Pastor's Page October 2017
Pastor's Page
From Our Ministry Coordinator…
Upcoming dates/events
  •     Friday, Aug. 31 – YF 5th Quarter Party following the home football game.
  •     Sunday, Sept. 2 – NO Jr. High JAM/Sr. High YF (due to Labor Day weekend)
  •     Sundays, Sept. 9, 16, 23 & 30 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
  •     Wednesdays, Sept. 12, 19 & 26 – 6:30-7:30 p.m.-Jr. High DELTA Club (formerly LXVI)
  •     Friday, Sept. 7 – YF 5th Quarter Party following the home football game.
  •     Wed., Sept. 26 – See You At the Pole (Prayer at 7:45 am) @ MJHS and MHS flag poles
  •     Friday, Sept. 28 – YF 5th Quarter Party following the Homecoming game.
  •     Friday, Oct. 5 – YF 5th Quarter Party following the home football game.
“Use your freedom to serve one another in
– Galatians 5:13 (MSG)

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Men of Emmanuel
Join Men’s Ministry Saturday, September 22nd at 5 pm
for Movie and Pizza night. We will be watching “I Can
Only Imagine”. Invite a friend or a neighbor and enjoy a
great movie and good pizza. Also, that night we will
introduce a new Men’s Bible Study to be finished before
Christmas.  Please sign up in the Fireside Room.
 Is it just me, or did it feel like summer just flashed before our eyes? It feels like just yesterday our
kids were counting down to the final day of school, and here we are almost finished with the first
week. School buses, school supply shopping, open houses, locker combinations, backpacks,
school clothes shopping, renewed routines, restored bedtimes, and the return of many of our
wonderful church ministries are all signposts that we stand at that exciting transitional part of the

 As I look ahead to the upcoming season at Emmanuel with great excitement and anticipation, I
can’t help but begin by expressing my gratitude to you as a Church family for your prayers,
patience, and ongoing Christian love expressed in so many ways while I have been dealing with and
recovering from a very minor stroke I experienced a little over a month ago. I am well on the way
to complete recovery thanks to your prayers and God’s healing work. As I travel this path, I am
still battling a few lingering effects with memory issues and mental recall, unpredictable dizzy
spells, and slightly slower mental coordination and processing. However, each day I am making
improvements. I will never be able to thank you enough for your patience, support, and care, and
encouragement during this time. I am most blessed to be (and still be your pastor!)

In addition to my deep gratitude, I also feel a great sense of excitement and anticipation as we look
ahead to the coming season in the life of Emmanuel. For the past number of months, our
Consistory has been prayerfully going through a book by one of the leading analysts in church
health, effectiveness, personal and communal impact, spiritual growth, and other marks of a vibrant
church climate. The book has been leading us towards an honest look at where we currently are as
a church family, celebrating the wondrous things God is doing, lives that are changing, and the
kingdom impact we are having. In addition to celebration, the book also is guiding us as spiritual
leaders to ask where God is leading, how and where we can be growing, where we can be
reaching. Ultimately, we are journeying towards a renewed focus and greater clarity of God’s
vision for Emmanuel Reformed Church here and now, with God gathering us, joining us, and
placing us at the corner of E. Morris and Cherry Street for such a time as this.

    Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in
    every respect the mature body of him who is the head,
    that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held
    together by every supporting  ligament, grows and builds
    itself up in love, as each part does its work."    
                                                                   (Eph. 4:15-16)
In addition to this being an ongoing Consistory discussion, we must join together through Church-
wide participation to do the ministry, exalt our God, love and reach our neighbors, deepen our walk
with Christ, generously give time and resources, to be agents of the Good News, amazing grace, and
transforming relationship which comes not only from believing what Jesus says, but by following
Jesus’ example, and doing as Jesus did.  
I can’t wait to kick off this journey with you in September when we begin a new teaching series
during our Sunday Morning Celebrations. I’m calling it “We The Church,” during which we will be
studying the fascinating opening of Revelation where the Risen and Exalted Christ shares seven letters
to seven vital churches’ in the ancient world.  These letters celebrate what the churches are doing for
the advancement of God’s Kingdom while offering a loving challenge, and sometimes an honest
critique, of how they can grow towards the full expression of Christ’s design for their unique church,
in their unique geographic setting, to make a distinct impact both within and beyond the church. May
this be our rally cry and heart’s desire as well.
To God be the glory for what He has, is, and will do,
Pastor Rich
August 16, 2018

Dear family at Emmanuel,
I sit at my desk preparing this letter thinking “How can school be starting already on Monday?”  
Then, I look ahead to the coming weeks and think “How can EVERYTHING be starting again?”
Time goes so quickly and this summer has been no exception.

