Heartland

Since 2011, the RCA and CRCNA have been collaborating in Kingdom Enterprise Zones. The two denominations have begun to see how we can be better together, and KEZs have sprung up all across the U.S. and Canada. It’s so encouraging and energizing for me as a young leader to be a part of the Southeast Nebraska KEZ and see this level of collaboration.

 

Nearly 3,000 youth and adults from across the RCA and CRC came together at this youth conference in July to worship, learn, serve, grow spiritually, and build new relationships. These social media updates tell the story best.

When members of local faith communities reached out to offer assistance, a prison inmate discovered he was harboring stereotypes of his own.

For the first 18 years of my life, almost every church event I went to was attended by me and people my own age, many of whom had gone through similar experiences to my own. We were teenagers looking for our place in this world. High school ended and that place had become foggy and unclear. 

Meet Kristi Palsma, a 21-year-old Dordt College student who just began her new position at Inspiration Hills, an RCA camp located in the corner of Northwest Iowa, just across the border from South

For a number of people in Lyon County, Iowa, engaging in Christ's kingdom mission has become an ecumenical effort to care for the less fortunate in their area.

Visitors to New York Harbor often gaze at the Emma Lazarus quote “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” that is engraved on the Statue of Liberty. But to see these words put into action, these tourists should find their way to Des Moines, Iowa, where the Meredith Drive Reformed Church has been serving recent arrivals for several years.

I grew up in a Christian home, but to call myself a believing, faith-in-action Christian would be a stretch. My mom constantly told me that God had a purpose for my life, and I truly believed it up until age nine. I believed it so much that if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would not have given you the typical firefighter or policeman answer. No, instead I wanted to be a pastor.

At age nine, my father died in a one-car accident and good-intentioned Christians told me things like "God has a plan" or "God must have needed your father more than you did."

"Razor wire and prison bars do nothing to stop the grace of God," writes prison ministry pastor Jason Wiersma on the ministry's website, livingstoneprisonchurch.org.

A group of Iowa youth traded in a relaxing weekend to take the plunge, the Urban Plunge—48 hours of working with people in the inner city: feeding the homeless, visiting the elderly, sorting clothing, and serving, serving, serving.

The group, from First Reformed Church in Rock Rapids, Iowa, stepped out of their suburban bubble to discover what life is like for many people who are less fortunate in and around their own community.