Missions – November 2015


What is a missionary?

  • A person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, such as educational or hospital work.
  • A person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.
  • A person sent on a mission.

Rockford Reformed Church as many missionaries. A couple of them came here this past month to talk to us about their mission field. Adrian and Bernardeth Bobb-Kelly came and shared about the mission in Nicaragua. Greg and Laura Yoder also came and shared about their mission with Christian World Outreach, which goes to many different places – Haiti, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Burkina Faso.

If there was one topic that they all mentioned it was to cover them in prayer. That is something that all of us at RRC can do. It is not just the financial aspect that helps, but prayer is so important to them. I know things are changing at RRC – we are changing the budget to try to have a better relationship with those missionaries that we work with. But those we stop supporting financially still need our prayers. Always keep them in mind.

A couple of specific prayers that are needed: The VandenHeuvel family is preparing to go to Kenya soon. Please keep them in your prayers. There was a request from the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty that we got for a young boy. He needs our prayers. Here is what we received:

O’Nelson has been part of Les Bours School of Hope since we first opened in the fall of 2008. He began his education as a 2nd grader. He is a quiet boy with a kind soul. He has always been a good student and has never taken for granted the gift of education. O’Nelson was one of our first students to graduate from the goat program and he was able to help support his family with the babies his goat would have. He lived with his mother and sister in a house not far from the school until this past summer. His mother was a kind woman who loved to spread laughter. She was the first face we would see as we turned our vehicles down the dirt road of Les Bours. She had a small business selling produce and other foods to the neighborhood.

In September she was shot and killed by members of a gang. O’Nelson witnessed his mother’s death and attempted to defend her. He was shot multiple times and stabbed in the stomach. The gang members thought they had left him for dead, but God had other plans. O’Nelson was immediately sent into hiding in a city far away. Even there, the gang members were tracking him and he feared for his life. Sleepless nights and panic attacks became all he knew. It was apparent we must step up and fight for this precious boy’s life. He is only 15 years old – he deserves to be in school, to play sports, and to sleep without fear each night. In the 7+ years I have known him, the only thing he has EVER asked for is a Bible. This child deserves a fighting chance! God has claimed his life for great things! Please be in prayer for this young man.

Mallery & Frentz Neptune


Kids Hope Update: Our Kids Hope program is off to a really great start this year! We have had 12 returning mentors start back up, 7 new mentors have started meeting with newly referred kids, and we have 3 kids who we are currently working on matching. We’ve made some updates to our Kids Hope room so it’s more fully stocked with materials to be used during the mentoring hour, and we’ve begun using an online room scheduling calendar. The principal and teachers at Valley View Elementary couldn’t be happier with our program. When you’ve got 20 people coming into the school each week just to work with and encourage a child, it really has a big effect. We’ve had a great amount of new mentors volunteer this year, but we already need more! We need about 7 more mentors ready and trained by January so we can be prepared to meet the needs of more children. Please contact Audrey Shantz (audreyshantz@gmail.com) if you can help!


Outreach – November 2015


Thank You to everyone who handed out gospel tracts with your candy this past Halloween. One thousand children received the gospel message while trick-or-treating in our community.

Reaching our Community with RRC’s Meal Train

For the past couple of months the Outreach Influence Team has been encouraging ministry teams to find ways to extend their ministry into the community. The RRC Meal Train is one such ministry that can be offered to our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members who do not have a church home. Please follow this process if you know of someone who does not have a church home and could really benefit from some meals.

  • Ask the person in need if they would like to receive meals from RRC. Also inquire about food allergies, likes and dislikes, and the preferred schedule for receiving meals.
  • Contact your Elder/Deacon team upon the consent of your friend/neighbor/family member or contact Laura Jolliffe in the church office directly.

Several things can happen through this process; bridges can be built, friendships forged, service offered, the love of Jesus Christ extended, and lives transformed.

Outreach Opportunities for You

North Kent Community Services is seeking individuals to serve on its various committees for 2016. “I am looking for people who have skills in media/public relations, finance, fund development, law, business, health & human services, construction, human resources, and marketing,” says Executive Director Claire Guisfredi. “It is not a huge time commitment. The committees meet once a month or every other month for an hour. If you want to give back to the community and don’t have a lot of time, this is a good way to get involved.” Check the website www.nkcs.org for a list of committee descriptions and to apply online by Friday, November 20

Outreach Questions of the Month

  • Who are you praying for who is not yet a follower of Jesus?
  • Who are you spending time with who needs to know God’s love and grace?
  • Who is someone you are hoping will come to church with you sometime in the future?


