And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground...and...withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”  Matthew 13:3-9

a newsletter for Central Plains Mennonite Conference leaders

Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Central Plains Delegates, Church Moderator, Treasurer, Christian Education Chair, Missions Committee, Mennonite Women, Church Librarian, Youth Sponsors.

August 17, 2016

For Your Prayers: weekly bulletin announcements

Here are weekly prayer requests for each week between now and the next issue of The Sower. Please share them with your congregation by whichever method works best, whether it be in your bulletin, in the pastoral prayer or some other way. Thank you!

For Sunday, August 21
On Friday and Saturday, the Central Plains conference board and committees will be meeting together at East Union Mennonite Church near Kalona, Iowa.  Pray for Margie Caraballo, conference moderator, and the committee chairs as they plan these meetings.

For Sunday, August 28
Thank God for the good news Tim Detweiler got recently: scans detected no active cancer. He will have scans again in three months.  

For Sunday, September 4
Pray for Central Plains congregations who are looking for pastors. Pray that God's will be done for the pastoral candidates and our sister congregations.

For Sunday, September 11
Pray for those planning the Deep Faith conference on Anabaptist faith formation for all ages coming up October 6-8 at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

For Sunday, September 18
Today Dave Schooley will be ordained at Eicher Emmanuel Mennonite Church near Wayland, Iowa.  Pray for Dave, his wife Kathy and the congregation on this special day.
Next month, The Sower will be dated September 21.  Send submissions to by September 6
El Sembrador, the Spanish version of The Sower, is available here. Please be aware that there are items in The Sower that are not in El Sembrador and that there are items in El Sembrador that are not in The Sower.  

Upcoming events

Ecuador Partnership Learning and Fellowship Tour will take place January 7-19, 2017.
Annual Leaders Retreat will take place March 19-21, 2017, in Schuyler, Nebraska.
Central Plains Annual Meeting 2017 will take place June 15-18, 2017, in South Dakota.
Mennonite Church USA Convention & Delegate Assembly will take place July 4-8, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

Finance update

Central Plains budget held steady in the month of July.  Income for the month came in at $33,264.30.  Meanwhile, expenses came in slightly above that mark at $33,982.50.  As a result, the fiscal year deficit increases slightly to $6,620.70.  We are thankful for all of your contributions!   Stewardship Task Group

Staff news

August 21  Tim will preach at West Union Mennonite, Parnell, Iowa.
26-27  Staff, board and committees will meet at East Union Mennonite Church, Kalona, Iowa.
September 4  Dave preaches at Salem-Zion Mennonite, Freeman, South Dakota.
9-11  Dave presents at Franconia Mennonite Conference, Souderton, Pennsylvania.
16-18  Dave presents in New York Mennonite Conference.
18  Tim officiates Dave Schooley's ordination at Eicher Emmanuel Mennonite, Wayland, Iowa.

Sharpen your Bible study skills

We are offering three webinars to equip members of Central Plains congregations to read and interpret the Bible.  Everyone is welcome, but Sunday School teachers, Bible study leaders and small group facilitators are especially encouraged to participate.  This opportunity grows out of our Covenant of Spiritual Practices, in which we covenant to study the Bible together and with our neighbors. Each webinar will last from 75-90 minutes. 
Our presenter is Meghan Good, teaching pastor at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, Arizona.  Meghan is originally from Wayland Mennonite Church, Wayland, Iowa, and is both an enthusiastic student of the Bible and a talented teacher of the Bible.  Join all three if you can—there will be a natural progression from one to the next.  If you can join only once or twice, you will still receive a lot to apply to your own teaching or personal Bible study.

Here are the dates and session titles:
September 12  Between Joints and Marrow: An Introduction to the Art of Biblical Interpretation
October 24  A Two-Edged Sword: Reading the Bible Like an Anabaptist
November 21  Living and Active: Where the Bible Came From and Why it Matters

You will find an RSVP form and complete descriptions on the Bible Study Webinars page at Plan to join us!

Start Shalom Readers

Now is a great time to start Shalom Readers! Find everything you need to start a children's reading program that promotes Jesus' way of peace on our Shalom Readers web page.

