rsmat
Quick Notes Update for June 8, 2018

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Have you checked the synod calendar to see what's happening? For more information on the events below, click on the calendar link.  Don't see your church's event listed - be sure to include the synod on your email and mailing lists by sending information to rsmat@rca.org.

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The information and materials that appear in the email newsletter, facebook page or on the Website of the Regional Synod of the Mid-Atlantics of the Reformed Church in America ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE OPINION OF THE REGIONAL SYNOD OF THE MID-ATLANTICS OF THE REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA, NOR ARE SUCH NECESSARILY ENDORSED BY THE REGIONAL SYNOD.  THE ACCURACY AND VALIDITY OF THE INFORMATION IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROVIDER OR AUTHOR.


 

The 2018 Multicultural Conference, hosted by the Regional Synod of the Mid-Atlantics, will be held on Saturday, November 3rd in central New Jersey, venue to be determined.

The Multicultural Ministry Committee is currently accepting proposals for short, 45 minute workshops (each workshop will be delivered twice at the conference). If you would like to participate as a workshop leader, the deadline for submitting proposals is June 1st, 2018 at 5 PM. Please limit your proposal to 150 words and submit to: larissa.romero87@gmail.com

While workshops on Disability, Youth, and Interfaith understanding will be privileged, all are encouraged to share what they are most passionate about in their own context of multicultural ministry.
WATCH FOR MORE NEWS!
 
The RCA has $300,000 in the Flourishing Church Grant fund available to RCA churches that have thriving ministries but lack the financial resources for necessary building improvements. They will be giving 6 grants of up to $50,000 each.

Attached is the application, and below is the link to RCA's website for more information:

Churches must meet some very specific criteria to qualify for consideration, including:

  • Organized in the RCA for a minimum of three years
  • Stable or increasing church membership and attendance over the past three years
  • Capable of meeting essential operating expenses
  • Unable to fund a needed building project with current financial resources
  • In good standing with their classis
 
 
 
New Conferences Aim to Bring Diversity to Religion Publishing


Underrepresented groups in religion publishing are finding a voice thanks to a new initiative titled Publishing in Color-a series of conferences aimed at African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and others.

Goals of the conferences, according to founder Brian Allain, include fostering relationships between prospective authors and religion book and magazine publishers, and providing networking and educational opportunities that hopefully will lead to more books and articles published by these underrepresented groups.


Allain, director of the Frederick Buechner Center and who also founded the Writing for Your Life conferences, had attended another writers conference where he heard a panel member say that there was a lack of representation of people of color in books published and publishing house staff.

"That sparked an idea that maybe I could help this situation," said Allain. "What I can do best is foster relationships and understanding. Publishers say they want to have more diverse authors and employees. Here's an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is."

The first Publishing in Color conference, designed specifically for African-American authors, will take place June 19-20 at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, N.J.

Keynote speakers are Patricia Raybon, journalist and book author; Sophfronia Scott, fiction and nonfiction author; Rev. Frank Thomas, professor of homiletics and director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary; Rev. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church and host of television's Just Faith; Joyce Dinkins, executive editor of Our Daily Bread; and Yvonne Hawkins, chief content officer for Urban Ministries.

 Save the date!

As our denominational structures in the RCA face conflict, stress, and uncertainty, local congregations still have the challenge of being Reformed and bringing a witness to their communities. How can congregations and classes and regional synods honorably "be church"--not just locally, but the church catholic and apostolic--in a situation where denominational structures seem incapable of supporting us? How do we honor the diverse needs of our members and the calling of God without taking sides?

On Thursday, June 21, from 10:00 to 2:00, the Reformed Church Center will host 

"Being a Reformed Church When the Church Is Under Stress: a Conversation." 

All ministers, elders, deacons, and others are welcome. This will not be a time to autopsy a dying church, but to seek to continue being a living church. This will not be about sex, though the justice issues around human sexuality may come up. This is not a gathering of progressives, nor of conservatives, but of all whom the Lord our God calls.

Watch for more details, coming soon.

James Hart Brumm, MDiv, MA, MPhil
Director
The Reformed Church Center,
The Seminary Archives, &
The Theological Writing Center
at New Brunswick Theological Seminary
 
 
 
UPDATE 6: MISSION WORK IN PUERTO RICO
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR THE FULL DOCUMENT


 Greetings everyone!

Ridder has a new look and a new name, Churches Learning Change. With a new name also comes a new logo, and it's quite fancy!



Click on the image above for complete information
 An article by our own Rev. Robert Fretz!

