MFCA News and Information

October 2021

Courses and Events

RCA Credo – Instructor: Dr. Wayne Brouwer

The Credo online course for winter 2021–2022 will begin on October 11, 2021, and run through February 28, 2022. RCA Standards is a prerequisite.

  • The course can be taken for 3.0 credit units, which will be recorded by Western Theological Seminary, for a cost of $1,545. The course can also be taken for CFM qualification to meet RCA requirements if you do not need the credits transferred toward a degree, for a cost of $250.

General Synod 2021 in Tucson, Arizona

Begins on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. and ends on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. If you are not attending the event in person, you will be able to video stream General Synod via the RCA website at www.rca.org/synod. We encourage you to follow the activities as you are able.


MFCA Certification Committee Meetings – via Zoom

The committee will be meeting on Thursday and Friday, October 21 and 22, 2021, to engage in mid-certification interviews, recommendations around final reviews, and receiving CFM candidates into the MFCA process. If you have questions concerning any of these agenda items, please feel free to contact Kelly Talsma (ktalsma@rca.org) or Amy White (awhite@rca.org) for questions or clarification.

Save the Date

November Zoom Gathering

We are planning for our next Zoom gathering on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. We plan to gather for a follow-up discussion based on the results of General Synod actions.


We will end our Zoom session with a Q & A time for general questions about the MFCA process. We look forward to you joining us, the MFCA staff (Dave Schutt, Kelly Talsma, and Amy White), for this open Zoom meeting on November 17.


Announcements

Dean G. Ulmer, an alumnus of the MFCA, entered his eternal home with his Lord, Jesus Christ, on August 7, 2021, following a 14-month battle with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dean touched many lives through his years of ministry and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.


James Earley passed his final examinations with Minnesota Classis on July 13, 2021, and enjoyed an ordination and installation service at Peace Reformed Church on August 22. James received a call from Peace to be their pastor of connections and equipping. Congratulations, James! We celebrate along with you.


Cornelis Kors will be honored at the 214th session of the General Synod (October 14–19, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona). The Board of Trustees declared Kors “Executive Director Emeritus” after his 29 years of service to the agency of the MFCA and its church. This took effect at his retirement. The Rev. Dr. Cornelis G. Kors will be declared a General Synod Professor Emeritus as of October 19, 2021.


The MFCA report to the General Synod, including the full resolution that Dr. Cornelis Kors be declared General Synod Professor Emeritus, can be found in the MFCA report in the General Synod Workbook.


Please visit our MFCA website for information and past newsletters.



Summer 2021

Fall 2021 RCA/MFCA Courses

· RCA Credo – Instructor, Dr. Wayne Brouwer

The Credo On-Line Course for the Fall of 2021 will begin August 16 and run through December 10, 2021. RCA Standards is a prerequisite.

· Basic Greek Tools & NT Exegesis – Instructor, Dr. Chad Pierce

Greek Basics will begin September 7, 2021. This course is intended for AAR candidates, however RCSC candidates may register with approval from their classis. TheMFCA must have that approval on file in writing. This course is for CFM Qualification only, with tuition of $250.

· RCA History & Missions – Instructor, Dr. Dennis Voskuil

· RCA Polity – Instructor, Dr. Cornelis Kors

· RCA Standards – Instructor, Dr. Wayne Brouwer

The MFCA is offering RCA History & Missions, RCA Polity and RCA Standards via distance learning, beginning September 7. These three courses are offered for 3.0 credit units, which will be recorded by Western Theological Seminary for a cost of $1,545. They can also be taken for CFM qualification to meet RCA requirements if you do not need the credits transferred toward a degree, for a cost of $250.

If you are interested in registering for one of the above courses, but did not receive the registration information, please contact Kelly Talsma or Amy White for this information.

Awarded the Certificate of Fitness for Ministry

The Certificate of Fitness for Ministry through the Reformed Candidates Supervision and Care (RCSC) has been awarded to the following candidates:

William Barlow Classis of Queens

James Earley Classis of Minnesota

Grant Hoekstra Classis of Minnesota

Benjamin Lee Classis of Greater Palisades

Pearl Liao Classis of Queens

Zach Pearce Classis of Orange

Keith Sietstra Classis of West Sioux

Toby Thomack Classis of Wisconsin

The Certificate of Fitness for Ministry through the Approved Alternate Route (AAR) has been awarded to the following candidates:

Kelli Glasgo Classis of West Sioux

Akiko Van Antwerpen Classis of New Brunswick

Announcements

We happily announce the ordination plans of Zachary Pearce, who will be ordained on Saturday, August 28th at 10 AM Eastern at Deerpark Reformed Church. An installation service will very likely take place on Sunday, October 3 at 4:00 PM Eastern at Ellenville Reformed Church in Ellenville New York. We celebrate along with Zach.

