Posts by Communications

Reminder to bring fundraising money to District Conference

Dear Congregations and Members of Northern Plains District,

Last year at District Conference we introduced a multi-year fundraising campaign for the Northern Plains District with the theme: These hands, This voice, These times. These hands that can reach out, welcome, comfort, create, provide and repair. This voice that can speak with honesty and truth, share stories of life, love, loss and faith, inspire hope, challenge wrong, and offer wisdom and counsel. These times in which we live, times of change and complexity, times of great human suffering and global problems, times of searching for faith, hope and love, times ripe and ready for the work and witness of our church.

We are sending this note as a reminder to bring your fundraising dollars to the 2012 District Conference and, just as importantly, bring your stories of how you raised the money.  We have an anonymous donor that will match your congregation’s contribution.  Our budgeted goal for 2012 fundraising is $10,000, so don’t hold back on creative stories even if your fundraising approach was rather boring. It’s all in the delivery, so have some fun and help us reach our goal; $5,000 with creative stories is all it will take.

At the Saturday evening service at District Conference, we will gather the monies raised – from containers distributed last year and other fundraisers.  Please label the offering you present so we can keep track of individual and congregational contributions.  And if you wish to present your container, it can be returned to you.

If possible, send your fundraising stories in advance of District Conference so they might be shared as part of the Saturday evening service.  Email them to janispyle@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your support!

– Mark Gingrich and Janis Pyle

District News and Announcements – July 6

Click here to read the July 6 edition of District News and Announcements.

The following articles are featured in this issue:

DISTRICT CONFERENCE NEWS

1. REGISTRATION INFORMATION


2. PACKING CHECKLIST


3. USED BOOK SALE FLYER

4. AUCTION FLYER

5. MESSAGE FROM THE MODERATOR

6. LISTING OF INSIGHT SESSIONS

7. CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP


OTHER NEWS

8. LAUGHTER, A GOOD MEDICINE

9. TALES FROM THE TOOL TRAILER

10. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS


11. DISTRICT STAFF CONTACTS


12. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS AND RESOURCES

 

Message from District Conference Moderator

It has been a privilege for me to serve as the Northern Plains District Moderator this year.  Throughout my eight years of serving on the District Board, it has been a joy to witness the board working hard to do the work of our district.  I lift up in my prayers the District Board as they continue to work with and connect the people from across the district to minister together.

 

I appreciate and respect our District Executive, Tim Button-Harrison.  Thank you for all you do for us through teaching, guiding, encouraging and being an example to us.  You are a great asset to our district.

 

IMAGINE what God has in store . . . the theme for District Conference

 

To picture, envision, make up, dream, invent, visualize, see in your mind’s eye, think of, and conceive.  These are some words to help us understand the word ‘imagine.’  I want us as a district to think “outside of the box,” and  IMAGINE  what God has in store for us.  Think of the possibilities, the opportunities, both small and large that are awaiting us.

 

Pray that God will open your heart and mind to ways that you can be part of this vision.
Pray for your involvement and for the involvement of others.
Have an open mind to what God is telling you to do . . . then obey.
Believe great things from the Lord.
Specifically pray, “God, what do you want to do through me to accomplish your will?”
Be ready to take some new steps of faith as you IMAGINE!

 

My prayer, for our district, is that we provide support for each individual church.  I know there are cultural differences between each church.  Knowing that we are not the same but, enriched by all.  Our different perspectives help our district boards, commissions, and committees make the best decisions for all.  May we be one in Christ.

 

Blessings to our Moderator Elect, Roger Emmert, as you serve our district.  I am looking forward to helping you and continuing to be active in our district.

 

Last, but not least, I want you to IMAGINE . . . I want you to IMAGINE  participating in District activities and/or serving on the District Board, to see what a different you can make in your church, our district and God’s world!

 

Let’s IMAGINE  together . . . as an individual, a church, and a District to see what God has in store!

Peace and God’s Blessing to each of you –
Ida Van Westen, District Moderator

Send Us Your Camp Pine Lake Stories

Dear Friends of Camp Pine Lake,

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Friendship Lodge, our summer camp staff is collecting the stories that together create Camp Pine Lake. The stories we gather will be put together in a book for all to enjoy.

We need your help, and we would like you to send your camp stories, old and new. Stories, poems, pictures or drawings may be submitted, and we are also available to interview and transcribe stories.

