Category Archives: News & Announcements

St Croix Reformed Church Consistory

What is a faithful consistory?

A common misconception is that a congregation is built like a pyramid, with the minister at the top, the consistory next, and the congregation as a broad but somehow less-than-equal base. This is certainly not how the church order of the Reformed Church was conceived some five centuries ago. In light of Reformed church order, the structure of an RCA congregation is better represented as a circle with the consistory, including the pastor, inside. The whole circle stands together under the wisdom and guidance of the Word of God. The same Word measures each and all of us.

Reformed thought teaches that the whole ministry of Christ is found only when the whole congregation, including the elders, deacons, and ministers, is called to serve. The three offices– elder, deacon, and minister–complement each other and together are described as making up the pastorate of a local congregation. It has been customary to call the minister “pastor,” and that is appropriate. But the pastorate, the ministry of leadership, is only complete when all three offices work together, when they are mutually supportive and mutually accountable.

What’s an Elder?

Far from being just a placeholder in the congregation’s structure, an elder has specific ministry responsibilities that help provide for and protect the church.

The office of the elder is one of servant hood, representing Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit. In the local church, elders are chosen members who show spiritual discernment, lead exemplary lives, have charitable spirits, and embody wisdom grounded in God’s Word.

Elders, together with the installed minister/s serving under a call, have supervision of the church entrusted to them. They are set apart for a ministry of watchful and responsible care for all matters relating to the welfare and good order of the church. They are to study God’s Word, oversee the household of faith, encourage spiritual growth, maintain loving discipline, and provide for the proclamation of the gospel and the celebration of the sacraments.
–adapted from the Book of Church Order, Part I, Article 1, Section 8

We would like to thank our Church members who serve as Elders:

Jane Coles, Tom Calhoon, Dulcie Crowther, and Glenn Wells. We are pleased to welcome Barbara Daniels as an Elder and a new member of the consistory.

What are deacons called to do?

The Greek word in the Bible for deacon, diakonos, means servant.

Jesus provided the ultimate role model for servanthood. Throughout his ministry he reminded his followers in word and deed that he was among them as one who serves.

Deacons play a key role in moving their churches into missions of justice, mercy, and compassion. They organize soup kitchens, lead work groups to repair homes for elderly people or clean up a local stream, and minister to patients dying of AIDS.

Six diaconal concern areas:

  • Stewardship education and congregational giving
  • Special individual and family concerns
  • Mission involvement
  • Disaster response and volunteer service opportunities
  • Hunger advocacy and relief efforts
  • Caring for creation and simple living

We would like to thank our Church members who serve at Deacons:

Laurie Bohlke, Amanda Foltz, Donna Koester, Monica Ruhle, and Dave Russell.

St Croix Reformed Church Welcomes New Members

newmembergroup

New Members

newmembercroney

Joseph and Laura Croney (Joey, Annabelle, and Oliver)

newmemberdaniels

Craig and Barbara Daniels

newmemberpeggy

Dan and Peggy Binoniemi

newmemberturk

Jeff and Sharon Turk (Jenny and Nick)

newmemberwagner

Steve and Lindsy Wagner (Weston, Harper, and Huxton)

newmemberwillette

Willette Lewis

New Member Installation is May 14th

There is still time for anyone interested in joining and becoming a memeber of the Church.  Please contact Pastor Wakefield 340 277-5950 or Dave Russell 419 461-6806 for information.

News and Announcements

••Interim Pastor Search Committee

The search committee has submitted the official interim pastor job posting to the RCA and other affiliated churches nationwide.  The search committee hopes to receive and review all interim pastor candidates by the end of May.

In order to receive more input from the congregation on choosing an interim pastor, the search committee will be conducting a survey.  The survey will be available both online and in paper format.  More information to follow soon.

••Volunteer at the St Croix Animal and Welfare Center Saturday, May 6th at 5:30pm.

 

••Join us for worship and communion on Saturday, May 6th at 5:30pm.  Due to road closures associated with the Ironman Triathalon, we will not be having our usual Sunday worship service on May 7th••

Advent 2009 (2)

••Join us for Jazz Vespers on Sunday, May 7th at 5:30pm

jazzvesperssmall  “From Us (adults) To Them (children”

Elvis Pedro (guitar), Keshawn Hardy (trumpet), Deon St Jules (bass), and Micah Tyson (drums)

 

••The intermediate Sunday school class (4th-8th grade) will be starting a new curriculum in the fall.  Anyone interested in helping teach these classes please contact Tom Calhoon.