Cecilia Go and Rev. Billy Go are happy to announce the birth of baby Justina a couple of weeks ago.

Riana Shaw Robinson, announced her transition from Oakland City Church to a new and inspiring challenge. As Riana steps away from OCC she plans to gather with a team of women to pray about birthing a new church community centering around women of color. She writes, “As mothers, workers, leaders, and followers of Christ, it is hard to find the spaces that affirm and speak to our unique experiences. This new community will unapologetically center the belovedness and brilliance of women of color while offering the spiritual and practical resources to support and strengthen us”.

We support and encourage Riana, and her four children and husband, in this new endeavor, and pray for God’s rich blessing during this transitional time of building community.

Congratulations to MFCA candidate Anna Langholz, who has been granted a Beth Marcus Scholarship award for the 2021-2022 year.

In June the MFCA Certification Committee accepted RCSC petitions for the CFM for Luke DeKoster, Joshua Jalandoon, Ross Van Kley and Samuel Yoo. Vincent Hanke was declared eligible for the Approved Alternate Route for the CFM process. We welcome these individuals.

We are pleased to announce that Cornelis Kors will be honored in October at the 214th session of the General Synod 2021, October 14-19, in Tuscon, AZ. After 29 year of service to the agency of the MFCA and its church, the Board of Trustees declared Kors “Executive Director Emeritus.” This took effect at his retirement. The Rev. Dr. Cornelis G. Kors will be declared a General Synod Professor Emeritus as of October 19, 2021.

The General Synod MFCA report, including the full resolution that Dr. Cornelis Kors be declared General Synod Professor Emeritus, can be found in the General Synod Workbook.

May 2021

Events

Zoom Informational Gathering

We experienced a very good turnout for our first Zoom Call Gathering, and we hope that those of you who came, found companionship of conversation with other candidates as well as answered questions.

As promised, we are planning our next gathering, set for Wednesday, June 9, and look forward to your joining the MFCA staff, Dave Schutt, Kelly Talsma, and Amy White, for the open office style meeting via Zoom at 1:00 PM (Pacific), 4:00 PM (Eastern).

We will be joined during the first 30 minutes, by the Rev. Dr. Wayne Brouwer, who instructs our Credo Courses and RCA Standards. Dr. Brouwer is an expert on all things “Credo.” He will provide an overview of the course and what to expect, as well as his wisdom and insight for Credo writing and its importance. He will be prepared to answer your questions.

During the second half of our time together, we will break up into small groups of 4-5 allowing time to connect with others in the program, returning for a Q & A session with MFCA Staff.

If you desire further information on this event or the below listed courses, please contact

Amy White at awhite@rca.org or Kelly Talsma at ktalsma@rca.org.

Courses

RCA/MFCA Worship

The MFCA plans to offer RCA Worship as an online course, starting Monday, July 12, running through July 23, 2021. This online intensive will be taught by Dr. Ronald Rienstra, and will require work each day and throughout the weekend. Mark your calendars if you have interest in engaging this course, and contact us if you did not receive the registration email, but would like to take the course.

Clinical Pastoral Educational Collaborative

CPE will be offered as a distance learning collaborative through Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. The CPE is scheduled to commence on Friday, May 21, and will continue through October. This course meets the MFCA requirement for a CPE unit, and has proven to be very successful. It is headed by Rev. Karl Van Harn, Director of the Department of Pastoral Services & CPE at Pine Rest. If you are interested and have questions, please contact Karl Van Harn: karl.vanharn@pinerest.org or 616-281-6363, ext. 2902.

Future Fall 2021 RCA/MFCA Courses

· RCA Credo

· Greek Basics – Bible Works & Biblical Exegesis

· RCA History & Missions

· RCA Polity

· RCA Standards


Announcements

Eric Mitchell, having completed all requirements for ordination, will be ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on May 16, 2021 at Liberty Church, Collingswood, NJ. We celebrate along with Eric.

Chaplain John D. Barry was recently promoted from First Lieutenant to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. Chaplain Barry is currently serving at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Fort Campbell, KY. Well done, John. Congratulations.

Rev. Alan “Blues” Baker, RCA Supervisor of Chaplain Ministries, authored a recently released book; Foundations of Chaplaincy, published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. The book is available through Amazon Foundations of Chaplaincy and at Barnes & Noble Foundations of Chaplaincy by Alan Baker.