Worship – November 2015


The Worship Search Team has been interviewing two interim worship director candidates to fill our short term need. Both candidates are qualified and excited about RRC and we hope to have a decision made soon.

In regards to our search for a full time Director of Worship: the resumes are pouring in as we have opened this search up to a wider audience than we did in the first phase of our process. There are a few candidates that we are excited about interviewing based on their passions for worship, gifts, and skills set.

Our team asks that the RRC family would continue to pray for candidates who are considering whether or not RRC could be their church home and for our team to have clarity, wisdom, and encouragement moving forward in this search process. Our thanks is also expressed to all the worship team members who continue to step in and lead us in meaningful, Christ-centered worship each week during this time of transition.


Hospitality – November 2015


We are excited with the changes and responses to the Hospitality Team! People seem to appreciate the welcome table and being greeted as they come in, along with the coffee set up in the lobby! New banners are on the way, so look for those soon. We are looking for volunteers to help out before the first service at the welcome table and helpers to clean up coffee pots after the second service. Please let Tammy Bradford (tlbradford@sbcglobal.net) know if you are willing to help!


Pastor’s Corner – October 2015

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Congregational Update Meeting Report from Sunday, October 11

Pastor Paul shared updates of things that are happening at Rockford Reformed.

Ridder Church Renewal: Pastor Paul attended the first module of Ridder Church Renewal in Houston, Texas this past Tuesday through Friday (October 13-16). Ridder focuses on empowering leaders by training them to live out values of Love, Courage, Integrity, and Authenticity, as well as helping them to develop a model of discipleship, to understand relational dynamics in leading, and to equip high performance teams. Pastor Paul will begin the training, and will be joined by 6 others at the next module this spring. Over the next two years many of these principles will be imparted to other leaders and the congregation.

Prayer Ministry every week: We have begun a Prayer Ministry & Listening training course, and now have prayer teams available every Sunday morning to pray for anyone who desires prayer.

Upcoming Sermon Series – invite your friends! Our next sermon series will be The Blessing: How you can change lives through your words. We’ll discuss the amazing power of words to release life and success in your children, your spouse, your co-works, and your friends. We will provide a handout so you can invite unchurched friends and loved ones. Our advent series will be The Mary Miracle – How to release God’s work in our lives. This will be another great invitational opportunity.

Life Groups Launched: We have implemented Life Groups, which focus on Sharing, Study, and Support. We have two active groups and hope to add more in the winter. This winter we will have Life Groups that commit to meet 10 consecutive weeks, and other groups that will commit to meet 10 times every other week. The new groups are going very well. Other small groups are also meeting.

Men’s and Women’s Events: The Men’s ministry (1) launched its season with a football tailgate party attended by 40 men, (2) have begun an every-other-week breakfast group this is watching videos and having discussions that focus on authentic manhood, and (3) continue their Tuesday morning prayer breakfast. Two strong women’s Bible Studies are meeting this fall.

Outreach Focus: Our Outreach Influence Team (formally Outreach Ministry Team) has placed representatives on every Ministry Team at RRC and are leading us in questions that help turn our focus outwards. They are also sharing these questions with the congregation through emails and letters in mailboxes. Our desire is to create a culture of outreach at RRC. We also have started a Hospitality Team to improve our welcome of newcomers, and are beginning FIT –  the Facility Improvement Team – to explore ways we can enhance our building to feel more welcoming and relevant to newcomers, and especially young people.

Living Room Chats: Pastor Paul & Tammy have had over 100 people over to their home since they arrived, including a bonfire with about 2 dozen high school students and leaders this past Sunday.

Financial Update: Dan Triezenberg gave a financial update. He reported that our September giving was about $10,000 short of our expectations and the amount needed for budget. Scott Jacobs asked for prayer for the Consistory as they meet on Tuesday night, because hiring a full time Worship Director in light of the current financial reality is risky and needs discussion. Dan did share that the first Sunday in October had strong giving. Our hope is that financial growth will recover quickly and grow, allowing us to sustain a full time Worship Director. Pastor Paul thanked those in attendance who were tithing, and encouraged all to begin percentage giving with the goal of tithing so that the work at RRC might flourish.


Consistory – October 2015


We thank all the members of the Worship Director Search Committee for their long and diligent work in finding a candidate. The candidate was presented at the Consistory meeting and was approved for a full-time position with benefits for a one-year period. Members of the search committee are Stephanie Bergman, Tammy Bradford, Brian Fleetham, Luke Morgan, Eric Ringnalda, and Teresa Scholten.

