Category Archives: Current Happenings

Announcements for July 31-August 7 2020

BCMC Sunday Worship will be the Western District Conference Annual Assembly Worship This Sunday (August 2) we invite all in the Bethel College Mennonite Church to join in worship with sister churches of the Western District Conference as we virtually gather for our annual assembly.  BCMC will not be conducting its own service this Sunday.  You can participate in the WDC Annual Assembly by going to the “Western District Conference (Mennonite Church USA)” facebook page.  See the below announcement from WDC for more details regarding the worship service and other ways that you can participate in the virtual assembly.

The WDC Assembly will take place virtually this weekend, here are the instructions you will need to join: You must have the free Zoom application (https://zoom.us/support/download) loaded onto your device (smartphone or tablet, or computer with a camera and microphone).   If your computer does not have a built-in microphone and camera, external webcams can be purchased.  Make sure to have this Zoom application downloaded before August 1.

DELEGATE SESSION – August 1, 9:00 am Registered Delegates:  Click on this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81045306800?pwd=WmU1WUhWN0g4TXM1Sk5rREtFdi9jUT09, Passcode: 258901  

All Others:  On Facebook, go to the “Western District Conference (Mennonite Church USA)” page, (click here for the page) click on Events, and click on the Annual Assembly Delegate Session.  A comment monitor will be available to share important comments with the WDC Moderator.

WEBINARS AND CONVERSATION WITH DANNY CARROLL  – August 1, 1:00 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:30 pm See the Western District Conference website (https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly-webinars/) for webinar options and Zoom links.   At the start time of the webinar option or conversation you want to join, click on the red Zoom link under the description to automatically connect to that webinar.

Alternative Method:  At the start time of the webinar/conversation you want to join, on Facebook, go to the “Western District Conference (Mennonite Church USA)” page, click on Events, and click on the selected webinar/conversation Zoom link.

WORSHIP – August 2, 10:00 am Facebook Live:  Go to the “Western District Conference (Mennonite Church USA)” Facebook page, click to join the event “WDC Annual Assembly Worship in English” OR “WDC Annual Assembly Worship in Spanish.”  Your chosen worship video will begin automatically at 10 am.  Once the video begins, you are invited to share your first name and congregation in the Comments section to let others know who is present.  You are also welcome to share in the joy by “liking” the event or by offering brief comments along the way.

STILL HAVE TECHICAL QUESTIONS?   Contact our Assembly tech specialist, Ryan, at ryan.goertzen@gmail.com 

For complete information about WDC Assembly, see:  https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly/

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Michael J. Sherrill begins his ministry as Mennonite Mission Network’s executive director this month. Pray for him as he relates to partners and workers, conferences, and congregations “to equip and empower the church to engage their culture and world with the whole gospel.”

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Give thanks for a spirit of sharing and fellowship in WDC, as congregations and members join together today in online worship as part of 2020 Annual Assembly.

Offering at BCMC for July 19-26, 2020:  General Fund $2,562; Living Stones $60; Peace Garden $2,000; Women’s Fellowship $100.

Below is a forwarded message from Brad Kohlman, vice president for institutional advancement at Bethel College. In an effort to provide the safest possible campus we can for our students when they return this fall, we are asking for donations of masks so we are able to provide each student with multiple masks. We are looking forward to seeing students back on campus-some will start arriving in less than a week!-as the social aspect of college is of utmost importance to their education and faith formation. ~ From Ben Lichti, Bethel College Coordinator for Alumni and Church Relations
Do you have skills with a sewing machine? If so, you can help provide a safer campus for our students, faculty, and staff by making masks.  I learned to sew earlier this month with the goal of making as many masks as I could with leftover fabric from my wife’s and my mother-in law’s stash. It quickly became a fun family project with many helping hands for a worthwhile cause. Use any simple mask pattern you already have.  You can drop masks off at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center, or send them to:

Masks for Threshers
Bethel College Advancement Office 
300 E. 27th St.
North Newton, KS 67117
If sewing isn’t your thing, you can donate to the Masks for Threshers fund.

