Information for the Congregation for Sunday, December 4, 2016

Posted December 2nd, 2016

December/January Newsletter – Printed copies are available today. Check for e-mail updates and stay up-to-date with church news by signing up for e-mail alerts. Visit and enter your e-mail address in the left column of the screen under “Subscribe to E-mail Updates” and follow the instructions. 

The McPherson College Choirs will present “Cocoa and Carols” at 2 p.m. today, in Mingenback Theatre. At the concert, audience members will be treated to a variety of holiday goodies like cocoa, cider and cookies while being put in the Christmas spirit by some of the season’s most popular music.  Special guests include the McPherson College Brass Quintet, Dr. Jonathan Frye on violin and the McPherson College Guitar Ensemble. All are invited (including youngsters) to this family fun holiday event! 

Church family and friends are invited to enjoy food, music, and storytelling at the Annual Christmas Breakfast which is planned for 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 11, in the Church Social Rooms. Please bring a breakfast bread or pastry to share. Sunday School classes will not meet that morning. 

December 18th – One Sunday Only – Intergenerational Sunday School from 9 – 10 a.m. in the Church Social Room. Emmy Goering, currently placed with Brethren Volunteer Service in the Washington, D.C. office, will be sharing about the presence, purpose and mission of the Church of the Brethren in our nation’s capital. Come ready to learn and ask questions. 

Name Tags – If you need a new or replacement name tag, please contact the church office (241-1109). 

Thank you to Dani and Lucy Hanna, who folded and stapled the new church directories. Copies of the directory will be available after the service today.

 Heifer International Alternative Christmas Gifts — Visit the Heifer table in the Good Shepherd Foyer for everything you need – Holiday Issues of World Ark, Heifer Gift catalogs, and Honor Cards for sending to those persons you choose to honor with a gift to Heifer International. Questions? Contact Al or Mary Ann Dutrow (620-241-6520).

Church Cancellation

In the event of severe weather or a catastrophic event:

listen to local radio KBBE 96.7

watch rolling banner on bottom of screen on TV Channel 12

check KWCH Channel 12 website CLOSED list and the church Facebook page

When personnel can get to the office, an All Church Email will be sent.

2016 Outreach Team Christmas Project

Posted December 1st, 2016

This year the Outreach Team chose 4 families to celebrate the Christmas season by assisting these families with gifts to share during the holiday season. Listed below are gift ideas for each family. There will be a display in the Good Shepherd Foyer for selecting a gift to contribute toward one of the families. Monetary donations are also welcome. For questions or if you wish to select a gift early, please contact Judy Stockstill ( or 620-242-3536). Thank you for your support and generosity by helping these families during the Christmas season.

Family 1

Mom S  —  metal measuring spoons and measuring cups, pair of blue or brown pants (size 22W), lavender scented lotion

Son A (age 14)  —  Magic Gathering Cards, remote airplane, soft, warm hoodie (boy’s size 18)

Daughter S (age 11)  —  scooter – 2 wheels and a handlebar, art supplies, leggings (girl’s size 18), warm sweater or top (girl’s size 18)

Family 2

Mom K  —  bangle bracelets, body spray, body wash and hair ties

Son J (age 7)  —  socks and underwear (boy’s size medium), shoes (size 13), PS3 remote

Son J (age 8)  —  socks and underwear (boy’s size large), shoes (men’s size 2), bean bag chair

Family 3      McPherson College student and family

Collecting money for a family computer for this student’s family. Their current computer is aged and has lost some of its functionality. Many of the family’s relatives are long distance so the computer is used for family communication.

Family 4         McPherson College student and family

Dad  —  Money for an Ace Hardware gift card for purchasing supplies for making small home repairs

Mom  —  Money for a Factory Connections gift card (clothing for returning to work), Purex liquid laundry detergent

Son B (age 5)  —  children’s rug (printed with city buildings and streets), full-sized bed sheets (printed with cars, dinosaurs or transformers), jeans, sweats, shirts (boy’s size 5 and 5T)

Daughter L (infant)  —  Luvs Diapers (size 1), no-scent baby wipes, winter clothing (size 0-3 months), spring clothing (size 3-6 months)

Good Beginnings Preschool Welcomes New Teacher

Posted November 30th, 2016

Good Beginnings Preschool welcomed Cora Duerksen as a teacher in the Tuesday/Thursday Combination Class in November! Cora brings a wonderful music background, a deep love of children, and a strong understanding of healthy growth and development for preschoolers. I am enjoying teaching and learning with Cora!

We look forward to sharing Christmas open houses with parents and grandparents on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 21 and 22.

Blessings as you celebrate Christmas and the New Year with family and friends!

— Carol Temple, Director

Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted November 30th, 2016

“Tis the Season” for many things including, ‘Caregiver Fatigue’. As we hear one another’s stories of living and life, perhaps this will be helpful. May you find deep and whole health.   — Pastor Kathryn.

