Rev. Kevin Efflandt, Pastor of Preaching, brought a message from Colossians 1:24-2:5 on “Him We Proclaim.”
“Angelo served a 12-week internship here last summer and I absolutely loved working with him,” says Rev. Efflandt. “He’s a fantastic addition to the ministry here. I cannot imagine having a better working relationship with a colleague in the ministry.”
The two men meet every Tuesday morning to discuss visits and events in the life of the church during the upcoming week. Although there may be some areas (such as visitation and evangelism) where their work overlaps, Rev. Efflandt will focus primarily on preaching and teaching while Rev. Contreras will focus more on specific age groups, particularly the young adults.
Zion URC approved a second pastor position in 2004, but had not re-filled the position since Rev. Michael Schout accepted a call to Grace URC (Alto, MI) in 2008. After prayerful deliberation, the Zion council decided in January of 2012 to re-implement the second pastor position. Rev. Efflandt explains the reasons behind the decision.
“First, the Lord graciously added about 20 new families to our church over the course of one year,” he says. “With the added growth, we felt that adding a second pastor would be a wise thing to do. Many of our new members come from non-Reformed backgrounds, requiring more time meeting with them to instruct them in the truths of our confessions. Adding a second pastor, we felt, would help with that workload.”
“Second, we want to continue to move forward with the ministry here at Zion, particularly as it relates to a ministry to the young adults in our congregation, as well as outreach and evangelism,” Rev. Efflandt continues. “These are things that I simply don’t have the time to focus my energies on and so, Angelo will be spearheading both of these ministries. Our belief is that the Pastor of Congregational Life will allow us to be proactive and branch out into areas that we are not addressing currently.”
The Zion congregation currently consists of about 100 families. Sunday worship services are held at 9:30 am and 6:00 pm in the church at 1220 Canal Blvd. in Ripon.
Rev. Contreras is a 2011 graduate of Westminster Seminary California who sustained his candidacy exam in Classis Pacific Northwest on October 18, 2011. He and his wife, Trista, have an infant daughter, Aletheia.
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on pages 11-12 of the May 23, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal. Photos courtesy of Memry Efflandt.