Maria Magdalena Reformed Church (MMRC) is a small church located in Sioux Center, Iowa. The church was founded by Martha Draayer, the director of intercultural development, and Jason Leif (Biblical and Theological Studies). The church was founded on August 2022 and service was formerly held at the Fruited Plain. Now, it has been moved to an old bank building near the cinema building. MMRC is a multicultural church that celebrates the diversity in God’s creation. Their mission as a church is to “Break down walls of division that separate we form one another and separate us from God”. The mission goes in to say “We faithfully follow Jesus’ call to share the gospel through multiethnic, multilingual worship as a reflection of the diversity of God’s creation”.
The attendance includes people, especially students, from all over the world. A lot of Dordt University international students attend MMRC and there are international students from Northwestern who populate the worship team. Many students attend because they fall in love with the beauty of the mixture of languages and cultures in the service.
When asked many students say wonderful things about attending MMRC and the service. One student from NW said, “I love the fact that there are many people from other countries and we all worship the same Lord”. Others love the welcoming atmosphere and the community meals that are done.
MMRC strives to be an inclusive church. Recently, the church has been improving in ways to accommodate people with disabilities and have invited people to preach on what the Bible says about disabilities and Christ. The women’s and men’s Bible study have been reading “My body is not a prayer request” by Amy Ken. This book discusses how much Christians and churches need to look at disabled people as fully part of the body of Christ and more than any miraculous healing.
Week II service starts at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. This gives attenders, especially students, the opportunity to attend other churches in the morning. Community meal starts at 12:30 pm which is followed by the service. The service starts with a welcome and opening prayer which is followed by the worship team leading the congregation.
Between songs the audience has the opportunity to greet each other and hear words of encouragement. The songs are often sang in a mixture of English and Spanish since there is a large Hispanic population present. After two songs, a passage of scripture is read in Spanish with the English translation projected for people to see. This is followed by a message and the last worship song. Messages preached are often very encouraging and great for challenging people to love and show Christ in all we do. Christ is the center of the charge which people love.
After the last song, community prayer follows. This is time people from the congregation bring prayer requests, praises and concerns to be shared. The person in charge often writes down the prayers and prays for everyone or spreads them in groups for people to pray together. Prayer are often said in Spanish, French, Japanese, Cantonese and many more.
After congregational prayer, announcements are shared and Benediction is said. The service ends and the worship team plays a song, often for fun, as people greet each other and leave. The worship team is populated by talented people from different continents. The service is mostly student lead and s enjoyed by all who attend.