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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!

District News and Announcements – April 7

Click here to read the April 2012 edition of District News and Announcements.

In this issue:

1. HAMMOND AVENUE CALLS LARRY MCKINNEY AS PASTOR
2. ARE YOU PREPARED?
3. CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

4. CHRISTIAN COACHING WORKSHOP: APRIL 15-17
5. CAMP PINE LAKE LODGE WORK DATE
6. STAN NOFFSINGER AT PANORA COB: MAY 6
7. CHURCH PLANTING CONFERENCE: MAY 17-19
8. ANNUAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS
9. DISTRICT CONFERENCE AUCTION: AUGUST 4
10. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS
11. DISTRICT STAFF CONTACTS
12. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS, WEBSITES AND MORE

Where Differing Cultures Meet

Tim Button-Harrison, Northern Plains District Executive, Church of the Brethren

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.”

1 Corinthians 12:21

The Church of the Brethren, my religious tribe, which I sometimes refer to as being kind of like liberal Amish, has a bit of an heirloom streak – an impulse to restore and preserve what is believed to be a more perfect past.  In contrast, my theology and view of scripture and the church has become more hybrid or mixed in nature.  I now see God working not so much at the center of groups, where sameness and familiarity tends to rule, but more on the edges of groups, or even in the space between, where different kinds of persons and cultures meet.

I grew up in a racially mixed family in, otherwise, all white Grundy County, Iowa.  The derogatory and racist comments I heard as a child, from the mid 1960s, about my Korea-born brother and sister, cured me of any purity streak I might have entertained.  Then, as a young adult, I, from a long line of Brethren farmers and preachers, fell in love not with a Brethren woman, but a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) woman.  But curiously, when I told my mother this woman’s name and her parent’s names, all my mother said was, “That’s very interesting.”  And when Mary Jane told her dad the same, his response was an identical, “That’s very interesting.”  Then we discovered her dad and my mom, over several years, and unbeknownst to us, had been meeting on a regular basis in Des Moines, respectively as the Church of the Brethren and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) representatives on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Inter-Church Forum.

I have experienced the awful distortions of God and scripture and church when one group says to another “I have no need of you.”  But where strangers become brothers and sisters and where a new family is created from different backgrounds, there I see wonder and beauty and hope for the future.

 This personal reflection was shared on March 20, 2012 at the Ankeny Forum, an ecumenical gathering of Central Iowa ministers at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Ankeny Iowa.

District Mileage Chart

Click here to view distances to congregations in the Northern Plains District.

District News and Announcements – March 10

Click here to view the March 10 edition of District News and Announcements.

Included in the issue…

1. SENDING OF THE SEVENTY UPDATE
2. SPIRIT STORIES: LARRY WARD
3. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF LEADERSHIP: MOSES AND EMPOWERMENT
4. DISTRICT BUS TO ANNUAL CONFERENCE
5. CONGREGATIONAL LIFE MINISTRY FAIR AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE
6. CHRISTIAN COACHING WORKSHOP: APRIL 15-17
7. CHURCH PLANTING CONFERENCE: MAY 17-19
8. CAMP PINE LAKE LODGE WORK DATE
9. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS
10. DISTRICT STAFF AND OFFICER CONTACTS
11. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS, WEBSITES AND MORE

 

 

District News and Announcements – February 11

Click here to read the latest District News and Announcements.

