Information for the Congregation for Sunday, March 24, 2019

Posted March 22nd, 2019

Reasonable Faith, the series led by Kirk MacGregor, which was scheduled for Monday, March 25, 7-8 p.m., at McPherson College, is cancelled.

First Fridays: McPherson College at The Cedars — This is a free educational series of classes that are open to all ages. On Friday, April 5, at 3 p.m., Prof. Ann Zerger will present “Eco Spheres.” Questions, contact Kendra Flory (floryk@mcpherson.edu or 620.242.0432).

Congratulations to Brooke Martin and Avery Goering who will be married on Saturday, April 13. In their honor, a wedding shower is planned for 11:30 a.m. or immediately after worship on Sunday, April 7, in the Church Social Room. Everyone is invited. For contributions to a group gift or for questions, contact Kendra Bowen, Jen Magnall, Renata Prose, or Autumn Wilgers by Monday, April 1. Brooke and Avery are registered at Target and Amazon.com.

McPherson College – Upcoming Events

Thursday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., Brown Auditorium – The Concert Band will have its annual collaborative concert with The Independent School from Wichita. Free admission.

Sunday, April 7, 7:00 p.m., McPherson Opera House – The Jazz Band and the Hutchinson Community College Jazz Combo will present an evening of jazz to benefit the opera house. Tickets are only $6 at the door.

The Annual Food Drive for the McPherson County Food Bank is a project of the Outreach Team. Donations will be collected through Sunday, March 31. Items (canned and non-perishable foods, listed below) or money donations, may be left in a grocery cart in the Church Good Shepherd Foyer or in a storage container in the Education Building. The goal is to reach $2000 in total donations from food and/or money since we reached $1900 in donations last year. The Outreach Team is very hopeful and optimistic that we can do this! For questions, contact Kendra Bowen (620.504.2772 or kleighbowen@yahoo.com). Thank You!

  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancake mix
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Non perishable meats

Faith Formation Team has been tasked with the sacred duty of protecting every child and youth that comes through our doors. In service of that goal, we are proposing an initiative where every volunteer that works with children, shall undergo a background check to ensure their safety and our integrity as a congregation. In light of the current news that has brought to light the abuse scandals in both the Catholic Church as well as the Southern Baptist convention, we believe that it behooves us as a congregation to act decisively. A part of this action is ensuring the safety of those most vulnerable. We are so grateful for this congregation’s commitment to growing the hearts and minds of our children and ensuring that they have a safe place to grow and explore their faith. Thank you so much for being supportive of this as we continue to explore best practices. – Suzee Shugart, Chair

Job Opening – A part-time position is available to assist with the care and maintenance of the church facility. The Environmental Services II position focuses primarily on mechanical/electrical infrastructure and routine annual maintenance. Contact the Church Office for more details or contact Chris Whitacre as Staff Liaison to the Property Team.

McPherson College

2019 Passion Giving

Congolese Students

Attending college can be challenging on many levels for students and families. For one group of students at McPherson College, the challenges are complex and many times depend on global events. The students come to McPherson College from the Democratic Republic of the Congo through a partnership that has proved to be a very positive experience for the students, our campus, and the community. Although the political climate of their country makes it difficult at times to obtain the necessary paperwork needed to attend college in the United States, nearly 40 students from the Congo are pursuing an education at McPherson College. This spring, the college welcomed 14 new students to campus. Neville Kabangu, who started at MC in the fall of 2017, thinks attending MC is a great learning experience. “We have people from many different places around the world in a small college. We get close to different cultures and learn about them.” Kabangu plans to be a neuro-surgeon someday and said his biggest challenge so far has been learning the English language. “It was a bit hard, but I managed to adapt. It’s not brain surgery after all.” Scholarship support of these students allows MC to offer them access to an education that would be difficult to obtain in their homeland. For these students and all of the MC students who benefit from scholarship support, it is MC’s goal that they will go out and make a difference in the world after graduating.

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.

