Safe Zone Trainings

Posted September 21st, 2017

The gay-straight alliance GLOW will be hosting two Safe Zone Trainings on the McPherson College campus on Thursday, September 28th, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in Miller Library Room 103 and from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Melhorn Room 113.  The Safe Zone symbol is a message that the space designated as such is a welcoming place for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies.  Safe Zone training provides accurate information about sexual orientation and/or gender identity and provides a time and space for the trainee to consider how they can be understanding, supportive and trustworthy to members of the LGBTQ community.

If you would like to participate in one of these trainings, please contact Becki Bowman by noon on Tuesday, September 26.

( or call/text to 620-755-6419)

Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted September 19th, 2017

Who likes to go first?  As a child going first, for me, somehow seemed very important.  In elementary school I remember racing other children to the front of the lunch line just to be first only to have the Teacher send me to the back of the line for being inconsiderate of others.  I was used to being in back of the line by virtue of my last name beginning with a “W”.  Somehow my positive self-esteem was attached to being first, at least once in a while, which infers that being last in line was hard on my self-esteem.  So, at that stage in my life an uptick in my self-esteem was always welcomed.   Being first in our society carries an air of importance and status.  Being first in our society means you are “somebody”.  Being first in our society indicates deserved or expected recognition for hard work, for diligence, for accomplishment and achievement, for being important.  Usually dignitaries or guests of honor go first at banquets or occasions of state.  Being second in the space race to the Soviets stung our national pride, but there was redemption in our nation by being first to the moon.  We take great pride and consider it success when we are first in line to purchase tickets for a major event or concert.  We are important or prideful when we are owners of a first edition book or publication.  We are important when we are first to view damage and destruction; to be first with the latest gossip; to be first in achieving a new world record in sports, racing, or highest dollar paid for artwork or an antique. The drive to be first is strong and got persons to the North and South poles; to be the first to climb Mt. Everest.  The world is full of “firsts” from the past and “firsts” unknown and yet to be.  How important is it to you to be first?  We live in a first world nation which carries an air of importance and responsibility.  What does it mean to us when we hear the words “America First” from national leadership?  How important is being first when it comes at the expense of others and their livelihood, well-being, and self-esteem – in country and abroad?

While being first can be fun and feel good, being first can also be uncomfortable and unsettling.  In the face of a transgression against the other, who will be the first to apologize?  Following the heat of an argument or conflict, who will be the first to say “I am sorry”?  In the face of an infraction or incursion upon another’s dignity and personhood, who will be the first to admit wrongdoing?  Who will be first to say “I love you”?  Who will be the first to forgive and to offer grace?  Being first in these instances may not be as glorious, but they are no less important – even greater!  Being first in these situations carries with them an air of humility and vulnerability.  Being first in these encounters requires our ego and pride to be secondary to another’s injuries, hurts, wants and needs.

We are reminded in scripture from I John 4:19 that “…we love because God first loved us”.  God took the first step toward humanity by sending Jesus as a baby to reconcile our human imperfections.  This was an act of love on God’s part.  Jesus’ example and teaching about love, forgiveness and grace and eventual sacrifice in the biblical narrative was a “first” of epic and biblical proportions.  God became vulnerable to the vagaries of the whims of humanity, when with God in a position of being first, could have chosen otherwise.  God so loved the world – FIRST!

May we be as quick and generous to love; to apologize; to admit wrong doing; to place ourselves as second and even last as God is to love us and embrace us.  We would do well with a little more love in our world today.  We love because God first loved us.  May it be so.

Chris Whitacre

Pastoral Care Minister

Good Beginnings Preschool Plans for October Activities

Posted September 18th, 2017

October is “Color Month” for the Younger Class.  The children can wear different colored clothing each week!  Activities include creating a colorful butterfly, color graphing with Fruit Loops, and easel painting.  Favorite color books include Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes; Mouse Paint; and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

All preschoolers are looking forward to meeting firefighters in October!  The Prekindergarten Class will travel to the fire station to take a tour and learn about fire safety.  The children always have a great time meeting the firefighters, seeing the fire trucks and fire station, and meeting Patches and Pumper!  Firefighters will bring a huge fire truck to the preschool to visit the Younger Class. The children can learn about fire safety and get their picture taken sitting in the fire truck!

We are fortunate to have librarians Miss Jennifer, Miss Liz, and Miss Kailey coming this year.  It is exciting to have library time for all the children each month.  They look forward to this time!

Parent/teacher conferences will be held on Thursday, October 26.  Younger class parents will meet with their teachers in the morning and over the noon hour.  Prekindergarten Class parents will meet with the teacher late afternoon/evening.  We look forward to this time of sharing and getting to know the children better!

Thank you for your continued support.

Carol Temple, Director

October Ventures Course

Posted September 15th, 2017

Ventures Course to Focus on Interfaith Cooperation

The second course offering this season from the “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson College will focus on “Navigating Religious Diversity: An Introduction to Interfaith Cooperation.”  Participants will be introduced to the concept of interfaith cooperation and will discuss the basic skills and knowledge necessary for  its successful implementation.  Practical strategies for navigating religious diversity will also be considered. The class will be held online, Saturday, October 14 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST and taught by Rev. Zandra Wagoner, Ph.D., University Chaplain at the University of La Verne (Calif.).

All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available at $10 per course. To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit

Notes of Appreciation

Posted September 15th, 2017

I want to express my sincere thanks to you, my church family, for your prayers, cards, and visits, during my hospital stay. They helped to speed up my recovery. I’m looking forward to being fully engaged in the life of the church again.    – Elly Ullom

THANKS SO MUCH – You played a big part in our wedding…that’s something we won’t be foregetting.     — Crystal and Joseph Gibbon

To the Church Family,

Thank you for your words of sympathy, your voice of concern, your gesture of caring, and the love you offer. Thank you for your gift to the scholarship fund at McPherson College, set up in our parents’ names. The church family meant so much to mom over the years.    — Nancy Moyer for the family of Judy Butler

McPherson Church of the Brethren,

Many thanks for the use of your wonderful facility for District Conference! A special thank you to Chris and Kathryn Whitacre for their assistance in worship and coordination of the audio/visual. Also, thanks to Janice Friesen, Jina Dickerson and to Ellen Gilbert, for her organ music. Blessings to all of you!    – Jon Tuttle, District Conference Moderator