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Welcome to the Upper Mississippi Region


of the North American Baptist Conference of churches

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Welcome to the Upper Mississippi Region


of the North American Baptist Conference of churches

 

THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI REGION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN BAPTIST CONFERENCE

The UMR is a diverse group of churches from the hills of southern Illinois and Iowa to the woodlands of Wisconsin and Minnesota, from the shores of Lake Michigan to the farmlands of the central plains.

But geography is not the only diversity that we experience. We are a group of churches that range in age from over 150 years to over one year. Our newest church is Unity Vietnamese in Chicago started in 2012. We also have much diversity in the way that we are seeking to share the Good News of the Gospel within our various local mission fields. We have churches sharing in Russian, Polish, Bulgarian, Spanish, Hebrew and Vietnamese - as well as English in both Anglo and African American styles. We have churches that worship with choirs and hymnals, and others that sing praise to God with bands and PowerPoint. We have churches made up primarily of professional white collar executives and some that are mainly blue collar and agricultural in make up. Some of our churches have over 1000 each Sunday and others regularly have less than 50 worshippers. There are churches that dress up in their Sunday best and others who worship very casually. Wow-isn't God a wonderfully creative God? And we have a lot of that creative diversity within the churches of the UMR.

But there is one thing that we all have in common that drives our partnership; we are called to love one another for the sake of the world's redemption!  God is on mission in our region and we are striving to join Him together.

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About


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About


About THE MISSION OF THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI REGION

Mission

The UMR is a regional partnership of churches committed to loving one another for the sake of the world's redemption.

Vision

Through this regional partnership, we endeavor to strengthen the witness of each congregation and provide a greater testimony of God's work in the world.

Values

The Authority of God's word

Believing that the Scriptures are the inspired truth of God and direct our beliefs, commitments and activities.

THE PRIMACY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH

The local church is at the center of God's plan to bring redemption to the world through faith in Jesus Christ.

sharing in the mission of god

Every member of every church is a sent one and is intended to participate in God's mission through a life of discipleship.

Ministry Networks

Churches, Pastors and laity strategically working together to maximizing kingdom impact, locally, regionally, and globally

Empowered Leadership

Empowering corporate and individual initiatives to intentionally increase ministry health, growth, and multiplication


REGIONAL MINISTER DR. JIM RENKE

JIM & KRIS RENKE AT TRIENNIAL, SACRAMENTO, CA - 2015

JIM & KRIS RENKE AT TRIENNIAL, SACRAMENTO, CA - 2015

I'm a native of Sacramento, California. Kris and I have been married for 30+ awesome years. And we are blessed with 4 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 2 granddaughters and a grandson!

I've had opportunity to serve in several different church settings, from Iowa to California and now live in suburban Chicago. I've served as a solo pastor, church planter/pastor and in multi-staff ministries. I also taught several years as an adjunct professor at Moody Bible Institute, my Alma mater.

I attended Moody Bible Institute, Sioux Falls Seminary and received my D.Min. from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

FAVORITE MINISTRY ACTIVITY

Sharing a vision for the new life God gives in Christ and motivating people to pursue it by faith.

FAVORITE VERSES

Joshua 1:6-7. All about standing strong!
Romans 8:38-39. All about why we can stand strong - His love endures.

FAVORITE PAST-TIMES

Taking a long ride on the motorcycle. My longest trip so far is 4934 miles, from Illinois to California and back. I also enjoy doing odds and ends with Kris around the house. And traveling is always fun. Maui is a favorite place. 

FAVORITE FOOD

I love food differently now. It's become my source of health. So no more junk. But that being said, my wife makes an awesome rice and curry dish. 

FAVORITE BOOKS (Besides The Bible)

  • Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
  • Center Church by Tim Keller

MY HOPE FOR THE UPPER-MISSISSIPPI REGION

To see our partnership truly live out the love Christ called us to (love for one another) in order to invigorate and authenticate our witness in the world. 


Regional Leadership Team

Illinois

  • David Steinhart - Forest Park Baptist, Forest Park, IL

Iowa

  • Orville Erickson - Greenhill Baptist, Cedar Falls, IA
  • Debby Huisinga - Aplington Baptist, Aplington, IA

Minnesota

  • Bill Gould - Apple Valley, MN
  • Jen Woyke -  Faith Baptist - Minneapolis, MN

Wisconsin

  • Lynn Newlun - Grace Church, Racine, WI
  • Kent Palmer - Ridgewood Bapitst - Brookfield, WI
  • Don Amundson - Grace Church, Racine, WI

RLT Officers

  • Jen Woyke - President
  • Lynn Newlun - Treasurer
  • Orville Erickson - Secretary

UMR Churches


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UMR Churches


UMR Churches