Pastor's Page October 2017
Pastor's Page
Have you ever played Monopoly? Chances are, if you are an American and have more than three
board games in your closet, the answer is
yes! Since the game was first invented by Charles B. Darrow in 1934,
it’s reported that 215 million copies of the game have been sold in the
United States alone. Here’s another fun fact for you monopoly fans – since its inception there have
been more than 4,000 specialized versions of the game ranging from college and professional sports
teams, to comic book themes, to specific cities around the globe, and everything in between. I bet
if you look through your house there’s a good chance you may find at least one of the many
versions of this game.

However, I bet there is one knock off version I own that you’ve probably never heard of. I have to
say it’s one of the most comical gifts I’ve ever received, and one that will kill a good game night
like nothing else (at least from my experience!)

When I was fresh out of seminary, a very well-meaning couple in our church was thoughtful
enough to remember me during Pastor Appreciation Month. The gift you ask? It was a Christian
mock off Monopoly called “Bibleopoly.” Yes it is a real game, and yes you can buy it on Amazon
for the low price of $25.18. This good hearted couple must have thought that since I was a man of
the cloth the regular version was too secular for me, and thus I needed a more “spiritualized” game
to play with family and friends. I don’t want to say I wasn’t grateful for the gift, because I was. I
was touched that they thought of me during Pastor Appreciation Month. In a heartfelt response to
the “Christianized” version of the game, Shauna and I invited the couple over for a night of dinner
and a game of Bibleopoly. Dinner went great. The game not so much. Mind you we were all
devoted Christians. Shauna and I “played along” no pun intended, until the husband of the couple
who gave us the gift said, “Is it just me or is this game just weird on so many levels!” When he
said that, no one could hold back the laughter, almost to the point of tears!

So why do I tell you this? Because instead of working to build hotels, this game has the player work
to build churches. I have to say, this is about the only point the game gets right. The Church is Jesus’
creation. The Church is Jesus’ prized possession. The Church is Jesus’ instrument to share the
Gospel. The Church is Jesus’s shining light in the midst of a dark and broken world. Yet, unlike the
game, the church is not a building that is built – it’s Christ’s body made up of people. You and I as
part of Emmanuel are part of God’s plan and Christ’s church.

How does that sit with you? Does is it humble you? Inspire you? Motivate you? I hope you can
answer yes to all the above. Jesus says you and I are an intricate and irreplaceable part of Christ’s
body, the Church, and I want to sincerely encourage all of us to join on Sunday mornings as we look
at the very words of Jesus to His Church in chapters 2-3 in the book of Revelation. In these two
chapters tucked away in one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible, Jesus has a word for
seven distinct churches of the ancient world that are as relevant to us as Emmanuel as they were to
the churches Jesus first spoke to. Join us through the month of October as we take to heart Jesus’
words of encouragement and correction.

Looking forward to having you join us on the journey to be the Church of Jesus Christ,
Pastor Rich  
Scott Temple
Ron & Viola Garwick
Jim Bierman
Carver Findley
Scott Mouw
Paulette Strating
Corey & Tammy
Dawn Huffstutler
Rich & Janice McCoy
Dale & Kathy Green
Zach & Jennifer Schuler
Russ Renner
Sandy Shetler
Larry & Sandi VanDerLeest
Pat Dykstra
Kanaan Mouw
Frank Vandermyde
Kris & Sarah Schmidt
Terry Costello
Wayne & Mary Hook
Dale Green
Ryan Venema
Allie Venhuizen
Karla Burn
Brittany VanDrew
Ritch & Heather Lindstrom
Jon Bush
Rich & Lynelle Criss
Caitlin Pruis
Marge Wilkens
Art & Betty Pruis        
Scott Weets
Jeff & Robin Henard        
Mark & Becky Coons
October Birthdays and Anniversaries
Alli Hogue
Emmit Shepard
James Wadsworth
Mackenzie Ryder
Stan Vandermyde
Shelby Wiersema        
Lindsay Buis
Carla Bush
Kathy Garrett
Joan Smith
Ken Stralow
Vernon & Jeannie
Marcia Meinsma
Jacob Green
Jordan Schmidt
Eric Snyder
Dave & Sandy Shetler
Avary Bielema
Betty Tegeler
Anna Ryder
Justin Temple
Ed & Deb Pruis
David & Melissa
Cooper Findley
Bob & Margo
Ethan Bush
Kathy Merema
Cody Peters
Bill Senior
Blake Adams
Nathan Davis
Aimee Mouw
Ann Renkes
Ernie & Kim Renkes
Ken & Carol Stralow
Margo Atherton
Megan Druien
**Please remember… If you are unable to be here on your assigned Sunday, it is your responsibility to
make arrangements to trade with someone.

