As of Oct 26, Pastor Dawn is back from sabbatical and fully engaged. You can expect to hear more about her experiences in the coming weeks! Her day off continues to be Monday.
Fall Back: Remember Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 1. Set your clocks back one hour.
We invite prayers for Marvin and Joyce Holck and their family during these last days of Marvin’s life. Marvin is receiving hospice care at Newton Medical Center.
Next week, Monica Lichti will be in the office in the mornings (8 am to 12 pm) and out of the office in the afternoons. She is taking some vacation time by being out of the office in the afternoons.
Call for Poetry
Florence Schloneger shared some of her wonderful and evocative poetry Sunday, October 25, during her reflection time. I am sure there are more poets out there from Bethel College Mennonite Church. It is a very good COVID activity! Please send me your poems to share with the congregation. Here is a seasonal one I just wrote.
A four-sided jack-o-lantern
carved at church by my son,
he says they are
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
This is what these saints have become.
Triangle eyes and nose
lit up by one lonely candle
flickering in the wind at night.
How beautiful, how troubling
all our little traditions,
these strange points of contact
Any day you could walk away
saying it’s all so stupid,
but where else would you really go?
Others’ traditions, others’ folklore?
I say search
and still sink the knife
into the ripe orange flesh.
Carve out your piece of the gospel.
Let that little light shine,
Let that little light seek.
Mennonite Central Committee Meat Canning time is upon us. BCMC’s days to work are November 10, 11, and 12 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). John Hillegass (MCC, Akron, PA) and Jason Unruh (MCC, North Newton) are working to make this season’s canning experience as safe as possible. Masks will be required, temperatures scanned and extra precautions taken with snacks. The workload is being reduced to four batches per day instead of six or seven and we should be finishing by late afternoon. Starting time is 7 am. If you don’t feel comfortable working, one can send a check to BCMC and write “MCC Meat Canning” on the memo line. As Maynard Knepp says: “The need is great.” Thanks, Lowell Stucky, BCMC Meat Canning Representative, 316-283-9677 (please leave message.)
Corrections for the 2020 Directory:
–Fitzsimons, Tommy** & Kasper, Rachel entry on page 19: Address should be 211 Frank Ave.
–Mitchell, Nina** & Friesen, Mark entry on page 31: Add telephone number of 785-766-6356—address is 807 Illinois Street, Lawrence, KS 66044
–Perez, Martin** & Unrau, Paula entry on page 34: Address should be 385 Frio Rd, Bandera, TX 78003-4361
–Schmidt, Kimberly** & Linscheid, Joel entry on page 38: Address should be 2 Arcadia St., #1, Roxbury, MA 02119
–Stanley Scott** & Banman, Nancy* Entry on page 39: Address should be 419 SW 6th St., Newton, KS, 67114
–Stucky, Nathan on page 42: Should be Stucky, Nathan P.
BCMC Offering for October 18-25: General Fund $3,014; Office Expense $1.40; Living Stones $210; Elevator Repair $50.
Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request: Tuesday is election day in the United States. Join Mennonite Mission Network in prayer for the vote to take place without violence and that leaders will be elected who will lead the country in ways of justice and peace.
Western District Conference Prayer Request: Pray for God’s strength for chaplains and others in WDC caring for those facing pain, illness and death in the midst of the pandemic.
Western District Conference Announcement:
For WDC congregations using Corinthian Plan health insurance: The Corinthian Plan open enrollment begins November 1st through December 31st, 2020. For more information contact Duncan Smith at email@example.com or go to the Corinthian Plan website at https://www.mennoniteusa.org/ministry/the-corinthian-plan/. Also, for Corinthian Plan participants a reminder that there is a Premium Assistance fund for congregations suffering the financial impact of COVID-19. To learn more, contact Duncan or go to the website and look for the COVID resources in the grey box.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
· Gardell Stucky, dedicated Facilities Director for the past 7 and a half years at Camp Mennoscah, is retiring as of October 30, 2020. You are invited to celebrate his time at Camp Mennoscah with a card or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 65, Murdock, KS 67111. Belated greetings will be forwarded to Gardell, so send without fear! Camp Mennoscah’s Board of Directors and staff thank Gardell for the many hours of work and the gracious kindness shared with everyone. Happy adventures, Gardell!
· With great hope, Camp Mennoscah is planning for the 2021 Summer Youth Camps. Safety precautions due to the pandemic may require adjustments, but recruiting for summer staff will happen in the coming months. Put on your best camp outfit and get ready for fun! (Applications are not yet available. We’re just making sure you’re excited.)
· Camp Mennoscah is a year-round campground! Ask about winterized facilities or conquer the prairie wilds in a tent. It’s a whole new world in the winter–and available for you! Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation.
KIPCOR’s 2020-2021 Peace Lecture Series. KIPCOR will be live-streaming “Bridging the Cultural Divide in Difficult Times.” with speaker Sarah Smarsh, Thursday, November 5, 7 pm. Sarah focuses on socioeconomic class and rural America. Her book Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award, examines economic inequality through her upbringing among the working poor on a Kansas farm. Sarah has reported on socioeconomic class for The Guardian, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other publications. Heartland was named a “best of 2018” by NPR, Fresh Air, the Boston Globe, Amazon, Buzzfeed, Barnes and Noble, and Publishers Weekly. In addition to being short-listed for the National Book Award, Heartland was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, the Lukas Prize, the Indie Choice Award, and an Audie Award for Smarsh’s reading of her audiobook. Actor-producer Sarah Jessica Parker selected the title for the American Library Association’s Book Club Central. Sarah is a regular political commentator in national media and has spoken internationally on poverty, rural issues, and cultural divides. She was recently a Fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. In 2019, Sarah released a podcast entitled The Homecomers, which focuses on how a national blind spot toward rural and working-class America is driving misleading headlines, broken politics, and dangerous fissures in our social fabric. The podcast showcases stories of people who, as residents or advocates, remain committed to their complex, embattled homes. This event is a fundraiser. Registration (to be included in the November 4 emailing of the Zoom link), and a donation button if you want to help offset the cost of the event, are available at the website, www.KIPCOR.org.
