MESSENGER. In This Issue. SCC Mennonite Women. Pastor/Cong. News. Do You Know? Creative Community Outreach. VBS On the Road

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1 MESSENGER Volume LXX No. 2 April-June 2017 SCC Annual Meeting There is still time to register for the annual assembly, with the early registration deadline of July 7. The event will be held at Hesston Mennonite Church beginning with supper on Friday, July 21. SCC invites pastors, congregation leaders and members to join us as we consider how God has worked and is working in our congregations today and how God is leading us into the future. The program will feature speakers from our own churches, with opportunity for talk back sessions following each presentation. Given this format, there will not be smaller breakout sessions this year. In the opening session on Friday evening, moderator Gary Wolfer, member of Hutchinson, will speak on Reflecting on the Past. This will be followed by a message entitled Drop your nets! by Ulises Arenas, Pastor of Iglesia Menonita Buenas Nuevas, San Juan, TX. Saturday morning will begin with the first delegate session. After that Carmen Salas, Pastor of Ministerio Vizion, Brownsville, TX, will speak on It starts with me. At noon, Mennonite Women will have their annual lunch gathering, with Grace Tijerina, church planter in Corpus Christi, TX as the speaker, and Carolene Jackson, Thomas, OK, providing a devotional meditation. Following lunch, two persons will give attention to Listening : Amy Nissley Stauffer, Pastor of Hesston Mennonite Church, and Omot Aganya, Church Planter of Eden Life Church, Kansas City, MO. This will be followed by a second delegate session. Following the evening meal, the concluding message, entitled Reaching Out will be delivered by Jim Ostlund, Campus Pastor of KS. Children s programming is being arranged for registered children from ages 0 to 10. Registration information has been made available to all congregations, and is also available online: Friday evening, Saturday noon and evening meals are included in the registration price. There is a separate registration arrangement for women who attend only the women s lunch and program on Saturday. Healthy Boundaries On May 9 and 10 th Tonia Martin from Weatherford, Oklahoma and Kevin Wilder from Hesston, Kansas attended the Healthy Boundaries Training in Kansas City with thirty four other folks from Mennonite Church USA conferences and agencies. The purpose of the conference was to equip trainers to teach Healthy Boundary Seminars to pastors and church leaders throughout MC USA. Day one was an overview of the core course and day two included additional teaching methods and additional modules for various settings. The materials are available in Spanish and English. Accountability and creating a culture of good boundaries can make our churches much safer spaces. The training allows for good discussion about such things, said Kevin Wilder. The leadership of South Central Conference is planning to offer Healthy Boundaries trainings for pastors with Tonia and Kevin facilitating these events in the next year. I am pleased to see MC USA and conference leadership make the safety of all our constituents a priority in this way, said Tonia. Kevin and Tonia will provide an introduction and training session for the Regional Conference Ministers, after which a series of training sessions for congregational pastors and lay leaders will be scheduled in geographic areas to make them as accessible as possible. Western District Conference also has trained trainers, which should allow for some collaboration for the sake of convenient access. In This Issue SCC Mennonite Women Pastor/Cong. News Do You Know? Creative Community Outreach VBS On the Road Annual Meeting Registration Exec. Comm. Activity SCC Calendar

2 Leadership President: Carolyn Rychener Vice President/President-elect: Kimberly Kropf Secretary: Ariana Kauffman Treasurer: Myrna Cherry Growing in Jesus Christ through discipleship, shared fellowship, worship, and service. SCC Mennonite Women By Carolyn Rychener, President Greetings Mennonite Women of SCC! SCC Assembly Mennonite Women s Luncheon, July 22 Women of SCC churches are invited to our annual luncheon at noon, on the 22 nd. We are pleased to have Grace Tijerina speak to us about her work with women and church planting. Carolene Jackson will lead us in devotions. A short business meeting will follow our speakers. Please prayerfully consider these questions: What is the purpose of the South Central Conference Mennonite Women Council? Would anyone miss this conference-level organization? Does our committee provide any support that would enable more churches to have a women s service/ministry group? We hope you will join us at Assembly! Woman to Woman Grants As part of our shared fellowship and service mission, we continue to award grants from the Woman to Woman grant program. We received requests from several of you and were able to help with those needs. Thank you for your continued financial support as local groups assist women who encounter financial needs for living expenses and for registrations to special events. Donations can be sent to Myrna Cherry or to the SCC offices. Information about the grants is on the Conference web site. Comforter Mini-Blitz A mini-blitz was held June 3 & 4 at Central States MCC offices in North Newton, Kansas. Around 80 persons participated and 46 comforters were completed. The goal of this mini-blitz was to invite people from the local area to participate who might not be able to attend during the day in March because of work or family commitments. A number of first-timers attended and the time was enjoyed by all. Kate Mast is the Workroom Supervisor of the Material Resource Center and did a wonderful job hosting us. If you are interested in the possibility of a mini-blitz in your area, please contact Kate, and she can help you determine what might work for your group. Mini-blitz June 3 & 4 Devotion resources Live Your Call: Embracing God s Mission by Anna Liechty Sawatzky. New for 2017 Spark: Nurturing Your God-Given Creativity by April Yamasaki Faith Travels by Marlene Kropf. This is a guide for Bible study that focuses on how we experience God s presence during the transitions in our lives. Check the web site for details:

3 Pastor/Congregation News >Spring Valley Mennonite Church near Canton, KS, has acted to join the current cohort in the RE- VIVE renewal project. >Greensburg Mennonite Church observed the tenth anniversary of the devastating tornado in May >Rey de Gloria congregation in Brownsville, Texas, continues to make progress on the construction of their building, hoping to be able to move in by Christmas. >Rey de Gloria congregation is continuing its summer daycare program for children of working parents who have no other means of safe and dependable care for their children during the day, benefiting up to 80 children. This is supported by a grant from The Schowalter Foundation, SCC, and congregations and individuals throughout the conference. >Bob Yates, lead pastor of Bethel Mennonite Church, Inman, KS is in the middle of a sabbatical leave. >Howard Wagler, senior pastor of Journey Mennonite Church, has recently begun a sabbatical leave. Hutchinson, KS is now occupying its new addition, consisting primarily of a large activity center with space available for other community services. >Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Hydro, Oklahoma, is making good progress on the construction of a new sanctuary and other facilities. Eventually, the oldest part of the existing building will be torn down. >Whitestone and Hesston Mennonite Churches participated in a community-wide Bible School involving most of the other churches in town, culminating in a community worship service in the high school gymnasium the first such community worship service held in many years. >Whitestone Mennonite Church has received all the necessary city approvals and is in the process of constructing a Columbarium adjacent to the church. The project was funded by a memorial gift from the family of a deceased member whose ashes will occupy the first available niche. >Justin Osborn, former youth minister at Bethel Mennonite Church, Inman, Kansas, was ordained on June 11. >For the third year, Whitestone Mennonite Church has organized a summer meal program every Wednesday noon, for families in two housing developments in town. DO YOU KNOW? By Joyce Zuercher; Conference Resource Advocate The first day of summer has come was it on the 20 th or 21 st? For many of us, summer and vacation go hand in hand, if it s because school and college terms are finished, family reunions are coming up, or it s time for camping or a road trip you add to the list. Summer brings South Central Conference annual meeting and MC USA Convention as well as programming at Rocky Mountain and Mennoscah camps, or perhaps a good opportunity for a SOOP assignment or an MDS project. This year, as spring approached summer, it seemed that summer reading was being emphasized more than usual. Hardly a day went by in which at least one media news show or magazine and newspaper columnist interviewed an author, reviewed a book, or presented a reading list, many suggested especially for your summer information or pleasure. Book lists included beach reading, airline reading, multiple lists for children of all ages, plus selections from fields such as religion, science, politics, and history. As the conference resource advocate for MennoMedia, how fitting to present my own summer reading list! Mine is actually a list of categories, for which you choose the books. My challenge to you is to read a book from at least five of the eight categories, which are as follows: 1. A book published in A book written before the millennium 3. A book written by an author whom you know personally 4. A book written by an author you have never read 5. A book in a genre you seldom read 6. A devotional book you ve not used before 7. A book you ve read in the past 8. A book written in the 70 s or before Here are some suggestions from MennoMedia s current offerings: *Palmer Becker s Anabaptist Essentials came out in March of this year, and is available in French and Spanish *Love in a Time of Hate, by Hanna Schott, a German journalist, is subtitled The Story of Magda and André Trocmé and the Village That Said No to the Nazis, is being released this month *The release of Circles of Sisterhood, A History of Mission, Service, and Fellowship in Mennonite Women s Organizations, by Anita Hooley Yoder, is also eagerly anticipated in June *Marty Troyer s The Gospel Next Door, Following Jesus Right Where You Are *Drew Hart s Trouble I ve Seen, Changing the Way the Church Views Racism *Very Married, Field Notes on Love and Fidelity, by Katherine Willis Pershey And remember, if you are interested in the Amish, their culture, theology, history, or dependable fiction, MennoMedia has an excellent selection. Browse your church library and the MennoMedia catalog for other appropriate reading material. For older material that may be out of print, ask older relatives or church members and check used book stores. Happy summer reading!

