Reflections from Leadership Team Chair, LaMonte Rothrock

Posted November 28th, 2017

I would like to take a moment to say thank you from the Leadership Team for your time and sharing at the recent forum meeting. Your thoughts will help us move forward with our work and continue to discern what it means to be engaged in our church and also how we can become a meaningful part of our community, district and denomination. We have a great vision and mission and our charge is to become part of those actions.

Last week, Brenda and I had the opportunity to attend the closing of the Rocky Ford Mennonite Church. I have not been a part of a church closing.  However, I am very aware that many churches are heading in that direction. Originally, Rocky Ford built a hospital and primarily Mennonite Church members ran it. Sixty years ago these employees, along with the Mennonite Church, decided to build a church in Rocky Ford.   Many years later the hospital closed and most of the “Traditional Mennonites” moved away. As communities evolve, as Rocky Ford has, it is clear that the importance of reaching outside our walls and sharing our mission and vision with the entire community is critical.  In our own church, we have seen change over the years from over half of the college faculty and half of the student body being Brethren to a fraction of those percentages. We realize that we too are evolving from our original founding. Our mission, vision, and message have never been more important than the time we find ourselves in now.

I challenge all of us to reach out to our community, share our mission, and invite all to become part of this McPherson Church of the Brethren Community.  All individuals are looking for a way to become engaged with a community like ours, even if they do not realize it at this time. There is a vision bigger than our day-to-day workings. It is our challenge to develop that space where people can trust and be vulnerable within a community. We have the ability and the space to do this. Lastly, thank you for allowing me to be part of the inner work of this community. I challenge each of you to continue to be part of the conversation and also take some time to be involved in the leadership of the church and experience a deeper engagement.

LaMonte Rothrock, Leadership Chair

News from Good Beginnings Preschool

Posted November 28th, 2017

Good Beginnings Preschool children enjoyed Family Nights on Monday, November 27 and Tuesday, November 28. The children and their parents sang songs and did finger plays together and then enjoyed a snack. Larry Temple, ventriloquist, brought a “friend” to visit the Prekindergarten Class.

We are excited to start implementing activities and ideas from our new curriculum, Learning Without Tears!  We feel very blessed by the Barbara Flory Memorial Fund, established by her family, which has made the purchase of this new curriculum possible. Barbara’s legacy of love for children, education, and Good Beginnings Preschool (which she began) is living on for future generations of children!

In December, prekindergarten children can easel paint star, angel, candy cane, and tree shapes; create a pine cone ornament; decorate Christmas cookies; make a surprise for their parents; and share many Chistmas songs and finger plays! Old Christmas cards will provide lots of opportunities for cutting and gluing.

Younger Class children can glue Rudolph magnets, fingerprint trees, and make pompom Christmas trees. Special songs include Tapping Little Elf, Ring Those Bells, There Was a Little Baby, and Jingle Bells.

Blessings to you as you celebrate Christmas and the New Year with family and friends. Thank you for your ongoing monetary and prayer support!

Carol Temple, Director

Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted November 22nd, 2017

“Growing an Engaged Church: How to stop “Doing Church” and start being the church again” by Albert L. Winseman is turning out to be a thoughtful read. Recommended by Leadership Team Chair, LaMonte Rothrock, this book helps tackle the questions of – how we are ‘being church’. We learn that people who are ‘being church’ are engaged in their congregations and can claim four truths: 1) I know what is expected 2) I have the opportunity to do what I do best 3) My spiritual needs are being met and 4) My opinion counts. Structured to give feedback to four corresponding questions, chapter five includes a  twelve question sample survey that gathers information on 1) What do I get? 2) What do I give? 3) How can we grow? and 4) Do I belong? Choosing actions that address these four core concerns can move us from stasis to dynamic and vital growth.  Winseman claims that in addition to attending to these four areas, there are two myths that keep us from moving into becoming a spiritually vital and healthy community; Myth 1) “Believing leads to belonging” Myth 2) “An active member is a faithful member.” Research has shown that people do not come to church because they believe but rather they come to church because they want to belong. When we focus on nurturing people’s sense of belonging – when they feel they belong – and they can tell you what is expected, how they are doing their best, how their spiritual needs are  being met and why their opinion counts – then and only then do people commit to a spiritual path in their spiritual community – then they believe. Winseman additionally addresses Myth two by stating, “Activity that is not the result of engagement leads to burnout. And burned-out members eventually leave: psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically.” Why do we care? Why do we wish to be engaged with any church at all? Why does it matter that we participate in a community of faith? We go to work, we volunteer and we participate in a wide array of social activities. We can have all our special interest and social needs met in these ‘other’ places in our lives. So why church? At its purest – the church is the one place in society that does not exist for its own self-preservation. It does not exist to promote itself or its own agenda or its own perspective. The CHURCH exists to be God in this world. ENGAGED participants in church life are active BEING the church. ENGAGED participants in church life are active BEING God in this world. From this perspective, it is well worth working on becoming a Growing and Engaged Church.    – Pastor Kathryn

Attendance for October & November, 2017

Posted November 22nd, 2017

Oct. 1:      Sunday School 35 – Worship 172

Oct. 8:      Sunday School 35 – Worship 150

Oct. 15:    Sunday School 39 – Worship 250

Oct. 22:    Sunday School 31 – Worship 182

Oct. 29:    Sunday School 36 – Worship 125

Nov. 5:     Sunday School 35 – Worship 204

Nov. 12:   Sunday School 36 – Worship 175

Nov. 19:   Sunday School 37 – Worship 186

Nov. 26:  Sunday School 36 – Worship 158

Notes of Appreciation

Posted November 22nd, 2017

Thank you for your recent gift of $4,650 to Church World Service (for clean-up buckets). Your gift is truly appreciated and has the power to help change lives! We appreciate your generosity.    — With peace, Heather Wilson, Church World Service.

Church of the Brethren:

Thank you for your gift of food items to the McPherson County Food Bank. Your generosity enables the Food Bank to assist the unemployed, the elderly and the hungry with food. The Food Bank depends on the support of those able to give so that others less fortunate might have the basic necessities of life. Thanks so much and may God bless!

Sincerely yours,

Jean Callender for the McPherson County Food Bank

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

  • Church World Service
  • McPherson College
  • McPherson County Food Bank
  • Supportive Community Network