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Welcome! Our hope for this blog is to give you insight into the whys of what we do. We value open communication, not only from leadership to the congregation, but from the congregation to leadership as well. To learn more about RRC’s ministry philosophy and how we put it into action, check out our Leadership Principles section.

Children’s Ministry – January 2016

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Pioneer Clubs Winter Mixer: Wednesday, February 3 following Simple Supper. Invite your friends and join us for a night of mixed-up fun! Wear your craziest, mixed-up outfit and get ready for group games and other fun activities! Prizes (including gift cards) for who brings the most friends, craziest outfit, and more!

Our Skippers and Scooters (Kindergarten and under) will be having their own Snow Night! We won’t be outdoors sledding this year, but we will bring the fun indoors for some snow games, activities, and a fun snack.


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Missions – January 2016

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We are in the process of assembling a team to send to Haiti again this year. We will once again be partnering with the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty and look forward to serving alongside this amazing organization.

Our travel dates are June 25-July 2 (Saturday-Saturday). While there, we will be doing Vacation Bible School, PB 300 (vitamin enriched peanut butter) distribution, and Teacher Training at Les Bours School of Hope. We will also hold Bible studies in tent city, Jeremie, paint houses in a neighborhood near Hope House, visit and volunteer at orphanages, and most of all, share His love with the Haitian people.

We will have an informational meeting on Monday, January 31 at 6:30pm at Rachel DeKuiper’s house (7311 Hessler Ct, Rockford). Cost, travel, in-country, safety, and other information will be shared. If you can’t attend this meeting, but are interested in going to Haiti, please contact Rachel DeKuiper – rmdekuiper@rockfordschools.org.

On another note, $3,700 was raised at Hoops for Haiti. A big THANK YOU to RRC for the bake sale and silent auction donations. It was also great to see so many of you at the game!

Local Missions – Birthday Blessings

The Birthday Blessings program thanks you! The generous Christmas Eve offering of $1,500+ will help with the exponential growth seen recently, with 9 new referrals in the past month alone. In addition, this gift has also helped to purchase “The Gospel Story” books which will be given to each family. Please help us pray that God stirs the hearts of these families to read the book together – planting seeds of faith and hope in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Pray also that they feel God’s presence, peace, and protection in the New Year.


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Outreach – January 2016

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! 308 “Just Because Cards” were picked up by members of RRC. If all of the them were passed out, we shared the love of Jesus by doing 308 small acts of kindness in the month of December! We would like to encourage you to continue doing these small acts of kindness throughout the year. There will be “Just Because Cards” available on the desk at the back of the sanctuary and on the welcome table of the Lobby. Please pick up as many as you would like and bless the people of our community throughout 2016. In all, RRC blessed 780 people with a “Just Because Card” and either an RRC ink pen or a small act of kindness in 2015!

COMING SOON! SAVE THE DATE! Adult Team Trivia, led by MI Team Trivia, Friday, March 4, 6:15 – 9:00pm in the RRC gym. Registration begins Jan. 31! Start forming your teams of 5-8 today! Please watch for registration forms in your church mailbox and more information to follow. Got questions now? Ask Lisa DeBoer, Deb Coon, Sandy Glaza, Shirley Saenz or Miriam Carpenter.

Outreach Question of the Month: How much time, in a normal week, do you spend praying for people you know or love who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Taking Action:

  • Make a list of family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and neighbors who you care about who are not yet followers of Christ.
  • Put this list in a place where you will see it every day and be reminded to pray for these people.
  • Take a few moments each day to pray for the love of God to pour over these people, and for the Holy Spirit to touch their lives in ways that will open their hearts to God’s love and grace. Ask God to orchestrate opportunities for you to love and serve them.

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Worship – January 2016

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The Worship Search Team continues to press forward in our process. We currently have three candidates we are engaged with. All three have humbling gifts and passion for Kingdom work and regardless of who ultimately joins the team at RRC, we’re so grateful to have been able to meet and engage each of these individuals. We ask for your continued prayers for our team that the Holy Spirit would direct us in this process. We continue to be abundantly thankful to Joshua for his willingness to share his gifts and talents with RRC in this season and for all of the awesome volunteers who tirelessly give their time each week to help usher us into worship on Sunday mornings. If you have any questions about the search, please do not hesitate to contact me at stephanie.l.bergman@gmail.com.


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Consistory – December 2015

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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, rockfordreformedchurch.org.

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.


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Adult Ministry – December 2015

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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. 


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Youth Ministry – December 2015

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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?

MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 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

HIGH SCHOOL

  • 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.

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Children’s Ministry – December 2015

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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


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Outreach – December 2015

outreach-ministry

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.


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Consistory – November 2015

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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.


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