March 22 Announcements

  • New equipment is on the way for a higher quality audio and video for our live streamed worship services.
  • Offering can be mailed, dropped off, or submitted online
  • Communion kits are available – come by the church to pick up!
  • We have started a food cupboard.
  • If you know of someone who has a need, please call or stop in.
  • We will begin a bulletin next week. Make sure we have your email or find it at RCC Online or our Facebook Page
  • Weekly devotions will be published starting this week.
  • Wednesday night Bible Study will now be available via this page at 6:30 PM
  • Student Ministry – follow RCC on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter
  • Student Ministry – CIY Believe has been canceled. Contact Jordan for more information.

RCC’s Response to COVID-19

To the RCC Family,

Greetings!  I want to share with you a quick update concerning RCC’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  The church leadership met last night to pray and make key decisions regarding church services and programs for the near future.  The CDC’s strong recommendation to limit social gatherings to ten and under over the next eight weeks certainly presents challenges to faith communities like RCC.  As a church we want to be socially responsible, respecting the informed decisions of government and practicing social distancing as an expression of “love thy neighbor.”  At the same time, we also want to be spiritually vital and creative, pursing short-term, alternative expressions of worship, community, and ministry. 

With this introduction in mind, here are RCC’s updated plans and strategies for the next two months.  Please share this information with other members of the RCC community, especially those who may not be connected to social media.

For the next eight weeks (through May 10th), RCC’s worship services will be completely online.  For clarity, this means there will be no in-person Sunday AM gatherings over the next two months (including Sunday school classes).  Beginning this Sunday at 10:30 AM, we will offer a worship service through Facebook Live.  Within a couple of weeks, we also hope to offer either live streaming of our service or the option to watch a video of the service on our website.  As soon as this second online option is in place, we will make this known to the congregation.

Related, we have purchased the necessary licenses to be lawfully able to record and post online our entire worship service.  Audio podcasts of full services should be available by early next week.  We are also going to make CD copies available to those who cannot access Facebook or the church’s website.  Please communicate with us if you would like a CD mailed to you. 

All other routine, onsite church programming including 242, adult education programs, children’s ministries, and student ministries are cancelled through March.  The leadership will decide at the beginning of April if this programming hiatus will be extended for the full eight weeks.  With this in mind, we are considering possible online study and community opportunities.  We’ll share more details soon.  Additional types of smaller gatherings will be judged on a case by case basis over the next two months.  Call the church office if you have any questions. 

The church will continue to function according to the normal weekly office hours (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM).  Staff will be available if you need anything.

Beginning next week, we plan to send out through email a weekly congregational news update.  If your email has changed, please let us know.  Also, let us know if you would prefer a print version of the update mailed to you.  This weekly RCC news source will include relevant announcements, prayer needs, and a devotional study based on the current sermon series.  On that note, we plan to resume our study of Peter’s life this upcoming Sunday.

Finally, we are actively and prayerfully thinking about what ministry needs the church may be able to meet in the weeks to come.  With unease over the virus spread and the resulting economic hardships, RCC wants to be ready to be the hands and feet of Christ to our community.  One initiative is that we are providing “buddy bags” to students in the community who might be hungry. 

A second initiative is a “community cupboard” we have set up to support families in our congregation.  Located in the office hallway, various goods are being brought in to share with anyone who has need (Acts 2:44-45).  We do not want anyone in the RCC family to do without.  If you need something, please visit the “cupboard.”  If you would like to donate, please stop by.  Rather than panicking or hoarding, let’s share with one another and bear each other’s burdens.

I will close with the beautiful promise of Isaiah 40:31 – “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Greg

March 17, 2020

To the RCC Family,

Greetings!  I want to share with you a quick update concerning RCC’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  The church leadership met last night to pray and make key decisions regarding church services and programs for the near future.  The CDC’s strong recommendation to limit social gatherings to ten and under over the next eight weeks certainly presents challenges to faith communities like RCC.  As a church we want to be socially responsible, respecting the informed decisions of government and practicing social distancing as an expression of “love thy neighbor.”  At the same time, we also want to be spiritually vital and creative, pursing short-term, alternative expressions of worship, community, and ministry.

With this introduction in mind, here are RCC’s updated plans and strategies for the next two months.  Please share this information with other members of the RCC community, especially those who may not be connected to social media.