Sunday School and small group curriculum

You will be surprised at how many curriculum options we have for adults and youth! Pass this along to your Sunday School teachers and small group leaders:
Anabaptist curriculum options for youth
Anabaptist curriculum options for adults

Register for the fall women's retreat

It is time to register for the Central Plains Mennonite Women's retreat at Swan Lake Christian Camp near Viborg, South Dakota. Plan to arrive before 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 17, and stay through the noon meal on Sunday, September 18.
The focus this year will be on retreating; Debra Worth will speak on the theme “Finding solace and joy in faith.” Look for a flier in your church or contact Elisabeth Harder Schrock (, 507-­427-­2771) to register by September 4.

Deep Faith:
A Faith Formation Conference

Shana Peachey Boshart invites you to attend the Deep Faith conference.  She is part of the planning group of this first-time-ever formation conference for and by Anabaptist formation leaders. The conference will gather pastors, teachers and lay leaders to re-imagine what faith formation ministry looks like in this century through theology, relationship and practice. Come to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in October 6–8, 2016.  Find more information and register at

Transitional Ministry Training

Transitional ministry has a unique place in the mission of the church. While "interim pastors" have for many years provided preaching and pastoral care between pastors, "transitional ministry" involves training to lead congregations through a process of preparation for entering a new chapter of leadership for a congregation. Central Plains counts on a small cohort of trained transitional pastors--would you consider being a transitional pastor? The training will be offered October 31 through November 4 at Amigo Center near Sturgis, Michigan. Go to for more information, brochure and registration material. –Tim Detweiler

The Amazon calls!

Do you want to make 2017 a memorable year? Make plans now to join the Jan 7-19, 2017 Ecuador Partnership Learning and Fellowship Tour. Like previous learning tours we will visit Mennonite Churches in Quito to see first-hand their work with Colombian refugees and their community peace-making activities. New to this trip is a visit to the Amazon rain forest, where we'll meet indigenous Christians and experience one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth! Encourage your congregation to send a representative to build a stronger relationship with our brothers and sisters in Ecuador! Contact Joetta Schlabach ( / 651-290-2185) with questions or to reserve a spot. See details on the Upcoming Trips page of our web site.

Villatoro family support
     Please pray that God will make a way for Max and Gloria Villatoro to reunite their family.
     Other ways to support the Villatoros:
Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute
Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – the STAR Training 
Mon-Fri Aug. 8-12, 2016, and Mon-Fri Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, Minneapolis 

STAR-Lite Training: Learning Strategies Awareness and Resilience in a Single Day.   
Saturday September 24, 2016 in Minneapolis

Restorative Justice 101: Training for Practice in Everyday Life (RJ 101) 
Friday November 18, 2016, Minneapolis

 –Donna Minter, director of the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute.

The Sower is published the third Wednesday of each month for Central Plains pastors, delegates, conference leaders, congregational leaders and other interested persons. Please include items from this newsletter in your church bulletins and newsletters. Find back issues at
Editor: Shana Peachey Boshart:
Spanish translation by Steven Rhodes: 319-930-7303

Office: P.O. Box 101, Freeman, SD 57029
         Monica Clem, Office Manager: 605-929-3325;
Conference Ministers: P.O. Box 352, Kalona, IA 52247
         David Boshart:; 319-936-5904
         Tim Detweiler:; 319-458-0224
         Shana Boshart:; 319-936-5905
Hispanic Ministries Coordinator: Ramiro Hernandez 319-621-3725
Moderator Margie Mejia Caraballo:  309-235-3011
Assistant Moderator Sid Burkey: 402-761-2093

The mission of Central Plains Mennonite Conference is to create settings for our congregations and partners to grow in holistic witness to God's reconciling mission in the world by developing leadership, encouraging fellowship and promoting lifelong discipleship.
Copyright © 2016 Central Plains Mennonite Conference, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 101, Freeman, SD  57029

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Central Plains Mennonite Conference · P.O. Box 101 · Freeman, SD 57029 · USA

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