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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

 

A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on Global Climate Change

A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on Global Climate Change – April 2012

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, and as religious leaders representing diverse faith traditions we are called to reaffirm our commitment to be responsible stewards of Earth’s resources and to act in love toward our neighbors both locally and globally.

Scientists, including those representing 28 Iowa colleges and universities who recently released a statement, have warned us that changes in global climate patterns are bringing more extreme weather events to Iowa, the United States, and our world. These events include droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, storm surges, and wildfires. These changes threaten our environment, our health and safety, our economy, our agriculture, and our security. They also raise fundamental questions of justice and fairness, as those who are least able to adapt to climate change and who contribute least to the problem are likely to suffer the worst consequences.

As people of faith, we are called to take responsible precautionary action to limit global climate change to the fullest extent possible and to prepare now for the climate impacts that are unavoidable. There are many actions that can be taken by individuals, families, congregations, businesses, local communities, and the state to reduce the threat of global climate change, such as reducing energy use in our homes and vehicles and using renewable energy sources. We urge Iowans to take such actions.

The global nature of the problem, however, means that effective action requires leadership at the local, state, and national levels to form policies and strategies that address responsible energy use to ensure that we protect Earth and its most vulnerable populations from the significant threats posed by global climate change. We call upon people of faith to provide leadership on this issue and act in the interest of the common good.

Signed,

Bishop Martin Amos Bishop of Davenport Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport
Rev. Michael Burk, Ph.D. Bishop, Southeastern Iowa Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Tim Button-Harrison Northern Plains District Executive Church of the Brethren
Bishop Michael Last Bishop, Western Iowa Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Larry M. McGuire Quorum Four President of Seventy Community of Christ
Bishop Richard Pates Bishop of Des Moines Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines
Rev. Dr. Rich Pleva Iowa Conference Minister United Church of Christ
Bishop Alan Scarfe Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa
Rev. William Spangler-Dunning Regional Minister and President for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Upper Midwest
Bishop Julius C. Trimble Resident Bishop Iowa Area of the United Methodist Church

www.iowaipl.org

Rev. Anna Blaedel Grace United Methodist Church Des Moines
Rev. John M. Caldwell First United Methodist Church Decorah
Rev. Brian Carter Simpson United Methodist Church Des Moines
Sister Janice Cebula, OSF President Sisters of St. Francis Clinton
Rev. Dick Clark Walnut Hills United Methodist Church Urbandale
Rev. Kathleen Clark United Methodist Clergy, Retired Des Moines
Jim Cottingham, Clerk West Branch Monthly Meeting of Friends (Conservative)
Rev. Robert Dean Broadway United Methodist Church Council Bluffs
Rabbi Steven Edelman-Blank Tifereth Israel Synagogue Des Moines
Rev. David Glenn-Burns UNI Wesley Foundation Cedar Falls
Rev. Chet Guinn United Methodist Clergy, Retired Des Moines
Rev. Eric Guy Leadership Development Minister The United Methodist Church in Iowa
Rev. Susan Guy Executive Director Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
Rev. Marilyn Henrichs United Methodist Clergy, Retired Des Moines
Rev. Dr. Steven M. Jacobsen Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Retired
Dick Janson Unitarian Universalist Decorah
Jeanette Kopel, CHM Catholic Sister Davenport
Ellen B. Macdonald Chair, Board of Trustees Northeast Iowa Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship
Rev. Dr. James B. Martin-Schramm Professor of Religion, Luther College Board Chair, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
Rev. Diane McClanahan Trinity United Methodist Church Des Moines
Rev. Jack L. Mithelman Redeemer Lutheran Church (ELCA) Indianola
Rev. Liane Nichols St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Cedar Falls
Rev. Gary Nims Immanuel United Methodist Church Des Moines
Rev. Jonathan C. Page Ames United Church of Christ
Joy Peterson, PBVM Promoter of Peace and Justice Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters Dubuque
Mary Rehmann, CHM President Congregation of the Humility of Mary Davenport
Rev. Dr. Sarah Rohret Calvary UMC Arnolds Park
Rev. Lisa Ross Thedens Co-moderator of Peacemaking Task Force East Iowa Presbytery
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Schlachter Episcopal Priest, Retired Iowa City
The Rev. Mel Schlachter Trinity Episcopal Church Iowa City
Sister Nancy Schreck, OSF Sisters of St. Francis Dubuque
Cantor Linda Shivers Tifereth Israel Synagogue Des Moines
Rev. David R. Shogren Aldersgate United Methodist Church Urbandale
Kent Simmonds, Clerk Decorah Friends Meeting Decorah
Sisters of the Presentation Leadership Team Dubuque
Pastor Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler Minister of Church Community Life First Mennonite Church
Rev. Hugh Stone Polk City United Methodist Church Polk City
Rev. Dr. David G. Swinton Grace United Methodist Church Des Moines
Rev. Gail Thiessen Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Marshalltown
David Vásquez Campus Pastor, Luther College Decorah
Rev. Benjamin Webb Episcopal Priest and Director Center for Regenerative Society
The Rev. Margaret Weiner Episcopal Diocese of Iowa Retired
Rev. Amy Zalk Larson Campus Pastor, Luther College Decorah
Sister Mary Ann Zollmann, BVM, President Sister Mira Mosle, BVM, Vice-president Sister Teri Hadro, BVM, Vice-president Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Dubuque

*The listing of faith community names is for identification purposes only.

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