For the next eight weeks (through May 10th), RCC’s worship services will be completely online.  For clarity, this means there will be no in-person Sunday AM gatherings over the next two months (including Sunday school classes).  Beginning this Sunday at 10:30 AM, we will offer a worship service through Facebook Live.  Within a couple of weeks, we also hope to offer either live streaming of our service or the option to watch a video of the service on our website.  As soon as this second online option is in place, we will make this known to the congregation.

Related, we have purchased the necessary licenses to be lawfully able to record and post online our entire worship service.  Audio podcasts of full services should be available by early next week.  We are also going to make CD copies available to those who cannot access Facebook or the church’s website.  Please communicate with us if you would like a CD mailed to you.

All other routine, onsite church programming including 242, adult education programs, children’s ministries, and student ministries are cancelled through March.  The leadership will decide at the beginning of April if this programming hiatus will be extended for the full eight weeks.  With this in mind, we are considering possible online study and community opportunities.  We’ll share more details soon.  Additional types of smaller gatherings will be judged on a case by case basis over the next two months.  Call the church office if you have any questions.

The church will continue to function according to the normal weekly office hours (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM).  Staff will be available if you need anything.

Beginning next week, we plan to send out through email a weekly congregational news update.  If your email has changed, please let us know.  Also, let us know if you would prefer a print version of the update mailed to you.  This weekly RCC news source will include relevant announcements, prayer needs, and a devotional study based on the current sermon series.  On that note, we plan to resume our study of Peter’s life this upcoming Sunday.

Finally, we are actively and prayerfully thinking about what ministry needs the church may be able to meet in the weeks to come.  With unease over the virus spread and the resulting economic hardships, RCC wants to be ready to be the hands and feet of Christ to our community.  One initiative is that we are providing “buddy bags” to students in the community who might be hungry.

A second initiative is a “community cupboard” we have set up to support families in our congregation.  Located in the office hallway, various goods are being brought in to share with anyone who has need (Acts 2:44-45).  We do not want anyone in the RCC family to do without.  If you need something, please visit the “cupboard.”  If you would like to donate, please stop by.  Rather than panicking or hoarding, let’s share with one another and bear each other’s burdens.

I will close with the beautiful promise of Isaiah 40:31 – “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Greg

Sermon Series: Follow Me

The Life of Peter – the Beginning of Discipleship (March 8, 2020) – Greg Robbins
Getting Out of The Boat (March 22, 2020) – Greg Robbins
Watch the recording of the live broadcast of this sermon.

A Letter from Greg re: COVID-19

March 13, 2020

To the RCC Family:

Greetings!  Well, it’s been some week, hasn’t? If you’re like me, it’s been hard to keep up with news related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.   The constant news coverage, daily presidential briefings, and the cancellation of sporting events and major public gatherings have been very disorienting, even unsettling at times.  While there is encouraging news about this novel virus, there still is much we don’t know.  It is the “unknowns” surrounding this virus that are encouraging government officials, such as Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, to temporarily discourage large gatherings of people over 250 to limit the spread of the illness.  In light of these developments, I would like to share with you several practical steps the church is taking in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, along with some important spiritual truths to keep in mind during this time of unease.

First, here are several steps the RCC leadership is taking in response to the outbreak.  Because of the dynamic nature of the current situation, all plans are subject to change.  We will keep the church abreast of additional changes and developments:

All services and programs scheduled for Sunday, March 15th have been cancelled.  We feel this is the most prudent short-term decision.  We don’t want our seniors, or the many volunteers it takes to accomplish Sunday AM programming, to feel pressured to come to church.  Over a year’s worth of sermons are available at the church’s website (a few good ones, too!).  Online giving is also available.

242 will take place next Wednesday the 18th.  We have decided to cancel the meal portion of the program for the time being.  Classes and activities will begin at 6:30 PM.

Unless otherwise indicated, the church is remaining “open for business.”  Normal office hours will continue.  Church staff is available to you if you need anything.

I am meeting with a group of healthcare workers from within our church next week to discuss the formation of a “wellness” taskforce.  This team will partner together to promote good health for the RCC family.  We have ideas for this to become an ongoing ministry at the church.

Along similar lines, it is important to note that our church custodian, Sam Bowman, is actively disinfecting common surfaces, switches, and doorknobs throughout the building on a weekly basis.  We appreciate her efforts.

