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 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 ( 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 (

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 ( 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: 

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)

Worship Participants for Sunday, July 26, 2015

Posted July 24th, 2015

 Pastoral Staff:  Jerry Bowen, Chris Whitacre, Kathryn Whitacre

Coordinator of Music and Organist/Pianist/Accompanist:  Ellen Gilbert

Director of Bells:  Kendra Flory    Director of Worship Choir:  Josh Norris

Ministers    All members of McPherson Church of the Brethren

Chancel Décor    Jill Brax

Acolytes    to be announced

Worship Leader    Jerry Bowen, Ruth Whitacre

Children’s Time    Barbara Wagoner

Violin    Bryan Hess

Cello    Bruce Wagoner

Our Volunteers

Visual Technician    Kade Goss

Audio/Visual    Ryan Goering, Dan Reynolds, Lindy Reynolds


Greeters    Mason Clark, April Lemm, Ruthe Willems

Ushers    Art and Karen Hoch, Brian and Kristen Reynolds

Head Usher    Glenn Gayer

Balcony Usher    Mike Goering

Childcare Attendants


      Cindy Kinnamon – Infant

 to be announced – Toddler

         Richard Penalva – Pre-K

     Next Sunday

Emily Ayers – Infant

            Ashley Spohn – Toddler

    Sage Koelling – Pre-K

Order of Worship for Sunday, July 26, 2015

Posted July 24th, 2015

 Thank You

Emmy Goering, Hannah Kirchner, Shane Kirchner, and Ruth Whitacre,

for their assistance with summer worship planning.

 Gathering Music   

Meditation on “St. Catherine”    – arr. David Paxton

“Praise Him! Praise Him!”    – arr. Janelle Clarke

 Sharing Time                                                                                                                

. . . a time of greeting and sharing those things which inform who we are as a community of faith and how God is moving among us. You are invited to welcome visitors, share joys, prayer requests, and announcements.

Guest and visitors, please fill out one of the “Welcome” Cards found in the pew Bibles and place it in the offering plate.

*Song of Gathering    “Here in This Place”    #6

*Welcome to Worship

Making Bread That Will be Shared

Offering Invitation

Offering Music    Two movements from “Sonate in G”    – J. S. Bach

Offering Prayer                                                                                                                     

Children’s Time

Childcare provided – Infant thru K-garten – Education Building

Song of Prayer     “Where Is Bread?”    insert

“Where is bread?” the great crowd murmured —

 Thousands strong, yet all in need.

 “Where is bread?” your people wondered,

Faced with such a crowd to feed.

Who, Lord Jesus, could have guessed it?

One small boy brought food to share.

Taking what he gave, you blessed it;

All were fed, with much to spare.

Where is bread? We know their yearning;

Every day, we wish for more.

God, in time, we’re slowly learning:

All we own can make us poor.

Our possessions can possess us,

Leaving hunger deep inside.

Christ our Bread, come now and bless us;

At your feast, we’re satisfied. 

“Where is bread?” the call is rising;

Millions cry who must be fed.

God, your answer seems surprising:

“You, my Church, you give them bread.”

Bread to fill each hungry spirit,

Bread for hungry stomachs, too!

Give us bread and help us share it.

Richly blest, may we serve you.

– Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2000)

Words of the Bible    Monologue – Fish and Bread

inspired by Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-15    – written by Mark Diller Harder, St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, January 2010.

Unison Litany of Response   

inspired by John 6:24-35

Our bellies are full…we are refreshed.

Our minds are no longer dulled by that gnawing ache of hunger…

and yet…we long.

There was more that took place on that day than just the loaves…and fishes.

What happened was good…in the way creation was pronounced good and yet…

we hunger for more…not just the food that eased our hunger.

There was power in the words that were spoken…power that opened minds…

power that challenged and made us see a hunger we had not known…

a hunger from deep within…which now that it has become loosed,,,

will not be bound again until it is fed and nourished…

as only God…as the Creator of all…can do.   – written by Dan Bollerud

Special Music    “Serenade”    – Secret Garden

Responding to the Word    “When the Mountain Feels Too Big”    Jerry Bowen

*Sending Song    “I Come With Joy to Meet My Lord”    #459

*Words of Sending                                                                                                       

*Sending Music    “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above”    – arr. Lloyd Larson

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

Notes of Appreciation

Posted July 21st, 2015

The church office has received thank you letters from the following for contributions to their programs and ministries:

•McPherson College

•On Earth Peace

•The Cedars