August 2, 2022
Praise and Encouragement
CHANGE. This is a word that many of us cringe at. Yet we are hearing it a lot lately. Change per the dictionary means "to make different, to modify, or replace with something else and make it different than it was." Hopefully to make things better. We live in immensely transitional times, so it is easy to get downhearted about all the things beyond our control. We can choose to be fearful about the future or we can decide to remain faithful to the values that we embrace such as choosing to stand on the Word of God as we have done in joining the Alliance of Reformed Churches. Change is never easy but it can be an opportunity to more fully rely on God who NEVER changes. He is ALWAYS there to help through the changes as we pray more and turn to Him to help us understand and accept change. God knows and understands that letting go of the familiar is hard. He has called us to move on to new life in Jesus Christ by letting go of our old ways and move on to new life in Jesus Christ and BOLDLY look forward to see what Christ will do with us individually and with CFC. Keep praying for Pastor Zachary, Ron, the consistory, and the staff. We want CFC to be God’s church and we be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Remember: Jesus (God) is in control of everything and He is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8. As changes are made at CFC, remember that God is in control and though things may be different, it is all done so that we can reach those who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and those who have made that decision, to grow in their faith. We get our strength from God’s grace. As we grow we desire to draw closer to Jesus and to want to dig deeper into God’s Word. Look for new opportunities to be used by God, say Yes to these opportunities and then rejoice when He uses you to further His gospel. It can be exciting. Hang on. Remember GOD IS IN CONTROL and NEVER
CHANGES. Praise the Lord.
~Carol Schipper, Elder
Dear CFC Congregation:
April 1, 2022 is a very special day in the life of Christ’s Family Church! There are so many amazing things going on at CFC that we could consider this a “replant” of our church. Additionally, there is much excitement in the congregation, staff, and leadership as we faithfully move forward and address the changes facing us!
On one hand, we celebrate the March 31 retirement of Reverend Brian Akker, CFC’s third pastor, after his 20 years of faithful service as Senior Pastor. This is a day of remembrance and celebration of his ministry, along with a little sadness, as we bid him and his wife, Mary, goodbye and best wishes, but it is also filled with joy for God’s new plans for their lives. Through this journey, we’ve also watched their two sons, Kyle and Tyler, grow up in our church, graduate from high school, go off to college, and begin their professional careers. While Pastor Brian will no longer be performing any pastoral duties for CFC, Mary and he will always be our friends. Please continue to pray for the Akker family as they navigate these unfolding changes to seek His will.
On the other hand, we recognize today as the official first day of our affiliation with the Alliance of Reformed Churches, our new denomination. The RCA’s Classis of Illinois graciously and unanimously approved our petition for separation and transfer to the ARC at its March 15 meeting. There, the Classis prayed over CFC to send us off for the next phase of our ministry in the Quad Cities. However, there is yet much work to be done as the ARC is developing key policies and procedures while welcoming more churches into the denomination. For more information on the ARC, please visit its website at www.arc21.org.
CFC is also transitioning from our current senior pastor (i.e., consistory-led) governance model to a lead pastor (i.e., staff-led) governance model. As we have previously indicated, there will be more information provided over the next several months regarding the scope of this transition as we update our Articles of Incorporation for the State of Iowa, bylaws (i.e., how we govern our church), website, and operating policies and procedures. Additionally, the Consistory is in the midst of developing its comprehensive set of Mission, Guiding, and Accountability Principles that will delineate responsibilities to guide both the Consistory and church staff in day-to-day operations. Please pray for the Consistory and Ron Fischer, Director of Operations, as we develop and put these into place.
We also eagerly anticipate the next phase in the life of CFC beginning May 1 with the arrival of our fourth pastor, Pastor Zachary Fraley as Lead Pastor, and his wife, Blair. Pastor Zachary will be ordained by his current denomination, the Kingdom Network in Indiana, on Sunday, April 10 and expects to complete his seminary studies by May, 2023. The leadership of the ARC has already indicated that this process is acceptable. Also, the Fraley’s have purchased a home in Bettendorf and are looking forward to meeting and working with us in ministry in just a few short weeks. If you would like to help welcome them to CFC and the Quad Cities, please contact the church office for more information. In the interim month between pastors, one of the elders will be available to cover your spiritual needs. Just contact the church office if you need assistance from an elder or a deacon. Please keep the Fraley’s in your daily prayers as they make their move from Indiana and begin ministry here.
To close, I would like to share a beautiful passage of Scripture from which our eternal hope springs – Hebrews 13:8 (NIV). 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Let’s continue to seek His will and put our trust in Him for He is good. God is great! Amen.
Jim Patterson, Elder