Missions – October 2015


The Missions Team was so blessed to meet Adrian & Bernardeth Bob-Kelly and their daughter when they visited our church on October 4th. They have not visited churches in the United States for several years. Adrian and Bernardeth serve on the east coast of Nicaragua in the poorest area of an already poor country. They shared that they provide public health and medical services, as well as spiritual and pastoral education, to that population. We discussed the possibility of having a mission trip in the future with a team from our church and they were eager to discuss this opportunity with us. Our team is committed to continuing support for their mission work.

Our team has been working on the Missions budget for 2016. We have been reviewing all of our local and international missions over the past year. We have also been discussing how we as a church can become more engaged with them. How can we actually get to know the leaders of local missions and missionary families well?

In the book Organic Outreach for Churches by Kevin Harney, he discusses this issue. He concludes that it is so much more impactful to support a few local and international missions rather than many. The church can then focus on those few with more dollars and develop a relationship with the mission leaders. He states, “Your congregation will have a deeper sense of being connected to them, and you might even plan a trip to visit and encourage the smaller number of missionaries you support.”  

When the budget is presented in December, you will see that we have tried to focus on a few local and international missions. This was a difficult and painful process as we worked to limit our list and inform those who we decided would no longer receive support from Rockford Reformed Church after 2015.

Take A Frozen Turkey to Church Day! Sunday, November 15

This year Rockford Reformed Church has committed to provide Thanksgiving dinner baskets for 40-45 clients of the North Kent Community Services (NKCS). On Sunday, November 15, we will collect frozen turkeys at church and they will be sent to NKCS. Then on Tuesday, November 17, at 6pm your whole family or life group can enjoy a light meal in the gym and pack all the other food and inspirational material that will accompany the turkey in the basket. This will be a fun evening as we work together packing the Thanksgiving baskets, creating cards for each basket, praying together for those who will receive the baskets and delivering them to NKCS. Watch for more details on what foods we will need for the baskets. If you have any questions regarding these dates and activities, please contact Dave VanderWiere, Dianne Bennett (dianneb49@gmail.com), or Pastor Paul (plbradford@me.com).


Outreach – October 2015


“Every follower of Jesus Christ has an outreach temperature. It can be hot, cold, or somewhere in the middle. This temperature impacts the way we live our life and interact with those who are far from God. It is our responsibility to steward this temperature and seek to increase it so that our hearts burn hotter for those who are spiritually lost. The One Degree Rule is the reality that all of us need to seek to increase our outreach temperature by one degree on a regular basis.” Kevin G. Harney, Organic Outreach for Churches.

The One Degree Rule is the outreach concept that the Outreach Influence Team is sharing with the ministry teams and the congregation during the month of October. We can use a scale of 1-10 to help us identify where our outreach temperature lies. A ten represents a heart that is sizzling hot. A one represents a heart that has cooled off or is cold. When we are at a ten, we are consistently praying for, and connecting with those who are spiritually lost, speaking of our faith, and naturally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are at a one, we are no longer praying for lost people, we are too busy to connect with those who are outside of our church family, and we do not feel much urgency to share our faith or communicate the gospel of Jesus.

This scale can be used to measure the outreach temperature of our church ministries also. When a ministry’s temperature is high, it is welcoming of those who are lost, it designs its programs to attract those who are not yet in a relationship with Jesus, there are consistently non-churched visitors attending, and many enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We know a ministry’s temperature is low or cooling off when it invest most of its energy in planning activities for those who are already part of God’s family, when the participants are content to just meet with other Christians for fun.

The value of the One Degree Rule is that it doesn’t matter what the starting number is. The purpose is to identify our outreach temperature and then commit to raise it one degree higher. If I am at a 4, I can take steps to raise my outreach temperature to a 5. A ministry area that is at a 6, can take steps to raise their outreach temperature to a 7. The key is to continually be turning our temperature up a bit higher. As our temperature increases, our effectiveness in outreach increases.

Kevin Harney suggests several ways to increase your temperature…read God’s word, pray for those God has placed in your life who are spiritually disconnected, make time to be with those who are far from Christ, share how God is working in your life or in the lives of others, ask someone to hold you accountable.


What is your outreach temperature today?

What can you do to raise your temperature by one degree?