KIPCOR’s ONLINE 2020-2021 Film Series
The November film is Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, a multiple-award winning documentary that focuses on the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave to illustrate how minorities and low-income citizens suffer the most negative impact from natural disasters. The film is an indictment of our nation’s disaster preparedness, and forges a link between extreme weather, extreme disparity, and extreme racism.
Note that watching the film and participating in the Talk-back are two distinct, separate events.
YOU MUST VIEW THIS FILM BETWEEN NOV. 8 AND NOV. 14 using this link and password:
Click here to view film: https://vimeopro.com/bullfrogfilms/kipcor-cooked
Then on Sunday, November 15 at 2 pm, KIPCOR will host a virtual discussion of the film on Zoom with Christy Miller Hesed, a Hesston resident and Postdoctoral Associate in Environmental Anthropology at the University of Maryland. Go to KIPCOR’s website at http://kipcor.org to register for the November 15 Talk-back discussion, and
we will send you the Zoom link on November 13. Advance registration is required.
Mennonite Church USA Announcements:
· Pastor Sandy Drescher-Lehman and her husband, John, realized that when they stepped out of the way, God began a good work – right in their own backyard. Read their blog, “Hosting Hipcampers: Is this missional? Or spiritual?” at https://www.mennoniteusa.org/hipcampers.
· A new video series from Mennonite Church USA showcases the stories of Mennonites who are advocating for immigration justice and demonstrating radical hospitality. Visit the Learn, Pray, Join web page for these and other resources: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/immigration/.
· Safwat Marzouk, associate professor at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, urges us to consider how the demographic changes in North America are providing an opportunity to recover a biblical vision of the church. Read his blog, “A church that embodies immigration justice and radical hospitality” at https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/church-embodies-immigration-justice-radical-hospitality/
· Giving Tuesday 2020 is Dec. 1. Live out your call to participate in and support the work of God. Visit MennoniteMission.net/GivingTuesday.
MEDA Convention 2020: Towards an equal world Join MEDA for 2 days of inspiration, information and networking online November 6-7, 2020. MEDA Convention is an intersection of faith and business where you can explore what it means to be faithful in daily work and learn about MEDA’s business solutions to poverty. Go to www.medaconvention.org for more information.
The Tabor Church Mennonite Men would like to invite everyone to the annual chicken barbeque on Nov. 5 from 5-7 pm or until the food runs out. This year it will be a to-go pick up meal. The menu is bbq chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, dinner roll and ice cream and the food will taste great as usual. From the south end of the east parking lot please drive around the south side of the church under the overhang to place your donation and pick up your meal(s). The funds raised will go to Mennonite Central Committee and Bethesda Home in Goessel. The church is located 8 miles north of Newton to 90th then 1 mile east or 3 miles south and 1 east of Goessel.
In preparation for the upcoming election, Mennonite Church USA staff has released the following statement on peacemaking:
Mennonite Church USA calls for bold peacemaking during the election
By Mennonite Church USA staff
Peacemakers are most needed during times of uncertainty, fear and polarization.
The United States has been dealing with all three in 2020, exacerbated by a pandemic and the urgency surrounding the presidential election.
No one knows what will happen on or after Election Day. The heightened emotions and mistrust across the political spectrum make widespread violence seem more possible than in years past.
As followers of Jesus, what do we do in a time such as this?
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Our nation, states, cities and churches need peacemakers more than ever in the weeks and months ahead. Peacemakers do not hide safely behind the status quo, ignoring the rise of violence, while thanking God for personal safety. Peacemakers show up boldly with love and deepen relationships with those who are most vulnerable to bodily and systemic violence. Peacemakers consider the complexity of violence — that structural systems of oppression are already operating in violent ways. Peacemakers look at the roots of violence and join the work to seek transformative justice for all.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Peacemaking is what Jesus demonstrated through his life, death and resurrection. It is what Mennonites have claimed for centuries and often struggled to embody. Now is a time to be bold in our peacemaking. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) We have a community of believers around us and the steadfast teachings of Jesus to guide us through these times.
During this time of uncertainty:
We call on government and public safety officials to fulfill their obligation to offer equal protection and access to the voting process for all registered voters.
We pray that all candidates and citizens honor the outcome of the election(s) and reject any violent reactions that bring harm to others if there are disputed results.
We pray for a Spirit of Peace to hover over our nation, bringing a sense of deep spiritual strength and groundedness during this fragile moment.
We pray that our churches act as agents of healing through nonviolent witness and tangible acts of love and service – even to our enemies — living into our call as people of God’s peace.
MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton also will be sharing a message on peacemaking during his upcoming Facebook Live event on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT / 10:30 a.m. MT / 9:30 a.m. PT. View it here: https://www.facebook.com/MennoniteChurchUSA