One of the highlights of my summer was attending a magnificent worship conference in
Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Produced by Lifeway Ministries, this conference was designed to
introduce a multitude of new music, both for choir and for praise team, as well as provide
sessions to encourage, build up and sustain, through scripture, discussion, and powerful
worship, longevity for music ministers.  I found, getting ready to begin my 25th year of
directing church music departments, I was one of the “older guys” in the mix.  There were a
few senior saints who had led choirs since Moses, but most were younger than I.  It was neat
to hear their stories as many led much larger music departments in the big “Bible belt” churches
of the south than I have ever.  In all sessions this year, there was a definite push for “multi-
generational choirs.”  This term is being used often in the church music world this year, and it
is exciting for me!  This means music is being produced that we can use at Emmanuel…music I
have been looking for!  I was the only director that spoke out that already has “multi-
generational choirs” and people were surprised we do.  When I told them that our adult choir
invites all ages from 7th grade to our senior saints they really thought we were “cutting edge.”  
(First time I have been described as that! Haha!)  One composer and arranger, Cliff Duren, brought
his choir, the Station Hill Worship Choir from the Church of Station Hill, Spring Hill, TN.  They
premiered a brand new Christmas cantata called “The King is Here!” a Christmas worship musical
for multi-generational choirs.  As I sat and listened, I fell in love with the blend of traditional
Christmas carols woven in with worship music from worship leaders like Stephen Curtis Chapman,
Matthew West, Chris Tomlin and Travis Cottrell.  When the last note sounded, I had experienced
goose bumps, tears, had raised my hands in worship and had given two standing ovations during it.  
I knew, with no reservation, this was our next Voices of Praise Christmas cantata.
When the conference ended, I left for home encouraged and relieved to be coming back to this
church I love with new music ideas for the contemporary worship, as well as great new music for
both our Sanctuary Choir and Voices of Praise.  This conference reinforced that we need to continue
to encourage all ages to be a part of this praise.  

If you have been considering being a part of Sanctuary Choir and Voices of Praise, don’t miss the
opportunity!  This is going to be an amazing year and I am so excited!  No auditions will be heard,
no one will be forced into a solo…just amazing opportunities to lead Worship through raising your
voices to Heaven will be provided.  Come, be a part of it!  Join the fun and the ministry!  Our first
rehearsals will be held on Monday, September 10 at 6:30 for Sanctuary Choir and 7:30 for Voices of
Praise.  Come give us a try!  We would love to welcome you!                        

With hope,
Rich C.
Sunday School Teachers and
Wednesday Night DELTA Club
Volunteers are needed!!!

If you are interested in helping out with
Sunday School  and/or Wednesday Night Activities
please contact Lydia Ohlsen @ 563-212-0325.  
Sunday School for preschool through high school begins Sunday, September 9th!  
We are thrilled to once again be hosting a free Community Block Party on our lawn
on Sat., Sept. 8th from 5-7 pm.  Our desire is to reach out to all; especially un-
churched people in our community. We will have bounce houses, carnival games
and food, along with information & invitations to visit our church and Sunday
School if our guests do not have a church home.  Volunteers are needed to help
with set-up, tear-down, serving food, helping with games and watching the bounce
house & slide.  Donations of baked goods are needed as well for a cake walk.  
Please sign up on the board in the Christ Center or contact me.

Our Wednesday night program, The Emmanuel DELTA Club, will start up again on
Wednesday, Sept. 12th.  (DELTA stands for Disciples Equipped for Life
Transformation and Action).  We welcome any volunteers to help with the K-2nd,
3rd-5th or Jr. High groups.  If you are in High School or older, please contact me
@ 563-212-0325.

Lydia Ohlsen, Director of Children’s Ministries


5:30-6:15 pm
Free Community Dinner - Bring a friend!!! (in Gymnasium)

6:00-7:30 pm
Grades K-2nd (in Basement)
Grades 3rd-5th (in Christ Center)

6:30-7:30 pm
Jr. High (in Youth Room)
This year we have four 5th Quarter Parties: Aug. 31, Sept. 7, Sept. 28 &
Oct. 5 We are asking for donations of our high schoolers favorites:  cans
of Pepsi, Mt. Dew, Mug Root Beer, Orange Crush & Sierra Mist pop only
(no diet please) and baked goods for those Friday nights.

