September 6, 2002
Praise and Encouragement
As Labor Day marked the unofficial change from summer to fall, I got to thinking about change. Of course, there are lots of changes going on in our house this fall: new school teachers, growing shoe sizes, cute new snaggle tooth smiles... Changes, whether we welcome them or not, are such a given that I rarely stop to consider the nature of change. Think about this: everything we’ve ever beheld has changed. Even a granite boulder will one day erode back into the elemental grains from which it was formed. Everything in God’s creation, us included, changes. It’s proof of our created-ness. Only God is immutable, He never changes. Since God is already perfect, He has no need to change! To paraphrase A.W. Tozer, if God changed for the better, it would mean He wasn’t already perfect to begin with. If He changed for the worse, it would negate His holy nature (read chapter 9 in Tozer’s booklet, The Knowledge of the Holy!) God affirms this Himself, “I the LORD do not change.” (Malachi 3:6, NIV). I’m thankful for all life’s changes, big and small, which give us a chance to marvel at God’s unchanging nature. Worshipping our unchangeable God with you,
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