Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you
Like millions of Americans, my mind is on the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and what it represents: our freedom as a nation. Millions of us will gather with
family and friends for cookouts and fireworks. Yet ask any military family and they will quickly remind you that the cost of freedom is never free. Freedom is
a precious reality, purchased with the sweat, toil and blood of countless Americans who initially fought to obtain it (Revolutionary War), as well as those
who have fought to secure it in the centuries since that fateful day in 1776. From the first battle to more recent conflicts, I am grateful the brave men and
women of our armed forces who share the common goal of protecting American freedom both on our soil and abroad.
As Independence Day should move us to celebrate our freedom as Americans, honor those served, sacrificed, pray for our president, national leaders, and our
country as a whole– it should also moves us to celebrate an even deeper sense of freedom that flows from being a disciple of Jesus. "If you abide in my
word," our Lord declares, "you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This statement was shocking to Jesus' audience. Jesus clearly states there are no substitutes for abiding spiritual freedom. When it comes to true freedom,
Jesus contrasts the Burger King boast of “Have it Your Way” to the way spiritual freedom works in God’s Kingdom. The Jews of Jesus day thought they had
all the freedom they needed by virtue of being "offspring of Abraham" (8:33). In other words, they confused their identity in God with their dependency on
And I think if we are honest, we too can fall victim to trusting “our way” of freedom through such things as status, money, good works, associations, etc.
However, the true disciple knows that life-giving spiritual freedom is never identified in the mirror, but is supplied only through the cross of Jesus Christ.
The great hymn writer Charles Wesley was undoubtedly moved by this very freedom in Christ when in 1738 he penned this stanza to “And Can it Be:”
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
May this "Declaration of Independence" be on our lips and in our hearts this Fourth of July holiday and forevermore.
Together in Faith,
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY NEWS
Morrison Community Wide VBS will be held July 24-28 at the Morrison Junior
High. Emmanuel is responsible again this year for the preschool/kindergarten age
group. We typically have 50-60 children in this age group and therefore are in in
need of several volunteers (high school age and older). If you are willing and able to
help, please contact Lydia Ohlsen @ 563-212-0325 or there is a sign-up sheet on the
bulletin board in the Fireside Room. This is a wonderful opportunity to minister to
our own children as well as those in the community.
July 1, 2017
Dear family of Emmanuel,
As I sit to reflect on our recent YEAH trip to Colonial Virginia, my heart is warmed as I recall memories from each day. This was a wonderful trip with a
great group of people that enjoyed each other’s company greatly and mixed amongst each other to create an atmosphere of fellowship. It was wonderful to
see people that barely knew each other before the trip spending “down time” in the evenings visiting, playing cards and interacting together. Friendships were
made that will last for years to come.
Many, I’m sure, think that these trips are for travel and good times only, but over the past few years it has become abundantly clear to all of us on the trips
that we are participating in a great opportunity to witness what being a Christian is really about. As a church family, Emmanuel should be very proud of the
positive image our group gives as they interact with hotel staff, restaurant workers, motor coach drivers, tour guides and attraction hosts. Time and time
again we are told that we are not “the typical church group” that these workers have experienced in the past. Sadly, when we have inquired as to what they
mean by that, we have learned that church groups they regularly come in contact with are pushy, arrogant, ungrateful and very demanding. How sad is that?
Our bus drivers in both California and Virginia told us they had never had a group like ours. Both drivers were believers, but they said the church groups they
typically chauffeur do not include them in their activities and do not interact with them. We include our drivers as part of our group. They eat their meals
with us, not at a separate table. They participate in our tours and activities where they can, and they tell us this never happens. Each morning when we have
devotions and start our mornings off with prayer, we pray over our driver and those workers we will encounter that day. With tears in his eyes, Sam, our
Virginia driver, shared that had never happened before. Our group has the opportunity to make a difference for the cause of Christ, and by their witness, they
This carries over to hotel staff. When our group left Pigeon Forge last September, the hotel manager came on our coach to thank us for showing his staff
what Christians should be. He said that until serving us, when he would tell his staff there was a church group coming in his staff would groan and dread
that. What is wrong with that picture? Is Jesus glorified in that? He acknowledged he is a Christian, but he said he has staff that are not. He told us that we
showed them joy, kindness, graciousness and appreciation and allowed them to see what Christ does in us because we belong to Him. To God be the glory.