Porch Project 
Thanks to those of you who have participated in the Porch Project.  Keep your photos coming!  You can send them to Pastor Renee at renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org. Follow this link to see the faces of 60+ BCMCers:  https://cruxphotos.smugmug.com/BCMC-Porch/ PLEASE NOTE: these photos are meant to be enjoyed by our church community. Please do not share them (via social media, etc) unless you have received permission of the people in the photo.

Bethel College Student Donations
The Bethel College Relations Team is seeking nonperishable items to give to Bethel College students during their first week of class. We are looking for items such as: ramen noodles, microwavable meals (like mac and cheese), popcorn, etc. We would also welcome masks and travel size hand sanitizer to hand out to students who may need some. Please bring your donations to church and leave them by the white table outside of the church office. Contact Pastor Renee if you have questions. 

KONE has completed its work to repair the elevator, for which we are grateful!  Unanticipated additional expenses increased the overall cost by $12,806.  The plant fund, bequest monies, and designated donations have covered nearly 88% of the cost, but we still need to fundraise nearly $8,000.  You can give to the cause by sending a check to the church office or giving electronically (on website:  SUPPORT BCMC) and designating your contribution to the elevator fund.  If you mail your check, please make it out to BCMC with “Elevator” in the memo line.   Address it to:  Bethel College Mennonite Church, PO Box 364, North Newton, KS, 67117.  (Monica collects the mail every day and distributes it.)   Thanks in advance for your support! 

Other Announcements

Everence will host a Social Security and retirement income planning webinar, on Tuesday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about Social Security strategies, risks that can impact retirement savings and strategies to help income last throughout retirement. The workshop is free. Register soon by contacting our office at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or central.kansas@everence.com.

The Harvey County Food and Farm Council just published a “Local Food Guide for Harvey County and Beyond“.  It lists local farmers who are willing to sell directly to consumers.   The guide can be viewed on the web at https://www.harveycounty.com/foodandfarm/resources.html    There are also copies in the church office.

Support MCC and celebrate MCC’s centennial with a new shirt, hoodie, tea towel, bag or hat! Check out this online store set up by the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale to place your order today (pssst, it’s never too early to start Christmas shopping!). Visit wearatomic.com/product-category/mcc/ and start shopping to support MCC!

Announcements for July 24-31, 2020

Pastor Renee will be on vacation from July 24-31. During this time she will be unavailable as she will be collecting mountain climbing illustrations for upcoming sermons. 

Thanks to those who have been participating in the Under the Shade Tree Bible Study this spring – summer.  This group will take a break, beginning July 27, longer term plans to be determined.  As pastors, we’ve appreciated your engagement that has helped us prepare for Sunday morning worship and preaching!

Porch Project: Thanks to those of you who have participated in the Porch Project.  Keep your photos coming!  You can send them to Pastor Renee at renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org. Follow this link to see the faces of 60+ BCMCers:  https://cruxphotos.smugmug.com/BCMC-Porch/
PLEASE NOTE: these photos are meant to be enjoyed by our church community. Please do not share them (via social media, etc) unless you have received permission of the people in the photo.

KONE has completed its work to repair the elevator, for which we are grateful!  Unanticipated additional expenses increased the overall cost by $12,806.  The plant fund, bequest monies, and designated donations have covered nearly 88% of the cost, but we still need to fundraise nearly $8,000.  You can give to the cause by sending a check to the church office or giving electronically (on website:  SUPPORT BCMC) and designating your contribution to the elevator fund.  If you mail your check, please make it out to BCMC with “Elevator” in the memo line.   Address it to:  Bethel College Mennonite Church, PO Box 364, North Newton, KS, 67117.  (Monica collects the mail every day and distributes it.)   Thanks in advance for your support! 

Bethel College Student Donations
The Bethel College Relations Team is seeking nonperishable items to give to Bethel College students during their first week of class. We are looking for items such as: ramen noodles, microwavable meals (like mac and cheese), popcorn, etc. We would also welcome masks and travel size hand sanitizer to hand out to students who may need some. Please bring your donations to church and leave them by the white table outside of the church office. Contact Pastor Renee if you have questions. 

Announcements

The Harvey County Food and Farm Council just published a “Local Food Guide for Harvey County and Beyond“.  It lists local farmers who are willing to sell directly to consumers.   The guide can be viewed on the web at https://www.harveycounty.com/foodandfarm/resources.html    There are also copies in the church office.