 

Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted March 21st, 2019

For this Musings I refer to the latest contribution by Wendy McFadden in the eBrethren Messenger of March 13, 2019.  In her thoughtful article she speaks about “letting go”.  In the season of Lent we often think about “giving up something” to deepen our spiritual journey and sacrifice leading to Holy Week and Easter asking one another “What is it you are giving up for Lent?”  In the article McFadden uses language of “letting go”.  The language of “letting go” is my choice of language for this season rather than “giving up”.  While this may seem to be mere semantics and word gymnastics, I believe there is a fundamental difference in the language we choose to use.  This being one of those times.

The practice of “letting go” is a discipline of the spirit.  Letting go suggests to me intent, discernment, thought, being present in the moment whatever the moment might be.  Letting go connotates a sense of empowerment suggesting an element of choice rather than a resigned or negative attitude of giving up.  This not only applies to the season of Lent but in my work as Chaplain, I believe, it is relevant to matters of end of life.  Often, I hear family members say their loved one just “gave up” as they took their last breath.   Perhaps so, but what if we viewed the experience of last breath not as resignation but that of letting go?  Of release?  Of freedom?  I quote from the referenced article, “There are people who give something up for Lent, but this month I’m thinking more about letting go.  These are different, but not completely.  Giving something up is about sacrifice; letting go is about freedom.  Both clear space for what matters.  Both can provide spiritual focus.”

For me, “giving up” feels as if it is a downfall or failure.  As if there is no other recourse and all is hopeless and powerless.  “Letting go” on the other hand, suggests choice and restores some sense of control, and power AND by gaining this sense of power and control we then have the choice to let go of it.  It becomes both / and.   With “letting go” hope seems to be restored with a sense of freedom and “lightness of spirit”.

In the gospel of Luke, we hear Jesus say at the last, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”, Luke 23:46.  This was a moment of letting go; this was a moment of release; this was a moment of freedom; this was a moment of giving rather than giving up.  The horizon of meaning in Greek for the word commend includes present (as in I give, I present), put forth (deposit as a trust or for protection), set before, commit.  Jesus did not just “give up” (his spirit) closed fisted with a sense of hopelessness and resignation, but rather with a sense of open-handed giving, as in a sense of trust, a sense of presenting and putting forth – a sense of intention.   Jesus held within himself the power and choice to let go – as do we.

Last breath moments are not always met with a sense of letting go.  Some are tragic and unforgiving.  Some are unexpected and unforeseen.  Some last breath moments are met with fight, struggle, and resistance and in the end, some will say their loved one just gave up not fighting hard enough in denying death.  But what if somewhere deep inside the dying loved one’s heart and soul, where we can never go in those moments, they found that place of release, that place of presenting, that place of trust, that place where hopelessness turns into hope and the freedom to let go of their spirit was realized.   For me, the capacity to let go leads to resurrection, to newness, to a clearer path forward over and above resigned giving up which can lead us to resentment, regret, disappointment, even self-loathing.

When all seems lost and hopeless, “letting go” creates the possibility to lead us to hope when we have an open way to change what it is we hope for.

This topic of “letting go” vs. “giving up” is not done with me yet.  I offer it here for thought and dialogue.  If you care to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me.

Chris Whitacre; Minister of Pastoral Care

(Excerpt from eBrethren Messenger and Wendy McFadden used with permission.)

Attendance for February, 2019

Posted March 20th, 2019

Feb. 3:      Sunday School 52 – Worship 144

Feb. 10:    Sunday School 53 – Worship 138

 Feb. 17:    Sunday School 49 – Worship 121

Feb. 24:    Sunday School 38 – Worship 141

Notes of Appreciation

Posted March 20th, 2019

 – An acknowledgment letter has been received from McPherson College for contributions to their programs and ministries.

– Thank you for the cards, your willingness to listen, your words of encouragement and sympathy after the recent death of my sister. – Bonnie Fruth

– I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and kindness during Bob’s stay in the hospital and after his passing. The women of the church made a fantastic meal that was enjoyed by all. I received several enthusiastic compliments on it. Thanks to Chris and Kathryn for their help and guidance. This is such a loving congregation, and I have felt enveloped by the care and concern everyone has given me. – Jill Brax

Thank You to Our Office Volunteers

Posted March 20th, 2019

Rita Beam, Glenn Gayer, Karen Hoch, Elsie Holderread, Ann Stover, Paul and Mary Wagoner