6 Signs of Caregiver Burnout;  Are you at the end of your rope? Here’s what you can do about it from: AARP, December 31, 2011

You probably know all the details about the health of the person for whom you’re caring. You’re on top of what medications must be taken and when, and you can even spot minor changes in their mood and attitude. Are you as aware of what’s going on with you? Probably not. When you’re caring for a loved one, it’s easy to forget about your own needs, putting you at serious risk of burnout. Here are five signs that you’ve reached the end of your rope — and suggestions on what you can do about it.

1.  You feel furious one minute, sad and helpless the next.  Whatever you call it — second-hand stress or the more serious caregiver burnout — the despairing mix of physical and emotional exhaustion strikes many caregivers at one time or another. As you ride the emotional rollercoaster of caregiving, you’re easily overwhelmed and angry. You can’t eat or you eat too much. You’re exhausted even after a night’s sleep. Your brain is foggy and you no longer care about the things that used to bring you joy.

The fix:  Your life has changed in profound ways, so it’s natural to feel frustrated and to grieve for what you have lost. But untreated anxiety or depression is serious, and you can’t take good care of anyone if you don’t take of yourself.

First, check in with your doctor to rule out any medical conditions that can trigger symptoms of mental health problems. Let your doctor know that you are a caregiver and might need support to be able to continue in this role. Finally, remind yourself that while you are doing everything you can, you will never do everything — and that’s OK too.

2.  You catch every bug that comes your way.  Stress doesn’t just make you anxious and depressed. It takes a toll on your immune system. If you are getting sick more often and staying sick longer than you used to, your body is trying to tell you something. Listen up.

The fix:  Don’t let routine checkups slide because you don’t think you have the time. See your primary care doctor and your dentist regularly. Ditto for immunizations, mammograms and other recommended screenings. Eating a nutritious diet and getting at least seven hours of sleep a night boosts your body’s natural defenses.

3.  You’re snapping at everyone.  When you feel helpless and overwhelmed, you’re more likely to overreact to the things people do, or don’t do. Like a toddler having a tantrum, you need a timeout.

The fix:  Don’t set the bar so high that you can never meet it. Pick up the phone and make a call to a friend. Studies show that simply giving voice to your frustrations and fears dials down tension and eases the isolation that shadows caregivers.

Mapping out a daily routine that you try to stick to will also give you a greater sense of control. Prioritize your to-do list, whether it’s grocery shopping or taking someone to a doctor’s appointment. Don’t worry about things lower down on the list that don’t get done.

4.  You know you should exercise, but you just don’t have the time.  No one functions well in crisis mode day after day. Caregiving is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to find a way to dial down the tension.

The fix:  Force yourself to get moving. Exercise is the best stress reliever. Not only will you feel better right away, the surge of endorphins that exercise triggers lifts your mood, clears your head and helps you sleep better at night. A brisk 30-minute walk or jog on the treadmill, even a 10-minute walk around the block, jump-starts your brain, soothes nerves and powers up your immune system.

5.  You can’t remember the last time you met a friend for dinner or a movie.  Everyone needs a break from time to time, so why don’t you give yourself one? Caregivers — motivated by a mix of love, loyalty and a dash of guilt — rarely do.

The fix:  We are not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise, though that would be lovely, right? An overnight visit with a friend, a night at a bed and breakfast, even a few hours to write in your journal, sip a cup of hot tea while you read a book or watching reruns of your favorite sitcom, can be restorative. One caveat: Taking a break doesn’t mean running errands or doing chores. It’s you time.

6.  You’re the go-to caregiver. Always.  This may be the hardest jobs you’ll ever have, and it can take time to adjust and come to terms with it. But try going it alone and you’ll quickly hit bottom.

The fix:  Establish a network of relatives, friends or people in the community you can call on. Schedule a family meeting or video chat about who does what and who pays for it. Let everyone know you will not be available to host holiday meals, organize the church book drive or any other draining activities that you’ve normally handled. Keep a to-do list with you and whip it out when others ask if they can help. Your neighbor might be happy to spend a few hours at your house while you go to the gym. A friend can buy groceries when she’s at the store.

Meanwhile, join a local or online support group so you can connect with sympathetic ears and glean ideas for coping better. Be aware that there are a wide range of programs and professionals out there who can help make the job easier for you.


2016-17 Prairie Window Concert, Sunday, December 4, 2016

Posted November 28th, 2016

The fourth concert of the 2016-17 Prairie Window Concert Series, featuring classically-trained folk/newgrass trio, Harpeth Rising, is planned for 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 4  at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston.  You are invited to join them for an evening of great music and good food in a prairie garden setting.  Tickets: $20 adults/$10 kids, plus tax.  Arboretum members receive a 10% discount. Purchase tickets online or call 620-327-8127 to reserve your seats.