From our May/June 2012 newsletter
Attending since January 2009 • Rick and Kimberly Tuttle began attending RRC as a couple in January of 2009, but Rick had been attending for several years before they met. He initially came because he saw a sign advertising The Well. The funny thing is that he never actually made it to a service in The Well until 2011. The sanctuary service caught his attention, and that is where the family can be found most Sunday mornings.
Rick was brought up in the Reformed Church, as were his children Zach and Grace. Though she did attend church, Kimberly had never heard of the Reformed Church until she met Rick, and after much thought and prayer, decided it was the right place for her and her children, Aliett and Alden. Rick and Kimberly were married last September in the Audra Brownell Memorial Prayer Garden in a small ceremony with Pastor Rick officiating. They plan on having a more traditional ceremony this June on Mackinac Island.
Rick is originally from Spring Lake, Michigan, and graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in business. He is the owner of The Water Source and is a distributor for Amsoil. Kimberly is from Zwolle, Louisiana, and graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in general studies-biological sciences and a degree in nursing. She is currently a stay-at-home mom, though she and Rick are both active LIFE Coaches with The Team.
Zach, 21, is currently studying diesel mechanics at Baker College Owasso, and loves hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and attending car shows with his 1972 Chevy C10.
Grace, 18, attends Grand Valley State University and is majoring in hospitality and tourism management. This summer she will be serving an internship with New City Neighbors in Grand Rapids. She enjoys baking, volleyball, snowmobiling, and hanging out with friends.
Alliett, 15, attends Sparta High School, and hopes to attend either Ferris State or Louisiana State University to study pharmacy when she graduates. She also plays basketball for Sparta High School and for the Michigan Rage. She enjoys shopping, snowmobiling, hanging out with friends, and more shopping.
Alden, 13, attends North Rockford Middle School, and he swims for Special Olympics Aquatics of Rockford (SOAR). He plans to attend Kendal College to study art. His dream job is to work at Marvel Comics one day after an apprenticeship with legendary comics writer Stan Lee. He loves all things Marvel, some things DC Comics, and everything Star Wars. In addition to Stan Lee, his heroes include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Pastor Rick.
The Tuttles believe in teaching their children to be givers, not takers. Some of their volunteering activities include serving Thanksgiving dinners, volunteering with the Elves of West Michigan each Christmas, helping at a prom for special needs children each spring, and helping out at church when they can. Alliett assists Mr. and Mrs. Cool with their Sunday School class and always has great stories to share afterward. The family has also hosted a Birthday Blessings party in the Family Life Center, which they describe as a truly special and rewarding event for their whole family. “We enjoyed seeing the faces of the twins when they walked into a very special party just for them,” Kimberly says. “Thanks to the Birthday Blessings committee, each child had his own birthday cake! They did not have to share, even though their birthday was on the same day. It was truly amazing.”
Kimberly adds, “There are things about RRC that you can’t see from the street nor from the website. You cannot see the warm smiles, the handshakes, nor the overwhelming friendliness of the congregation. You can’t get that personal touch of people calling you by name and welcoming you. You can’t hear that blessed singsong voice that is attached to the smile as Marcia answers the phone. Nor can you get that special call from Pastor Rick when he is going on vacation so that he can sit down with your little one and explain things. You see, Alden has Asperger’s Syndrome (some call it “high functioning autism”) and worries about things. He struggles with any change in his routine. When Pastor Rick is not going to preach we have to prepare Alden, as he worries about him, because he knows that Pastor Rick would never just miss church! I truly value the relationship that Pastor Rick has forged with Alden.
“To sum up RRC for us in one article is difficult. There are so many great things about our church. We love the worship, the library, shooting hoops in the FLC, breaking bread at special events, walking in the Prayer Garden, and serving the community. However it is the people that make RRC so special. It is the people that make RRC home for us. I think the best way to convey the message of what it means to us is that it is the closest thing to southern hospitality that we have ever found this far north, and we like it.”