Restore us, O God; let your face shine that we may be saved. --Psalm 80:3

a newsletter for Central Plains Mennonite Conference leaders

Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Central Plains Delegates, Church Moderator, Treasurer, Christian Education Committee, Missions Committee, Church Librarian, Youth Sponsors, Adult Sunday School Superintendent.

December 21, 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, December 25
(No prayer request.)

For Sunday, January 1
Pray for Shana Peachey Boshart, conference minister for Christian formation, as she begins a three-month sabbatical this week.  She will use the time for rest, practicing contemplative prayer and studying intercultural competence.

For Sunday, January 8
Please pray for God's guidance for the Pastoral Leadership Committee as they meet Saturday, January 14. Also, on this first Tuesday of the month, you are invited to fast and pray that God would make a way for the Max and Gloria Villatoro Family to be reunited.

For Sunday, January 15
Pray for the Annual Meeting Task Group as they meet Tuesday and Wednesday on site at University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  

For Sunday, January 22
Pray for Central Plains conference ministers and pastors attending Pastors Week at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary this week.
Next month, The Sower will be dated January 18.  Send submissions to Erin Ramer at OR by January 3. 
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

Pastoral Leadership Committee meets Saturday, January 14, in Manson, Iowa.
Ecuador Partnership Learning and Fellowship Tour will take place January 7-19, 2017.
Annual Meeting Task Group meets January 17 & 18 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Annual Meeting Task Group snow date: January 31 & February 1.
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 continued its downward trend for the seventh straight month in November. Income for the month came in at $28,195.06. Meanwhile, expenses were in their normal range at $36,268.86.  As a result, the fiscal year deficit jumps to $57,692.91. We typically see our income rise in the last two months of the calendar year, so we hope to start reversing this deficit with your contributions this month. We are thankful for all your support!  –Stewardship Task Group

Staff news

December 18 Tim attends worship at Iglesia El Balsamo, Muscatine, Iowa.
25-31  Tim, Dave and Shana will be on vacation. 
January 1  Tim will install Firman Gingerich as transitional pastor at West Union Mennonite Church, Parnell, Iowa.
14-15  Dave attends Shalom Mennonite Church Partnership meetings in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
14  Tim attends Pastoral Leadership Committee meeting in Manson, Iowa.
16-18  Tim attends Eastern Mennonite Seminary's School for Leadership Training.

Staff sabbatical
     Shana Peachey Boshart will be on sabbatical January 2 through March 31.  She will use the time for rest, practicing contemplative prayer and studying intercultural competence.
     In her absence, Erin Ramer will produce Scattered Seeds and The Sower.  You may continue to submit items for these publications to  Committees may also contact Erin to make changes and updates to the web site.  Erin can be contacted at or 319-646-3358.
     To check out books from the Central Plains Formation Resource Library, contact David Boshart at or 319-936-5905.  
     For questions and advice about Christian formation, contact
         *Christian Formation Committee chair Lewis Miller at or 402-641-0131; OR
         *Denominational Minister of Christian Formation, Rachel Springer Gerber, at or  574-523-3024.  
Formation Resource lending library--for YOU
     The Central Plains Formation Resource Library has many new titles and even new categories of resources! Find a list of everything in the library on the Resource Library page of our web site. Find curriculum for adult classes, youth group or Sunday school, kids clubs, women's Bible study, small groups...most any setting you can think of! 
    Superintendents, download the list and share it with your teachers. Christian Education committees will also find it useful.
    Central Plains members and leaders, this library is for YOU--so check it out and see what's there that you will find useful. Choose the material you want to borrow and email David Boshart (during Shana's sabbatical) at He will mail the items to you at no charge, but you pay return postage. Check them out for two months at a time, and renew for another two months if necessary. 
--Shana Peachey Boshart
Need curriculum for parents?
Check out these studies, available in the Central Plains Formation Resource Library:
Like Dew Your Youth
     12 short chapters for parents of teens by Eugene Peterson
Making A Home for Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Live of Your Children
     7 chapters with discussion questions for parents by Elizabeth F. Caldwell
Seven Things Children Need 
     7 chapters with discussion questions by John M. Drescher
Sticky Faith: Everyday ideas to build lasting faith in your kids
     8 chapters with discussion questions by Dr. Kara E. Powell & Dr. Chap Clark
Ordinary Miracles: Awakening to the Holy Work of Parenting
     9 chapters with reflection questions at the end of the book by Rachel Springer Gerber
Real Life. Real Families. 12-session curriculum by Menno Media.
     Need only the leader's guide; no participant books needed.
Parenting in the Pew: Guiding your children into the joy of worship
     10 chapters with questions for reflection and discussion by Robbie Castleman
Please Pass the Faith: The Art of Spiritual Grandparenting
     5 chapters with questions for reflection and discussion by Elsie H. R. Rempel

