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.
March 22, 2017
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 March 26:
Pray for the church in Venezuela and for David Boshart as he is currently attending the Venezuela Partnership meetings in Caracas (March 22 – 28). Pray also for Don Kempf as he attends the Ecuador partnership meetings in Quito this week. Pray for the building of healthy relationships, discerning meetings and safe travels.
For April 2:
Pray for Eastern Mennonite University as they celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Susan Schultz Huxman on April 7 as the University’s ninth president.
For April 9:
Pray for Templo Alabanza in Moline, IL as they celebrate the installation of Pastor Aureliano Vazquez today and for all other congregations in our conference who are seeking new pastoral leadership.
For April 16:
With joy we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ as we open our lives to the risen Lord’s presence to transform our lives, empower us to live fully, love freely and to worship God with our whole being.
Next month, The Sower will be dated April 19. Send submissions to Shana at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 11.
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.
Pre-Annual Meeting Workshop for Credentialed Leaders will take place on June 15, 2017 in Sioux Falls, SD. 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.
Central Plains budget had a slight turn-around in February on the heels of a very positive December and January. Income for the month came in at $27,894.63. Meanwhile, expenses were at a normal range at $34,798.94. As a result, the fiscal year deficit moves to $12,675.29. We give thanks to you for helping us lower this deficit as we approach the end of our fiscal year. Let us end the year in the Black!—Stewardship Task Group
March 22-28: Dave will be in Venezuela for Partnership meetings.
March 26: Tim will be at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church to participate in Rachelle Luitjen’s Ordination.
March 28-April 1: Dave will be attending Executive Board Meetings in Kansas City.
April 2: Dave will be preaching at Milford Mennonite Church. April 2: Tim will be at Sermon on the Mount in Sioux Falls to participate in Christopher Montgomery’s Ordination.
April 6-8: Dave will be at the Sent Conference in Fort Myers, FL.
April 9: Tim will be at Templo Alabanza in Moline, IL for Aureliano Vazquez’s installation.
April 23: Dave will be preaching at Hutterthal Mennonite Church in Freeman, SD.
April 23: Tim will be at Des Moines Mennonite Church.
Looking to enrich your congregation's worship practice? The Anabaptist School of Worship is a new program of seminars, labs, and forums designed to apprentice congregations in worship practices that discern God's reign of shalom. Its work is to help congregations in renewing, discovering, and practicing faithful worship. Dr. Christopher Montgomery, pastor of Sermon on the Mount Mennonite Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is directing this new endeavor. Visit https://worshipcrafting.com for more information.
High School Retreat at Crooked Creek Christian Camp Attention all youth groups (grades 9-12)! Save the date for Crooked Creek’s 1-night High School Retreat: Body Mind & Soul: Living and Loving! April 1-2, 2017. Hesston College psychology professor, Kevin Wilder will be speaking on Living and Loving: You were made for relationship. You were made to connect. You were wired for commitment, emotional intimacy and passion. Kevin will share wisdom from Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs as it connects to our relationships. More information can be found at www.crookedcreekcamp.org.
The Gathering Place
This month, The Gathering Place will explore a variety of ways to empower and equip volunteers in the Church.
▪ Webinar:“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time.” Drawing from Lilla Watson’s charging words, Justin Chambers, former director of DOOR Atlanta, will explore the idea of missions rooted in mutuality.
▪ Podcast: An Interview with Marty Troyer, Houston's "Peace Pastor”. Marty recently wrote The Gospel Next Door: Following Jesus Right Where You Are and talks with The Gathering Place about how to enliven youth’s spiritual imagination to live out the gospel in your own communities.
▪ Study Circle: This month, we will discuss the incredibly accessible book, Merge: A Guidebook for Youth Service Trips. It will be hosted by Krista Dutt (author!) and Kathy Neufeld Dunn, conference minister for Western District.
▪ Lenten Pauses:You are invited to take a moment this Lenten season for prayer and reflection. We will be using The Leader 2017 Lenten worship material, “Restore Us, O God!” as a guide. Join The Gathering Place community each Wednesday at 1pm EST for a brief (10-15 minute) pause in your day. We gathering live using the video conferencing for contemplative prayer. http://thegatheringplace.us/2017/02/15/lenten-pauses-new-for-2017/
Clashes in the Book of Acts
"Clashes in the Book of Acts"covers the conflicts between Jewish and non-Jewish Christians in the early church and how those tensions were resolved with wisdom and civility. This compete 5-part blog series by Ted Lewis is posted on www.restorativetrainer.com where other workshop and presentation offerings are listed for church communities. For direct contact, email@example.com / 715-205-5945.
Vacation Bible School Curriculum for 2017
Digging for Treasure: Parables Revealed! Dig into a VBS that’s all about Jesus’ parables and the treasure to be found in his words. At first, Jesus’ parables seem simple. But it takes listening and digging deeper to discover the treasures of the kingdom of heaven.
The Digging for Treasure: Parables Revealed starter kit from MennoMedia comes with everything you need to help children dig deep into the parables and uncover truths about God’s constant love and care for them. Each day’s story and theme are rooted in the Bible and will help the parables come to life in age-appropriate ways through dramas, playing games, making crafts, sharing snacks, and other fun activities.
Celebrate Lent and Easter at home with your children from March 1 through April 16 with this practical guide! Download this free resource here. Do the parts that fit your life or everything suggested. There is a daily Bible reading, a short daily litany, activity suggestions and questions to ponder together. Brought to you by Anabaptist Faith Formation Network in cooperation with Common Word Bookstore and Resource Centre.
Major Challenges Facing the Contemporary Church: Greg Boyd in Conversation with Select AMBS Faculty:
Thursday, April 20, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT • Creation in Travail and Creation Renewed: Greg Boyd in Conversation with Malinda Berry, Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics
Thursday, May 25, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT • Conflict, Oppression and Shalom: Greg Boyd in Conversation with Janna Hunter Bowman, Assistant Professor of Peace Studies and Christian Social Ethics
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. Choose the material you want to borrow and email David Boshart (during Shana's sabbatical) at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Friends of Pastor Max
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.
The Sower is published the third Wednesday of each month for Central Plains pastors, delegates, conference leaders and other interested persons. Please include items from this newsletter in your church bulletins and newsletters. Find back issues at www.centralplainsmc.org. Click on Publications.
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.