Delmar Reformed Church

About Us

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Who We Are

We are a supportive and loving community seeking to live as Christians in the world. We are people from many different walks of life and different places in our spiritual journey, but we are united in our pursuit of God and living in the hope and promise of Jesus Christ. This does not mean we are a private or closed group, just the opposite, we are welcoming to all and active as a part of the community. Our doors are open 7 days a week as we host both religious and non-religious activities seeking to meet the needs of our town. If you drive through Delmar you are sure to notice our building, but Delmar Reformed Church is not the building, DRC is the people who make this church their spiritual home and family. Whether it's the style of our worship, the education of our children, the service work we do in Albany or around the world, we are a group that is actively trying to follow Jesus.

Delmar Reformed Church is part of the The Reformed Church in America (RCA). This denomination has been continually active in the USA longer than any other, starting as the Dutch Reformed Church in 1628. To learn more about the RCA, visit the national website at: www.rca.org

To learn even more of who we are by what we do, look over our newsletter, THE INFORMER and our calendar to get a feel. Calendar+ Better yet, come visit!

two styles - one church

9:30 A.M. Traditional Worship

An alive and engaging worship service grounded in the historic tradition of this church. When you come to this worship service you will sit in pews, sing from a hymn book, hear wonderful music from the organ, piano and choir. Focusing on God in a sanctuary built in 1841, using participatory readings and prayer, having young and old engaged in worship together is a powerful experience. If you are looking for a worship style which takes tradition and makes it relavent and fresh for today, this is a great option.

11:15 A.M. Contemporary Worship

Do you want something a little more free-flowing and personal? The 11:15 service is a casual setting using the sights and sounds of today to help you focus on God and hear from God. A band leads the music, the words are projected on a screen, you sit in a chair, and the pastor shares the same message as the 9:30 service in a more informal setting. People of all ages welcome this time to be their spiritual starting point each week.

What to wear? You can wear what you are comfortable in, but if you want to blend...

9:30 is business casual (with the occational suit here or there)

11:15 is neighborhood casual (with jeans scattered around)

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Our Beliefs

The Basics

  • We believe that God created the world and everything in it, including human beings.
  • God created a perfect world. In the beginning, there was no sin--no hatred, no disunity, and no death. But God also allowed humans to make their own choices.
  • Humanity rebelled against God, allowing sin to enter God's perfect world. From then on, every human has been born with sinful desires that lead to separation from God.
  • But the story doesn't end there. God loves the world and the people in it--so much, in fact, that he made a plan to take away the guilt of our sin.
  • God sent his son, Jesus, into the world as a human. Jesus gave his life to pay the price for sins he didn't commit. Jesus accepted the punishment for our sins so that we don't have to.
  • Three days after Jesus was killed, God brought Jesus to life again, defeating the power of death and evil. Jesus still lives today, eternally in heaven with God the Father. One day he will come back to earth to put an end to evil--sin, death, and pain--and renew all things. He will gather all who have believed in him from every time and place to live with him forever.
  • We are not left abandoned until Jesus' return. We are given the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort and strengthen us in our lives, and fellow Christians who together form God's church here on earth so we don't have to go it alone.
  • Our faith is centered in God's love for us demonstrated in Jesus Christ, his son.
  • When we accept Jesus' sacrifice for us and commit our lives to following him, God sees us as perfect, the way we were first created to be. We cannot manufacture such faith on our own; it is the result of God's Spirit working within us.

The Reformed View of Christian Faith

  • In the Reformed view, the final authority is the Bible--known as the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God.
  • The Reformed perspective is centered in the overwhelming love of God toward us. We believe that God is three in one--God the father, God the son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith, not by what we think or do to earn God's favor. Our good works don't earn our salvation, but are a way to thank God for this free gift of salvation.
  • We celebrate two sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper. They remind us of God's promises to us and help us to claim those promises as our own.
  • We are confessional, which means that together we have statements of belief, called creeds and confessions. These statements guide our understanding of faith and shape its practice.
  • Finally, we are "Reformed and always reforming," earnestly seeking to know the mind of Christ as we strive to be faithful in a changing, complex, and often troubled world.