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Fall Mission Project for The
Emmanuel DELTA Club
Each year we adopt a local outreach program
and work to support their mission.  This year we
have selected to support the Weets family in Jeg’
s Fight Against NPC. We will be collecting
monetary donations that the Weets family can
use toward whatever the family needs. The
GoFundMe page will provide more information:
October, 2018

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Well, here we are again….another summer is over, the days are getting shorter, evenings are growing longer and leaves will soon be falling.  All of this reminds us of a long winter ahead.  For many of us, the
thought of snow, ice, wind and cold is daunting.  Many dread the appearance of winter, the icy snow that covers up the grass, the bare trees that no longer offer green beauty and the lack of flower blooms
that brighten flower beds throughout most of the year. The garden department at the local WalMart is been turned into a Christmas extravaganza where we can see all the decorations and gaze upon their
beauty in the beginning of October.  But this is old news…Hobby Lobby has had their Christmas trees up since July!   We look at it…and sigh.

So it goes within our own lives, doesn’t it?  How often have we come through the joyous “summers” of our lives when everything is in bloom, the birds are chirping and the beautiful breezes blow only to be
faced with falling leaves, cold winds and the promise of “winter?”  We see it coming, but don’t know how to avoid it.  We wonder how we will get through the long evenings and wonder how long it will be
until “spring” arrives for us.  
Hear the good news!  We are promised that those seasons are temporary.  We are promised that “weeping only lasts for a time, but Joy comes in the morning!”  We are invited to cast all of our cares upon the
One who died so that we could be free.  We are promised that we will be carried through our tough moments by the One who is able to do so.  We are not promised that it will be easy or that the autumns of
our lives are avoidable, but we are promised that we belong to a loving God who will turn our autumns into winters and our spring times into summers.

Just as the leaves will soon be falling, we know that in a little while those same trees will burst forth into blossoms and green leaves will once again be seen.  Yes, we will have to go through the dog days of
winter to experience that, but we will appreciate the gift of springtime all the more because of that.  During the winters of our life, may we cling to the hope that soon, by the grace of God, we will see signs
of new life within our own lives and the lives of those of us around us whom we love.   May it be so.

With hope,

We have a Youth Director!!  We are thrilled that
Jamie Rodriguez has returned to his role as Director of Jr.
& Sr. High Ministries!  Jamie has left his position with the
Thomson Penitentiary and is thrilled to be the new history
teacher at Morrison Jr. High School, which allows him to
return to the position he loved and missed at Emmanuel.  
Jamie is thrilled to be able to resume his calling of
providing ministry to youth.  A very special thanks is given
to everyone who stepped up and gave so much of their
time and energy to keep our youth program going during
Jamie’s hiatus.  We feel strongly the reason we were not
able to find a new youth director is that God was keeping
Jamie’s position open for his return.  To God be the glory!
Upcoming dates/events
Wednesday, Oct. 3 – 6:30-7:30 p.m.-Jr. High DELTA Club
Friday, Oct. 5 – YF 5th Quarter Party following the home football game.
Sunday, Oct. 7 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Wednesday, Oct. 10 – 6:30-7:30 p.m.-Jr. High DELTA Club
Sunday, Oct. 14 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Wednesday, Oct. 17 – 6:30-7:30 p.m.-Jr. High DELTA Club
Sunday, Oct. 21 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, Oct. 21 – 5:30-6:00 p.m.-YF Mission Team/Parent Meeting
Wednesday, Oct. 24 – 6:30-7:30 p.m.-Jr. High DELTA Club
Sunday, Oct. 28 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Wednesday, Oct. 31 – NO Jr. High DELTA Club (Trunk-or-Treat from 4-7 p.m.)
Jamie Rodriguez
Director of Jr. & Sr. High Ministries
A New Members Luncheon will be held on Sunday, October 21 from 11:
30 am – 1:00 pm for anyone interested in joining the Emmanuel family in
membership.  This will be an informative time together, followed by lunch
and an opportunity to get to know one another.  

