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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.

Adult Ministry – April 2016

adult-ministry

Well over 100 people walked on the path Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion in this year’s first ever Journey to the Cross Lenten prayer walk. It was a very meaningful experience for all who participated, adults and youth as well as members and guests alike. Here are some reflections:

“I participated in the walk with a physically challenged friend. We were asked to carry a rock throughout the walk that symbolized the burden of our sin. I often had to juggle carrying my rock, my friend’s rock, our papers, and our pens. It was often a struggle for me. This made me reflect on how our own sin can indeed hold us back from helping others.” (retired male)

“At the last station, we were encouraged to leave our rock (sin) at the foot of the cross. I had a very difficult time dropping my rock and letting it go. This challenged me to reflect more on why I hang on to my guilt and my shame instead of giving it all to Jesus.” (full-time working mom of teenagers)

“The most meaningful station to me was praying as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. It made me realize that when I know I will be facing troubles, it’s okay to “be scared, run, and hide” to be with God like Jesus did. It made me remember to pray to God instead of worry alone.” (middle school male student)

 The adult ministry team plans to make the Lenten prayer walk an annual opportunity for our members, guests, and our community.

The Spring launch for Life Groups is April 17. To sign up, use the connection card in the bulletin to indicate interest and someone will contact you. For people newer to the church or who may be thinking about becoming members, there will be a Sunday night Discovery Life Group. Life Groups are great opportunities to get to know fellow believers and interact with them on a personal level, supporting each other and sharing life together.

Ladies, don’t miss Ladies’ Day 2016! April 23 will be a great morning with guest speaker Rev. Leslie Holmes (who also happens to be Tom and Miriam Carpenter’s daughter) about Powerful Prayer. Plus, women attending can choose one of several fun and relaxing break-out sessions. The event is free. However, you must RSVP to Rebecca Cruttenden. Deadline for reserving a spot for lunch was April 10, but any woman may still sign up to attend the rest of the morning.



Youth Ministry – April 2016

youth-ministry

With only a couple months left before we break for summer we are tremendously pleased with the direction that our ministry is headed.

Parent’s Tip: Let your student know you are proud of them. In our performance-based society we can sometimes focus on earning the love of the people around us. For a student to hear they are loved unconditionally can go a long way.

What We’re Studying: We are studying the 7 signs in the gospel of John. John refers to these miracles as “signs” because they communicate something about who Jesus is.  We are learning what those signs tell us about Jesus and how they impact our faith today.

What’s Coming Up

  • Middle School Summer Mission Trip July 31-August 6
  • High School Summer Mission Trip June 12-18

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.
  • One of our biggest needs at the moment is for adults who would be interested in hearing more about being a small group leader next year.


Children’s Ministry – April 2016

childrens-ministry

A big thank you to all of the volunteers who made this past year of Pioneer Clubs a success! This past Wednesday’s Derby Car Race marked the end of the program until we start up again in the fall. Congratulations to all of the kids who participated in the race – your derby cars looked great! The results:

Fastest Overall: Brooklyn J

Best of Show: Abby W

First place winners: Brooklyn J, Kaylee D, Jasmine M, Tony S, Caden J, Josh N

Second place winners: Alayna O, Maddison J, Kennedy D, Shad M, Tyler H, Tyler V

Third place winners: Kadie K, Lena J, Anna T, Michael C, Collin R, Nate K



Missions – April 2016

missions-ministry

RRC has been supporting The Other Way ministries for many years. The Other Way is located on the west side of Grand Rapids, serving the Westown community. Kurt Reppart has been the director there for almost two years now and has served at The Other Way for 15+ years. He attends Servants Community Church and also resides in the neighborhood he serves.

The Other Way has four focus areas: community, early interventions, economic improvement, and families growing in their faith. Getting to know the people The Other Way serves is important so they can provide resources. They provide programs, classes, and services, including a café, to encourage community growth and Christ-centered living.

RRC missions team is excited to grow our relationship with The Other Way. Kurt will be joining us Sunday, May 1 to give a “moment for missions” and will be doing a presentation during the Sunday school hour. We hope you will join us to learn more about this ministry and how you can get involved! Check them out at TheOtherWay.org  or on facebook.



Outreach – April 2016

outreach-ministry

Several months ago the congregation received information about the “One Degree Rule”, a simple concept that can help us see our need to grow, and then take practical steps to increase our passion to reach out. Because we forget, and because our outreach temperatures tend to burn out quickly, it is important to be reminded that each of us has an outreach temperature and there are steps we can take to keep it burning hot.

We can simply use a scale of 1 to 10 to help us identify where our outreach temperature is at. A ten represents a heart and life that are sizzling hot for reaching out to those who are far from Christ. A one represents a heart that is cold when it comes to reaching out with the love of Christ.

The good news is it doesn’t really matter what the starting number is. We can commit to raise that number by one degree. Each day it is important to ask ourselves:

  • What is my outreach temperature at this moment?
  • What can I do to raise my temperature one degree?