And so I end this letter with this thought. Do we as Christians want to “fit into the mold” of those that have established this negative reputation with those
who serve us, or do we want to show Christ in us in such a way that would cause non-believers to want to run TO, not away FROM, God’s throne? Are we
called to be missionaries each and every day by the example we lead as we show who we really are? Even in restaurants waitresses have told me that one
way they think they figure they will get a very small tip is when a family prays together before their meal. Really! Aren’t we called to be generous, not
stingy? Let’s join together to be Christians who show grace, abundant thanks, love and joy when we interact with those around us, especially those who
serve us. As we bless others by our love and Christian attitude, we will ourselves be truly blessed in the end!
Greetings from Jamie:
Sunday, July 2 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, July 9 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, July 16 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, July 23 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, July 30 – NO Jr. High JAM/NO Sr. High YF
Sunday, Aug. 6 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Monday, Aug. 7 – 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. JAM Trip to Magic Waters
Sunday, Aug. 13 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, Aug. 20 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Sunday, Aug. 27 – 4:00-5:30 p.m.-Jr. High JAM/6:30-8:00 p.m.-Sr. High YF
Director of Jr. & Sr. High Ministries
From Our Ministry Coordinator
FROM OUR PASTOR . . .
|Sunday Worship – 9:00 a.m Sunday School – 10:30 a.m.
Emmanuel Reformed Church
202 East Morris Street, Morrison, IL 61270
Church office: 815-772-3890 Fax: 815-772-2279
Rev. Rich Davis, Sr. Pastor Rich Criss, Ministry Coordinator
815-772-2518 (home) 815-772-4433 (home)
N E W S L E T T E R
**Rich C. continues to be on vacation through Sat., July 8.
**Jamie will be on vacation July 10-14.
**Pam will be on vacation July 25-29
**Pastor Rich will be out of town on vacation Monday, July 31st
through Thursday, August 10th.
|Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
M.H.S. Key Club Blood Drive
Wednesday, July 26th
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
at Emmanuel Reformed
in the gymnasium
GIVING THANKS . . .
Dear Emmanuel Family,
I can’t tell you how important and awesome the support of ERC
has been in this whole process. I want you all to know that the
prayers & donations are going to some amazing people in
communities that need a revival. So thank you for the love &
support in this and over the past five years. Being part of this
church has been the biggest honor. Emily Wallander
Dear Emmanuel Church Family,
Thank you all so much for your generosity for this summer!
I am truly blessed and tremendously grateful for everything that
you guys did. I would not have been able to get to where I am if I
didn’t have your support. I am so excited for this summer and the
adventure God has laid on my heart. This is truly going to be a life
changing summer, and I know San Augustine, TX is incredibly
thankful for all the donations. I just ask that you continue to keep
me in your prayers during this summer experience. I cannot thank
you all enough for everything that you have done. You have made
this opportunity possible and I am truly in awe of the love you all
have shown me. When I return from the summer on July 22nd I
will be happy to report how the summer went and all the amazing
things God did. You all are truly a blessing in my life. Thank you all
so much! May God bless you in everything you continue to do.
Autumn Van Buren
July & August’s Designated Benevolent Offerings
July – Victory Center in Clinton Iowa
The Victory Center is an emergency shelter located in the heart of Clinton, Iowa. Since its
inception in April of 1987, the Victory Center has been dedicated to providing services for
families, men, and women with children in need. Some of those services include: food,
temporary shelter, employment assistance, counseling and biblical spiritual guidance. The
shelter provides residence for up to 48+ people. Three balanced nutritious meals are
served in the dining room every day. A clean change of clothes and a comfortable bed are
prepared for the needy every evening. There are also showers, laundry facilities and a
chapel available. Most importantly, they provide a caring and supportive environment
where lives are changed and individuals regain their self-esteem. To really know the heart
and soul of this great ministry you have to look no further than their Mission Statement
sets the direction for all they do. The Mission Statement for The Victory Center of Clinton
Iowa reads as follows: We are family of people committed to Glorify God and fulfill the
mandates of Jesus Christ; to feed and clothe the poor and equip people through Biblical,
spirit-empowered ministries. As we seek to bless their continued efforts to reach, feed,
house, love, value, and equip the poor in the Clinton area, our second offering to support
this ministry will be received on Sunday, July 23rd.
August – International Justice Mission
As the name of this Mission signifies, justice is their middle name. They minister out of
their abiding conviction that justice for the poor is possible. They exist to protect the poor
from violence in the developing world. They embrace their calling by seeking to show
justice, mercy, hope, and dignity to the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:10) They have built a
global team consisting of hundreds of lawyers, investigators, social workers, community
activists and other professionals who work through 17 field offices around the world.