We very much appreciate the cards, food, and caring thoughts from this community following the death of Miner’s sister Nancy.  We are blessed to be part of the BCMC community and want to offer you our sincere thanks.   Miner and Valetta Seymour

Thanks to the BCMC Church family for all the lovely cards sent in honor of my 80th birthday. I received over 100 cards that made for a very special day in a very unusual time.  Your efforts made my birthday special.” Marilyn Stucky

Western District Conference announcements:
Living in Exile WDC Assembly Scriptures:  Please read and pray over Jeremiah 29:4 and following and 1 Peter 2:11-12, our Assembly scriptures.  Ponder what God might be telling us about how to live out the good news in times of trial, injustice, and fear.  There will be chances to talk together during live webinars and during the 3:30 pm Zoom conversation with Danny Carroll R on August 1.  https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly/
WDC Assembly Video Snapshots:  Have you gone to WDC Assembly 2020 on YouTube yet?  There are some great stories about WDC churches and the ministries of our various commissions, stories of following Jesus today.  You’ll learn things and be inspired.   https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6aO7e884ZT5d9gHzyrfAucccOFYYd_M5
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 westerndistrictwomen@gmail.com.   

Camp Mennoscah announcements
Camp Mennoscah is open to families, individuals, and groups for days and overnights.  The number of groups on campgrounds is limited and each family/group will have their own bathroom.  Canoes are available for use; paddles and lifejackets are checked out and disinfected after use.  Contact us at office@campmennoscah.org or 620-297-3290.  Spend some time at the river, on the trails, or simply enjoying this sacred space.
Camp in a Box from Camp Mennoscah–The vast majority of Camp in the Boxes and tee shirts have been distributed.  If you have not received yours (and we have not been in touch), please contact Camp Mennoscah at office@campmennoscah.org or 620-297-3290.  We’ll get it figured out!
The annual Camp Sing scheduled for August 8 has also been cancelled.  Staff will continue to brainstorm options for events that can be done safely!

Mennonite church announcements
Everence webinars available:  
https://www.everence.com/everence-events/national-advisors-and-representatives/recorded-webinars-past

The Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum, Goessel, will have a benefit Bierock Carry-out Meal. Saturday, August 1, 11 am to 1 pm (while supplies last). The meal is a free-will donation or $10 suggested donation. New Year’s Cookies will also be available by the half dozen and dozen. Suggested donations: $5 and $10, respectively. Look for the arrows to direct traffic past the museum’s Prep School, 200 N. Poplar, Goessel. No reservation needed.
Mennonite Church USA has put together a collection of laments, written by pastors, leaders, lay people and students, on the recent and persistent violence of racism. You are invited to pray and lament along with them: http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/lament-violence-of-racism/
Menno Snapshots:  In “Reflections on protesting and faith,” two members of Pasadena Mennonite Church – a Guatemalan mestizo immigrant and a white university professor – discuss the cost of following Christ. Read more: http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/reflections-protesting-and-faith/
Menno Snapshots:  Tobin Miller Shearer, co-founder of the Damascus Road Anti-Racism Process, stresses the importance of working together in racially integrated settings in his blog, “The discipline and practice of white caucusing.” http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/white-caucusing/  
Join the growing culture of discipleship in the church! Save your spot in the next Missional Discipleship Initiative cohort. Visit MennoniteMission.net/MDI and sign up for the next MDI cycle, starting Sept. 1!  

Labor Day Work and Play Retreat is a weekend for families and individuals to volunteer at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. The weekend focuses on work projects, keeping the ministry of camp operating, while also offering a free day on Sunday to enjoy the beautiful mountain. The retreat is scheduled for September 4-7, 2020. Camp will make a decision two-weeks prior to the retreat using current information from state and local agencies to hold the retreat, cancel, or make necessary changes similar to the adjustments made on Memorial Day Work & Play Retreat. In the meantime, plan to join us. You can register online at rmmc.org or call camp at 719-687-9506.

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  July 31 is Stanley W. Green’s last day as Mennonite Mission Network’s executive director after 27 years of faithful service. Pray for Stanley and his wife, Ursula, as they settle in California where Stanley will work as conference minister for the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference. Ask God’s wisdom for Michael J. Sherrill as he becomes executive director on August 1.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and guide WDC’s online gathering for Annual Assembly next weekend, as we engage the theme “Living in Exile.

