It Has Begun!

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In an underground corner of our building in the dark of the evening on three Sundays out of four, a group of unassuming persons gather for special training.  Seven women (Sherri Bader, Lori Brekke, MaryLee Kersten, Laura Kramer, Lora Kramer, Pam Lippert, Sandy Trampe) and five men (Blaine Bader, John Bear, Dale Hartman, Maury Hyde, Gary VanderWilt) have enlisted for two years to serve as Stephen Ministers.  Their enlistment begins by attending 50 hours of training in 20 sessions between September and March.  They are being trained by a cadre of instructors who also signed up for two years to be Stephen Leaders.  Jenny Anderson, Janet Folkerts, and I try to keep them engaged as we learn about listening, empathy, emotions, and the power of Christian caring. 

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 Their mission, should any of you choose to receive them, is to listen carefully to hurting people as we follow Jesus further.  Their vision is that no one in our congregation will hurt alone.  It requires courage and skill to enter compassionately into other’s pain, but that is what these men and women have volunteered for.  They have already completed over one-fourth of their training, and to this point we have had perfect attendance.  This article includes some rare photos of the training in action.  Please keep all of us in prayer so that we might provide helpful care for hurting people as they heal.


Blessings - Pastor Harrison


2017 Ministry Fair

"Helping People Follow Jesus Further by Finding a Place to Serve and Grow"

On Sunday, October 15th, SRBC hosted their first ever “Ministry Fair”.  The purpose of the fair was to help people discover the area of ministry that they can serve others and also to help everybody see all the different ministries that are taking place at SRBC.  We had a total of 24 tables set up in Main Street and Fellowship Hall that gave people the opportunity to learn more about a particular ministry. 

I planted the seed.  Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.   1 Corinthians 3:6-9


The Team Leaders and their teams did a fantastic job of setting up their tables and doing all that they could to help people learn more about their particular area of ministry.  I am truly thankful for each of these volunteers.  I also want to thank Jill Stanish, Shayna Dodd, and Tammy Michaelson for all their work in organizing and making plans for this special event.  It takes many volunteers to serve in each of these ministries and I am so thankful for each person that is serving at SRBC as we work together to “Encourage Everyone to Follow Jesus Further…”


Jim Kramer—Pastor of Community Life



Youth Culture Corner

It can be an overwhelming task to try to stay on top of youth culture. I would be foolish to consider myself an expert on that subject. At least once every couple weeks, I get into a discussion about a new song, movie, or latest trend that I had no clue was such a big deal. I would consider myself interested and a learner in this culture.

Brian Herrin, Monique Dorow, and myself recently attended a conference in Pella by Walt Mueller, a youth ministry veteran, who runs an organization called the Center for Parent Youth Understanding. He and his team do a great job providing helpful and current articles that touch on the world of teenagers. I try my best to keep a pulse on these trends with the help of websites like that and others.  

Snapchat is now the leading social media platform for teenagers. This has been a controversial app since its inception, which I’ve written about in the past. It promises that things that you upload and send to someone else will disappear and not be recorded. Since most of the youth who own smartphones are also on Snapchat, I figured that some parents and grandparents might find this article helpful. And as is always the case, parent-teen conversations rule the day when it comes to technology and media!  



Is Snapchat and Snapmaps safe?

By Jonathan McKee (        


It’s the number one app kids use, and it’s the number one app parents ask me about at my parent workshops. I hear it all the time: Is Snapchat bad? Should I let my daughter use Snapchat? Or more recently…Is SnapMaps dangerous? Should I advise my daughter to go “Ghostmode”?

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It’s something I’ve written articles about in detail, and something I always devote time to when I’m addressing students directly about wise posting in an insecure world. So what do Mom and Dad need to know about this app, especially with its fun new feature called “SnapMaps” where your Snap friends can see your exact locations on a map at all times?


Here’s a few points parents need to know about Snapchat:

 The Innocent Side:

▪   Many kids just use Snapchat like texting, but with pictures. It’s a fun way to communicate. “Look at this delicious muffin!” “Why does my cat sleep like this?”

▪   It’s a fun way for parents to keep in touch with their kids’ lives. When kids “friend” their parents, parents can not only communicate with their kids using this fun tool, but they can also follow their kids’ stories and see daily glimpses of their lives.


The Risky Side:

The app condones irresponsibility. No, not every kid who has Snapchat is sending naked pictures to their boyfriends or girlfriends. Some kids use it quite innocently. But Snapchat was created by a college guy who walked into his friend’s dorm room expressing regret after sending a picture and he basically said, “I wish there was an app to send disappearing pictures.” In other words: I wish we could send whatever we want, but with no consequences. The rest is history. The app was created and marketed as, “the pictures disappear!” The problem: kids think they’re safe and don’t always think through the ramifications of hitting SEND. Thousands upon thousands of kids have Snapped something irresponsibly only to discover later that someone screenshotted it or that some tech nerd actually tapped into the device’s cache to access the pics. That’s probably why the FTC actually charged Snapchat for deceiving its users. Bottom line: the pics you Snap aren’t quite as temporary as kids presume.

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▪   Snapmaps is really fun if you share your location with just a few trusted friends, but the feature can be dangerous if you don’t choose your friends wisely. Open the app and pinch the screen and you can literally see all your friends’ emojis on a map and know exactly where they are. “Cool, Chris and Jordon are together at the Starbucks across from the school!” But some kids haven’t really thought through exactly who they’ve allowed to see these locations (Do you really trust every one of your Snap friends? Have you actually met them all face to face?), or they never took the time to check their settings. Whenever I address young people directly, I advise them to go to their Snapchat settings, click on “see my location” and either choose “Ghostmode” which keeps your location private, or choose custom settings and select exactly which friends can see your location, only choosing a few trusted friends.

▪   The story feature offers some distracting influences. As fun as it is to see your best friends’ story, headlines from Cosmo and Daily Mail are also littered across the screen. Even if your kids aren’t interested in one of the Kardashian’s “Nearly Nude Selfies” or “How to please your boyfriend in bed”…sometimes they’re just curious enough to click.


Are your kids using good discernment with Snapchat? Are you their Snap friend?

When’s the last time you’ve had conversations about wise posting in an insecure world?



Blessings - Pastor Bryce



Take the Challenge!


The Month of November is a great time to discuss a spirit of Thanksgiving with your children and a great refresher for our whole family as we constantly need to be renewed and put back together again in this hurried, broken, fragmented, and  busy world.

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them … ” (Luke 22:19 NIV).

One of Christ’s very last directives He offers to His disciples is to take the bread, the wine, and to remember. Do this in remembrance of Me. Remember and give thanks.

Why? Why is remembering and giving thanks the core of the Christ-faith? Because remembering with thanks is what causes us to trust and to believe.

Our children sense the brokenness of this world, but by watching us display a heart of thanksgiving and remembrance, we are bringing our children (and ourselves) back to a place of peace.

I know that’s what I have been needing in the face of all the turmoil, heartache and chaos of our current times.

I wanted to share with you a Countdown leading into Thanksgiving I have made for my own family for the month of November to encourage and keep us accountable to remembering and giving thanks. I hope the challenges and ideas in it bless your family, and I look forward to us sharing with each other the fruits that come from it.



In Christ — Crystal Carroll

Children's Ministry Coordinator