Our Staff

 Rev. Chris Vande bunte  Senior Pastor  Rev. Chris Vande Bunte began his service at the Delmar Reformed Church in May of 2017. His passions for mission engagement inside and outside the doors of the church and sharing in ministry with all age groups reflect the values of the DRC family. His core understanding of ministry is expressed in interaction in community with others within the church family and outside of it. In these communal interactions he finds the Spirit at work, growing God’s kingdom and deepening our faith and practice of it.  Pastor Chris grew up in the town of Freehold, New Jersey, with his brother Tim. His father Ron is a retired RCA pastor and mother Eileen, a retired Health Care Administrator. Over the years, his family has grown to include a stepmother, Norma and two stepbrothers, Marcus and Jonas. He graduated from Hope College, Holland, MI, with a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending and graduating from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 2005, Pastor Chris worked as a Social Worker in a residential psychiatric facility on the south side of Chicago.  Pastor Chris was married to his wife Ellen in 2006; in 2013 they welcomed their son Luke. Chris and Ellen enjoy many hobbies including: travel, visiting the local library, bird watching, playing games, and attending Minor League baseball games. Ellen is also an avid quilter. Both are passionate about serving and fellowship with the congregation and are glad to be a part of the DRC church family.  Prior to beginning his time at DRC, Pastor Chris served as a solo Pastor of the First Reformed Church of Hawthorne, NJ, and as the Associate Pastor of the Colts Neck Reformed Church in Colts Neck, NJ, with areas of responsibility including: Christian Education, Mission, and Youth Ministries. He has also served as a student in Hillsborough, NJ, and Kalamazoo, MI. His passion for ministry and mission have led to serving in different capacities with mission organizations and ministries focused on local, regional, and international outreach. In addition, he’s enjoyed leading many adult, multi–generational, and youth mission trips nationally and internationally.  Education  B.A. Hope College  M. Div. New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Rev. Chris Vande bunte

Senior Pastor

Rev. Chris Vande Bunte began his service at the Delmar Reformed Church in May of 2017. His passions for mission engagement inside and outside the doors of the church and sharing in ministry with all age groups reflect the values of the DRC family. His core understanding of ministry is expressed in interaction in community with others within the church family and outside of it. In these communal interactions he finds the Spirit at work, growing God’s kingdom and deepening our faith and practice of it.

Pastor Chris grew up in the town of Freehold, New Jersey, with his brother Tim. His father Ron is a retired RCA pastor and mother Eileen, a retired Health Care Administrator. Over the years, his family has grown to include a stepmother, Norma and two stepbrothers, Marcus and Jonas. He graduated from Hope College, Holland, MI, with a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending and graduating from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 2005, Pastor Chris worked as a Social Worker in a residential psychiatric facility on the south side of Chicago.

Pastor Chris was married to his wife Ellen in 2006; in 2013 they welcomed their son Luke. Chris and Ellen enjoy many hobbies including: travel, visiting the local library, bird watching, playing games, and attending Minor League baseball games. Ellen is also an avid quilter. Both are passionate about serving and fellowship with the congregation and are glad to be a part of the DRC church family.

Prior to beginning his time at DRC, Pastor Chris served as a solo Pastor of the First Reformed Church of Hawthorne, NJ, and as the Associate Pastor of the Colts Neck Reformed Church in Colts Neck, NJ, with areas of responsibility including: Christian Education, Mission, and Youth Ministries. He has also served as a student in Hillsborough, NJ, and Kalamazoo, MI. His passion for ministry and mission have led to serving in different capacities with mission organizations and ministries focused on local, regional, and international outreach. In addition, he’s enjoyed leading many adult, multi–generational, and youth mission trips nationally and internationally.

Education

B.A. Hope College

M. Div. New Brunswick Theological Seminary

 Kimberly Gallo  Church Administrator  Kim, who grew up in Delmar, has been a part of DRC since childhood. Kim went to school at SUNY Cortland, where she met her husband, Jason. They live in town and have 2 children in the Bethlehem School District. As a family they enjoying the outdoors with camping, sports and a good barbeque.

Kimberly Gallo

Church Administrator

Kim, who grew up in Delmar, has been a part of DRC since childhood. Kim went to school at SUNY Cortland, where she met her husband, Jason. They live in town and have 2 children in the Bethlehem School District. As a family they enjoying the outdoors with camping, sports and a good barbeque.

 Melanie Materson  Administrative Assistant  Melanie, who previously worked for First Church of Albany, recently relocated back to the Capital District after 12 years in Northern Vermont where she finished her education while raising 3 children. Melanie enjoys gardening and cooking, painting and photography, fishing and hiking. She also likes to travel in pursuit of music and spiritual experiences.

Melanie Materson

Administrative Assistant

Melanie, who previously worked for First Church of Albany, recently relocated back to the Capital District after 12 years in Northern Vermont where she finished her education while raising 3 children. Melanie enjoys gardening and cooking, painting and photography, fishing and hiking. She also likes to travel in pursuit of music and spiritual experiences.

 Craig Armstrong  Buildings Associate  Craig, lives in Guilderland with his wife and three kids. Craig has been a landscaper for many years, and a youth leader at his church. Craig, likes the outdoors, cooking, music, and spending time with the family.

Craig Armstrong

Buildings Associate

Craig, lives in Guilderland with his wife and three kids. Craig has been a landscaper for many years, and a youth leader at his church. Craig, likes the outdoors, cooking, music, and spending time with the family.

 Rev. Marcy Rudins  Ministry Fellow  Rev. Marcy Rudins came on the DRC staff in October of 2017, as the Ministry Fellow for the Regional Synod of Albany Fellowship Program. She grew up in the Chicagoland area, and recently graduated from Western Theological Seminary in May 2017. She has a passion for incorporating both contemplation and action, as a model for ministry, as a way to show up in the world. Her hope is that this beloved community would embrace solitude and meditation, as well as seek justice. She loves preaching God's word in this community, as well as walking alongside those who are forgotten, sick, and on the margins. When she isn't in the office she enjoys cooking, kayaking, and writing.