A Prayer of Praise and Adoration – Loosely based on Psalm 16

Weekly, as a staff, the MFCA has been reading and briefly discussing through a chapter or a section of a Psalm. Coming out of this past year and motivated by our readings, I was inspired to write a prayer of adoration and thanksgiving. Amy White

____________________________________________________________________

God Almighty, you are the One in whom I find formidable shelter and protection. You are good, and I live in you and for you. I can find nothing before, beyond or better than you. Loving Lord God, you are enough!

My heart overflows and pumps with delight in you. Who alone can grant security within safe boundaries, assuring me, each step along the rocky passage to my eternal inheritance. Running after idols assures me of nothing. You, loving Father are enough!

My hands raise in praise to you, Lord. You have become my counsel, wisdom and instructor. My gaze will not be averted because you steady me with your strong right hand of advocacy. Therefore, my heart is glad, restful and at peace. Oh Lord, you are enough!

Oh faithful One, you are my vision, my guide and companion. You are my path, my life and joy. In you I find my footing and eternal life. Almighty God, you are enough! There is none like you, no not one.

Amen.

March 2021

Courses

RCA/MFCA Worship

The MFCA will be offering RCA Worship as an online course, starting Monday, July 12, running through July 23, 2021. This online intensive course will require work throughout the weekend as well. Mark your calendars if you are interested in engaging this course, and the registration information will be sent to potential participants in May.


Clinical Pastoral Educational Collaborative

CPE will be offered as a distance learning collaborative through Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. The CPE is scheduled to commence on Friday, May 21. This offering will continue through October and will meet the MFCA requirement for a CPE unit.

There has been great success and very positive reviews about this program, which is headed by the Rev. Karl Van Harn, Director of the Department of Pastoral Services & CPE at Pine Rest. If you are interested and have questions, you may contact the MFCA office or Karl Van Harn: karl.vanharn@pinerest.org or 616-281-6363, ext. 2902.

Events

It’s a Q & A Party and you are invited!

Monday, April 12

10:30 a.m. Pacific/11:30 a.m. Mountain/12:30 p.m. Central/1:30 p.m. Eastern

Zoom Call

We look forward to you joining the MFCA staff—Dave Schutt, Kelly Talsma, and Amy White—for an open office style gathering via Zoom on Monday, April 12, from 10:30 a.m. PDT to 11:30 a.m. PDT.


Meet other candidates from around the country, and bring your MFCA related questions. All people and questions are welcome!


When we complete a brief time of meet and greet, the session will be open to an all-group Q & A.


It is our plan to offer more sessions, set at differing days and times, in order to provide more convenience of opportunity. We will be providing the link and reminders to our candidates a couple of weeks prior to the event.


For further information on any of these events, please contact

Amy White at awhite@rca.org or Kelly Talsma at ktalsma@rca.org.

Announcements

Beth Marcus Scholarship Opportunity for Female Candidates

All students in an MDiv, MA, MTS, or equivalent master's degree program candidates are invited to apply here: www.rca.org/equipping-congregations/womens-transformation-leadership/scholarship/.


Applications are being accepted, with a deadline of April 30. This scholarship has blessed many MFCA female candidates over the years, and we strongly encourage you to apply.


We invite you to take a look at other resources at www.rca.org/women and the new Lavish Hope podcast (available on all players).


Susan Converse Ordination

On Sunday, March 21, Susan Converse will be ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament, as Associate Minister for Congregational Care at the Reformed Church of Locust Valley, her home church. We are thrilled that her process has led her back to where she started. Congratulations, Susan!

December 2020/January 2021

Courses

MFCA is in the process of receiving registration for the following RCA Courses which are scheduled to commence on January 4, 2021. All courses will be offered online, using Canvas Learning Management System. Registration material has been sent via email, from Kelly Talsma. If you did not receive this information and registration material, but would like to register for one of the courses, please contact the MFCA Registrar, Kelly Talsma at ktalsma@rca.org. The courses beginning in January are as follows:

  • Basic Hebrew Tools and Exegesis – Rev. Dr. Chad Pierce, Instructor

  • RCA History & Missions – Rev. Dr. Dennis Voskuil, Instructor

  • RCA Polity - Rev. Dr. Cornelis Kors, Instructor

  • RCA Standards – Rev. Dr. Wayne Brouwer, Instructor

  • Credo Spring 2021 Session – Rev. Dr. Wayne Brouwer, Instructor (Pre-requisite: RCA Standards)

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Registration material will be sent in early January for MFCA Seminar for Pastoral Formation, an alternative course to the requirement for CPE. The course will be offered online including the intensive closing week. The course commences on March 1, 2021 with the intensive week running May 10-14, 2021.

