from Ministry Team Members

Church family,

Wow! This year has flown by! It seems just like yesterday that I was getting Daniel and Reyna ready for their first day of school, trying to ease the natural anxieties that come with both theirs and mine. And now it is April 18th and May is knocking at the door, reminding me that some chapters are ending and other new exciting chapters await to be written. It has been a quite a year.

We have had a busy year at the church as well. We illuminated the sanctuary on Christmas Eve. We welcomed three new sisters into our church family through baptism. We washed each other’s feet on Maundy Thursday, tying us to our ancestors that have come before us and setting the table for those who follow. And we created a “Dream Team” with prayer that the Spirit will lead us into a new day and a new definition of what it means to “be church.”

My sense is that life, though not literally, is only going to speed up. It is not slowing down. Every chapter we end reveals a new page, a blank space that needs to be filled. Too often we begin writing without taking time to reflect on where we have come from. I hope we can change that. To that end, I challenge us to stop, every once in a while, and just look back. Look at how far we have come. We need to recognize all that has happened in our lives, both individually and collectively. More than recollect all that has happened, we also need to make room for celebration.

Ancestors to the Christian faith had moments in their liturgical calendar when they would celebrate, party, and reminisce. They would share stories of what God was doing in their live. These specific moments, throughout the year, were set a part as moments to pause and reflect and remember, so that the community would have a chance to honor all that God had done. They would rejoice, together, as one people. My sense is that we need a time to reflect and to celebrate, as a people, all that God has done. We need to press the pause button, if only for a few hours, and just be together and laugh and cry and share stories, before the clock ticks away and we miss out.

So as the end of the school year inches ever so close, let us take time to be together and reflect on the year that was. Let us take a moment to sit with one another and share stories and laugh and cry and remember that religion, at its core, was about bringing people together. And let us create intentional spaces that are about looking back, so that together we can enjoy today and embrace tomorrow.

I was hoping to share Roger and Carolyn Scrock’s story this month but that will be a highlight for next month. So, look for their story in the June newsletter. Now go make time to break bread with others and enjoy the love that flows naturally when we are together. Amen.

Pastor Jerry

Note of Appreciation

The Snells, Hazel, Carol, Ginny, Becky, Amanda, and families, wish to express a heartfelt “Thank You” for food, care, and presence at the time of John’s death on April 2nd and for the days following.

“Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church that Helped Them Find It”


A Family’s Search for Freedom and a

Church that Helped them Find It

by Jeanne Jacoby Smith, Ed.D.

Available at

“Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church that Helped Them Find It” recounts the story of a family who escaped their home during a time of war. Afloat on the high seas for many days, they were salvaged by the United Nations. Their new life began when a church in Ohio opened it’s doors to resettle them.

From the moment the refugees stepped off the plane, the author leads readers through her church’s experience as the family adapted to their new surroundings. From setting up a household, to teaching the refugees English, finding them a job, and acclimating them to their new America, the author walks churches through the process of resettling refugees in the common era.


Guidelines for Resettling Refugees Today, Church World Service Offices, Other Resettlement Agencies, Committees and Tasks, Recommended Resources.

News from Good Beginnings Preschool

It’s hard to believe the preschool year is wrapping up already! It has been a year of tremendous growth and learning for each child. Dorothy, Cora, and I have been thrilled to be a part of each child’s journey.

The Prekindergarten Class will explore insects and animals in May. They will create an edible caterpillar, do insect lacing, and count and sing with Creepy, Crawly Calypso and The Ants Go Marching. A highlight this month will be our field trip to Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm, rural Nickerson, to see and learn about many unusual animals. The children will have an opportunity to feed giraffes and kangaroos!

The Younger Class is planning “construction fun” in May and will enjoy a trip to Lakeside Park. Both classes will enjoy play time outside on the wonderful playground and celebrate the friendships they have made this year!!

Thank you for your support and prayers this year! You make a difference in the lives of the preschool children.

— Carol Temple, Director

June opportunity to support Good Beginnings Preschool:  Join us for supper at Wendy’s and bring your friends on Wednesday, June 6 from 5-8:00 p.m. 20% of all sales during this time will be donated to Good Beginnings Preschool! Thank you!

In Memoriam — Vera Czaplinsky

Vera Czaplinsky died on Thursday, April 12. The graveside service was held on Tuesday, April 17, at McPherson Cemetery. We wish to express our sympathy to her daughter, Helen (Bruce) Griffin; sons, George (Judy) Czaplinsky, Gene Czaplinsky; and the other immediate and extended family members.

Notes of Appreciation

Dear McPherson Church of the Brethren:

On behalf of The Cedars, I want to express our sincere words of thanks and appreciation to you for your gifts to the Vision 20/20 Samaritan Fund, given through the church’s February focus on The Cedars and its ministry. My expression of appreciation is a personal one but also comes on behalf of The Cedars community of residents and staff.

Our Good Samaritan Fund assists those of our community who have outlived their resources. Your support reflects Jesus’s message to us in Matthew 25 and the value system of our founding denomination. The Cedars continues to value its relationship with the McPherson Church of the Brethren and appreciates the many ways the local congregation supports our residents.

Blessings to each of you as we do the work of Jesus – Simply, Peacefully, Together.


Steven Gustafson, Vice President for Advancement


— The Church Office has received a thank you letter from the following for a contribution to their programs and ministries:

•On Earth Peace

Attendance for March, 2018


Mar. 4:      Sunday School 43 – Worship 145

Mar. 11:    Sunday School 30 – Worship 135

Mar. 18:    Sunday School 32 – Worship 126

Mar. 25:    Sunday School 34 – Worship 152

Thank You to Our Office Volunteers

Emilie Dell, Glenn Gayer, Jana Goering, Elsie Holderread, Paul and Mary Wagoner, Charles Whitacre


Brethren Disaster Ministries Update

The St. Thomas Virgin Islands disaster recovery project has scheduled three work periods: June 17-30, September 9-22, and December 2-15.

There are 12 spots open each of the 2-week periods for volunteers from all districts on a first come basis. Housing, transportation, tools and meals will be provided during these 2-week time periods. Volunteers must be able to work in warm climates and some of the work during the June trip will likely include mucking and gutting homes.

Partial reimbursement of airfare will be made available for persons who cannot fund their own travel.

Please contact Bud and Susan Taylor if you are interested.

Many thanks to Western Plains volunteers who served at the BDM site in Eureka, Missouri, which closed at the end of March. A new site working with UMCOR on Hurricane Matthew recovery in North Carolina has opened. Both the South Carolina and North Carolina sites will be housed at First Presbyterian Church In Lumberton, NC.  Our district has no plans to take a group, but if you are interested, please contact us as well.

BDM does anticipate that there will be volunteer opportunities in Puerto Rico, but dates have not been set.

Bud and Susan Taylor, District Disaster Coordinators  620-245-4836  620-245-4835

In Memoriam — John Snell

John Snell died on Monday, April 2. A Life Celebration Gathering “Come and Go” was held from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, with formal comments at 3:30 p.m., at the McPherson Museum. We wish to express our sympathy to his wife, Carol; daughters, Becky Snell, Amanda (James) Keith; mother, Hazel Snell; sister, Ginny (Doug) Anthony; and the other immediate and extended family members.


In Memoriam — Stanley “Stan” Godfrey

Stanley “Stan” Godfrey, brother of Merrin Godfrey, died on March 25, in York PA. The memorial service was held at the Codorus Church of the Brethren, Dallastown, PA on Friday, March 30. We wish to express our sympathy to Merrin and Winona and his wife, Delores.