Wherever injustice exists this ministry works to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice,
restore survivors with the hope of a new day, and to strengthen the justice system by
working to stop corruption before it starts. Seeking to embody the justice of God’s
kingdom – International justice mission is making life changing differences in such areas as
sex trafficking, slavery, police brutality, property grabbing, and citizens’ rights abuse. We
will have an opportunity to come alongside and support the efforts of this great cause
when we receive our second offering on Sunday, August 27th.
Serving Together as Christ’s Church,
The Missions Committee
Martin & Becky Koster, Tom Venhuizen and Pastor Rich
Magnifying Our Missions Update From Last Month:
What an amazing God we serve, and what a wonderful church
family we get to call home! Last month, we had the joy and
privilege of prayerfully commissioning Emily Wallander and
Autumn VanBuren as Summer Interns for Next Step Ministries. As
they shared with us, they were responsible for obtaining 100% of
their ministry funding.
Through your faithful giving to our May Magnifying Our Missions
fourth Sunday second offering, without sacrificing our regular
offerings needed to maintain the ministries and missions of
Emmanuel, I am thrilled to share that both Emily and Autumn are
fully funded. Praise God indeed!
As I shared last month, my hope was not only that your gifts
would fully fund Emily and Autumn, but my audacious prayer was
that we would actually receive a surplus allowing us to support
others from our Emmanuel Family called by God to engage
mission work. This prayer was answered allowing a modest
surplus to be placed into a fund we are calling the Emmanuel
Missionary Fund, which I pray will grow over time.
Since last month, Allyssa Renner, from our church family,
approached me about the call God placed on her heart to
evangelize, serve, and care for the people of Nepal for six weeks
this summer. She has already stepped out in faith to join the Royal
Servants Team through Reign Ministries. As she literally travels
across the globe, I ask you to please keep her in your daily
prayers. Here is a little snapshot of what her team will be doing.
They will be traveling to schools, isolated churches, city slums,
orphanages, and leper colonies. The group will also witness
firsthand the devastating business of human trafficking and the sex
trade, and gain insider knowledge on how we can combat these
travesties on a global scale, even from our own communities.
Please know we will be coming alongside Allyssa with our prayers
and some financial assistance made available through the
Emmanuel Missionary Fund. Allyssa is also responsible for raising
100% of her funding which is in the neighborhood of $5000. If
God lays it on your heart to support her with a personal gift here is
how you would go about doing so.
To make a personal donation to Allyssa Renner
1. Visit the website for Reign Ministries (https:
2. On the homepage click the blue give button
3. This will take you to a donation page where you can enter
your information and scroll through the alphabetical listing of team
members until you reach Renner, Allyssa (P009432) – where you
have the opportunity to enter any amount of support you wish to
We are blessed to see God’s hand actively working in the lives and
hearts of people throughout our congregation. Please join me in
daily prayers for Emily, Autumn, and Allyssa as we offer support
as God may lead.
To God Be The Glory,
Dave & Taylor Duncan
Jason & Hilary McDearmon
Frank & Doris Vandermyde
Tom & Amy Venhuizen
Jon & Rhonda Bush
Steve & Darlene Hook
Dan & Nancy Vandermyde
Mark & Connie Pruis
Cal & Kim Vandermyde
Thomas “TC” Ottens
Tom & Charme Millard
Chad & Andrea Wolever
Doug & Aimee Mouw
Jim & Shelly Bierman
Dustin & Amanda Vandermyde
Bill & Dawn Bird
Martin & Becky Koster
Brock & Dawn Huffstutler
Doug & Clarita Vandermyde
Jamie & Katie Rodriguez
Pat & Sara Young
Bill & Alice Senior
Warren & Marcia Pruis
Dave & Judy Wiersema
Alexis Schroth-Andrews, Jeff & Kathy Dyke
Doug & Judy Leech
Cory & Jennifer Bielema
Gregg & Tami Dolan
Darrell & Janice Workman
Gary & Dawn Meyer
John & Samantha Sterenberg
Jeff & Anna Ryder
Dan & Ashley Deuth
Luke & Ashley Kuehl
JULY BIRTHDAYS AND
AUGUST BIRTHDAYS &
2017’s YEAH Events & Motor Coach Trips!
No deposit is requested at time of sign-up, however payment in full is requested 30 days in advance.
Weds, August 30 Depart 10:45 a.m. Return: 5:00 p.m.
ONLY NINE SPOTS OPEN!!