Mennonite Central Committee is hosting virtual alumni gatherings for four of the world regions where MCC works: Latin America and Caribbean, Asia, Europe & Middle East and Africa. And you are invited! Join us for this special time to hear updates from Area Directors about current programming, share stories of service experiences and engage in small group discussions to connect with your MCC friends or meet others who served in the same world region. Find out specific dates, times and register at mcc.org/virtual-alumni-gatherings. Questions? Please contact heidihuber@mcc.org or call 316.283.2720.

Job opening: Mennonite Men, the men’s organization of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, has an open quarter time position in Communications and Marketing. To see a description of this position, visit MennoniteMen.org or contact Steve Thomas at SteveT@MennoniteMen.org. Resumes are due by August 3.

Announcements for July 17-26, 2020

Thanks to those of you who posed for a photo or have sent your pictures to us for The Porch Project!  Follow this link to see the faces of 60+ BCMCershttps://cruxphotos.smugmug.com/BCMC-Porch/
This project is ongoing, and photos will be continually added as we receive them. 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 Renee Reimer renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org). 
PLEASE NOTE: these photos are meant to be enjoyed by our church community. Please do not share them (via social media, etc) unless you have received permission of the people in the photo.
Thanks to Weldon Schloneger for making this project accessible to us through his photo site!

Connor Born has been serving with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Alamosa, Colorado this past year. He recently decided to extend his term for another year.

The Reopening Church Task Group continues its evolving discernment of being church together in caring love amidst spiraling spread of COVID-19.   As of this writing, Harvey County reports a total of 102 positive cases and community spread. At our last task group meeting on July 8, we listened to your responses to our recent survey.  In response to the question “Given the required safety precautions and assessment of your personal risk, when would you be most interested in returning to in-person worship?”,  we heard a resounding word of caution about regathering for in-person worship, with very little support for beginning worship in August or September. Most of you said your willingness to return to in-person worship will depend on the number of active COVID-19 cases in our area, and some of you would prefer not to return until after there is a vaccine.  Given your feedback and the data about the current rising spread of the virus in our county, the Reopening Church Task Group has decided that BCMC will not hold in-person worship until sometime after September. The task group will continue to assess community safety and make ongoing decisions about reopening as the Covid 19 situation in our area evolves. In the meantime, BCMC will continue to live stream and record our worship services as energies are also directed toward planning for faith formation, community building, and spiritual and relational support.  More details to follow! The Reopening Church Task Group invites your prayers for its ongoing work.  If you have questions or concerns along the way, you can be in touch with Task Group chair, Elizabeth Schmidt (egret.schmidt@gmail.com).

Western District Conference announcements
· WDC (Virtual) Annual Assembly is coming up on August 1-2!  See Assembly information at:  https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly/.  The delegate session will be held August 1 at 9 am.  Delegates, please register by July 17 to receive a Zoom link for the delegate session (link will be sent prior to August Anyone (no registration required) can participate in the August 1 afternoon webinars – links to those will be posted on WDC’s website prior to August 1.  
· WDC Assembly Worship on August 2:  God will be praised through wonderful music with Texas flair, a story of God’s presence by a first-generation immigrant (Sue Park-Hur), a sermon by Danny Carroll R (biblical scholar who specializes in stories of God’s people on the move) and a blessing of WDC ministers.  The prerecorded worship (in separate English and Spanish versions) will go live on the WDC Facebook page via  Facebook Live on Sunday, August 2 at 10 am CT.  The link for this special time of worship will also be available before then by emailing kathynd@mennowdc.org.  After Sunday morning, the worship video will be available for viewing on the WDC YouTube channel.
· WDC Assembly Virtual Kidz Kamp!  There will be craft ideas, snack suggestions, music, stories and more available for elementary-aged kids via a pre-recorded video as part of our virtual WDC Annual Assembly August 1-2.  We also ask our kids and youth to take a picture of any artistic responses (poem, drawing, song) to our Assembly scriptures (Jeremiah 29:4 and following; 1 Peter 2: 11-12) for use during the delegate session.  Please email them to kathynd@mennowdc.org.
· WDC Assembly Video Snapshots – To learn more about WDC congregations, Commissions, Committees and Task Forces, watch their video snapshots at:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6aO7e884ZT5d9gHzyrfAucccOFYYd_M5, More are added as they become available.
· What seeds are growing in WDC?  Each issue of the WDC Garden (quarterly newsletter) in 2020 will feature some “seeds” – brief highlights from congregations about new initiatives, creative ideas, missional practices and connections within WDC.  If you have some “seeds” to suggest for consideration in the Garden, please send a note to WDC at wdc@mennowdc.org!     
· Policies and Practice: If your congregation is updating your child, youth, and adult safety (“Safe Sanctuaries”) policy and/or wants an updated safety training or Circle of Grace orientation, contact WDC Associate Conference Minister Kathy Neufeld Dunn (kathynd@mennowdc.org or 316-283-6300).  She keeps current on sexual abuse prevention and response and is happy to help congregations do so too.  