RCA Worship will be offered this summer in an online format under the instruction of Rev. Dr. Ron Reinstra. The MFCA staff encourage our candidates to consider taking the Worship course, as it may be a once a year offering. The dates for the course offering are July 12-23, 2021 and will include required work through the weekend.

Events

MFCA Certification Committee Meeting (via Zoom) – January 21 & 22, 2021

The MFCA Board of Trustees Meeting (via Zoom) – March 5, 2021

Announcements

Due to recent changes with the agency and budgetary restrictions, annual in-person meetings with the director are no longer feasible. We ask our candidates to be proactive in initiating communication with MFCA staff as needed. We will continue our regular communication with all candidates, but if you need consultation, clarification, or have specific questions, do not hesitate to contact staff.

· Rev. Dave Schutt – dschutt@rca.org

· Kelly Talsma – ktalsma@rca.org

· Amy White – awhite@rca.org

Our Saviors Corner of Hope Church in Lakewood, Colorado is searching for a Senior Pastor. If you feel this may be a good fit and you are interested in more information, you may contact Amy White (awhite@rca.org) for the Church Profile. You are also welcome to contact the Search Committee Chairperson.

Chair of Search Committee: Rick Boer
E-Mail address: rickylee25@hotmail.com
Website: www.oschurch.com

Sponsorship for Dr. Cornelis Kors’ Festschrift

Thank you to all who have graciously contributed to sponsor the production of a Festschrift (a collection of essays) in honor of Cor, who tirelessly served the RCA for 29 years. We at the MFCA have received notice of each of your contributions and want to express our gratitude. For those of you who desire to be a part of the sponsorship, you may still do so.

This festschrift entitled, Shepherding a New Generation of Leaders: Essays in Honor of Cornelis G. Kors, is being edited by Dr. Bradley G. Lewis, and published as part of The Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America.

The MFCA Board of Trustees and staff (Kelly Talsma and Amy White) invite you to become a sponsor of this volume by contributing $50 toward its publication. If we receive your gift by December 31, 2020, your name will be listed in the initial pages as a sponsor, and we will send you a copy.

To make your donation and reserve your book, please do one of the following:

• Donate online: https://www.rca.org/give/ministerial-formation-certification-agency-mfca/

• Mail check:

Reformed Church in America
MFCA/Cor Kors Festschrift
4500-60th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

September/October 2020

Course Updates

RCA Worship was the last course offered only once a year as a week-long intensive in June. Due to COVID-19, along with the passing of the Rev. Dr. Gregg Mast (one of the RCA Worship Instructors), the intensive was cancelled.

The MFCA had a number of candidates whose only remaining requirement was RCA Worship, therefore, Dr. Kors managed to make alternative arrangements for this course prior to his retirement in July.

RCA Worship was offered for the first time via distance learning and we are grateful to the Rev. Dr. Tim TenClay for stepping up at the last minute. The course is now complete and we await the final grades.

MFCA has determined that “in-person” intensives will no longer be offered. This will include the Seminar for Pastoral Formation, which has historically been offered via distance learning with a week-long in-person intensive to conclude the course. The Rev. Dr. Verlyn Hemmen had to make adjustments this past summer to complete SPF via Zoom. Next year Dr. Hemmen has agreed to teach SPF with the intensive week once again being a virtual component of the course.

MFCA is extremely grateful for the creativity and commitment of all the professors contracted to teach our courses.

  • Basic Greek Tools and Exegesis / Basic Hebrew Tools and Exegesis – Rev. Dr. Chad Pierce

  • RCA History & Missions – Rev. Dr. Dennis Voskuil

  • RCA Polity - Rev. Dr. Cornelis Kors

  • RCA Standards / Credo – Rev. Dr. Wayne Brouwer

  • RCA Worship – Rev. Dr. Tim TenClay

  • Seminar for Pastoral Formation (CPE Alternative) – Rev. Dr. Verlyn Hemmen

Courses & Events

Credo DL- Winter session – Commences October 12, 2020 (Pre-requisite: RCA Standards)
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Wayne Brouwer

Certification Committee Meeting (via Zoom) – October 15-16, 2020

Board of Trustees Meeting (via Zoom) – October 30, 2020

Please contact the MFCA Registrar, Kelly Talsma regarding registration (ktalsma@rca.org)

Announcements

For those involved in Candidate Care Teams with the assorted RCA Classes, as well as potential candidates wondering if the MFCA will continue to receive petitions of those seeking the Certificate of Fitness for Ministry (CFM), we offer the following information. This past spring, the General Synod Council voted to dissolve the MFCA, which will require a process. After receiving permission to operate with our reserve funds through approximately March of 2022, the MFCA Board determined that MFCA will continue to receive new candidates. The staff will assist in transitioning any candidates who have been unable to complete the program during this time frame into a new process, which will be established by the PFOB. The Rev. Dave Schutt, MFCA part-time Interim Director, will be actively involved in the decisions made by the PFOB, along with the two RCA seminaries.

