Hurricane Harvey Response — Volunteers Requested

Posted October 6th, 2017

BDM is organizing a work week October 22-28, 2017 in Houston, TX, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  BDM needs 12 volunteers who are willing to focus on preparing homes for rebuild.  The scope of work will include removing drywall, insulation, flooring, appliances and personal items, as well as industrial type cleaning.  Housing will be at St George Orthodox Church in Houston. Tools and project leadership will be provided.  There is also a need for a volunteer for cooking/meal prep and grocery shopping.  Transportation on the site is also needed if there is a district group or individual that can bring or provide a van to use that week. For additional information or to volunteer, please contact Terry 410-635-8730 or tgoodger@brethren.org no later than Wednesday, October 18.

Volunteer Opportunity — December 3-9, 2017

Posted September 26th, 2017

While much national attention has focused on the recent hurricanes, work remains from previous flooding.  Western Plains District has been given the responsibility of staffing the Eureka, MO, BMD site near St. Louis, December 3 – 9.  If you have previously expressed interest, please reconfirm.  If you are now considering, please contact Bud or Susan Taylor (taylors@yahoo.com or taylorbud48@cox.net).

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.

(bowmanb@mcpherson.edu 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