Practical tools we can use to increase our temperature are: Reading God’s word, praying for those God has placed in your life who are still unbelievers, spending time with those who are far from Christ, sharing how God is working in your life or in the lives of others, or asking someone to hold you accountable.

If we will become more attentive to this aspect of our Christian life and take action to increase our outreach temperature, we will consistently see it going up. The result will be more regular and passionate outreach, and we will be more receptive to the opportunities God provides for us to share the message of Jesus and the grace He offers.



Adult Ministry – March 2016

adult-ministry
Easter is March 27 this year and we are in the season of Lent, leading up to Good Friday. Lent is a time dedicated for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and resurrection.
 
To observe Lent, a special Journey to the Cross Prayer Walk is available to individuals, families, and groups at our church. You are invited to walk through seven interactive, devotional prayer stations set up throughout the upper level of the gym. You will travel along the path Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Each station includes scripture reading, interactive exercises, and prayer to help you reflect upon the sacrifice of his death, so that you might experience the grace and love of God more fully during this Lenten season.
 
Times are available for guided and self-guided walks for individuals and groups. A devotional program booklet was placed in your church mailbox and the back page of it lists these times as well as other special events and services for you and your family, friends, and neighbors.
 
Ladies, set aside Saturday morning, April 23, for a Ladies Day here at Rockford Reformed. Details are still being worked out, but plan to be inspired, uplifted, and refreshed with a special speaker and break-away sessions. Click here for the latest information.


Youth Ministry – March 2016

youth-ministry
With only a couple months left before we break for summer we are tremendously pleased with the direction that our ministry is headed. If you are looking to learn more about our youth ministry I encourage you to “like” the student ministry Facebook page (facebook.com/RRCYM), or request to be a part of our weekly emails by contacting Brian Ellis (brian@rockfordrc.org).

Parent’s Tip: Let your student know you are proud of them. In our performance-based society we can sometimes focus on earning the love of the people around us. For a student to hear they are loved unconditionally can go a long way.

What We’re Studying: We are studying the 7 signs in the gospel of John. John refers to these miracles as “signs” because they communicate something about who Jesus is. We are learning what those signs tell us about Jesus and how they impact our faith today.

What’s Coming Up
– Garage Sale Fundraiser March 19
– Profession of Faith Retreat April 1-2

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.

– One of our biggest needs at the moment is for adults who would be willing to be a part of our Profession of Faith Class. Contact Brian Ellis if you are interested in more details.


Children’s Ministry – March 2016

childrens-ministry
Kids 3 years – 5th grade are invited to join us at both services on March 20 to wave palm branches during a song on Palm Sunday! Meet in fellowship hall @ 8:40am to get your branch.

Our Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast is on Saturday, March 26 at 9:30am. Bring your friends!

The last regular night of Pioneer Clubs is March 30. Families are invited to stay for our closing ceremony. The Derby Car Race takes place on April 13 at 6:30pm in the gym. Kids will be completing their cars this Wednesday.


Missions – March 2016

missions-ministry

Praise the Lord that we were able to fill our Mission Team for Haiti! Bren Shantz, Emily DeWitte, Beth & Nate Jennings, Dan Van Stensel, Madelyn McConnon, and Ryan & Rachel DeKuiper will be joining six other members of the Rockford community in serving in Haiti June 26-July 3. Please pray for the team as they prepare to go. Donations are being accepted for the purchase of Audio Bibles. In the past, teams have always handed out the written word, but with the high illiteracy rate in Haiti, this is simply not enough. The audio Bibles run on solar power and are another great way to share the Gospel with the unreached people in Haiti. Each Bible costs between $40 and $50. Checks can be made out to RRC Missions with “Audio Bibles for Haiti” in the memo line. Checks can be placed in Jennifer Klaasen’s mailbox. Thank you for your prayers and support!



Outreach – March 2016

outreach-ministry

Thank you to all of you who made the Team Trivia Night a successful event, either by inviting a guest or two, or by just coming out and having fun.  In all there were one hundred and eleven adults who attended the event, and thirty-three children in childcare. Of the one hundred and eleven people attending; we had thirty-six guests. Thirty-two people were guests of someone who goes to Rockford Reformed Church, and four people were from the community who came in response to an advertisement sent out through the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.  A BIG thank you also to Beth, Brian, and the youth for providing childcare, and also to those who utilized the childcare and gave a generous donation. Approximately $200.00 was donated to help fund youth mission trips and retreats this year.

EASTER SUNDAY: Did you know that unchurched people are more likely to respond to your invitation on Easter than at any other time of the year? Many of you will invite family over for dinner on Easter Sunday. Have you ever considered inviting company to your church on Easter Sunday? As Easter approaches please be thinking of the people in your life who do not have the hope of eternal life. If you will be attending the Easter Service at Rockford Reformed Church, we encourage you to extend an invitation to at least one person to worship with you. What’s the worst that could happen? They could say no, but that might say yes, and better yet that invitation may be the one thing that changes their life for eternity.




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