Our community MOPS group is looking for childcare volunteers.
MOPS is an international organization for moms of young children
that “encourages and equips moms of young children to realize their
potential as mothers, women and leaders, in relationship with
Jesus, and in partnership with the local church.” The group meets
at Kingdom Life Community Church, formerly Open Bible
Fellowship, two Wednesdays a month from 9-11am. Several moms
from Emmanuel attend or have attended this group in the past.
MOPS meetings are a huge blessing to mothers in our community
and are in need of more childcare for this school year. In addition,
any mom, pregnant or with a child up to kindergarten age, is
invited to attend! Our first meeting for this year is September 5th.
Please contact Amber Wright at or (815)
323-9209 to express interest or for more information.  
Men’s Ministry is looking into taking a group to the
Iowa vs. Illinois game Saturday, November 17th in
Champaign, IL. This event is open to everyone.  If
you would be interested in going please contact
Scott Findley @309-236-3832. Price for
transportation will depend on how many people are
interested in going.
September 2018 Menu:
(**Subject to change)

Wednesday, Sept. 12: Lydia Ohlsen, cook
Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Dinner Roll & Dessert

Wednesday, Sept. 19: Brittany VanDrew/Lynelle Criss, cooks
“Create your own” Walking Tacos or Taco Salad, Assorted Toppings & Dessert

Wednesday, Sept. 26: Lydia Ohlsen, cook
Scrambled Eggs, Sausage Patties, French Toast Sticks
& Strawberries
:  Emmanuel Reformed Church
202 E Morris St, Morrison,
When:  Saturday September 8, 2018
Time:  5-7 p.m.
Cost:  FREE
Come for a great time of fellowship on the
lawn of Emmanuel Reformed Church.  We
will have a bounce house, carnival games,
music, food and drink.  
Magnifying Our Missions
September’s Designated Benevolent Offerings
The Pregnancy Center
The Pregnancy Center is a Christ-centered ministry whose goals are to preserve the life of the unborn child
and offer direction to young women. They achieve this mission by:
  • Providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support for women.
  • Offering support and healing to victims of past abortions.
  • Providing education to help prevent crisis pregnancies through life style changes.
  • Offering education to the community on issues regarding the sanctity of human life.

The Pregnancy Center provides services completely free of charge and they receive no government or state
funding.  They are completely funded from generous donors and churches like Emmanuel Reformed.   The
Center provides many services including free pregnancy tests, limited obstetric ultrasounds,
emotional/spiritual support and classes on many different subjects including prenatal care, parenting, breast
feeding, bible studies and how to manage stress, just to name a few.   They partner with La Leche, Mercy,
Bethany and Lutheran Social Services.  They also have post abortion counseling and their Director of
Counseling and Education goes into local schools including Morrison, Fulton, Clinton, Camanche and
Dewitt.  The Center makes referrals to different agencies for adoption services, maternity homes,
Department of Human Services and agencies like High Tower that take in mothers and children who are
having issues, such as being homeless.  They also partner  with churches in the area who make referrals to
the Center if someone comes to them in need who is expecting or has children that have needs.  Most
recently God has blessed them with a new 3D/4D ultrasound through an initiative that Luke VanderBleek,
Board President, spearheaded through the Knights of Columbus to help pregnancy centers like theirs have
access to this type of cutting edge technology.

On October 25th they are having their annual fundraising banquet at Rastrelli’s Tuscany Room – call for
more information and join them!

The Pregnancy Center is located at 240 North Bluff Blvd in Clinton, Iowa.
To find out more, website:, e-mail: or call:

We ask that you prayerfully consider supporting this wonderful ministry with a second specifically marked
offering in addition to your regular offering when it is received on September 23rd .

Joining Together to Glorify God,

The Missions Committee
Martin & Becky Koster, Tom Venhuizen and Pastor Rich
Welcoming all 7th Grade and older!

First Sanctuary Choir rehearsal:
Monday, Sept. 10, 2018—6:30 p.m.

First “Voices of Praise” Christmas cantata rehearsal
Monday, Sept. 10, 2018—7:30  p.m.

