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Synod of Mid-America Newsletter Volume 15, Issue 15.  August 25, 2014.
Fall Multiplication Conference:  Small Town Church Plants -  October 15, 12:30-3:30 pm, Sterling, IL.  Pastor Brian Steenhoek, who has planted in a small town, will be one of the key presenters.  More details soon.

2015 Salary Schedule, Rules, and Guidelines for the region are now available by clicking HERE.  Alternately you may access this document on our website on the resources page.

Regional Synod Manitoqua Office and Mailing Address - A reminder that the mailing address for the synod has changed to P.O. Box 2147, Valparaiso, IN 46384.  Please update your contact information.  We have also closed the physical office that was located at Camp Manitoqua, but still support Manitoqua and will continue to partner with the ministry and hold meetings there.  

2015 Regional Synod Urban Ministry Grant Applications - Urban Ministry Grant assistance is for ministries to, in, and/or for areas considered urban in geography of our regional synod. The minimum criterion is that it is a ministry to, in, and/or for the urban area with a vision, plans, and goals for outreach into the community. Those ministries applying for a grant that aren’t in a traditionally geographic urban setting should take into account that the ideal of the grant is that it be used for those living in geographically urban areas, multi-cultural areas, and lower socio-economic areas. The synod’s goal is to see lives changed through the work of Christ and the Gospel.  Check out the updated Guidelines and if applying, fill out an Application.

Join the Illiana-Florida Church Multiplication Movement - The Illiana / Florida Classis Church Multiplication team is looking for church planters for upcoming projects!  We provide assessment, training, coaching, support and funding for new church plants.  If you are interested, go to http://www.iplantchurchplanting.com/ and click “start process.”
Being a Connected Community...
 
My granddaughter Karly celebrated her fifth birthday this weekend - a milestone year for a whole new world of independence.  The family gathered at Pizza Ranch and Karly's self chosen party theme was "Frozen" - she loves the movie.  I wish I could have been there for her birthday party but since she lives in South Dakota I had to Skype instead.  I love to hear her tell the stories of all the things that are happening in her life.  My granddaughter is growing up.  She's both gifted and extroverted, so it is not unusual that she is surrounded by a group of friends.  I remember the first few times when she was a baby and I held her in my hands.  Her fragile, little body with frog legs was one of the most beautiful tiny persons I had ever seen.  I also came to the realization that this kid was completely, utterly dependent on her mom and dad for life.  My little granddaughter could not eat, drink, change, or wash by herself.  If mom and dad didn't do it for her, she would die.  But now she is five and she can do all these things BY HERSELF, although she still likes it when I read to her, pour her a drink or hold her hand and go for a walk.  And I'll keep doing it because I love it.  I don't want her to be too independent, not yet.  Not ever!
 
As people grow more actualized, somehow independence seems to be the goal.  Culturally, we have come to equate independence with maturity.  But there is something missing there.  To me, the greatest sign of a healthy, joyful life is not independence but INTERDEPENDENCE.  The Apostle Paul wrote about the body of Christ and the unique and diverse members of it.  He envisioned the Church as a body of interdependent relationships.  Just as the eye can't function without the brain, and the muscles without the heart, and the foot without the leg, God's design for the church is that we serve Him like a body of interdependent parts.  People knew what this was about in the early church.  Through the power of the risen Christ, they became a real community.  Faith was not "just me and Jesus."  They ate together, shared possessions together, experienced miracles together, and worshipped together.
 
I got some good news for you.  Maybe you don't think you make much of a difference in the world.  The truth is, YOU DON'T!  Not by yourself.  When we're focused on what we do by ourselves, it doesn't seem to matter.  But when you can do what you do and be who you are alongside others, it makes a huge difference.  When all the parts come together, there is music.  It creates mood.  It communicates a message.  It changes the world.  God designed us to be interdependent.  We need each other on the journey.  So make connection a priority.  "Log in" or be "LinkedIn" to the Body of Christ with God's Spirit in a way that is authentic, relevant, and relational.
 
-- Wayne Van Regenmorter

Wayne's Schedule:
August
25 - 29  Vacation
September
1: Labor Day Holiday
2: Strategic Planning Meeting/Beecher, IL
3: Chicago Classis Coordinating Committee Meeting/Calvary Reformed Church/Orland Park, IL
4-6: Ridder Church Renewal Event/Green Lake, WI
7: Sunday Worship
8-10:  COSE/Interchange Partnership Meetings/ Grand Rapids, MI
11: Urban Grant Conference Call
12: Ridder Church Renewal Great Lakes/Mid-America Conference Call
13: Off
14: Sunday Worship
     

Wayne's contact information:
10088 Prairie Knoll Ct.
St. John, IN 46373
Mobile: (941) 302-1281
Email:  wregen@msyn.org
Here are some links to articles you may find helpful for ministry:
Why Do Congregations Matter? - Because we have fallen into the pattern of understanding congregations as self-supporting organizations with a staff of ministers and support personnel, a building, parking lot and grounds, we spend a lot of time worrying about budgets, depreciation, nursery volunteers and all the rest. This article will encourage you to see congregations as much more.
Churches Seen As Failing to Welcome People With Disabilities - Almost a third of parents reported having changed their place of worship because their child had not been included or welcomed. More than half kept their sons or daughters from participating in a religious activity because of lack of support.  Learn ways to include those with disabilities in your church.
Dinner -- and the Gospel -- is Served, at St. Lydia's - This article about a church plant asks some probing questions: How can your congregation gather around a table for a weekly meal? How would it affect the group's spiritual and physical life? How does your church or other community ensure that  “everyone has a place at the table”?  Perhaps reading this will cause you to ask other questions about your ministries.

Chad's Schedule:
August
25: Office
26: Office
27: Office
28: Office; Coaching
29: Office
September 
1: Labor Day Holiday
2: Office
3: Office; Travel to Wisconsin for Ridder Church Renewal
4: Ridder Church Renewal, Wisconsin
5: Ridder Church Renewal, Wisconsin
6: Ridder Church Renewal, Wisconsin
8: Transformed and Transforming Meetings, Grand Rapids, MI
9: Transformed and Transforming Meetings, Grand Rapids, MI
10: Office; Coaching
11: Office; Coaching; Executive Team GoToMeeting
12: Office


Chad's Contact Information:
2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46385
Office: (815) 464-9181

Mobile: (765) 237-7678
Email: chad@msyn.org

Stories of Celebration:

* This issue's story comes from Pastor Charlie Barclay of The Cornerstone Church - Manteno Campus:

On our launch weekend, a guy named Rick came to church with his wife. Rick grew up in Church. but in his words "it never clicked."  Linda, his wife, had been praying for him for many yard and tells a story that one morning after church Rick stood weeping in their kitchen and said, "it all makes sense now." 

That was the moment Rick became a Christian. 

Rick has grown over the past 2 years he is always looking for a way to serve. He currently serves on our AV team for the weekend services. He and his wife lead a small group that meets in their home. 

Charlie thanks God that he has been enable to witness God's work in Rick's life. It has been a privilege to serve him and walk alongside him as he grows in Christ. 


If you would like to share a story for a future issue, please email chad@msyn.org

All stories are shared to give glory and honor to God.  We also hope this stories can inspire and encourage one another as we serve him. 
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