**These stories need to be stories you would tell in church or they will not be included in the final product.**

Submit your stories HERE.

For more information, please contact:
Kayla Adams
Camp Pine Lake
23008 W Ave.
Eldora, IA 50627
(641) 939-5334
staffcpl@gmail.com

District News and Announcements – June 8

Click here for the June 2012 edition of District News and Announcements.

In this issue:

1. DISTRICT CONFERENCE PAGE LAUNCHES

2. DISTRICT CONFERENCE PACKING CHECKLIST

3. DISTRICT CONFERENCE USED BOOK SALE FLYER

4. DISTRICT CONFERENCE AUCTION FLYER

5. ANNUAL CONFERENCE WITNESS TO HOST CITY

6. SEARCH FOR DISTRICT BOARD YOUTH REPRESENTATIVES

7. CELEBRATING SUCCESS

8. HEIFER INTERNATIONAL UPDATE

9. REPORT FROM NEW CHURCH DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

10. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS

11. DISTRICT STAFF CONTACTS

12. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS AND RESOURCES

 

District News and Announcements – May 11

Click here to read this month’s District News and Announcements.

In this issue…

1. JOHN GLASSCOCK AND LARRY MCKINNEY INSTALLED
2. DISTRICT RECOGNIZES FOUR SEMINARY GRADUATES
3. SIMON ESTES SURPRISES ANKENY CHURCH

4. ANNUAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS
5. DISTRICT COMMUNICATIONS UPDATES
6. SEARCH FOR DISTRICT BOARD YOUTH REPRESENTATIVES
7. CAREFULLY CHOOSING OUR WORDS
8. INVITATION TO PANORA’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY
9. PANTHER CREEK YOUTH HEADING TO HEIFER RANCH
10. FINAL CAMP PINE LAKE LODGE WORK DATE TOMORROW
11. DISTRICT CONFERENCE AUCTION
12. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS

13. DISTRICT STAFF CONTACTS

14. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS AND RESOURCES

Volunteer Information for Annual Conference

What a great opportunity we have in the Midwest to host the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in St. Louis!  Volunteer coordinators are working to make sure that their areas are adequately staffed so we can provide the best possible experience for those who attend.  Please consider offering your service for a few hours, a day, or whatever
time you can give for the Conference.  We are all enriched when we participate.

Below is a list of the Volunteer Coordinators.  Please note that some area coordinators have made specific requests; you may contact them directly.  Other areas may need volunteers, based on registrations that are received.  If there is an area where you would like to volunteer your services, please contact the Coordinator listed here.

2012 Annual Conference Coordinators – St. Louis, MO

SITE Co-COORDINATORS
Phil and Pearl Miller
1446 Northfield Park Blvd.
Warrensburg, MO 64093
660-747-2996—home
660-238-0796 – Pearl cell
phpemiller@gmail.com

Stephanie Sappington
2327 Hill Avenue
Brentwood, MO 63144
314-963-0764
314-686-2240
ssapp55@yahoo.com

EARLY CHILDHOOD
Ronda Neher
26505 K Avenue
Grundy Center, IA 50638
319-824-3286—home
641-751-0992 – cell
neherfamily@prairieinet.net

CHILDREN – GRADES K-2
Barbara Flory
504 N. Hartup
McPherson, Kansas  67460
620-241-1056—home
620-242-9498 – cell
floryb@sbcglobal.net

CHILDREN – GRADES 3-5  (Need people who enjoy (and can keep up with)
children to accompany them on field trips and activities.)
Rhonda Pittman Gingrich
4820 Upton Ave.,South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
612-926-9460—home
612-239-6214 – cell
rpgingrich@yahoo.com

JUNIOR HIGH
Walt Wiltschek
202 Damron Dr.
North Manchester, IN 46962
260-982-5243 – work
630-440-6089—cell
wjwiltschek@manchester.edu

SENIOR HIGH YOUTH: (Need a few adults on standby for the youth
programming.  Someone to go Monday and/or Tuesday on the outings if
needed as backup.)
Becky and Jerry Crouse
250 SE 301
Warrensburg, MO 64093
660-441-7427 – Becky cell
660-238-7147 – Jerry cell
bbcrouse@cmh.edu
5bailec@iland.net

YOUNG ADULTS
Barb Lewczak
26505 195th Street
Minburn, IA 50617
515-240-0060
bwlewczak@netins.net