 

 

New Member Installation is May 14th

There is still time for anyone interested in joining and becoming a memeber of the Church.  Please contact Pastor Wakefield 340 277-5950 or Dave Russell 419 461-6806 for information.

News and Announcements

Due to road closures associated with the Ironman 70.3 St Croix being held on Sunday, May 7th, we will not have our normal Sunday 9:30am service.

The worship service will instead be held on SATURDAY, May 6th at 5:30pm.

Jazz Vespers will continue as scheduled on Sunday, May 7th at 5:30pm

Easter Fellowship- our breakfast tradition continues

Thank you to all of the volunteers who prepped on Saturday, prepared on Sunday, and stayed to clean up the mess.  Many hands make light work.  And a big THANK YOU to Sue Lakos!

Lent Video Devotions from RCA April 14th

Click the link to view the video

Lynn Min loves to be creative. She aspires to consistently get her audience to think in new paradigms, making way for a much bigger God than the one we encase in our minds. Her presence as the minister of care at Middle Collegiate Church, or as a mental health counselor in her private practice, consume most of her professional time and allow her the space to help people think about God and life in ways they have not before. Most of her free time is spent enjoying her most significant creations: Isabella, Isaiah, and Ilyana, all of whom are age five and under.

Lynn: So, Sylvia, I’m doing this video on “rooted.” Like, that’s the theme, it’s a devotional video. What comes to your mind when I say “rooted”?

Sylvia: I think of family, I think of home, especially my home growing up. I think of Korean food. What about spiritually, what do you think about when you think “spiritually rooted?”

Lynn: A lot of things, like when God says, “Out of the mouth your heart will flow.” I feel like there is this nature between the things that are rooted in our hearts becoming alive, or coming into being, in our words, and in our actions, and in our beings. But we have to constantly kind of do our due diligence in saying, “seek my heart, search my heart, oh God; see if there are any wicked ways in me.” Because these things that are unseen—they have a way of coming forth and kind of coming into light, right? That things that are rooted in us, whether it’s bitterness, or love, or insecurities, or fears.

I think of, like, the image of God that’s really the Imago Dei, that’s rooted in all of us. Our shared humanity, and how within that, we find an essence of who God is, and what God is.

Sylvia: So where are we going?

[scene change]

Lynn: What do you think it means to be rooted?

Person 1: To be down to earth. And to be, like, humbled, I guess.

Person 2: Somebody who’s down to earth, somebody who’s level-headed.

Person 3: I would say, probably, to be grounded, know what you want, know what you want to do.

Person 4: Very, like, in the same…kind of stuck in the same motions, that kind of thing.

Person 5: Well, when you root a phone, we unlock it so that we can activate service. You could use it internationally, you could use it with different carriers, such as T-Mobile or Staten Island.

Person 6: For me, I think it’s more like, you have a good way of living in life. And you’re able to, like, go about your daily life fine, you know?

Person 7: To feel involved in your community. To feel like the things you do, both good and bad, have an effect. So that if you’re doing bad things, the people around you, the things around you, can let you know.

[scene change]

Sylvia: So, Lynn, what did you think of those responses back there? I really liked that one T-Mobile guy’s answer about how for him, rooting means just to root your phone. Kind of erasing everything on your phone and putting in something new.

Lynn: But it’s kind of like, let’s uproot everything that is not the true root. Don’t you think it was interesting that a lot of people had just about the same thing to say? Everybody kind of repeated that it was about being grounded. Trees came up a lot. Going back to, like, the Mother Nature kind of idea.

For me, that just tells me that there is this truth that hums in the collective human consciousness. Like we just all know this. We don’t have to say, “God,” but we just all know this. We’re all kind of trying to be—When we say “rooted,” we’re trying to be the best versions of ourselves, the most, truest, forms of ourselves. And I think we become the best versions, the truest forms of ourselves, when we root—just like our phones, right?—we kind of uproot everything that is not essential and not what God had in mind. And I think the truth is that we’re the truest versions of ourselves when we reflect God the best. When we reflect that Imago Dei best.

“Rooted” is a video devotional series intended to help you seek God’s face this Lent. Each short video explores a piece of our rootedness in Christ: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper” (Psalm 1:3). The videos were created by RCA women and men in partnership with Women’s Transformation and Leadership.