Camp Mennoscah announcements
· You are welcome to visit!  Camp Mennoscah is open to families, individuals, and groups for days and overnights.  The number of groups on campgrounds is limited and each family/group will have their own bathroom.  Canoes are available for use; paddles and lifejackets are checked out and disinfected after use.  Contact us at office@campmennoscah.org or 620-297-3290.  Spend some time at the river, on the trails, or simply enjoying this sacred space!
· Camp in a Box from Camp Mennoscah–The vast majority of Camp in the Boxes and tee shirts have been distributed.  If you have not received yours (and we have not been in touch), please contact Camp Mennoscah at office@campmennoscah.org or 620-297-3290.  We’ll get it figured out!
· Camp Mennoscah’s Family Weekend has been cancelled due to the low number of attendees.  The annual Camp Sing scheduled for August 8 has also been cancelled.  Staff will continue to brainstorm options for events that can be done safely!

Mennonite church announcements
· Melanie Neufeld and her husband are pastors of Community Ministry at Seattle Mennonite Church, seeking justice, change and protection for unsheltered people. Get a first-hand look at their ministry in Melanie’s blog, “The prick of compassion.” http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/compassion/
· Service Adventure only has five spots remaining for the 2020-2021 term beginning this fall. If you are interested in taking a gap year to serve, live in community, and grow spiritually, contact SusanN@MennoniteMission.net or apply online at MennoniteMission.net/ServiceAdventure.  
· Imagine planting a peace church amid a pandemic and nationwide protests – that was the backdrop for Mennonite Church USA’s newest church plant in New York. Read more about the Brooklyn Peace Center: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/nyc-peace-witness/   Catch up on all the news, blogs and events from Mennonite Church by subscribing to PeaceMail, a weekly e-newsletter. Check out the latest issue and subscribe here: http://ow.ly/K5Z150Afsnm

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, renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org

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 (renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 605-212-0081) or Barbara Thiesen (thiesenjba@gmail.com) for worship-related needs;
* Pastor Nathan (nathan@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 316-212-4593) for pastoral care needs;
* Pastor Renee (renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 605-212-0081) for faith formation needs;
* Monica Lichti (office@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 316-283-3667) for administrative or facilities needs;
* Mike Claassen (treasurer@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 316-283-3667) for financial questions;
* Patty Shelly (pshelly@bethelks.edu or 316-283-3667) for Church Board concerns
* Heather Zerger (hesauzerger@yahoo.com or 316-283-1422) for staff congregational relations issues
* If you are unsure who to call, please reach out to Monica (office@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org 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.  https://www.flipsnack.com/B9767CF569B/2020-bluestem-communities-annual-report.html

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.

https://bluestemcommunities.org/amenities/activities/annual-community-events/dementia-forum

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 www.MennoniteMission.net. Submit cover letter and resumé to StaffRecruitment@MennoniteMission.net 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:  https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly/
* 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 westerndistrictwomen@gmail.com. 

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 office@campmennoscah.org.  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:  http://mennoniteusa.org/leadership-development/webinars/
* 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:  https://mcusa.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JKz_I1rpS76YxM8QwSvRzg* Consider being an MVS participant for the 2020-2021 MVS year! The application deadline has been extended until the end of July. Visit MennoniteMission.net/MVS 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?” http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/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. http://mennoniteusa.org/news/aama/

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 mcc.org/kits) 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 mcc.org/donate or by sending checks to MCC PO Box 500 Akron, PA 17501. To contact staff with questions please email us at centralstates@mcc.org 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.