RRC’s Annual Congregational Meeting is coming up on December 6 at 5 p.m. We will discuss and vote on the 2016 proposed budget and select new office bearers. The Consistory approved the final slate of nominees. 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.

The Consistory would like to draw attention to the church’s financial position at this time, especially in light of the new Worship Director coming on board soon and the budget that will be presented at the upcoming Congregational Meeting. Currently, we have about three months of reserve funds on hand, the amount recommended for healthy churches. This is similar to how a household is run, with 3-6 months of reserve funds available in case of emergencies. Total receipts (giving) for the 2015 fiscal year is below what was budgeted for the year and we have been depleting our reserve fund to cover expenses. In September alone, we dipped into the reserve funds for about $20,000. Each year, we as a congregation approve the budget and are aware of what money we are committing to give to the ministries and missions of our church, and the deacons rely on what is budgeted to come in. We ask that you prayerfully evaluate your level of giving for God’s ministry to be carried out in our church and community, through us at Rockford Reformed Church.


Adult Ministry – October 2015


Two new life groups started this fall. Childcare is now provided for the families of one of the new groups. We plan to start even more weekly groups in January. An option for a 10 session group to meet every other week may also be offered if needed. There are also a few dinner and Bible study groups that have stayed together from last year. We encourage everyone to make a commitment to one of our small group offerings for one of the 10 week options during the year. Our goal is to promote fellowship, mutual Christian support, Bible study, and prayer among members of the Rockford Reformed Church family.

Currently, two Wednesday classes are meeting at 6:45 during Pioneer Club. Feel free to check the church calendar and join in. Kevin Johnson leads an adult Sunday School class at 10:00. All are welcome to these classes as well.

Watch your announcements for various Men’s and Women’s group social events, prayer groups, and Bible Study groups. There are many opportunities to build friendships, enjoy fellowship, and grow in the grace and knowledge of God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit who blesses us. If you have an idea for a social gathering or for a class, please let us know.

Please plan to attend the January 3 Winter Fest and Concert of Prayer to kick-off the winter class/group sessions.


Men’s Ministry – October 2015


Men! Join us for an Amazing Journey! Last week, we launched our Men’s Friday Morning Breakfast. We meet every other Friday morning in the gym from 6:30 to 7:30 to begin to discover God’s real plan for men. We are watching “33” – a series of video talks that look at the 33 years of Jesus’ life on earth to give us a model of true manhood. We begin at 6:30 with a “real” Man’s Breakfast (not just muffins or fruit cups), then spend the rest of the hour watching and discussing the video.

The six sessions will include Manhood Realities (Oct 9), Create and Cultivate (Oct 23), Manhood Definition (Nov 6), King/Warrior (Nov 20), Lover/Friend (Dec 4), and Seasons (Dec 18).


Youth Ministry – October 2015


The year is well underway and we are tremendously pleased with the start we have had to our youth group year. If you are looking to learn more about our youth ministry, I encourage you to “like” the student ministry Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RRCYM), or request to be a part of our weekly emails by contacting Brian Ellis (brianmellis@outlook.com).

What’s Coming Up?


  • Youth Group is on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Girls Bible Study (Middle & High School) on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:00 pm at Family Fare
  • Afternoon at Sky Zone on Saturday, October 24
  • Youth Group fundraiser dinner after second service in the gym, November 1
  • No Youth Group (Thanksgiving) on Wednesday, November 25


  • Youth Group is 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
  • All-Nighter at the 3 Mile Project Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7
  • No Youth Group (Thanksgiving) on Sunday, November 29

Parent’s Tip: I encourage you to share the story of how you became a Christian with your child. Hearing the influential pieces of a parent’s testimony can often help a child identify the meaningful aspects of their own faith. A child will often pay very close attention to the faith of a parent so sharing testimonies or favorite Bible verses can be impactful for the faith of a child.

What We’re Studying: We are studying the life of King Solomon and how his life can teach us to walk on a path that leads to God.

Other Opportunities: If you are looking for ways to get involved, the youth ministry has needs for volunteers outside of being a small group leader. From making snacks to driving vans, there are plenty of ways to help out.


Children’s Ministry – October 2015


On the Wednesday before Halloween, Pioneer Clubs will be hosting a “Spark in the Dark” party in place of having regular club meetings. We are opening it up to the community, so please invite your friends and neighbors! There will be games for kids of all ages, hot dogs for dinner, prizes, and of course, candy! Costumes are welcome if you would like to wear them. The party takes place in the gym from 6-8pm on October 28. If you would like to donate candy, please place it at the info desk in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!