Circa 21 for “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
Bursting with the rambunctious energy of the original MGM film, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is all boisterous fun and
romance that harkens back to the glory days of the movie musical. A truly rollicking adventure that teaches that it takes a
bride to turn seven unshaven unkempt brothers into manly gentlemen and to turn desire into romance. Set in Oregon in 1850,
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers tells the story of Millie, a young bride living in the 1850's Oregon wilderness. Her plan to
civilize and marry off her six rowdy brothers-in-law to ensure the success of her own marriage backfires when the brothers,
in their enthusiasm, kidnap six women from a neighboring town to be their brides.
Price: $74.00 includes motor coach, lunch, show, dessert of choice, and all tips
Mon--Fri, Sept. 18-22 Depart: 9:00 a.m. Mon AM Return: 6:00 p.m. Friday night
THIS TRIP IS SOLD OUT!!!!Trip to Shipshewana, Indiana!
PLEASE SEE RICH C IF YOU DESIRE TO BE PLACED ON WAITING LIST
This fun trip will take us into the heart of Amish country as we are immersed in the lifestyle of simplicity, horse and buggies
and wonderful cooking! Staying all four nights at the beautiful “Blue Gate Garden Inn” provides a wonderful hot breakfast
each morning and incredible food at local restaurants and Amish homes. Time for fellowship around the fire pit and
fountains, card playing in the common areas and relaxation will be included. Wander on your own at the huge “Flea Market”
held each week, featuring Amish made furniture, crafts, food as well as home-grown produce. See livestock being auctioned
as well. Theatre performance, fabulous shoppes, bulk grocery stores, woodworkers, and beautiful floral quilt gardens are
included in this trip. On our way home on Friday, we will stop at Fair Oaks Farm, Fair Oaks, Indiana for an opportunity to
see calves be born, pigs be birthed and the operations of a huge farm.
Price: $700.00 per person includes everything!
Monday, October 9 Depart: 5:45 a.m. Return: 7:00 p.m.
All Day LeClaire to Dubuque Celebration Belle Fall Foliage Cruise
Join our Captain and Crew as we board the Celebration Belle at 6:30 a.m. for a full day on the Mighty Mississippi River. You
will be starting in LeClaire, Iowa and cruise north to Dubuque, Iowa. Your day can be what you make of it, a learning
experience or simply a leisurely cruise up the Mississippi. Come hungry, no cruise would be complete without food! Our
chefs stay busy all day long preparing 3 fresh meals right aboard the boat.
Price: $169.00 includes all day riverboat cruise, three meals, coach transportation and all tips
Tuesday, November 14 Depart: 8:30 a.m. Return: 5:00 p.m.
Veteran’s Day Celebration at the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate, Joliet, IL
Celebrate a Veteran’s Day tribute as the “Ladies for Liberty” take you back in time! This singing troupe is dedicated to
performing the Andrews Sisters style of music through their own renditions of vocals, costumes, hairstyles and the spirit of
patriotism reminiscent of the 1940’s. Remember “Boogie, Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Shoo Shoo Baby?” These are just a few
melodies sure to bring back old memories for some and establish new ones for all! While there, you will be able to guide
yourself through the 40-room Victorian mansion, built in 1873. After the show as you head back to the motor coach, visit the
Old Central Church, completely remodeled and painstakingly kept is much of its original condition, from the hand carved
stained pillars to the massive domed ceiling and the working pipe organ.
Price: $83.00 includes self-guided mansion & church tours, luncheon, musical show and all tips.
Wednesday, December 13 Depart: 10:45 a.m. Return: 5:00 p.m.
Elf the Musical at Circa ‘21
Based on the 2003 movie hit, Elf features wonderful music and dialogue that tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who
mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. This would-be elf is raised, unaware that he
is actually human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission,
Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh
realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win
over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Don’t miss out on this heartwarming story of Christmas!!
Price: $74.00 includes motor coach, meal, show and all tips
FEBRUARY 2018 TRIP TO DALLAS, TEXAS!!!
Don’t miss out on an amazing YEAH trip next winter to spend 10 days in Dallas, Texas! Spots remain for four couples to
enjoy the warmth of Texas while seeing amazing sights, eating wonderful food and enjoying beautiful lodging. This trip will
be on Monday, February 12 through Wednesday, February 21, 2018 and will include such fun times as Dallas Cowboys
stadium tour, JFK Memorial tour, a Dallas Mavericks basketball game, meal and tour of Southfork Mansion where Dallas was
filmed, Dallas Chocolate tour, day trip to Ft. Worth, TX to see running of the steers and a rodeo, George W. Bush presidential
library, Dallas Zoo and Aquarium and much, much more. Please see Rich C. for more information and to sign up. Only spots
for 6 couples remain, so don’t delay! Deadline for Sign Up will be May 1!!!