At this writing, all three staff, Kelly Talsma, Amy White and Dave Schutt plan to work through the dissolution and to assist candidates in completing the process in a timely manner. We look forward to receiving new candidates and working with classes and candidates.

Director's Travel Schedule

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the GSC staff, which includes the MFCA, will continue to work from home and will not be expected to return to work in any of the RCA offices through December 31, 2020.

All GSC staff travel and gatherings remain suspended, therefore the MFCA Interim Director, Rev. Dave Schutt will not be travelling for in-person consultations. Candidates desiring to have a phone conversation or a face to face Zoom video conference meeting with an MFCA staff member, can do so by contacting Amy White (awhite@rca.org), to set up an appointment.

July 2020

MFCA Board Appoints Interim Director

The MFCA Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of an interim director. The Rev. David Schutt will be the interim director as of August 1, 2020. Schutt has served the RCA for many years as a parish pastor and executive for the Regional Synod of the Great Lakes. He was also elected as president of the General Synod in 2004 and was the person to preside over one of the few judicial trails that the General Synod has held in the last couple of decades.

Schutt is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary (1970) and served churches in Otley, IA, Aurora, CO, Eagan, MN, Carmichael, CA and Ripon, CA. He retired from full-time ministry in 2016 after forty-two years.

Schutt has served the MFCA for many years as a member of the certification committee and board of trustees. He was moderator of the board on several occasions and was moderator as the Theological Education Agency (TEA) transitioned to being the Ministerial Formation Coordinating Agency (MFCA). He has done advanced coach training and currently coaches several RCA pastors. Schutt is well-equipped to serve as interim director. He will serve on a part-time basis.

Appointments to meet with Rev. Schutt can be made by contacting Amy White at her email address (awhite@rca.org). All MFCA staff will continue to work from home while the Covid-19 “Stay-at-Home” orders continue. Home for Rev. Schutt is Des Moines, Iowa in the summer and Arizona in the winter.

Courses & Events

RCA History & Missions DL – Commences September 8, 2020
Instructor: Rev. Dennis Voskuil

RCA Polity DL – Commences September 8, 2020
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Cornelis Kors

RCA Standards DL – Commences September 8, 2020
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Wayne Brouwer

Please contact the MFCA Registrar, Kelly Talsma regarding registration (ktalsm@rca.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

From Rev. Grant Mulder: We are excited to announce that I have accepted a call to Bethel Reformed Church in Sterling, IL. All of this was in process before COVID and was delayed due to it. We are incredibly grateful for our time at Silver Creek Reformed Church and will miss the congregation and our friends in the community. At the same time, we are very excited about what God is doing at Bethel and look forward to seeing what God has in store for us in Sterling. My final Sunday at Silver Creek will be July 26 and we’ll be moving later that week. We ask for your prayers during this time of transition.

Susan Mulholland will be ordained to the ministry of Word and sacrament on Sunday, July 26th at 4:00 PM; Monocacy Valley Church in Ijamsville, Maryland. One can participate via Zoom. Mulholland is a member of the Classis of New Brunswick.

Congratulations to Nicole Contreras and Ciro Romero, recent graduates of Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY. Ciro graduated with honors and Nicole was awarded the Beth Kamphausen Award by the faculty; it is an award given to the woman who has been faithful in adhering to God's call in leadership.

OPPORTUNITY

Trinity Church in El Monte, California
11804 Hemlock Street El Monte
California 91732
TrinityReformedSearchTeam@gmail.com

“Our vision is to become a multicultural community of faith. Our search seeks a bi-vocational, bilingual pastor who possesses multicultural passion and outreach skills that connect the life of the church to the life and needs of the community.”

Those interested may also contact the MFCA for a copy of Pastor Opportunity Profile.

Director's Travel Schedule

GSC staff, which includes MFCA staff, will continue to work from home and will not be expected to return to work in any of the RCA offices through December 31, 2020.

All GSC staff travel and gatherings will remain suspended through September 30, 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and all travel suspension, candidates who desire to meet with the new interim director can do so by contacting Amy White (awhite@rca.org) in order to schedule a phone conversation or Zoom video-conference.