Please see Rich Criss if interested.
Samantha Sterenberg
Nate Vandermyde
Judy Becker
Arlyn VanZuiden
Mike & Kim Damhoff
Stan & Kathy Merema
Megan Folkers
Michele VanBuren
Larry & Bertha Eliasen
Boone & Shelly Brackemyer
Brad & Allie Venhuizen
Ken & Sally Zuithoff
Mark & Susan Schuler
Dawn Meyer
Nancy Vandermyde
Kevin Buis
Jonah Venema
Howdy & Pat Mills
Gene Bonneur
Tristan Ohlsen
Jacob VanDrew
Todd & Brenda Haan        
Shelly Brackemyer
Erika VanBuren
Marv & Ethel VanZuiden
September Birthdays and Anniversaries
Madelyn Hackbarth
Robin Henard
Doug Vandermyde
Gerry & Marcia Meinsma
Mike Damhoff
Jeff & Deb Eissens        
Jeff Eissens
Kristy Emerson
Hilda Foster
Tom & Karla Green
Alice Senior
Madeline Sterenberg
Branden Buis
Britt Ottens
Kelsey Snyder
Norma Boeck
Brock Huffstutler
Sue Patten
Tim VanZuiden
Fred & Pat Hadley
Autumn VanBuren
Diane Bush
Darryl Hogue
Tim & Jamie Dauphin
Rachel Decker
Evelyn Druien
Diane Landheer
Jacob Schlegel
Lauren Schlegel
Kim Damhoff
Brent Mulnix
Eric Mulnix
Matt Weets
Jeff & Karen
**Our goal is to include
everyone on the Birthday
and Anniversary list,
however, due to the large
number of members we
will no longer be including
inactive members or those
listed in the extended
family section of our
church directory.  If you
have not submitted your
dates or if we ave
inadvertently overlooked
them, please let Pam know
in the office.  Thank You!
Please uphold In Prayer …
    All who have yet to trust the Savior Jesus.
    The persecuted church around the world.
    Those battling addictions in their lives.
    Many families in our congregation who are suffering the loss of loved ones.
    The families and marriages of our community and church.

Those who are healing and recovering:
    Brayden Deuth, Judy Becker, John VanderSchaaf, Marv VanZuiden and Doris Vandermyde

Those undergoing cancer treatments:  
    Nancy Rutledge, Pat Dykstra, Mary Rasmussen, Jane Darby, Deb Baker, Jake Vandermyde, Jonelle
    Hook and Anita Gillard

Those who have long-term needs:  
    Linda Damhoff, Tyler Davis, Ethel VanZuiden, Jacob Green and Alex Cartwright

Those who are confined to their homes or nursing homes:
    Kim Schroth in her home.
    Betty Tegeler and Lillian Unger at Resthave.
    Norma Boeck, Elwyn Nice, Roger & Marla Buikema at Windsor Manor.

Our servicemen and women serving our country, including:
    Jason Akker, Riley Coffey, Brad Eissens, Logan Frederick, Jacob Kunde, Rowdy Lathrop and Lloyd
Sept. 2 – Gerry & Marcia Meinsma
Sept. 9 – Terry & Sue Costello
Sept. 16 – Ben Carpenter and family
Sept. 23 – Tim & Jamie Dauphin and family
Sept. 30 – Arnie & Linda Damhoff
Sept. 2 – Kasey Wiersema, Tom Venhuizen, Ernie Renkes
Sept. 9 – Jim Landheer, Tom Venhuizen, Scott Mouw
Sept. 16 – Jerry Lindsey, Tom Venhuizen, Scott Findley
Sept. 23 – Steve Hook, Tom Venhuizen, Art Pruis
Sept. 30 – Tim VanZuiden, Tom Venhuizen, Don Reed
Sept. 2 – Joshua McDearmon and Bryar Kuehl
Sept. 9 – Megan Folkers and Gabbi Stichter
Sept. 16 – Luke Carpenter and Ethan Farrand
Sept. 23 – Connor Roberts and Ethan Bush
Sept. 30 – Corbin Allen and Cael Wright
Screens/DVD Operators
Sept. 2 – David Stralow and Jacob Schlegel
Sept.9 – Thomas Dauphin and Luke Millard
Sept. 16 – Hannah Stralow and Hannah Wallander
Sept. 23 – Addi Wiersema and Sarah Wallander
Sept. 30 – David Stralow and Jacob Schlegel
(There must be 2 adults present – youth helpers cannot take the place of adult helpers)
Sept. 2 – Kim Vandermyde, Brittany VanDrew, Claire Coons, Hannah Wallander
Sept. 9 – Ashley Kuehl, Sarah Schmidt, Hannah Stralow, Marissa Folkers
Sept. 16 – Missy Mouw, Holly Wallander, Baylee Merema, Kayla Carpenter
Sept. 23 – Heather Lindstrom, Dawn Roberts, Alli Hogue, Michaela Millard
Sept. 30 – Charme Millard, Nicole Reed, Anna Lindstrom, Sarah Wallander
**Please remember… If you are unable to be here on your assigned Sunday,
it is your responsibility to make arrangements to trade with someone.