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
The families and marriages of our community and church.
David Smith is currently at home under hospice care. Please
pray for comfort and peace for him and the entire family.
Those who are healing and recovering:
Larry Eliasen and Pat Oostenryk
Those undergoing cancer treatments:
Jane Darby, Judy Becker, Jake Vandermyde and Anita Gillard
Those who have long-term needs:
Linda Damhoff, Tyler Davis, Ethel VanZuiden, Jacob Green and
Those who are confined to their homes or nursing homes:
Kim Schroth in her home.
Elwyn Nice and LaVerne Rose 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
**Please remember… If you are unable to be here on your assigned Sunday,
it is your responsibility to make arrangements to trade with someone.
July 2 – Arlyn & Jane VanZuiden
July 9 – Matt & Brittany VanDrew
July 16 – Kenny & Nancy Venhuizen
July 23 – Dale & Beth Wiersema
July 30 – Dave & Judy Wiersema
July 2 – Mark Schuler, Paul Andersen, Corey Johnson
July 9 – Russ Renner, Paul Andersen, Ernie Renkes
July 16 – Steve Hook, Paul Andersen, Ken Stralow
July 23 – Kasey Wiersema, Paul Andersen, Ben Carpenter
July 30 – YF Mission Team Members
(There must be 2 adults present – youth helpers cannot take the place of adult helpers)
July 2 – Brittany VanDrew, Samantha Sterenberg, Lauryn Kuehl, Maddie Sterenberg
July 9 – Robin Henard, Michele VanBuren, Alli Hogue, Mackenzie Ryder
July 16 – Pam Muur, Missy Mouw, Lauren Schlegel, Fiona Huffstutler
July 23 – Heather Lindstrom, Charme Millard, Derek Bush, Sarah Wallander
July 30 – Kathy Garrett, Dawn Roberts, Claire Coons, Marissa Folkers
July 2 – Aiden Roberts and Blake Adams
July 9 – Kamryn Davis and Sonja Huffstutler
July 16 – Peyton Emerson and Addison Wiersema
July 23 – Sarah Stralow and Megan Folkers
July 30 – Kenadi Buikema and Nathan Davis
July 2 – Emmit Shepard and Jacob Schlegel
July 9 – David Stralow and Cooper Findley
July 16 – Thomas Dauphin and Luke Millard
July 23 – Hannah Stralow and Hannah Wallander
July 30 – Emmit Shepard and Reilly Dolan
**Please remember… If you are unable to be here on your assigned Sunday,
it is your responsibility to make arrangements to trade with someone.
Aug. 6 – Paul & Karla Andersen
Aug. 13 – Ron & Deb Behrens
Aug. 20 – Mark & Becky Coons
Aug. 27 – Doug & Clarita Vandermyde
Aug. 6 – Todd Haan, Jeff McDearmon, Mike Damhoff
Aug. 13 – Scott Mouw, Jeff McDearmon, Jim Landheer
Aug. 20 – Don Reed, Jeff McDearmon, Jerry Lindsey
Aug. 27 – Art Pruis, Jeff McDearmon, Scott Findley
(There must be 2 adults present – youth helpers cannot take the place of adult helpers)
Aug. 6 – Andrea Folkers, Nicole Reed, Hannah Wallander, Baylee Merema
Aug. 13 – Anna Ryder, Samantha Wiersema, McKenna King, Anna Lindstrom
Aug. 20 – Renee Kuehl, Carla Bush, Hannah Stralow, Michaela Millard
Aug. 27 – Lois Kuehl, Hilary McDearmon, Meghan Sterenberg, Anne-Marie Wadsworth
Aug. 6 – Jimmy Wadsworth and Connor Roberts
Aug. 13 – Isaiah McDearmon and Joshua McDearmon
Aug. 20 – Luke Carpenter and Corbin Allen
Aug. 27 – Olivia Dauphin and Shelby Wiersema
Aug. 6 – Sarah Wallander and Maddie Sterenberg
Aug. 13 – Emmit Shepard and Jacob Schlegel
Aug. 20 – David Stralow and Cooper Findley
Aug. 27 – Thomas Dauphin and Luke Millard
Sept. 3 – Hannah Stralow and Hannah Wallander
**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 those listed in the
extended family section of our church directory. If you have
not submitted your dates or if we have inadvertently
overlooked them, please let Pam know in the office. Thank