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A specialized one-to-one caring program has brought new ministry opportunities in two Reformed Church congregations in New Jersey.

The national, faith-based Stephen Ministries (www.stephenministries.org) trains key church leaders who then train fellow church members to provide a listening ear and a comforting presence to people who are hurting.

“It’s been a remarkable ministry,” says Hillsborough Reformed Church pastor Fred Mueller. “Between our trained Stephen leaders, Stephen ministers, and those receiving care, we’ve involved a quarter of our congregation,” he says of the church where 120 people gather for weekly worship.

After attending SpringHill Day camp this past summer, more than 100 children made decisions to follow Christ. Many of their families now come to worship at the church that sponsored the camp—the Beecher, Illinois, campus of Faith Church (RCA) in Dyer, Indiana.

The camp has allowed Faith Beecher to build a bridge to the community, especially the junior high school next door.

When it comes to communication, the metaphorical gap between teenagers and their parents can sometimes seem as wide as the Grand Canyon. Teens are growing up in a world that bears only slight resemblance to the one their parents knew, making it sometimes difficult for the two generations to relate. But California pastor Jesse Winkler is part of a pastors group working to bridge this gap in his community.

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.


 

The work of a “Green Team” has allowed Community Reformed Church of Manhasset, New York, to build new connections with others in their community—and that speaks to the church’s overall mission.

 

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

Women at a church in Midland, Michigan, love to bless and support young single moms. “To walk beside a young mom, encouraging her in her life’s journey, is one of the biggest blessings of my life,” says Merci Danielson. 

Danielson mentors moms through Young Livesan outreach program of Young Life that her church, Midland Reformed, hosts during the school year. “We have club two times each month where countless women and men [from churches around Midland] serve as mentors, club helpers, childcare workers, and also provide some of the meals we enjoy each club,” she says.

The historic village of Blawenburg, on Route 518, is known to many for its big, white church, built in 1832. Now Blawenburg Reformed Church, one of the oldest continuously operated churches in central New Jersey, is partnering with Marble Collegiate Church (RCA), a historic landmark on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Everyone who attends Fultonville Reformed Church has committed himself or herself to the work of welcome. Our small church of approximately 15 active members began to take God’s call to hospitality very seriously. As these members enrich their community—the small, rural, upstate New York village of Fultonville—they also grow closer as the body of Christ.

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