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 by April 11.

El Sembrador, the Spanish version of The Soweris 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

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.

Finance Update 

   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

Staff News

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 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

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.

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 where other workshop and presentation offerings are listed for church communities. For direct contact, / 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.   

Lent-At-Home Devotionals now at

   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. 

AMBS Webinars

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

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

Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute 

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

Mennonite Church USA Convention 2017

   Stay up to date with all that is happening leading up to Convention 2017 including blog updates and the new Future Church Summit.

Children's Dove Award for Orlando 2017

   Nominate a Mennonite Church USA individual or church that did something courageous to keep children safe for an award at Orlando 2017!

Bethel College seeks candidates for President

   Nominations and/or letters of application with CV or resume may be submitted to Bethel College Presidential Search Committee at: or mail to:  Bethel College Presidential Search Committee, 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, Kansas 67117.  Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Bethel College is an equal opportunity affirmative action educator/employer.  More information at:

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. 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. 

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.

Congregations, please remember the Villatoros in prayer on the first Sunday of every month.
  Other ways to support the Villatoros:
    •    Donate to the Villatoro Family Fund at
    •    Follow Friends of Pastor Max on Facebook.
    •    Visit or

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 Click on Publications. 

Editor: Shana Peachey Boshart:

Spanish translation by Steven Rhodes: 319-930-7303
To subscribe or unsubscribe, email

Office: P.O. Box 101, Freeman, SD 57029 
Monica Clem, Office Manager: 605-925-4463;
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.

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

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