“To the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus;
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”
Many of you were aware of the retirement of our Executive Secretary of our Regional Synod, the Reverend John Kapteyn. We thank him for his service and celebrate the work accomplished by and through him. It is our prayer that he and Margaret have a very pleasant retirement.
The Regional Synod of Canada is pleased to announce the hiring the Reverend Marijke Strong as the new Executive Secretary.
Reverend Strong is a graduate of McMaster University (BA) and McMaster Divinity Collage (M.Div.). She is well known within her home Classis of Ontario, having attended Westdale (First) Reformed in her early years. She was a co–founder of the Matthew 25 house, an intentional community,in north Hamilton. She also served as Program Director, Countryside Camp and Conference Centre, Cambridge and as Youth Director at Knox Presbyterian, Oakville. Most recently she has served in Holland Michigan at Fellowship Reformed. She has served on many task forces and teams, including working as a leader on developing our current strategic goal “Transformed and Transforming”.
She is a trained Ridder Church Renewal presenter. She is a great writer, spiritual coach, vision caster, community builder, and gifted preacher having preached to the 2014 General Synod.
It is with great excitement that we look forward to her leadership, and to the chance to serve the kingdom of God, alongside her.
To God be the glory!
Regional Synod of Canada Inc., RCA
Two great tools are now available on the RCA website!
The first tool has the rather ponderous title: “Tool for Using the Principles of the Belhar Confession in Planning and Evaluating". It’s a very practical, behaviorally oriented tool that helps individuals and groups assess and evaluate almost anything (conversations, relationships, meetings, events, and initiatives) against the three principles of the Belhar Confession – unity, reconciliation, and justice. By using the tool over time, a person or group can chart progress in growing through these principles. The tool comes with a guide that provides excellent context information on the use of the tool. The tool and its guide are located in the Belhar Study Center portion of the RCA website. To access the tool, please scroll down to the bottom of that web page and click on the “Download the tool” option.
Daily reports in the news tell of Christians and others being killed for their faith. Thousands drown trying to escape Africa to Europe and millions live in refugee camps.
Pastor Ron Opmeer and John Chalkias (Seeds of Hope) visited a camp in Iraq just weeks ago and report the following:
We met with Christians and heard their stories of escaping ISIS and losing everything. We also met with the Yazidi people who suffered terrible loss. Many have lost family members, had their wives, daughters and sisters taken, raped and enslaved by ISIS. Extremely horrendous ordeals that our minds cannot fathom. We went to many of the camps where people are living in overcrowded and difficult living conditions. You can see in their faces how tired they are. Worst of all, there is no end in sight, no home to go back to, no job to go back to, they are sitting waiting, unable to work, or go to school, depending on others for living essentials. The UN right now is building two camps that can house one million people in anticipation of the Iraqi army taking back Mosul before the summer. Despite the extreme poverty of the people we met, there wasn’t one home we visited where we weren’t offered food or at least tea.
For concrete suggestions of things you can do to help support refugees and our missions, click 'Read More'.