Find our Meghan Good Webinars online

The three Bible study webinars by Meghan Good are available online as videos that you may use for teacher training, Sunday School or small group discussions or individual enrichment.  The webinars last from 75-90 minutes and could also be watched in smaller segments.

This opportunity grows out of our Covenant of Spiritual Practices, in which we covenant to study the Bible together and with our neighbors

Here are the session titles:
1. Between Joints and Marrow: An Introduction to the Art of Biblical Interpretation
2. A Two-Edged Sword: Reading the Bible Like an Anabaptist
3. Living and Active: Where the Bible Came From and Why it Matters

Find them on the Bible Study Webinars page at

Hear about Congo connections

      In April of 2016, the Outreach and Service Committee sent Kate Widmer of Sermon on the Mount Mennonite Church, Sioux Falls, SD, to visit to the Congolese Mennonite Church.  Kate traveled to Congo with Rod Hollinger-Janzen, Executive Coordinator of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM), and they visited all three national Mennonite Churches in the Congo. 
     Kate is now available to report about her trip to congregations or groups within Central Plains who are interested in knowing more about the Mennonite churches in Congo.  Contact Kate Widmer directly at 574-349-1386 to arrange a presentation. Kate would love to share her experiences and enthusiasm for the churches in Congo.  

Fast and pray for the Villatoro Family
     Friends of Pastor Max and Central Plains conference ministers invite you to set aside one meal on the first Tuesday of every month to fast and pray that God will make a way for Max and Gloria Villatoro to reunite their family.
     Congregations, please remember the Villatoros in prayer on the first Sunday of every month.
     Other ways to support the Villatoros:

Clashes in the Book of Acts

Did you know that Antioch (in present-day Syria) was the third largest city in the Roman empire? To learn more about how the first Christians in Antioch and Jerusalem resolved tensions between Jewish and Gentile Christians, check out the latest blog series by Central Plains Partner in Mission Ted Lewis at

!Explore will be offered in summer 2017!

!Explore is a theological program at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) that gives young people in the 11th and 12th grades the chance to develop leadership gifts. Stop and think: do you know a junior or senior who should participate? Let them know about this opportunity! Application forms are due by February 1, 2017.
 About the program: Through the Congregational Experience and Group Experience, participants engage the world of theological ideas and foster a call to vocation in the church.
Group Experience: During the 16-day group experience (July 11-26, 2017), youth worship, serve and study. Participants become church with and for each other while exploring their own places in their congregations and in the church they imagine for the future.
Congregational Experience: The Congregational Experience comes before, after, or on both sides of the Group Experience. Participants serve in their congregation for 100 hours over a period of five or more weeks, working along side their pastor in a mentoring relationship.
Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute

STAR-Lite Training: Learning Strategies Awareness and Resilience in a Single Day
Saturday February 11, 2017 in Minneapolis

STAR-Lite Training
in Hesston, Kansas on Monday February 20, 2017 immediately following the Anabaptist Vision Discipleship Series.  Register at   Click here for details.  

Restorative Justice 101: Training for Practice in Everyday Life (RJ 101) 
Register now for: Fri. March 31, 2017
                         Fri. November 17, 2017

AMBS webinars

How We Got the Bible by Loren Johns, PhD
Thursday, February 9, 2:00-3:30 pm EST

Principles of Worship Leading by Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin
Thursday, March 9, 2:00-3:30 pm EST

Intercultural Leadership in Diversity-Oriented Churches by A. Brian Leander, PhD
Thursday, March 23, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT

Register here.

Your first webinar is free! Learn more
$20 if registering before noon of the day prior to the webinar. After deadline, $30. 
Buy 5, get 1 free! Learn more
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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