Announcements for July 10-17, 2020

We offer sympathy to Kathy Unruh and Carol (Unruh) and Jerry Buller on the death of Kathy’s husband, Carol’s brother, Burton Buller, July 6, 2020, Wichita.

We offer sympathy to Miner and Valetta Seymour and Katherine Seymour on the death of Miner’s sister, Nancy Billington, July 6.  Nancy lived in Louisville, Kentucky, but she died at the family cottage in Ludington, Michigan, where she was able to see Lake Michigan out of her hospital bed. 

BCMC offering for July 5, 2020  General Fund $12,408.71; Sr Hi Youth $250; Living Stones $700; Transfer-Funeral $375.

Policy update: Many things were interrupted by Covid 19, including our congregational process related to sexual misconduct.  After taking a bit of a break and receiving feedback from Faith Trust Institute on our work, our process continues.  A Church Board-appointed Abuse Prevention and Response Committee is in process of being formed to further develop, manage and implement policies for the church in the area of abuse prevention and response; to provide ongoing education for the congregation in this matter; and periodically to review and update each of these policies. This committee hopes to bring a comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Response draft proposal to the congregation for discussion and approval early next year (timing will depend on our ability to process together as a congregation through the Covid pandemic). If you have questions, you can be in touch with Pastor Renee Reimer, Pastor Dawn Yoder Harms, or Church Board Chair/Congregational Moderator Patty Shelly.

Introducing the Porch Project!  So that we can continue to have a visual image of our community during this time of physical distancing, church photographers are creating a collage of photos of BCMC folks (the Porch Project) that can be shared virtually with our congregation.  If you have a recent photo of yourself or your family that you’d be willing to contribute to the project, please send it to Pastor Renee Reimer,

Pastor Dawn’s Upcoming Sabbatical
Earlier this year, the Staff Congregation Relations Committee (SCRC) and the Church Board approved a sabbatical for Pastor Dawn, which was originally scheduled to take place from May 5 through August 17, 2020. As with a myriad of other scheduled events for our congregation, COVID-19 caused a postponement of Dawn’s scheduled time away. Her sabbatical will now take place from July 27 through October 26, 2020. Plans are well in place for covering congregational needs while Dawn is away.
BCMC is blessed with a strong team of pastors and staff. Pastor Renee, Pastor Nathan and Monica will serve as a leadership team during Dawn’s sabbatical. In addition, Barbara Thiesen has agreed to assist with worship planning and many others have agreed to be on call to assist with various congregational needs as they arise. Thanks to each of you for your willingness to serve in this way.
Part of the purpose of Pastor Dawn’s sabbatical is rest and renewal. To ensure that this purpose can be accomplished, it is important that the congregation give Dawn adequate space while she is away. While she remains the lead pastor of our congregation, she will not be able to take calls, make visits, or respond to congregational needs during this time. If you have questions, concerns, spiritual needs, or other issues that arise during this time, please reach out to one of the following:
* Pastor Renee ( or 605-212-0081) or Barbara Thiesen ( for worship-related needs;
* Pastor Nathan ( or 316-212-4593) for pastoral care needs;
* Pastor Renee ( or 605-212-0081) for faith formation needs;
* Monica Lichti ( or 316-283-3667) for administrative or facilities needs;
* Mike Claassen ( or 316-283-3667) for financial questions;
* Patty Shelly ( or 316-283-3667) for Church Board concerns
* Heather Zerger ( or 316-283-1422) for staff congregational relations issues
* If you are unsure who to call, please reach out to Monica ( or 316-283-3667) and she can help direct you to the right person.
We look forward to blessing Dawn as she leaves for her sabbatical during worship on July 26, 2020 and ask that you hold Dawn and Doug in prayer as they anticipate Dawn’s time of renewal and rest. Please keep each member of BCMC’s capable staff in your prayers as they prepare to provide coverage to our congregation during Dawn’s leave and during these challenging times. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to talk with SCRC members Heather Zerger, David Linscheid, Vern Preheim, or Mary Goering.

As we are all navigating our way towards regrouping and finding ways to gather and fellowship together again, we want to take this opportunity to share our annual Bluestem Experience magazine with your congregation. We would be grateful if, instead of print copies, you would be willing to share this electronic link in your e-church bulletin and/or newsletter. This year marks another issue of amazing resident and campus stories.

Additionally, Bluestem Communities will be hosting the 7th annual Dementia Forum as a free web-event this year. On July 15, Teepa Snow, an internationally recognized dementia education specialist, will be speaking and answering questions online. If interested go to the link below to register.

