Information for the Congregation for Sunday, July 26, 2015

Posted July 24th, 2015

August 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 www.macbrethren.org and enter your e-mail address in the left column of the screen under “Subscribe to E-mail Updates” and follow the instructions.

Christian Peacemaking and NonviolenceToday you are invited to join the Sunday school class in the Church Social Room for this timely discussion of Jesus’ teachings on loving our enemies. Discussions will be informed by the book A Faith Not Worth Fighting For: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Nonviolence, edited by Tripp York and Justin Bronson Barringer (Cascade Books, 2012). Come and add your voice!

Circles of McPherson County is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Garage Sale which will be held from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, on Saturday, August 1, in Hess Hall, First United Methodist Church. Have you been cleaning out your garage or store room this summer? If you have items to donate, bring them to Hess Hall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday July 27 or Thursday, July 30. Sale proceeds will benefit their Emergency Fund. Unsold items will be donated to Save N’ Share and the ReUse It Center.

The Projects Unlimited Live Auction, to be held during District Conference, is planned for 8:45 p.m., on Saturday, August 1, in the Church Social Room. As you create things for the auction, please contact Wylene Lengel (wylene.lengel@gmail.com) and let her know which items you are donating to the silent auction or to the live auction.  If available, she would appreciate receiving a picture(s). Prior to the auction, the items will be publicized on a website.  Items may be brought to the Church Social Room on Friday, July 31, beginning at 9 a.m. The earlier they are processed, the more time shoppers will have to peruse the merchandise.

On Saturday, August 8, Circles of McPherson County will host a poverty simulation event. There is no charge; the hours will be 9 a.m. to 12 noon in Hess Hall, First United Methodist Church. Educators, mental health professionals and leaders are welcome.

To pre-register, contact Brenda Sales (brenda@circlesmcpherson.org).

Save N’ Share seeks volunteers – If you are 14 years or older and available for 3 or more hours per week, your assistance at the store would be appreciated. Check the CoB website (www.macbrethre.org) or the August Newsletter for additional information.

National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) is planned for September 7-11, in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Forms and information: www.brethren.org/NOAC 

First Annual Service Sunday – August 9, 2015

9:00 – 9:20 a.m. – Short Worship

9:20 – 11:00 a.m. – On-site service projects (inside and outside projects)

Snacks and Drinks – available in the Church Social Room

Child Care – available for children too young to participate with parents

Wear appropriate clothing for the task.

Sign-Up Sheets – available in the Church Good Shepherd Foyer and Church Office

                                             2015 Financial Information

                                    June                                                  Year-to-Date   

Offerings/Pledges            $21,419.13           Offerings/Pledges     $185,958.12

Other Gifts                                                                                                      9,578.28

Expenses:                           (37,297.50)           Expenses:                        208,153.59

Net Surplus (Deficit):     (15,878.37)          Net Surplus (Deficit)   (12,617.19)

For These We Pray for Sunday, July 26, 2015

Posted July 24th, 2015

The McPherson Church of the Brethren

The spoken and unspoken concerns and joys of our community of faith and our community of living

•Rosalie Black, Florence Crago

•Barbara Flory, Jeannie Harden

•Eloise Holman, Maxine Miller

•Kaiden Schroeder, Bonnie Ward

•Rudy Anderson (father of Jen Jensen)

•Gloria Burch (sister-in-law of Elmer & Margaret Zimmerman)

•Maurice Edmonds (father of Sandra Lolling)

•Phyllis Pettit (mother of Renee’ Schowengerdt)

•Laurel Williams (sister of Myrna Eis & Mabel Friesen)

•Gary Wilson (son-in-law of Miriam Hoover)

•Jonathan Yount (son of Peggy Yount, sister of Barbara Flory)

•Aaron Sargent, celebrating his birthday today

•Darren & Sarah Hendricks celebrating their wedding anniversary today

Our Leadership Team

Good Beginnings Preschool, staff & students

McPherson College, faculty, staff, & students

The Cedars Community, staff & residents

The Church of the Brethren Western Plains District

Sonja Griffith, District Executive

John Hoffman, Moderator

Ministries of the Western Plains District

The Church of the Brethren Denomination

Stan Noffsinger, General Secretary, and all members of the CoB staff

Andy Murray, Annual Conference Moderator

EYN (CoB Church in Nigeria), in the face of Boko Haram advances

In Our Nation and World

Abduction of the Nigerian Chibok Tribe Girls

On-going conflicts throughout the world

Church of the Brethren congregations in:

Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic, India, Nigeria, Spain (newly approved) and Sudan

Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted July 23rd, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

It has been a wild summer.  Since classes ended in mid-May, I have hiked the steep challenging Rocky Mountains, I have hiked the cloud covered lush forests of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and just over a week ago, I found myself at the top of a mountain within the Blue Ridge Range in Virginia.  Each hike brought a myriad of challenges, and each hike ended with a view that simply took my breath away.