Announcements for July 3-10, 2020

Good news BCMC! The BCMC library is now open! Please continue to check out books by signing your name and the title of the book on the clipboard on the desk. Don’t forget to write in your due date on the inside cover of your book-3 weeks from the day you checked it out. The website is also up to date and ready for you to check out what is available-not only from home, but also in the library. An updated What’s New listing will also be available soon. When returning books, please place them in the box on the desk. It is recommended that we quarantine our books for three days before re-shelving them. Happy Reading Everyone!

Continue to be aware that there are Scams out there.  As we emailed last week:  “If you receive a text allegedly from Pastor Dawn requesting you to run an errand, do a favor for her, etc., it is a SCAM.  Please do not respond.”  Note: these messages are not coming from Dawn’s phone number.”  Also, if you receive a strange email from a pastor saying that you should purchase a Google Play card, or wire money, or whatever, please call the BCMC office.  A pastor will never ask you to do such a thing.  There is also a scam that calls your cell phone and claims to be Evergy.  They say that you have not paid your electric bill and your electricity will be disconnected due to non-payment.  This call does not come from Evergy.  If you get a call like this, report it to the BCMC office.

As the Reopening Church Task Group works toward beginning in-person worship at BCMC once again, we’d like to share some important information and get your feedback.

Here’s what you need to know:  Given the recent rise in COVID 19 cases in Kansas and in Harvey County, we will not begin in-person worship until sometime after the end of July. When we regather for worship, the experience will look and feel much different from what we experienced in pre-COVID days. Here’s what we will need to do to stay safe:
Participation will be limited to 50-60 people per Sunday to ensure physical distancing.
Services will be live-streamed, so those not able to participate on a given Sunday can continue to participate at home. A recorded version of the service will be available following the live-stream on Sunday morning.
Because singing is a “super-spreading” activity, there will be no congregational singing (although there will be music)
Windows will be open to ensure adequate ventilation (no air conditioning)
Masks will be required
All participants will be asked to self-screen before coming to worship (with a provided set of questions)
There will be no indoor fellowship time.  You are welcome to greet each other–at a distance–on the front lawn following the service.
Here’s what we’d like to know from you to help us with our planning:
Given these current parameters and assessment of your own personal risk, when would you be most interested in returning to in-person worship?
in August
in September
it depends on the number of COVID 19 cases in our area
not until there is a COVID-19 vaccine

To submit your answer call Monica a call at the office.
Please respond by Tuesday, July 7.
Thank you for your help as we continue to plan!

We would like to thank Jim and Melanie Mueller, and the BCMC family for everyone’s prayers, cards, letters, encouragement, and love following the death of our son Tamen in April.  Tamen’s ashes were placed in the Peace Garden on Monday, June 29th.  A special thank you to Pastor Dawn Yoder Harms for her love and support and for conducting a personal and heart-felt service. Thank you to Monica Lichti for all the assistance offered to us and for having Tamen’s paver in place for the service. Blessings in Christ,   -Vince and Priscilla Miller, Pocatello, Idaho 

Western District Conference announcements
· The WDC Virtual Assembly Delegate Session is for you!  If you’ve never had a chance to have your congregation’s views heard at the WDC Annual Assembly because of cost, distance, or other limitations, please register as a delegate this year.  Language will not be a barrier.  We will have separate “channels” for Spanish speakers and English speakers.  Hear our Conference Minister’s insights about how the Spirit is at work in Western District Conference, as well as add your perspective to discussions of who will shape WDC ministries and how we will spend our money together.  We look forward to seeing you August 1, 9-11 am Central Time.  We encourage you or your congregation to make a generous donation, as you are able, for Assembly expenses.  After costs are covered, donations will go toward our WDC Hope Fund for congregations in financial need.  More information and online registration at:  https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly
· Kids’ Art Responses to Assembly Scriptures:  Remember, we invite kids from any WDC congregation to draw a picture or write a poem in response to our Assembly scriptures Jeremiah 29. 4 and following and 1 Peter 2.11-12.  Why would God ask people who’d been forced to move to a strange land to become friends and even family with their enemies?  Send your art to:  kathynd@mennowdc.org.