Beginning next week, we are going to establish a temporary “community cupboard” program (Acts 2:44-45).  If you have extra items that others may need (hand soap, canned food, toilet paper, etc.), you can donate to the cupboard to be shared with other members of the RCC family.  Rather than hoarding, Christians are called to share and think about the well-being of others.

The church leadership is meeting this upcoming week to discuss auxiliary plans and temporary adjustments to church services and programming.  We will communicate this information as soon as it is determined.  Some of the actions we are considering include: offering multiple, simplified worship services on different days (to shrink attendance size and allow for community “distancing”); broadcasting services on Facebook Live (goal of next week); live streaming worship services (soon); and developing new small groups.

One other comment related to attending church.  If you are sick or have a weakened immune system, please stay home.  This is in everyone’s best interest.  Please let us know if there is a way we can help you.

Let me wrap up this letter with a few thoughts from a different perspective:

Certainly, it is vital to be proactive and use common sense with the goal of keeping everyone healthy.  The above-mentioned measures are designed to support this goal.  It is also important not to panic and be overwhelmed with fear.  As Christians, we are to live by faith and not fear.  On many occasions in the Bible, Jesus commands us, “Don’t be afraid.”  Jesus can command this because he knows that God is ultimately in control.  There are no “unknowns” to God.  Though God doesn’t shield us from life’s storms, he does promise to be present with us during them.

If you have worries, turn them into prayers (Philippians 4:5-7).  I have found it helpful this past week to turn off the news and click on my Bible app.  I have been listening to the Psalms.  They express the real prayers of God’s people who feel powerless during times of uncertainty.  They instruct us how to pray for peace.

I find comfort in the promise of Romans 8:28 that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”  God can bring “good” even from a virus outbreak.  One good is that we become more mindful of our need for God during anxious times.  As the terrorist attacks on 911 taught us, during a crisis people become more open to God.  While we pray for the pandemic to end, let’s also pray for a spiritual revival (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Another good is that hardship grows us spiritually. Our faith is stimulated, and our prayer and devotional life expanded.  Use this season of less activity to pray more.  Pray for our government officials.  Pray for the families directly affected by the outbreak.  Pray for healthcare professionals.  Pray for people impacted by the economic downturn.  Pray for the church’s ministry.  Pray for your neighbor.

On that note, another good is that difficult times can make us more mindful of the needs of others.  An effective way to halt anxiety is to focus on those around us. Is there a friend or senior citizen you could check on?  Rather than rushing to the store to buy toilet paper, why not walk across the street to a neighbor and offer a “cup of cold water” (Matthew 25:37)?  How can we turn this present crisis into a service opportunity?  How can we balance common sense health practices with the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)?

This past week has been filled with surprising developments and unexpected inconveniences.  We’ve all had moments of confusion and concern.  I imagine a “new normal” will soon set in.  We’ll adjust and life will continue.  Eventually, a vaccine will be discovered.  God has endowed his creation with everything we need.  Until life returns to normalcy, let’s seek God’s face, follow Christ daily wherever he leads, and care for each other.  This is a unique opportunity for RCC to shine.  I leave you with a favorite passage of scripture.

Lamentations 3:21-23 – “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Greg

Jr and Sr High Students Small groups are kicking off!

Small Groups will meet at the Big House, 6:30-7:45 PM. Jr. High will meet March 8 (2nd and 4th Sundays), and Sr. High will meet on March 15 (1st and 3rd Sundays).

 

Calling All Bakers:

Baking Ministry           There is a new sign up sheet in the café for our baking ministry. Each Sunday we would like to have 2 volunteers each bring 5-6 dozen treats to share.

 

April 12, Easter Sunday

7:00 AM ~ Sunrise Service

7:30 ~ Breakfast

9 & 10:30 AM ~ Worship Service

Please note there will be no Sunday School or Children’s Church and Children’s Wing Nursery will only be offered at 10:30 AM Service

 

Easter egg

April 11 will be our annual Easter Egg Hunt for ages Birth-5th Grade. There will be other activities planned along with the egg hunt. Mark your calendars and make sure to join the fun.

 

Friend Sunday

March 15, 2020 has been designated as “Friend Sunday”.  We encourage everyone to invite a new family, a long time neighbor, a person new to Parke County, or an old lifetime friend, to RCC this Sunday Morning. Let’s have a full house and warm welcoming smiles! There are post cards in the foyer for you to give to your guest for date and times. Please see Greg or Kevin for questions.

 

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