SINGLE ADULTS
Lisa Irle
323 Hillcrest
Warrensburg, MO 64093
660-747-5206
660-624-2698 – cell
mo_history@embarqmail.com

REGISTRATION    (Need volunteers for Friday afternoon, Saturday and
Sunday.  They could use persons with some bookkeeping skills (to take
the money), some typing
skills ( to type name tags), and there are other tasks most anyone can do.)
Barbara J. Miller
4634 Ansborough
Waterloo, IA  50701
319-234-4130
319-269-7357 – cell
barb@iowashows.com

INFORMATION
Gary and Beth Gahm
5227 Blue Ridge Blvd.
Raytown, MO 64133
816-313-5065—home
816-315-7256—cell
aegahm@gmail.com

TICKET SALES
Martha Louise Baile
1018 Anderson
Warrensburg, MO 64093
660-747-9879

Melody Irle
239 SW BB Highway
Warrensburg, MO 64093
660-909-2182 – cell
blue@iland.net

HEAD USHER  (Need approximately 50 volunteer ushers each worship
service to help with taking up offerings and taking count of people in
each section of the auditorium.  Services are Saturday evening, Sunday
morning, Monday and Tuesday evenings, and Wednesday morning.)
Diana Smith
HCR 67  Box 125
Warsaw, MO  65355
417-282-1620
dianasmith52@hotmail.com

HOSPITALITY  (Need volunteers on Saturday to greet people as they come
into the building.)
MaryWinsor/JimTomlonson
1302 Kimberly Drive
Warrensburg, MO 64093
660-747-2752
660-441-7341 – Jim cell
jetmew@yahoo.com

Lois and Bill Grove
6 Grenville Court
Council Bluffs, IA  51503
712-326-8266 – cell
Grove19@msn.com

Installation Sermon for John Glasscock

John Glasscock Installation Sermon

Iowa River Church of the Brethren — May 6, 2012

Partners in God’s Mission (Luke 10:1-11, Philippians 1:3-6)

By Tim Button-Harrison, Northern Plains District Executive

I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel. – Philippians 1:4-5

 

I first of all want to bring you the warmest greetings from the wider church.  On this special day of Pastor John’s installation, know that your sister churches, both near and far, are with you in prayer.

The title of my message this morning is Partners in God’s Mission.  Let me give some introductory comments before I read the scriptures for today.

To be a partner is to be joined and united with someone for a common purpose.  Business partners join for the purpose of common work.  Marriage partners join to create a home and family.  To be a pastor or a church, you can’t do that alone.  You have to join with others.  There’s no such thing as a go it alone pastor.  And no such thing as a church where the members all do their own thing.  But the partnership we’re talking about is even greater than something between a pastor and a congregation.

Whose work or mission joins us in partnership?  Your mission?  Mine?  John’s?  God’s!  God’s mission.  Our partnership, our work, starts with God – comes from God – belongs to God.  God the Creator.  God of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and all his kin.  God who heard the Israelites in slavery crying for freedom and who sent Moses to deliver them.  God of covenant and law, wisdom and truth.  God of the prophets demanding justice.  God who sent Jesus to proclaim good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, forgiveness of debts, letting the oppressed go free.  And God who, when Jesus was nailed to the cross and sealed in the tomb, wouldn’t let death have the final word, but raised Jesus from the dead and whose love was poured into our hearts and whose Spirit provides gifts to the church.

Partners in God’s Mission.

Luke 10:1-11 -- After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ (NRSV)

Philippians 1:3-6 – I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV) 

Now the way I see it – today isn’t only about officially installing John as your pastor.  (By the way, that word installing sounds like putting in a new furnace or air-conditioner and making sure all the wires are hooked up correctly.)  Today is also a day of re-commissioning this congregation.  So everything I’m going to talk about – it’s about John but it’s also about each one of you who are part of the ministry of this church.

To be in God’s mission – we need to first of all be partners with God.  But we also need to be partners with each other.  And beyond that, we need to be partners with our neighbors – with people in the world around us.

So let think about this threefold partnership — partnership with God – partnership with each other – and partnership with those in the world around us.

Somewhere along the way, God got through to me, and I answered “Here I am God – use me.”  After that, nothing was the same.  And I know somewhere along the way, God also got through to John and he answered “Here I am God – use me.”  Maybe he’s shared some of that story with you already.