In this issue…

1. DISTRICT PASTORAL CHANGES
2. MINISTERS IN OUR PRAYERS
3. DISTRICT COMMUNICATIONS UPDATE
4. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF LEADERSHIP—CHILDREN
5. TALES FROM THE TOOL TRAILER
6. FEBRUARY EVENTS AT PANORA COB
7. CHRISTIAN COACHING WORKSHOP: APRIL 15-17
8. CHURCH PLANTING CONFERENCE: MAY 17-19
9. CAMP PINE LAKE LODGE WORK DATES
10. CAMP PINE LAKE SUMMER STAFF NEEDED
11. HEIFER INTERNATIONAL UPDATE

12. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS
13. DISTRICT STAFF AND OFFICER CONTACTS
14. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS, WEBSITES AND MORE

Camp Pine Lake Summer Staff Application

Camp Pine Lake, Northern Plains District of the Church of the Brethren, Eldora, Iowa, seeks four energetic, hard working, nature-loving people to join the 2012 summer staff. Applicants must be flexible, willing to work as a team, love children and have a deep desire to share God’s love.

Job Description:
Summer staff will live and work at Camp Pine Lake from June 1, 2012 through August 15, 2012. Summer staff will serve in all capacities on a rotation of property, kitchen and programming preparation work during outside rentals and as full-time counselors during all Church of the Brethren camps.

Applicants must be 19 years of age and out of high school with one year of college or the equivalent. Some counseling experience and/or work with children is preferred, as well as previous involvement in organized church activities. A formal training weekend or retreat will be required, as well as participation in summer long team building and Bible study meetings.

Compensation is $1,500 to be paid in monthly stipends or directly to an educational institution in the form of a scholarship. Room and board is provided at the camp. Some time off will be given.

 

To Apply:
Contact Camp Pine Lake for more information: camppinelake@heartofiowa.net or 641-939-5334 or bwlewczak@netins.net or 515-240-0060. Application materials include the application form, essay worksheet and two letters of reference – one character and one professional. Each applicant will be interviewed by current camp staff. Each staff member will go through a complete background check.

 

Deadline:
March 1, 2012

 

Documents (to be submitted along with two letters of reference – see above):

APPLICATION FORM

ESSAY QUESTIONS

 

Meet Your 2012 Camp Pine Lake Board

Click here to view photos and profiles of the 2012 Camp Pine Lake Board.

District News and Announcements – January 7

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

The following articles are included in the issue:

1. DISTRICT TRANSITIONS
2. SENDING OF THE 70: ROUND TWO UPDATE
3. DISTRICT NOMINATING COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT
4. SEARCH FOR A COORDINATOR OF WORKCAMPS
5. UPDATE FROM THE COMMUNICATIONS INTERN
6. LARA NEHER WINS TRIP TO PANAMA
7. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF LEADERSHIP
8. CHRISTIAN COACHING WORKSHOP: APRIL 15-17
9. RESOLUTIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD
10. CAMP PINE LAKE LODGE WORK DATES
11. WANTED: PHOTOS OF YOUR CHURCH BUILDING

12. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS
13. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR DISTRICT STAFF
14. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS, WEBSITES AND MORE
15. IN OUR PRAYERS…

 

2012 Prayer Calendars

Prayer calendars for each congregation are now available by clicking the links below. As part of our effort to expand the District prayer ministry, we have included links in the prayer calendars that provide specific information about each congregation.

Congregations that have already called a Communications Partner are now able to update these pages. Those congregations that haven’t called a Communications Partner yet, please consider that the sooner you find one, the sooner we can get this expanded prayer ministry rolling. We are excited about the prospects of this new dimension to our prayer ministry, and hope you find it beneficial as you continue to pray for each other each week.

For more information about becoming a Communications Partner for your congregation, please email Jess Hoffert at nplainscom@gmail.com.

Ankeny*
Beaver
Big Sky*
Cedar Rapids
Common Spirit*
Dallas Center
English River
Fairview*
Fredericksburg
Greene*
Hammond Avenue
Hands of Christ*
Iowa River*
Ivester
Lewiston*
Libertyville
Living Peace*
Monroe County
Mount Etna
Open Circle
Ottumwa*
Panora*
Panther Creek*
Peace*
Prairie City*
Robins
Root River*
Salem
Sheldon
South Waterloo*
Stover Memorial*
Worthington*

* = Congregations with a Communications Partner