As I reflect on the chaotic summer that has been, and I look forward to a new school year beginning, a thought continues to come to me.  Our journeys, both unique to our personal context and our ties to the ongoing story that is our communal existence, have amazing highs and terrible lows.  To be human means we will experience those moments where our faces shine like the sun because we are so immersed in the Divine and we feel so much peace and joy that we radiate with the very essence of God.  But then there are those other times when despair holds onto us like shackles and we simply cannot move.  We feel the burdens of life suffocating us. Waking up feels impossible.  To just put one foot in front of the other as we navigate life wears us out.

Being a people filled with faith doesn’t shield us from pain or sorrow or disappointment or even unfaith.  Being a people of faith means when we start up that mountain, and when the hike begins to wear us down, when our bodies begin to break down from exhaustion, being a people of faith means we find a way to take one more step.  Being a people of faith means we might have to look down at our feet and keep looking at each single hard step we take, because to look up and see the path before us reminds us, painfully so, how much further we have to go.  Being a people of faith means we lean on each other and help each other up.

There were many times, on the various hikes this summer, when I wanted to quit but the folks around me encouraged me.  They cheered me on and reminded me that I could do it.  Not only the folks I was with but the other travelers on the paths would shout out positive words to remind me one more step.  Just one more step.  As the sweat drenched my shirt and I could feel the burn in my lungs, my legs, and my soul, their encouragement gave me the ability to take that one more step.  And so it is with our community of faith.

We must learn how to lean on each other and to be present for each other when the journey is too hard.  Together we can make it.  Together we can survive the trials that will come.  Together, hand in hand, we can not only make it to the top of these mountains but we can and will move them.  Yes, sometimes the challenges seem insurmountable, but I assure you, together we can make it.  Yes, sometimes the wounds we inflict upon each other are so deep, so painful, giving up seems to be the only option.  But I promise you that together we can make it.  And yes, sometimes we want to quit and throw our hands up in defeat but I vow to you, together can make it.

That’s the most amazing piece of my hikes this summer, I reached each peak with someone with me, and together we celebrated the journey.  We encouraged one another along the way and together we reached the apex of our voyage.  And the views, oh the views.  I could have enjoyed them alone, yes.  But to laugh, to love, to almost weep with my fellow traveler, made the views more than breathtaking; they became evidence of God’s amazing work, not only in the creation around us, but the creation within us as well.

So, go hiking but make sure the hike is demanding and ends with a view that will leave you speechless.  And do not set out on your adventure alone, take someone with you, take a crowd with you, so that you can encourage one another, helping each other reach your destination.  And when you do, when you finally reach the peak that steals your breath and makes your face shine like the sun, take the hands of those with you and thank them for sharing this expedition.  Because together we can accomplish so much more than any of us could do alone and together the laughter, the love, the awe of our adventures become stories to share for the rest of our days.  Amen.    — Jerry Bowen

Save ‘N Share Seeks Volunteers

Posted July 21st, 2015

The Save ‘N Share Store does not exist without the steady hands and help of volunteers.  There is a consistent need for assistance; perhaps you would entertain the thought of giving up 3 or more hours a week to help in the store.  Volunteers, 14 years-old and up are welcome.  Currently, they need a few men to help with heavier duties and 3-4 volunteers for Saturday mornings.  Newly retired – this work certainly provides continued fellowship and the rewards of “lending a hand” in ministry.  The endorphins continue to flow when you keep yourself motivated and find yourself surrounded by a giving group of wonderful people.  Please consider how you could serve others through this valuable ministry in McPherson County.  Phone:  620-241-7389

Camp Colorado Family Camp, August 8-9, 2015

Posted July 21st, 2015

Registration is not required for Family Camp at Camp Colorado. There will be a bonfire service on Saturday evening. Breakfast on Sunday will be served at 9 a.m., followed by the worship service at 10:30 a.m.  Participants are asked to bring a potluck dish to share for lunch after the Sunday service. Food will be provided for the Saturday evening meal and for breakfast on Sunday.

For additional information, contact Lindsey Michal (970-739-1174 or lindseyl426@hotmail.com or Larry Kitzel (719-760-9078). For housing questions, contact camp manager, Rosi Jones (campmgr@campcolorado).