He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  --Isaiah 2:4

a newsletter for Central Plains Mennonite Conference leaders

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

November 16, 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, November 20
Pray for the last Bible study webinar with Meghan Good, to be held tomorrow evening. Give thanks for this opportunity to learn more about reading and interpreting God's word.

For Sunday, November 27
Next weekend, Central Plains conference ministers Tim Detweiler and Dave and Shana Boshart will attend the annual gathering of Mennonite Church USA conference ministers. Pray for God's guidance and blessing on this gathering.

For Sunday, December 4
This first Tuesday of the month, join Friends of Pastor Max and the conference ministers in fasting and praying that God would make a way for the Max and Gloria Villatoro Family to be reunited.  

For Sunday, December 11
Pray for the Outreach and Service Committee as they equip the members of Central Plains to joyfully follow Jesus, seeking and saving persons in the world around us who are lost or forsaken.

For Sunday, December 18
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Venezuela as the crisis continues.  Ask God to bless them as they witness to Jesus' way of peace and nonviolence in a volatile situation.
Next month, The Sower will be dated December 21.  Send submissions to by December 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

The final Bible Study webinar for fall 2016 will be offered November 21 at 7:30pm Central Time.
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 continued its downward trend for the sixth straight month in October.  Income for the month came in at $19,204.22.  Meanwhile, expenses were in their normal range at $34,584.34.  As a result, the fiscal year deficit jumps to $49.618.95.  With your contributions in the last two months of the calendar year, we could tackle this deficit. Watch your church mailbox for a brochure telling stories about the value of Central Plains, and please consider how you might contribute.    –Stewardship Task Group

Staff news

November 18-19  Dave and Shana will attend the Everence Pastoral Financial Education Event in Sioux City, Iowa.
21  Shana, Dave and Tim will join the Bible Study webinar with Meghan Good.
29 - Dec 3  Tim, Dave and Shana will attend the annual gathering of conference ministers in Vancouver, BC. 
December 8  Dave will attend Church Planting Strategy Team meeting in Des Moines.
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  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.  

Webinar: Learn how the Bible came to be

Our third and final Bible Study Webinar with Meghan Good takes place Monday, November 21, at 7:30pm. Join by clicking this link: 
Everyone is welcome! Our focus is on equipping those who lead adult Sunday School, Bible studies and small groups. RSVP by November 17.

The webinars last from 75-90 minutes. We have had wonderful participation, and many affirmations for Meghan Good's teaching. Watch recordings of the first two webinars here. 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 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

Find the RSVP form and complete descriptions on the Bible Study Webinars page at

Online conversation about protecting children
Join Shana Boshart and others on December 13 at 2:30 pm CST for a Study Circle to discuss Jeanette Harder's book, Let the Children Come: Preparing faith communities to end child abuse and neglect. Sponsored by The Gathering Place and, this is part of a monthly series which also includes:
  • A podcast interview with Nancy Kauffman about responding to sexual misconduct in the church.
  • A webinar with Anna Groff, executive director of Dove's Nest, on preventing sexual abuse among youth in the church. 
Sign up for the study circle/book discussion here.  
At Home Family Devotions
     Nurture children’s faith at home this Advent and Christmas through family worship. Find a free, downloadable guide at For use between November 27 and January 6, it includes a daily Bible reading, short litany, songs, hands-on activities and questions to ponder together.
     People of all ages enjoy this resource. Churches are encouraged to print copies for families with children ages 4-12. These daily lessons follow the scripture texts and themes to match the worship resources in Leader magazine.
--Shana Peachey Boshart

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's goal was to explore the establishment of a formal relationship between Central Plains Mennonite Conference and Congolese Mennonite Churches.  Whatever relationship might be developed would build on long-established previous relationships between Congolese Mennonite Churches and General Conference Mennonite Church congregations. 
      After her return, Kate presented a workshop describing her trip at Central Plains Mennonite Conference in Des Moines in June 2016.  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.  If you, your congregation, Sunday School class, or special interest group would like to learn more about the Mennonite Churches in Congo, please 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.  

Everence Finance Events for Pastors

Two free education/appreciation retreats are planned for pastors and spouses in CPMC to address economic challenges that pastoral leaders face.  These retreats are funded by a $1 million grant that Everence received through the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.  Credentialed pastors and spouses who are part of Mennonite Church USA or Conservative Mennonite Conference and active in congregational ministry have been invited to these events planned for October 28-29 in Moline, IL and November 18-19 in Sioux City, IA.  These events include overnight lodging, meals, entertainment and financial education sessions, led by Everence personnel.  A third event is being planned for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area at a later date.  Contact Beryl Jantzi:
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.
     You can get creative about how you fast and pray: for example, get together with a friend over lunch and pray together. If the first Tuesday isn't good for you, do it when it works for you.
Congregations, please remember the Villatoros in prayer on the first Sunday of every month.
     Other ways to support the Villatoros:
Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute
Restorative Justice 101: Training for Practice in Everyday Life (RJ 101) 
Friday November 18, 2016, Minneapolis

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

See the Winter edition of Leader magazine for a feature article by Donna Minter about emotional intelligence in the church and why its important for pastors and congregational leaders. Donna is the 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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