Video Lent Devotion from RCA April 13th

Clink the link to view the video

Rev. Denise Kingdom Grier has been the lead pastor at Maple Avenue Ministries in Holland, Michigan, for eight years. It is the first union church of the RCA and the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is a 2005 graduate of Western Theological Seminary, where she received her Master of Divinity degree and will soon take her Doctorate in Ministry. She is the wife of CJ and mother of Gezelle and Christopher

Greetings. I wonder if you would consider with me, for just a moment, Psalm 1.

Blessed. And this word, blessed, this first word that appears to us, is not blessing as we would perceive it in our current context. For to be blessed is not just to receive or to have abundantly as it might be assumed if someone were to say, “Well I’ve been blessed today,” or “How are you doing?” “I’m blessed.”

But to be blessed is truly to be in right relationship with God. To be experiencing the ultimate shalom, that says that I am where I need to be with God, and God is in God’s proper place in me.

So, blessed…in [the] right relationship,

is the one who does not stand in the way of sinners,
or sit in the seat of those who scorn.
But her delight is in the law of the Lord.
And in this law she meditates, day and night.
And she will be like a tree.
Planted. Rooted.
By rivers of water.
Which brings forth fruit in its season.

How easy it is for us, beloved, to focus on fruit-bearing! To look like love. To talk like peace. To act like patience. But the one whose delight is in the law of God, in the Word of God, in the commands, in the ways, in the gesture of God—these are the blessed ones. The ones who are in right relationship. And they bear fruit in their season because their roots are connected to the source: the river, the ever-flowing fountain, which is Jesus Christ, our beloved one, the Word made flesh.

And so, beloved, in this Lenten season, while we desire in our hearts and souls to bear fruit that will last, according to the command of Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of John; and while we desire to bear fruit of love, joy, and peace, and all of these other fruits of the Spirit; may we long for the greater gift that promises to bear fruit in us that will last. And that is to be rooted in the word of God, [in] such a way that generations not yet born might look upon us and declare, “These women—they are the blessed ones, in right relationship with God!” For the glory of God. Amen.

“Rooted” is a video devotional series intended to help you seek God’s face this Lent. Each short video explores a piece of our rootedness in Christ: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper” (Psalm 1:3). The videos were created by RCA women and men in partnership with Women’s Transformation and Leadership

Lent Video Devotions from RCA April 11th

Click the link to view the video

The Reverend Samuel T. Clover is an associate minister at The Reformed Church of Bronxville in Westchester County, New York. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City (M.Div.), he also holds a diploma in the art of spiritual direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and earned an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from The New School.

When many of us think about roots, we picture the life-giving tendrils of plants and trees that reach into the earth for nourishment. Whether they delve deeper or spread wider as the plant matures, we can’t see them grow. These roots grow out of sight.

In our spiritual journeys, we sometimes go through grow-spurts of joy and fullness, but most often there are long periods when life seems static and dry. And in particularly challenging times, it might feel like our very roots are shriveling up, and we’re starving for any kind of consolation from God.

The 16th-century mystic John of the Cross called these times dark nights of the soul. He himself endured one in 1578, when he was locked in a windowless prison cell for eight months. Fellow friars from his Carmelite order thought he was too revolutionary in his attempted reforms, so they locked him away. It was during this time of literal darkness that he went through a spiritual purgation that left him bereft and unmoored, yet ultimately yielded a closer union with God.

Writing about it afterward, he gave instructions for those experiencing a similar feeling of rootlessness:

  1. Abandon the desire for possessions, which are ultimately distractions, because as long as we strive for them we’re relying on our own efforts and blocking God’s graceful provision.
  2. Trust our faith above intellect, because intellect relies on that which can be explained, and God’s action ultimately cannot be explained.
  3. Remember that a dark night ends in a closer union with God.

And why did John call it the dark night? Because when we release our coping mechanisms and attempts at explanations, our accustomed way of seeing the world falls away, like the scales that fell from Paul’s eyes. And God is so much bigger than what we think we can see.

So this Lent, remember that while God certainly works in the light, often our greatest growth happens in the dark—those hidden places where our spiritual roots deepen and mature. God bless you in your spiritual journey.

“Rooted” is a video devotional series intended to help you seek God’s face this Lent. Each short video explores a piece of our rootedness in Christ: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper” (Psalm 1:3). The videos were created by RCA women and men in partnership with Women’s Transformation and Leadership.