Worship – October 2015

The Worship Director Search Committee presented their recommended candidate for hire to consistory at their meeting on October 13. Consistory voted unanimously in their approval of the presented candidate. Please join us in thanking God for His faithfulness in this process thus far, and continue to join with us in prayer as the candidate considers the offer we’ve presented.
On behalf of the Search Committee, I’d like to express my thanks to Bren Shantz and the rest of the invaluable members of our worship ministry. Their dedication to leading us in Christ-centered worship during the past 6 months of our search has been such an encouragement. I would also like to publicly express my thanks to the individual members of the Search Committee – Eric Ringnalda, Teresa Scholten, Brian Fleetham, Tammy Bradford, Luke Morgan and Pastor Paul – for the time, energy, prayers, and wisdom they poured into me and this process. To God be the glory. -Stephanie Bergman, Chair


Hospitality – October 2015

We’ve been working hard to help newcomers feel welcome here at the church. We’ve clearly labeled the main entrance. We now have a welcome table in the Lobby where newcomers can go to get questions answered and receive a bag with gifts and information about RRC. We are now filtering the water we use to brew coffee, and brewing high quality coffee.
But we need one more thing – friendly people to help us fulfill our vision! We need people who are passionate about hospitality and welcoming newcomers to staff the welcome table, to greet at the door, to brew coffee before first service, and to serve as ushers and greeters in the sanctuary. Even if you can only help once a month you can make a big difference. Thanks!


Property – October 2015


Our property team recently had some tree stumps ground and holes filled in the yard. Thank  you to all who helped with fall cleaning. We have new signs at the major doorways, new lighting in the gym, and new exit signs. We are also looking at changes to the sound/video ministry that will help us better present Pastor Paul’s materials. Coming up is preparing the building for winter, including roof maintenance and some seal replacement. Things are gradually being checked off the maintenance list and we are more able to focus on new initiatives.


The Ministry of Loving, Listening, and Praying

  • 9/23 – Session 1: Questions About Healing (Pastor Paul) – download notes
  • 9/30 – Session 2: Listening, Part 1 (Bren Shantz) – download notes
  • 10/7 – Session 3: Listening, Part 2 (Bren Shantz) – download notes
  • 10/14 – Session 4: Loss & Grief (Rob Bergman)
  • 10/21 – Session 5: Healing Prayer Model (Pastor Paul) – download notes
  • 10/28 – Session 6: Hearing God’s Voice (Pastor Paul) – download notes
  • Sorry, there are no sermons available for this playlist.


Pastor’s Corner – September 2015

_Paul-Tammy-Bradford-Portrait-Color-1 (2)This past Sunday we had an amazing day. Our Fall Festival and All Church Picnic were well attended. People had a chance to see all that is being offered this fall at RRC and to sign up for classes, small groups, and volunteer opportunities. Kid’s Hope had the largest sign up ever.
Sunday evening we returned for our first Concert of Prayer – an all church gathering of prayer and worship. We had about 45 attend. I was flooded with comments by those who attended. They shared the wonderful impact of the evening. God’s presence was felt, and people said the time flew by. We know that, as we pray according to God’s will, he hears, and his answers are on the way!
As we move towards our future, prayer will become increasingly central. We can accomplish nothing apart from the hand of God working in our midst, and as we ask, we will receive. Learning to highly value congregational times of prayer together is a very important area of growth together. Our next Concert of Prayer will be 6pm on Sunday, January 3, to launch us into the New Year.
Life Groups are a great new addition to the small group line up here at RRC. We have 4 groups forming, two of which still have plenty of room for people to join (the ideal group size is 8-12). Our groups include:
  • Jerry & Deb Coon – Sunday nights – full
  • Seth & Emillie Clayton – Sunday nights – full
  • Eric & Julie Ringnalda – Monday nights – space available (childcare included)
  • Stephen Bradford –Night to be determined (probably Monday or Tuesday) – for Young Adults age 18-30 – space available
To enhance our kids’ security, beginning this Sunday only Kid’s Life staff, parents, and children will be allowed in the hallways in the Children’s area. The stairs going into the Fellowship Hall will still be opened for general traffic. Also, our room numbers and Building Map have been updated to make them more newcomer friendly. You can view the Building Map here, or download it here.
I encourage you to read through The Beacon. You’ll find updates from Consistory (our church board), all of our Ministry Teams, and our Worship Director Search Team. The Beacon will keep you up to date on what’s happening here at RRC as we press forward into God’s future for us!