Mennonite Mission Network is seeking a full time Network Systems Administrator located in the Newton, KS office.  This position will ensure the stable operation of the organizations Local Area Network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), Internet systems and software applications. The ability to analyze and resolve end user hardware and software computer problems in a timely and accurate fashion is essential. Ability to provide excellent customer service is a must.  Committed to denominational and agency goals of anti-racist action. Degree in computer science / information technology or 3-5 years’ experience is preferred. View the complete position description at Submit cover letter and resumé to for consideration.

Western District Conference Announcements:
* Creative WDC Assembly Worship:  Friends from Texas who committed to sharing their gifts of music, dance, prayer, the Lord’s Supper, and more in-person, will still lead worship via YouTube Live.  Because this worship will be pre-recorded, your congregation may decide to join for an August 2, 10 am CT “Assembly Worship Watch Party” in small groups or in your own homes.  Or you may share this video with your congregation during your normal worship time.  If you join the watch party, we look forward to seeing each other’s “chat” comments of “Amen!”, “Hallelujah”, and “Praise the Lord!” as we worship together virtually.  We also look forward to your Assembly donation this year.  Once Assembly expenses are paid, all other donations go into our WDC Hope Fund to assist congregations in need.  More information at:
* Looking forward to the Women and Girls Retreat at Camp Mennoscah? The Annual Spring Supper? Help make these events possible by joining the Western District Women in Mission Executive Council! There are nine open positions including: vice president, secretary, treasurer, one position on the Women and Girls Retreat Committee, two positions on the Communications Team, and three positions on the Nominating Committee. A wide variety of openings means we have a place for you and your unique talents and interests. You can help ensure the future of WDWM programming by volunteering for one of these positions.  If you are interested in supporting the mission of WDWM by filling one of these roles, email 

Camp Mennoscah announcements
* Camp Mennoscah will be reordering tee shirts! 
Get your order in no later than July 9 by calling 620-297-3290 or emailing  Only a high demand will allow us to reorder tee shirts a third/additional time.  Now is your chance!
* Camp Mennoscah is open to a limited number of individuals, families, and groups for both days and overnights.  Reservations must be made in advance.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 for further information.  We are excited to make this sacred space available to you!

Mennonite church announcements
* Hundreds of people tuned in to last week’s Mennonite Church USA’s live online panel discussion entitled “Race, Church and Change”.  Hosted by MC USA leadership, this important conversation addressed the impact of racism on the church and approaches for dismantling it.  If you missed the live event, be sure to watch the video here:
* Join Mennonite Church USA leadership for another live event addressing racism in the church.  We are pleased to welcome back our panelists for this follow-up discussion, addressing key questions such as:
What role does racial healing and reconciliation play in being anti-racist?
How do we begin a conversation about white supremacy?
What would it look like for MC USA congregations to practice racial reparations?
Join us Thursday, July 23 at 5:30 pm CT.  Register at:* Consider being an MVS participant for the 2020-2021 MVS year! The application deadline has been extended until the end of July. Visit to learn more and apply!
* Menno Snapshots  Tax Day (July 15) is one of Sylvia Shirk’s favorite annual events because it gives her the opportunity to stand on her Anabaptist faith as a war tax resister. Read more in her blog, “If you pray for peace, why pay for war?”
*  #BringThePeace  The African American Mennonite Association, a constituency group of Mennonite Church USA, has called upon fellow Mennonite congregations to address racism.

Grounded in the words we read in Philippians 2: 3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others,” MCC Central States offices and material resources center is closed to the public indefinitely. The realities of COVID-19 continue to change but the dedication of MCC staff to work for relief, development and peace in the name of Christ continues on. Essential workers will continue to work at MCC, but the rest of the staff will work from home. Your material resource donations (school, hygiene or relief kits and comforters, details at are needed at this time and can be shipped directly to MCC when ordering online or dropped off in the 24-hour donation room towards the east end of the building (121 E. 30th North Newton, KS 67117).  In spite of the challenges from COVID-19, the global work of MCC continues. Your financial donations are needed to keep this work going. Give now at or by sending checks to MCC PO Box 500 Akron, PA 17501. To contact staff with questions please email us at or call the office 316.283.2720.

Prayer request for Mennonite Mission Network:  MMN requests prayer for Jane and Jerrell Ross Richer and their family as they begin the North American segment of their two-way mission. Pray for them as they continue their Ecuador ministry from a distance and as they engage in teaching ministries from Goshen, Indiana.

Prayer request for Western District Conference:  Give thanks for generous donors and congregations who contribute faithfully to WDC, and pray for ongoing financial support for WDC in its mission to empower congregations and leaders during this uncertain time.