(There are two corrections.... Ruble to rubble and adding 501(c)3 in front of 'organizations' eligible for historic preservation funds)

 
READ REV. MARISOL FERRER-MALLOY'S NEWSLETTER FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MISSION WORK IN PUERTO RICO, MEXICO AND APACHE, OKLAHOMA



 
PASTOR AND CHURCH FINANCES

The RCA has received a grant from the Lilly Endowment for financial challenges facing pastoral leaders. Ken Eriks is the project director and Irene Assink provides administrative support.

As part of that grant, the RCA has benefited from partnerships with such organizations as the Leadership Network, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). 

Most recently, the ECFA has developed a free resource (ChurchExcel) for pastors and churches, providing up-to-date information on tax laws; practical sample forms, policies, and procedures; as well as making available webinars on-demand, eBooks, podcasts, and interactive training courses. The subscriptions for this amazing free resource are by individual and there are no limits to the number of subscriptions per church.

When congregations are in the process of preparing their yearly budgets; reviewing pastor housing allowance requirements; studying the effects of tax reform on pastor's and churches; etc., the ChurchExcel resource could be helpful for them as well as pastors, church leaders, and finance teams.

Ken and Irene are excited about the resources that are being made available to the RCA through these partnerships. They have distributed the ChurchExcel information card through an RCA mailing but wanted to take the opportunity to share it with you as well. Attached please find a pdf of the Church Excel information card; along with this link to the RCA custom landing page: www.ChurchEXCEL.org/RCA. Feel free to attach to an email, website, electronic mailing, or whatever method you believe could be helpful to pastors and church leaders in your classis. Any questions should be directed to Ken (keneriks@rca.org) or Irene (irene@lyndenfrc.org).

Along with that, I'd like to wish you all the very best in this holiday season and in the new year to come,

Laura Kiel Tarbous
RCA Office of General Synod/Commission on Nominations
35 Seminary Pl
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
908-812-7897 mobile
ltarbous@rca.org



RIDDER RENEWAL PROJECTS 
ARE UNDERWAY IN OUR REGION

INTERESTED? CONTACT GREG TOWN

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR A FULL FLYER




click on the image above for the full flyer
a learning opportunity
click on the image below for a full brochure

Classis Delaware Raritan has a group going!



VISIT OUR REGIONAL SYNOD ONLINE CALENDAR!



Remember that the Synod Foundation has opportunities for loans and even some grants
...visit their  webpage on our website

Wise men and women in 1987 created an independent, not-for-profit corporation named the Synod Foundation:

To receive, hold, manage, invest, and re-invest the real estate and investment assets of PSMA [aka RSMAt], and to process and act upon loan requests and upon requests for grants from the churches and classes within the jurisdiction of PSMA from its commissions and subsidiary corporations, and from others within the scope of its concern and mission.

The Synod Foundation is governed by eight trustees appointed on an annual basis at RSMAt's annual meeting. The Trustees approve the loans and grants and manages the other investments. The Foundation currently has 20 active church and social responsibility loans totaling over $1.1 million. The balance of the funds, $1.8 million, are invested in a wide variety of short and long term securities.

Churches secure loans for new roofs, parsonage or church furnaces replacement or upgrades, repointing brick or stone, interior church and parsonage renovations, removing accessibility issues, purchasing a building, and hurricane cleanup and repairs. Recently, four churches have secured loans for solar systems as a witness to green stewardship and expecting to lower their future electrical energy costs even as the solar system loan is being paid. With the Federal and New Jersey government assistance, the expectation is for the loan to be paid in around 12 years with the life of the solar system good for another 15 or so years.

See the Foundation flyer for commonly asked questions or contact the Synod Office for more information.



FREE Online Learning Opportunities
Mediated Organizations: 
Technology for your church ministry

We are setting up online seminars for the Fall season. Please let us know which topics are of interest to you. Seminars are usually held online using Zoom or GoToMeeting on Thursday evenings. Other times are available on request.
Consider having a custom training for your own church team or board! On-sites are possible with enough notice.

Let us know what you are interested in or if you have questions!

  1. Using Facebook 
  2. Using Twitter 
  3. Using free and low cost websites
  4. Using higher end paid websites
  5. Using podcasts
  6. Using mind mapping for planning and meetings
  7. Using visual thinking for planning and meetings
  8. Using online collaborative platforms for teams and organizations: basecamp, slack and more
  9. Using projection in your church ministry
  10. Using email newsletters: constant contact and mailchimp
Courses are taught by The Rev. Dr. Philip Bakelaar, , rsmat communications coordinator, pastor at Ocean Community Church in Manahawkin and adjunct professor in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. 

remember to check our 

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