Rev. Marcy Rudins

Ministry Fellow

Rev. Marcy Rudins came on the DRC staff in October of 2017, as the Ministry Fellow for the Regional Synod of Albany Fellowship Program. She grew up in the Chicagoland area, and recently graduated from Western Theological Seminary in May 2017. She has a passion for incorporating both contemplation and action, as a model for ministry, as a way to show up in the world. Her hope is that this beloved community would embrace solitude and meditation, as well as seek justice. She loves preaching God's word in this community, as well as walking alongside those who are forgotten, sick, and on the margins. When she isn't in the office she enjoys cooking, kayaking, and writing.

 Lisa Rakoczy  Family Ministry Coordinator  Our Family Ministries Coordinator, Lisa Rakoczy, feels she has the best job in the world. As a newcomer to the area, one of the first things Lisa noticed at DRC was the personal attention paid to children and the amount of engaging children's activities.  After teaching English and Reading in public schools for 15 years, Lisa joined the DRC staff in 2012. She now gets to spend her time coordinating and implementing programs for children, nursery age through middle school, and guiding them in developing an ongoing relationship with God. This includes the nursery, Sunday School and special family events. It is her hope to help families get connected with God and each other by providing fun and meaningful ministries for children.  After growing up in Syracuse, Lisa studied at the University at Albany, continuing with graduate work there and at Syracuse University. She now lives locally with her husband, Luke, and two children. Lisa volunteers regularly at her children's schools, and in her free time enjoys watching NY Giants football with her family, reading and classic films. Lisa would love for you to reach out to her - connect by emailing at  lisa@drchurch.org .

Lisa Rakoczy

Family Ministry Coordinator

Our Family Ministries Coordinator, Lisa Rakoczy, feels she has the best job in the world. As a newcomer to the area, one of the first things Lisa noticed at DRC was the personal attention paid to children and the amount of engaging children's activities.

After teaching English and Reading in public schools for 15 years, Lisa joined the DRC staff in 2012. She now gets to spend her time coordinating and implementing programs for children, nursery age through middle school, and guiding them in developing an ongoing relationship with God. This includes the nursery, Sunday School and special family events. It is her hope to help families get connected with God and each other by providing fun and meaningful ministries for children.

After growing up in Syracuse, Lisa studied at the University at Albany, continuing with graduate work there and at Syracuse University. She now lives locally with her husband, Luke, and two children. Lisa volunteers regularly at her children's schools, and in her free time enjoys watching NY Giants football with her family, reading and classic films. Lisa would love for you to reach out to her - connect by emailing at lisa@drchurch.org.

 Karen Sutton  Nursery Care Coordinator

Karen Sutton

Nursery Care Coordinator

 Brian Axford  Minister of Music  Brian Axford has served as organist and music director at DRC since February 2014. He leads the 9:30 Choir, directs the Bell Choir, leads the 11:15 Worship Band, and works with youth music ministry throughout the year. When not at DRC, Brian is the Music Director for Park Playhouse, and takes part in a variety of musical performances throughout the region. Brian is married to Lauren, and they have three wonderful children- Isis, James, and Eden.

Brian Axford

Minister of Music

Brian Axford has served as organist and music director at DRC since February 2014. He leads the 9:30 Choir, directs the Bell Choir, leads the 11:15 Worship Band, and works with youth music ministry throughout the year. When not at DRC, Brian is the Music Director for Park Playhouse, and takes part in a variety of musical performances throughout the region. Brian is married to Lauren, and they have three wonderful children- Isis, James, and Eden.

 Mark Vissat  Sexton  Mark Vissat lives in Altamont and has worked at the DRC for 16 years. His wife, Patricia, is an elementary school teacher. Mark has two sons who live in California. They all share a strong work ethic and enjoy travel, reading, cooking and the seashore.

Mark Vissat

Sexton

Mark Vissat lives in Altamont and has worked at the DRC for 16 years. His wife, Patricia, is an elementary school teacher. Mark has two sons who live in California. They all share a strong work ethic and enjoy travel, reading, cooking and the seashore.

 Beth Gould  RPM Coordinator  Beth Gould has been the RPM Director since 2005 when she moved to the Capital Region after a year with AmeriCorps in the West Coast. Beth also works for the Girl Scouts as their Director of Membership. Beth is passionate about mission work and she loves being able to instil this passion into the lives of the young adults she works with through the RPMs. Beth loves gardening, kayaking, camping and traveling. She lives in Voorheesville with her husband Chris and their flock of chickens.

Beth Gould

RPM Coordinator

Beth Gould has been the RPM Director since 2005 when she moved to the Capital Region after a year with AmeriCorps in the West Coast. Beth also works for the Girl Scouts as their Director of Membership. Beth is passionate about mission work and she loves being able to instil this passion into the lives of the young adults she works with through the RPMs. Beth loves gardening, kayaking, camping and traveling. She lives in Voorheesville with her husband Chris and their flock of chickens.