“Longest Night” service offers light in the darkness
American Reformed Church invites all who struggle, mourn to winter solstice service
The holiday season can be a painful time for some people. It may be the first Christmas without a loved one who has died. It may be a time that has always been difficult. Spirits sink as the days grow shorter. Some feel the darkness growing deeper around them and need encouragement to live the days ahead. American Reformed Church in Orange City is hosting a “Longest Night” service on the evening of the winter solstice, Sunday, December 21 at 7 pm. All are invited to join in sharing and hearing prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle -- and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness. For questions, please contact Rosalyn De Koster, Director of Youth Ministries at ARC, at 712-737-4430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HUSBAND, WIFE TO CO-PASTOR CHURCH
Reverends Michael and Elizabeth Hardeman joining American Reformed Church in Orange City in January
Orange City, IA (November 2014) – The consistory and search committee of American Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, are pleased to announce the acceptance of a call by Reverends Michael and Elizabeth Hardeman to lead the congregation as co-pastors. The Hardemans both hold Masters of Divinity degrees from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Previously, the husband-wife team served as co-pastors at Alton Reformed Church in Alton, Iowa, and then at Reformed Church of Plano, Texas.
“We are eager to join in God’s mission with the people of American Reformed Church (ARC),” said Mike. “Since 1885, ARC has been seeking to translate the Gospel in ways that any and all can hear, receive, and respond. We’re looking forward to loving, listening, learning, and leading the good people of American Reformed to continue their vibrant mission to be transformed by Jesus to transform the world.”
Elizabeth added, “We are grateful for God’s call not only to ARC but to the community of Orange City. We’re hopeful we’ll find opportunities to invest and participate in the life of the community.”
Elizabeth grew up in Waukee, Iowa. She attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and then graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa. Mike is a native of Leighton, Iowa, and a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City. The Hardemans have three young daughters, and plan to relocate to Orange City prior to their start as ARC pastors in early January.
The name American Reformed comes from the fact that ARC was the first English-speaking (i.e. American) church in the historically Dutch community of Orange City. According to its mission, ARC continues to be “known as a church that is forward-thinking, diverse and hospitable, accepting toward all.” The word “Reformed” ties the church to the Reformed Church in America (RCA). Reformed churches have their roots in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, which refocused the church on the centrality of Christ, grace, faith and the Bible. “Reformed” also means that the church and its people are continually re-formed, ever re-forming, deeply rooted and open to changing in response to God’s transforming grace.
Be transformed by Jesus to transform the world