And somewhere along the way, for many of you, God got through – and you answered – “Here I am God.  Use me.”

To be a pastor or to be a disciple – to be a follower of Jesus – means somewhere, sometime, somehow, we opened our lives to God.  We said, God, shape me.  Mold me.  Fill me.  Use me.  And this opening to God is something we have to choose and renew each day.

The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 3:14-19 about what happens through this inward change… “I pray that God may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through the Spirit and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.”  This is what happens to us when we decide to work with God – strength starts growing within us — God comes alive in our hearts and begins to fill us – and now we start to experience love within and all around us.

But to keep that fire burning – Prayer is needed.  And worship.  And study of the scriptures.  And all these things with a humble spirit – a listening spirit – a spirit yielded and open to change.  Open to being changed by God from the inside out.  And that’s going to mean more humility and less pride.  More patience and less worry.  More waiting, less striving.  More gentleness, less forcefulness.  More love, less fear.  More of God and less of ourselves.

Partnership with God.

And then comes partnership or working with one another – with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  You remember the sending of the seventy?  The mission wasn’t for go-it-aloners.  Jesus sends his followers in pairs.  Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them, says Jesus.  God’s mission isn’t accomplished through lone rangers.  It’s accomplished through teams.  By people working together.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, Paul speaks of the church as being a body.  Like a body, there are different members, each with unique gifts, yet all work together in unity.  Then Paul says “The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”  All are needed.  All are worthy of respect.  And if one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”

Working in partnership with our brothers and sisters means, above all, loving one another.  And what is love?  Again Paul, from 1 Corinthians 13 — Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 13, Jesus kneels down and washes his disciples’ feet.  And then he says, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  Love is the way we work together.

And finally – partnership with the people in the world around us.

I’m going to put this bluntly.  We in the church spend a lot of energy focusing on ourselves, our problems, our disagreements.  That’s not all bad but these things can consume us if that’s all we think about – and it’s like being self-centered.  So what if we turn our attention in a more outward direction – with a generous and selfless concern for those who are beyond the church community – especially the poor, the marginalized, victims of greed, fear and injustice, the hurting, the lonely and the lost.

God did not make the church for its own sake.  God made the church for the world’s sake.  Just as Jesus came because God so loved the world – and came not to be served but to serve – so likewise the church exists because God so loved the world and the Body of Christ, we the church, are called to reach out to the world like Jesus did.

Jesus taught, if you seek your life, you will lose it.  If you lose your life for my sake and for the gospel, you will find it.

To work with those outside our church, is to recognize God is out there and working within the world – so if we only focus here, inside the church, safe and secure, we’re going to miss out on a lot of what God is doing, and we might even miss our very purpose and calling –to discover what God is doing in people’s lives – out there in the world.

Also, did you notice when Jesus sends out the seventy in Luke 10 – he says don’t take a lot of stuff.  Just go.  And let the people you meet out there take you in.  Eat what they give you.  Find out what life is like for them.  Listen to them.  Hear their story.  Then you will know better how to reach, how to help, how to heal, how to share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ.

Jesus says go, listen and learn.  And when you go, listen and learn, you’ll be surprised by what you discover.   That God is very much alive and at work beyond these walls.

Be partners with God.  Be partners with each other.  Be partners with God’s world.  This is my threefold charge to you, John, and to you, brothers and sisters of Iowa River Church of the Brethren.  Be partners in God’s Mission together.

Amen


        
    

Stover Music Festival Highlights

Highlights from the Stover Music Festival at Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren on April 22, 2012

 

Simon Estes surprises at Ankeny Love Feast

Submitted by Rhonda Bingman:

The Ankeny Congregation hosted a special guest at Love Feast on Thursday night. Right before the service started, Iowa opera legend Simon Estes and his wife Ovida along with two of Ovida’s sisters, a brother-in-law and a niece unexpectedly entered the church basement. They took part in the traditional meal and footwashing, then at the request of member Vernon Merkey, Simon graciously agreed to sing “Precious Lord” as we all sat there transfixed. Never before, at least at an Ankeny Love Feast, has applause been heard before! Simon’s wife Ovida (Stong) attended the Stover Church many years ago and attended Camp Pine Lake at the same time as Rhonda (Reynolds) Bingman. They enjoyed some time catching up. Pictured is Simon Estes along with Ankeny Interim Pastor Dan Sanford. Unless you attend Love Feast, you just never know what you might miss!