Stop Reading Your Bible

The Beacon - September/October 2012

By Ben Gandy • From our September/October 2012 newsletter

At least stop reading it as we are being told to read it nowadays. Allow me to explain.

Walk into a bookstore – any modern one will do. Purchase your two-dollar coffee and wander until you find the “religion” section. Now take a look at all the Bibles they have for sale. Look at the variety. There’s The Couples Bible, Daily-Walk Bible, NIV True Images Bible, Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible, MANual, Life Recovery Bible, The Message ,The Story, Precious Moments Bible. And the list could go on and on. Read more…

Children’s Ministries Update

The Beacon - September/October 2012

By Beth Jennings • From our September/October 2012 newsletter

Focusing on the upcoming Caravan year, I think of how my role as Director of Children’s Ministries is incomplete without parents and their role in their child’s growing faith in Christ.

In today’s fast-paced society of video games, extra-curricular activities, and everything else that fills up our calendars, sometimes it’s hard to put God first. It is times like these when it is most important to sit down, take a breath, and pray! Pray for strength and guidance.

Psalm 78 tells us “not to hide these truths from our children.” It is God’s plan to keep faith alive in today’s generation and to continue faith into the next. It is our job as parents to take hold of their hands, walk with them, and anchor them on a path of faith.

Let your children see you rely on God. Pray together, maybe not at every meal or every night, but occasionally. Focus on understanding God’s Word. Let them experience the message of grace; give without receiving. Use every teachable moment.

I am so thankful to be the Director of Children’s Ministries and be able to teach your children about the love of Christ!

Take a look at our website for information on our fall programming for children!

Pioneer Clubs Update

The Beacon - September/October 2012

By Brenda VanderHeide • From our September/October 2012 newsletter

Pioneer Clubs are for children ages 2 years through 5th grade. We meet Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m. starting in the Sanctuary. Parents of 2-year-olds through Kindergarten must stay in the building during Clubs. It’s a perfect chance to check out the Adult Bible Studies going on at the same time!

Come early the first night for a family pizza party – 6:00 p.m., September 19 in the Family Life Center.

Our theme this year is based on Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Volunteers are needed! Parents and church members, please prayerfully consider leading a Bible Exploration (4 weeks), or being a club leader or helper. We have many areas that need extra hands and hearts, even outside of the club classrooms.

Please check out our club information table at the Fall Festival on Sunday, September 9. Club registration will be available there.

Kids Hope Update

By Audrey Shantz • From our September/October 2012 newsletter

In December a child from Valley View was referred to the Kids Hope USA program. This second grade boy’s father was not present in the home, and his teacher thought he could benefit from a positive male role model and someone to help him with his school work. A wonderful man from our congregation volunteered and went through the mentor training. He started meeting with the boy in January. After just 3 visits together his teacher said she could already see a difference! A few months later he was getting 100% on his spelling tests and his confidence was soaring.

As adults we often strive to use our time and our abilities to feel purposeful and fulfilled. We want to do good in this world and feel like we’re making a difference. Kids Hope USA is such a simple way to be the hands and feet of Jesus – one child, one mentor, one hour each week. School is hard! Sometimes I can’t believe how many hours a week kids are in school, how much planning ahead, homework, and schedules they have to keep to at such a young age. Kids can be referred into the program for a variety of different reasons – because they are behind in school, have trouble making friends, could use some one on one attention, have had a difficult life, act out in school, or need some help reading. Working with a child from one week to the next, a mentor has an opportunity to praise even the smallest progress and achievements. Those positive words can breathe life into a child.

Becoming a mentor can be a blessing to the adult, not just the child. In meeting every week, a friendship is developed. A relationship is built. You feel needed, even if you’re just playing games and helping with homework.

Virgil Gulker, founder of Kids Hope USA, tells of his favorite story. A second grader in Indiana was asked if he could describe Kids Hope USA . “Sure,” he said. “Old people come to Kids Hope USA when they need a friend.”

For more information on becoming a mentor, please contact Audrey Shantz: 616-866-2308.

Family Spotlight: The Einfelds

The Beacon - September/October 2012

From our September/October 2012 newsletter

Attending since June of 2011 • Dan and Jen Einfeld began attending Rockford Reformed Church in the spring of 2011, shortly after they moved to Rockford . Their first Sunday visit to Rockford Reformed involved a slight detour. They mistakenly walked into Our Lady of Consolation across the street due to a lack of direction. Once they realized they had missed their initial target, they immediately rerouted themselves into Rockford Reformed, and have felt welcomed ever since. They enjoy the small church feel and have developed some close friendships with others in the church.

Dan and Jen have been married since August of 2005 and have three children, Aviela (6), Asher (3), and Azalia (1). Dan works for an accounting firm, and enjoys biking, sports, reading, and spending time with his family. Jen works as a post partum nurse part time and enjoys cooking, crafts, and doing fun activities with her kids. She is a volunteer in the nursery, Kids Hope, and walkout worship.

Aviela enjoys doing art projects, riding her bike, and dancing. Asher enjoys collecting things, playing with any kind of ball, and making people laugh. Azalia is easy going, happy, continuously moving, and likes to eat. Currently John (Li Li Jiang) is staying with them as a foreign exchange student from China. John enjoys playing and watching basketball and watching the t.v. show “Master Chef.” He is a junior at Grand Rapids Christian High School and will be living with them for the entire school year.

Into All The World

By Sue Yurick • From our July/August 2012 newsletter

Reflections on short-term mission trips

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

One of the very last things Jesus said while physically on earth was to “go out into all the world.” For first century believers, WE in the as-yet-undiscovered western hemisphere were “the ends of the earth.” The mission field is vast and still includes parts of the world where the gospel, though preached for centuries, appears to have lost its grip on the people. We are never to give up preaching the gospel, “using words when necessary,” as the saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi goes. Read more…

Family Mealtime Devotionals

From our July/August 2012 newsletter

Busy, busy, busy! Many families today are on the go so much that it’s hard to get everyone around the dinner table long enough to share a meal, let alone hold a meaningful conversation. If this describes your family, make the most of the times when you are together. Use these brief readings to grab everyone’s interest and get them interacting in lively, often hilarious, conversation! Click here to download the printable page (pdf).

If you enjoy these, there are more on Focus on the Family’s website – one for each week of the year!

Testimonies: Nate Jennings & Bren Shantz

From our July/August 2012 newsletter

No matter what your past, God will never give up on you! Read more…

Family Spotlight: The Pilkos

From our July/August 2012 newsletter

Attending since Fall of 2008 • Eric and Becki Pilko began attending Rockford Reformed Church in the fall of 2008 when they moved to the north side of Grand Rapids. They were drawn to the Well because of its warm, welcoming community and the engaging messages being shared. In the fall of 2009 they started helping out with the high school youth ministry and have enjoyed getting to know the students at Rockford Reformed. The Pilkos feel blessed to have found a church home at RRC. They have found the congregation and its leadership to have a deep faith and to be extremely supportive of one another. They love and enjoy that the RRC community welcomes asking and exploring tough questions and engaging in discussion. Read more…

Kneepad Parenting