4 Creative Community Outreach Editor s note: In a recent meeting of pastors, several examples of creative community outreach projects were shared; two of them are printed below. We invite stories from other pastors and congregations. From Gabriel Pennington, Associate Pastor, Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Hydro, OK I am a young, new pastor. I have now been at my first church call for almost eleven months. Before I was a pastor though, I had a different life. I was a middle-school teacher and coach. I did not leave teaching and coaching because I was tired of it; rather I felt God calling me to something else, but I knew I would miss my old life, especially coaching. Therefore, when I was hired as an Associate Pastor at Pleasant View Mennonite outside of Hydro, Oklahoma, I offered a proposal to the elders. I wanted to see if they would bless me to volunteer my time with the local high school and junior high wrestling teams. They readily agreed, so I contacted the coach, not knowing what he might say. I did have a lot of experience, but I did not know anyone in the local wrestling community. After we met, he was ready for me to help. After talking with the athletic director, we came to an agreement. I was hired for zero dollars. This made me a school employee of sorts, in that I went through the same background checks and training as other coaches. It also enabled me to have a higher level of responsibility than other volunteer coaches. This benefits the school in that they are getting a free employee who is properly trained. It benefits me in that I get to do something I love and I get to meet people I would not get to otherwise. So far, I have one season under my belt at this new school. It has gone remarkably well for everyone. The elders like that I am finding ways to become part of the community. The head coach likes having good help. I like that I get to show God s love while doing something I love. From Cindy Headings and Judy Miller, Journey Mennonite Church A few years ago the leaders of Journey Mennonite Church started to process what it meant to address the need for classroom space at JourneyKIDS were bursting at the seams! The leaders felt God was calling us to create strategic partnerships in community, creating a space that can serve as many people Monday-Friday as it does on the weekends. With these priorities the plans began to build a gym and multi-purpose space. The dreams became a reality and on May 14 there was a dedication service held to celebrate God s goodness and provision, to pray that God would use the space to pursue God s Kingdom. The Adult Sunday school classes are enjoying some of the new space on Sunday. Partnership with the Boys and Girls Club is being developed to use the space as a host site for kids programs. The partnership would bring around 100 students on campus five afternoons a week. We are excited for the opportunities and challenges that community partnerships may bring. We ask you to join us in prayer that the students and their families will find Jesus here. VBS On the Road The 2017 VBS On the Road team (Left to Right: Director Cheri Baer, Laura Lozano, Christopher Hernandez, Irene Betancourt, Jenna Ratzlaff, and Louisa Angeline) has been ministering with SCC congregations for three weeks. They began their summer with a few days of orientation, training, and prep work in Hesston, KS then led their first week of bible school at Argentine Mennonite in Kansas City, KS. They stayed an extra week helping out at the church there then traveled to Texas where they are in the middle of their week leading bible school with the church plant in Corpus Christi. From there they will travel to Brownsville and spend a week at Rey De Gloria from July 3-7 followed by two other weeks in Brownsville at Ministerio Vizion and Nuevo Amanecer. Please continue to support this team with your prayers! You can follow them on facebook at VBS On the Road.

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6 Executive Committee Activity The conference Executive Committee has met three times since the last newsletter was distributed. Major agenda items for discussion and action included the following: >Approved funding for the summer VBS on the Road and received periodic updates on the selection of participants and the planning process (see separate article) >Received periodic updates on the status of the REVIVE renewal process being led by Howard Wagler and Journey Mennonite Church, for which a cohort of participants has been formed >Monitored the progress in planning for the annual assembly, scheduled for July at Hesston Mennonite Church (see separate article) >Heard regular progress reports of the church planting efforts in Kansas City and Corpus Christi, Texas, including attention to the search for a suitable meeting place in Kansas City >Provided financial support for several persons to attend the Mennonite Mission Network s church planting conference, known as SENT, in Fort Myers, Florida >Received inquiries from congregations about the possibility of affiliating with South Central >Processed inquiries from a variety of pastors and others about participating in the leadership training programs being offered by the Kansas Leadership Center, funded by a grant from KLC >Considered the possibility of applying for a grant from KLC for 2018 >Received regular reports from the Regional Conference Ministers and Mennonite Women >Continued to discern possible candidates to serve as moderator-elect >Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Camp Mennoscah, including the appointment of persons to serve on the Camp s governing board >Approved matching grant funds for pastors to take advantage of the Lilly Endowment grant, administered through Everence, designated for assistance in meeting educational and other debt >Approved a travel subsidy for persons from south Texas to encourage attendance at the annual assembly >Approved partial funding for the summer daycare program operated by the Rey de Gloria congregation, and authorized an appeal to congregations and individuals to help make up the income shortfall >Reviewed and approved a budget for 2018 for presentation to the delegates in July >Celebrated the arrival of Joy Horst King on June 7, infant daughter of SCC Administrative Assistant Becky Horst King and her husband Derek, who is lead pastor of Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, Kansas. They have two other daughters. >Appointed Gary and Kay Wolfer, Lupe and Yolanda Aguilar as SCC delegates to the Mennonite Church USA biennial convention in Orlando, Florida >Acknowledged with gratitude the receipt of $53,000 from the sale of the property of the former Faith Mennonite Church in South Hutchinson, Kansas, designated for church planting support The Executive Committee will meet next on July Calendar July 4-8 Mennonite Church USA Convention Orlando, FL 10 Exec. Comm. Whitestone SCC Annual Mtg. Hesston Mennonite Hesston, KS September 8-10 Women and Girls Retreat Camp Mennoscah 19 SCC Pastor Peer Whitestone Hesston, KS November 3-4 SCC Southern Region (UCIM) Annual Meeting The mission of South Central Conference is to produce healthy missional congregations by resourcing, connecting and empowering them to be Christ in the world.

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