible Study (Middle & High School) on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:00pm at Family Fare Starbucks
  • No Youth Group on December 16, 23, or 30
  • Winter Retreat is January 22 – 24


  • Youth Group meets on Sunday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Girls Bible Study (Middle & High School) on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:00 pm at Family Fare Starbucks
  • No Youth Group: December 20, December 27, and January 3
  • Winter Retreat is February 26 – 28

Winter Retreats! 2016 Winter Retreats will be at Spring Hill Camp in Evart, MI. Activities include an indoor pool with water slides, broomball, tubing, indoor athletic courts, and so much more!

MIDDLE SCHOOL:  Friday, January 22 – Sunday, January 24

*Total cost is $100. To sign up, a $50 deposit is due Sunday, December 20.

HIGH SCHOOL:  Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28

*Total cost is $100. To sign up, a $50 deposit is due Wednesday, January 27.

Parent’s Tip: If you have the time please consider taking a few hours to serve our community as a family. This time of year can be very tough on some families in our community. If you are looking for suggestions please feel free to contact me.

What We’re Studying: The Bible is a big story about how God rescues His people. God loves us and through the Old and New Testaments, He has a good news message for us. RRCYM is working through a study called “Continuum” where we are learning about the story of the Bible and what it means for our lives. It is an 8 week series that digs into these main points:

  1. In the beginning a good God created a good world that reflected how good He is.
  2. When sin entered the world, everything was broken, but God didn’t abandon His creation.
  3. God initiated a promise with His people even though they didn’t deserve it.
  4. No matter what Israel did or didn’t do, God never deserted His people or His promise.
  5. God fulfilled what He promised in Jesus, who demonstrated a new way to live.
  6. Jesus gave His life to rescue those who put their faith in Him.
  7. Jesus Christ defeating death proved God had a plan since the beginning.
  8. Jesus’ followers shared His message of love with the world.


Children’s Ministry – December 2015


We are sharing praises this month! RRC filled 104 shoes boxes for Operation Christmas Child. KidLife has quite a large “sock pile” to donate to North Kent Community Center. Pioneer Clubs kids made 6 tie-blankets and donated them to D.A. Blodgett St. John’s. They also made Christmas cards for the residents at Bishop Hills. Kids love to give, and it’s apparent when we do outreach activities such as these.

“Simply Christmas! Kids” Is Wednesday, December 16 at 6:00pm for simple supper and 6:45pm program. Kids need to arrive by 6:30 to the Fellowship Hall. “Dressy casual” is what we are asking the kids to wear, since only a few kids have costumes this year.

Reminder: there will be No Sunday school on December 27 & January 3. Merry Christmas!

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14


Outreach – December 2015


Bless someone this Christmas with a small act of kindness:

The Outreach Influence Team is hoping that Rockford Reformed Church will overwhelm our community this Christmas season with 500 acts of kindness. On the table in the back of the sanctuary are 500 “Just Because Cards.” The cards include a brief note to brighten someone’s day, along with contact information and an invitation to worship with us. Please take as many as you want and hand them out with a small gift.

Ideas for blessing someone with a “Just Because Card”

  • Leave it with a personal note and a large tip for your server at a restaurant.
  • Give one to a cashier along with purchasing their favorite candy bar.
  • Give one to the person behind you in line at the grocery store along with some flowers.
  • Give one to the person ahead of you at Starbucks along with paying for their coffee.
  • Give one to a teller at the bank along with a small gift.
  • Leave one in your mailbox along with a small gift for the mail carrier.
  • Give one to someone at the dollar store along with a dollar or two.

Rockford Santa Parade small act of kindness:

On Saturday, December 5 Rockford Reformed Church was able to bless the children in our community at Rockford’s Santa Parade. Members of the Outreach Influence Team passed out approximately 900 bags for candy, along with a candy cane and a poem telling the story of Christ love for each us. The bag also included the message “Jesus loves you”,  along with our church’s name, address, and contact information.


Consistory – November 2015


Upcoming Congregational Meeting

Our annual Congregational Meeting is coming up on December 6 at 5:00pm. The Consistory approved the proposed 2016 budget and it will be given to the congregation in the next few weeks.  In addition to voting on that budget, we will select new office bearers. Nominees for Administrative Elder are Megan DeVries and Dan Uthoff. Nominees for Shepherd Elder are Karen Bazen, Megan DeVries, Luke Morgan, Bren Shantz, Sandy Uthoff, Jason Vergouwe, and Tom Wright. Nominees for Service Deacon are Chad Kleis, Emillie Clayton, Peter Jolliffe, and Becki Pilko.  We ask for your prayers about this important meeting.

Worship Director Search Committee Update

The candidate presented at October’s Consistory meeting declined the position, so the search committee has expanded their advertising to a broader pool and begun a new search.  They are already getting a number of résumés and hope to interview up to three people in the future. Members of the search committee are Stephanie Bergman, Tammy Bradford, Brian Fleetham, Luke Morgan, Eric Ringnalda, and Teresa Scholten. Please pray for these people as they continue the process of getting a new director.

Interim Worship Director

Because it may take a few months to find a permanent Worship Director, we are seeking an interim director. Two candidates are being interviewed for this position. Several members of the congregation are leading worship until an interim director is in place.