Anyone interested is asked to please let the office know by Mon., Oct. 15,
so that we may have enough materials available.  Any questions, please see
Pastor Rich.  New members will be received in Worship on Sunday,
October 28.  
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:
Dick Ebbers, Wilma Johannsen, Brayden Deuth, Judy Becker, John VanderSchaaf and
Marv VanZuiden

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 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 Wicker
Another Way to Contribute to Emmanuel
By Jerry Lindsey

Many Emmanuel members have invested in a traditional or Roth IRA and now have reached the
age that requires a minimum distribution (RMD). It is important to know that this annual
distribution, which must be made upon reaching the age of 70 ½, may become a donation to
Emmanuel and thus the amount would not be included as their income.

This Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) may be made if the taxpayer is not itemizing
deductions and must be made by your IRA custodian or trustee to Emmanuel. Making a QCD
provides an opportunity to make a charitable contribution that you might otherwise not have been
able to make and/or receive potential tax benefits for charitable contributions that you are already

You should consult your tax advisor and estate planning-attorney about your situation and earn
tax savings while assisting Emmanuel Reformed Church.
The Missions Committee is thrilled to share with you our October Magnifying Our Missions
support cause. As many of you know, the Pitcher family is one of the missionaries we support.
They serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators translating and sharing the Gospel in South Africa.
During this past year, their family has succumbed to some hefty medical bills and other
challenges. In the midst of trial they have remained faithful to God’s call upon their lives. As this
family has endured hardship for the sake of the Lord, the Missions Committee of Emmanuel
Reformed Church would like to designate our special offering to be collected on October 28th to
go towards the Pitcher family towards assisting with their unforeseen medical expenses. We are
also excited to say the family will be with us on October 7th during our worship service as God
prepares them to return to South Africa for another tour of service. We invite all of you to join us
on this special day as we extend the loving arms of our church family to the Pitcher’s, to hear
what God is doing in their lives, and what God is doing through their ministry as we prepare to
receive to a special offering to extend our additional love and support during a time of need.

We ask that you prayerfully consider supporting the Pitcher family with a second specifically
marked offering in addition to your regular offering when it is received on October 28th.

The Missions Committee of Emmanuel Reformed Church
Martin & Becky Koster, Tom Venhuizen and Pastor Rich
Magnifying Our Missions
October’s Designated Benevolent Offerings
The Pitcher Family
Moms in Prayer
will resume meeting every Tuesday
from 7-8pm in the Chapel beginning
Tuesday, October 2nd.  This is open
to all moms, grandmas or any other
woman wishing to pray for our
children and schools.  

If you would like to know more
about Moms in Prayer, please feel
free to contact me anytime.  

Sam Wiersema, 815-718-5204 or
Congregational Meeting
Sunday, November 18th   
Immediately following Morning Worship
for the purpose of electing 2019 Elders and
Nomination ballots for Elders and
Deacons for 2019 have been placed in your
bulletin boxes and are due

Sunday, Oct. 7th  
All communicant members are invited to
nominate who you feel led to be installed into
the Consistory of our church. The ballot box
is located on one of the tables in the Narthex.
ALL women of the church are invited to attend Women's Ministry Events - high school
graduates thru age 99!  Come fellowship and enjoy!!

Saturday, October 20th @ 1:00-3:00 pm
Ladies, join us in the Fireside Room for a bowl of chili or chicken noodle soup, delicious
pumpkin bars and coffee or hot apple cider.  We are having two guest speakers from the
Sterling Caring Center, Irene Nusbaum & Nila Harris.  A free-will donation will be taken at
the door and will be given to the Caring Center.

Wednesday, December 5th @ 6:30 pm
Mark your calendars! More details to follow!
Come enjoy fun and fellowship.
YEAH Hosts Thanksgiving Party at Windsor Manor
You are all cordially invited to come join together in ministry to the residents at Windsor Manor as
we host a wonderful Thanksgiving party from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20.  Spend an
hour blessing our brothers and sisters at Windsor Manor by having fun, fellowship, refreshments
and giving prizes as we celebrate Thanksgiving together.