Consistory – September 2015

bp newsletterYou missed a fun party! August 26 and 27 featured two very different block parties. We had an end-of-summer block party for the Hillview neighborhood and served about 90 hotdogs plus the extras. A number of children came alone. Rachel DeKuiper identified a need for homework kits. We made 50 kits available to these children, so they would have the needed tools to do their homework. Volunteers helped with set-up, food, games, face painting, and more. It was a very rewarding experience. Please pray for open hearts for these families as we again invite them to Pioneer Clubs and adult Bible study on Wednesday evenings.
On August 27, Ken & Wilma Nelson held a repeat block party in the Rollingwood neighborhood. This area has had a significant turnover in residents in the past couple of years; many moved away because they were upgrading to larger homes as their families grow. The party provided an opportunity for old and new neighbors to connect. Adults were able to visit, while children enjoyed supervised bouncing in the Bounce House. This was a treat for everyone. One comment was “your yearly get-togethers are the only time I visit with my neighbors farther down the block.” Again volunteers helped with many tasks including just visiting with folks. Many expressed their appreciation for what RRC did to support the good time. People willingly provided email addresses so they can be in the loop for future activities such as the neighborhood garage sale their neighborhood held this spring. They are planning for a Christmas coffee for the women in early December. Pray that these everyday activities will continue to prompt questions and that Ken & Wilma will make deeper connections that reflect our Lord’s love. 
Thank you again to the 20 plus volunteers that made these events possible!
Prayer Ministry Teams began serving September 13. Prayer teams will be available after each worship service to pray for any person who has a concern, need, praise, or just wants to pray with someone. Anyone interested in being part of a prayer team should plan to participate in the Wednesday night class, The Ministry of Loving, Listening, and Praying
Nomination letters for Administrative Elder, Shepherd Elders, and Service Deacons will be going out soon to those who have been nominated. There will be two informational meetings; one on Sunday, September 27 and another on Sunday, October 4, both at 10 a.m. These meetings give the nominees a chance to find out what is involved in serving as an office holder in our church. The consistory asks for prayers for all the nominees leading up to our congregational meeting on December 6.
Pastor Paul presented his goals for RRC for the 2015-2016 program year at the last consistory meeting. Some of the goals include strengthening the adult ministries to result in more discipleship and greater spiritual depth; preaching biblical sermons that develop and release vision, values, discipleship, and outreach; asking all directors to integrate meaningful prayer into meetings; equipping ministry leaders in core leadership, pastoral, and prayer skills; and identifying and removing barriers to the unchurched and newcomers. Please pray for Pastor Paul, the consistory, and staff as we work on these goals.
New Signage and Renumbering of Rooms: In an effort to make the church more welcoming for visitors and for everyone to find rooms easier, more signs have been ordered and the rooms have been renumbered. The children’s area has been made more secure by making one entrance in that area – the one on the northwest side of the church – an emergency exit only and limiting access coming from the lobby area.


Missions – September 2015

Since 2007, many in our church family have set up, decorated, cooked, baked, served, and cleaned up for a Thanksgiving dinner served in our gymnasium. We are so thankful to everyone who volunteered to spend their time providing a great holiday for many in our community.
As the numbers attending this dinner have been declining the last couple of years, we met with Claire Guisfredi, Director of North Kent Community Services (NKCS), and Katie Hop, the Communications and Development Manager, to determine ways to improve our communication/invitation methods. To our surprise, they kindly told us that an increase probably would not happen. Clients have indicated they much prefer to cook a dinner in their own homes rather than coming to a church. Although our efforts were appreciated, many felt it was intimidating to have so many people trying to serve them.
Claire and Katie are so grateful that we want to help the clients of NKCS. We brainstormed some ideas on how we can continue to provide Thanksgiving dinners for members of our community. We have decided that we can more effectively provide a dinner for people by providing one half (40-45) of the Thanksgiving dinner baskets that will be distributed to NKCS clients on November 19.
Your whole family can help on the evening of Tuesday, November 17 – please save the date. This will be a fun evening as we work together packing the Thanksgiving baskets, creating cards for each basket, praying together for those who will receive the baskets, and delivering them to NKCS.
Watch for more details soon on what we need for the baskets and for the time and activities on the evening of November 17th. If you have any questions regarding the change for this year, please contact Dave VanderWiere, Dianne Bennett, or Pastor Paul.


Adult Ministry – September 2015

At the last Adult Ministries meeting, we finalized leaders and study questions for the new Life Groups that start up the week of September 20. We were also able to confirm the adult Sunday School class and the two Wednesday night classes.
In addition to these classes, there are many opportunities for adults – both men and women – to grow in their relationships with others and with God through weekly Bible studies. Hopefully you were able to sign up for a class that works with your schedule at the recent Fall Festival.
Our church is blessed with volunteers who graciously give of their time and energy to lead the different studies and activities. If you’re one of those people, “Thank you!”
There’s a men’s event coming up that would be a great opportunity for the guys to invite friends, neighbors, and co-workers to. Just show up at church on Monday, October 5 at 7:30pm, and you will be treated to a cookout while you watch the Lions vs. Seahawks game on the big screen! You can contact Kevin Johnson (291-3991) or Bren Shantz (821-8907) with any questions. Another cookout will be held December 3.