Ridder Renewal

In October, Pastor Paul attended the first of a series of conferences for the Ridder Renewal program for effective leadership. One element of the program is to have 4-6 people from the congregation make up a small team to learn the process of developing effective leaders and to communicate and coach the process to the Consistory and others in the congregation. This smaller team will be put together over the next couple months. If anyone has suggestions of people for the team, please contact Pastor Paul.


Adult Ministry – November 2015


The Adult Ministry Team has a new leader/director, Luke Morgan. Luke has been part of the team and has transitioned to the leadership role. Since the Adult Ministry Team had been a new committee at the beginning of the year, Nancy Steenwyk and Karen Bazen started as co-leaders of the team, with the goal of identifying a team member as one who could eventually transition to being the leader. Luke, with his background in adult education, has gifts that match what is needed for the team and has accepted the leadership role. 

Recently, representatives of small groups and the Life Groups met to discuss how their groups were doing and to answer any questions they might have. We found that the groups are having good discussions, and growing in relationships with other people and with God. Most of the groups are continuing, but there are additional leaders identified who will have room for you in a group if you are interested. The next opportunity to join a Life Group will be to sign up for one on January 3, when the church will have a mini-Winter Festival, similar to the Fall Festival.

Kevin and Polly Johnson have a few weeks left of the Andy Stanley “Follow” series during the Sunday School hour. If you haven’t joined in yet, there’s still time – and room – for you. Bren Shantz will lead an adult Sunday School class on the four Gospels once the new year begins. 

For Wednesday night studies, Polly Johnson is just starting a brief series called “The Christmas Experience” with the ladies’ class. For the second half of the year, she will be leading the discussion on two video series from Andy Stanley, “Guiderails” and “Life Rules.” Ladies who would like to join the group are invited to attend. The other class offered after the new year will be a Discovery Class that will be led by Pastor Paul.


Men’s Ministry – November 2015


We still have three meetings left in our Friday Morning Breakfast: November 20, December 4, and December 18. Join us at 6:30am in the gym for a man’s breakfast followed by a video and discussion on Jesus’ life on earth as a model of true manhood.

On Friday, November 20, the men will have their own game night here at church. Join us at 7:30pm in the Fireside Room. Games and snacks will be provided, but you are welcome to bring more. Since there is a separate event going on in the gym during this time, we ask that you please use Entrance B (by the elevator).

Coming up on December 3, we will be having another Tailgate Cookout. Join us in the gym starting at 7:30 to watch the Packers@Lions game on the big screen! Food and drinks provided.


Youth Ministry – November 2015


Greetings Parents, I am loving the opportunity to minister to the youth of our church and enjoy the different personalities that each student brings to our group. If you have any questions or want to learn more about what we are doing in the youth group please feel free to contact me at or 616-481-9843.

What’s Coming Up?


  • Youth Group meets on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00pm
  • Girls Bible Study (Middle & High School) on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:00pm at Family Fare Starbucks
  • No Youth Group (Thanksgiving) on Wednesday, November 25
  • Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 9 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • No Youth Group: December 16, December 23, and December 30


  • Youth Group meets on Sunday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Girls Bible Study (Middle & High School) on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:00 pm at Family Fare Starbucks
  • No Youth Group (Thanksgiving) on Sunday, November 29
  • Christmas Party on Sunday, December 13 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • No Youth Group: December 20, December 27, January 3

Winter Retreats! 2016 Winter Retreats will be at Spring Hill Camp in Evart, MI. Activities include an indoor pool with water slides, broomball, tubing, indoor athletic courts, and so much more!

  • MIDDLE SCHOOL:  Friday, January 22 – Sunday, January 24
    • *Total cost is $100. To sign up, a $50 deposit is due Sunday, December 20.
  • HIGH SCHOOL:  Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28
    • *Total cost is $100. To sign up, a $50 deposit is due Wednesday, January 27.

Parent’s Tip: If you are reading through any scripture consider sharing what you are learning with your child. It is a powerful thing for our youth to see the adults of the congregation learning and growing like they are.

What We’re Studying: God’s Word is powerful. It has the power to transform our hearts and our lives. RRCYM is currently doing a study called “Alive” in which we are learning about just how powerful, valuable, and vital the Bible is in our relationship with God. The 3-week series digs in to these 3 main points:  1) Give God’s Word a chance to change you; 2) Find a way to feed yourself spiritually; 3) When you memorize, it opens your eyes.


Children’s Ministry – November 2015


Happy November!  A season to give thanks is upon us. We wanted to take a moment to say Thank You to the many volunteers that we have in children’s ministries. They all go above and beyond to make sure things are covered, that our kids are taken care of, and that all needs are met in each area. Your hard work and dedication truly means the world to us!

A huge thank you to those who grabbed an Operation Christmas Child box and filled it up. 100 boxes were purchased and they are gone! What an amazing impact RRC has on missions.

Speaking of missions, KidLife is collecting new socks for our “Sock Pile.” The pile is located downstairs in the children’s area, if you would like to help us make the pile grow. We will be collecting until December 13, and then they will be given to North Kent Community Services. Socks are the most requested items but the least given. The kids enjoy seeing the pile grow!

“Spark in the Dark” was a successful event. We were excited to see new faces and hear that people had invited friends and families to join us! We were also overwhelmed with the gratitude given to us by you all. We graciously accept it and are planning the event already for next year!

We are also working on our annual Pioneer Clubs Christmas Program, which takes place on Wednesday, December 16. Watch for details coming soon!