More details will be presented, but please mark your calendars and plan to help out with this
afternoon.  This is an awesome opportunity to be the Church outside our walls. A sign up sheet is
available on the bulletin board near the office.
Oct. 7 – Mike & Kim Damhoff and family
Oct. 14 – Frances Damhoff and Lynette Damhoff
Oct. 21 – Jason & Rachel Decker and family
Oct. 28 – Lloyd & Pat DeShane
Oct. 7 – Ernie Renkes, Ed Pruis, Scott Weets
Oct. 14 – Lloyd DeShane, Ed Pruis, Bill Bush
Oct. 21 – Darryl Hogue, Ed Pruis, Daniel Deter
Oct. 28 – Ken Stralow, Ed Pruis, Mike Damhoff
(There must be 2 adults present – youth helpers cannot take the place of adult helpers)
Oct. 7 – Andrea Folkers, Lydia Ohlsen, Megan Muur, Kamryn Davis
Oct. 14 – Sam Wiersema, Tammy Johnson, Mackenzie Ryder, Addi Wiersema
Oct. 21 – Lois Kuehl, Breeanne Findley, Lauren Schlegel, Aiden Roberts
Oct. 28 – Carla Bush, Amber Wright, Fiona Huffstutler, Mitchell Johnson
Oct. 7 – Nathan Davis and Joshua McDearmon
Oct. 14 – Luke Carpenter and Megan Folkers
Oct. 21 – Corbin Allen and Connor Roberts
Oct. 28 – Ethan Bush and Gabbi Stichter
Screens/DVD Operators
Oct. 7 – Thomas Dauphin and Luke Millard
Oct. 14 – Hannah Stralow and Hannah Wallander
Oct. 21 – Addi Wiersema and Sarah Wallander
Oct. 28 – David Stralow and Jacob Schlegel
Nov. 4 – Thomas Dauphin and Luke Millard
October 2018 Menu:
(**Subject to change)

Wednesday, Oct. 2: Ritch & Heather Lindstrom, cooks
Ham, Mac & Cheese Bake, Mixed Vegetables & Pumpkin Bars

Wednesday, Oct. 10: Lydia Ohlsen, cook
Goulash, Garlic Bread, Tossed Salad & Ice Cream

Wednesday, Oct. 17: Brittany VanDrew/Lynelle Criss, cooks
Pulled Turkey Sandwiches (Reg. & BBQ), Cheesy Potatoes, Baked Beans & Cookies

Wednesday, Oct. 24: Brittany VanDrew/Lynelle Criss, cooks
Cheese Burgers/Hot Dogs, Chips, Pasta Salad
& Pudding Cups
Men, I want to challenge each one of you to take 6 Saturday mornings out of your busy lives and learn
what it is to be a Kingdom Man. Starting Saturday, October 13th at 7 a.m. and ending by 9 a.m., we will
begin the Kingdom Man Bible study. In Kingdom Man, Tony Evans, challenges and equips men to fully
understand their position under God as well as their position over what God has given them. It provides
concepts men can follow that will help them to actively pursue ways to maximize and develop the
character qualities of biblical manhood in their lives. A sign-up sheet will be in the Fireside Room.
From Our Ministry Coordinator…
Voices of Praise presents our 12th Christmas celebration:

“The King Is Here”

Friday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday December 15 at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 16 at 7:00 p.m.
This year because Halloween is on a
Wednesday night we will not be having our
regular meal and DELTA club.  Instead I
would encourage you to sign up to be part of
Trunk-or-Treat in the church
parking lot.  All you need to do is decorate
the back of your trunk and hand out candy
to all the trick-or-treaters.  You can simply
display a collection you may have or do a
certain theme.  Feel free to dress up to
match your trunk or just dress up.  I just ask
that it not be anything that could scare the
kids.  We want this to be a friendly and safe
place for them to trick-or-treat.  I will also
need donations of cookies and helpers to
serve drinks in the gym. There will be a sign
up sheet on the bulletin board in the Christ
center soon. Any questions please contact
me at 563-212-0325.

Lydia Ohlsen
Director of Children’s Ministries
**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!