Camp Mennoscah announcements
· The Camp in a Boxes and Tees from Camp Mennoscah are being delivered to pick up locations.  If you have not told us how to get your box or tee to you, please contact us at 620-297-3290 or office@campmennoscah.org.  Due to the large number of boxes and tees ordered, we have not yet shipped boxes and tees.  We’re working as quickly as we can to get them to you!
· Camp Mennoscah will be reordering tee shirts!  Get your order in no later than July 9 by calling 620-297-3290 or emailing office@campmennoscah.org.  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!
· Family Weekend at Camp Mennoscah!  Camp Mennoscah is inviting you to join in a modified Family Weekend on July 18-19.  Many of the same activities like crafts and s’mores will be offered but adjusted to fit life during a pandemic.  The pool is closed for the summer, but the river is still as splashable as ever.  Each family group will be assigned their own bathroom.  Register online at campmennoscah.org or call Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.

Time of prayer for racial justice via Zoom – July 1, 7 pm – Join Bethel College Campus Ministries for a structured time of Scripture, lament, prayer and hope.  Register at:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUqduGhqzIuGtc5NZOR9oBVO0yPgBvb2DeO

Mennonite Church USA announcements
· Check out the Peace and Justice Support Network, a Mission Network partner that works to provide the tools and encouragement that congregations need to embrace their calling to seek peace. Visit PJSN.org to learn more.
· #BringThePeace    Amid widespread civil unrest, Mennonite Church USA has issued a statement on racial injustice. Read it here: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/mc_usa-statement-on-racial-injustice/
· #BringThePeace    Mennonite Church USA has launched a Justice Fund to provide a way for individuals and congregations to support fellow congregations that are actively involved in dismantling racism, addressing police brutality, reimagining policing in our society or combating poverty. To learn more: http://mennoniteusa.org/news/mennonite-church-usa-launches-new-justice-fund/
• #BringThePeace    The leadership team of Mennonite Church USA recently led an interactive, online panel discussion, entitled Race, Church and Change, about the impact of racism on the church and meaningful approaches for dismantling it. View it here: http://mennoniteusa.org/leadership-development/webinars/
 

Safehope is partnering with Newton Sat Night Cruising for a food drive to benefit Safehope!  Come out for a socially distanced cruise of Main Street Saturday, July 11, 7 to 8:30 pm starting at the Dollar General Parking lot, 320 N. Main. Bring non-perishable food, monetary donations and come celebrate our amazing community!!

Everence will host its popular workshop, Make Medicare an easy step, as a webinar on Tuesday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about the various Medicare plans and what they cover; plans that supplement Medicare; and enrollment details and deadlines. This webinar is free. Please register by contacting Darlene Buller at 877-467-7294, 316-333-1808 or darlene.buller@everence.com.

BCMC Offering for June 28:  General Fund $3,212; Sr Hi Youth $575; Rejoice $62; Caring Fund $100; Living Stones $40; Bethel College Scholarship Fund $500; Bequests $7,000; Elevator Repair $500.

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for a spirit of unity and encouragement among WDC congregations in Texas, as they gather for a joint worship service online next Saturday, July 11.

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  LCC University Summer Language Institute in Lithuania normally begins this month. Pray for Robin Gingerich, serving with Mennonite Mission Network, and other administrators as they adapt the program to new realities created by COVID-19. 

Announcements for June 26–July 3, 2020

Vacation Bible School Prayer Note
This week BCMC joined a virtual VBS with Casa Betania Igelsia Menonita, Faith Mennonite Church, First Mennonite Church, New Creation Fellowship, and Shalom Mennonite Church, please pray for:
· The children, families, and volunteers gathering in homes and online to worship, learn, and grow.
· All to enjoy the beauty and wonder of creation together.
· Children to love God the creator and follow in the way of Jesus.
· Children to notice the ways that we impact the natural world through our choices and actions.
· All of us to discover ways to join God in caring for all of creation
We encourage you to read the daily scripture text, pray for the children studying that day’s “seed of faith” and consider how it might impact your own life.
Monday:     Genesis 2:4-22 God created a beautiful world.
Tuesday:     Psalm 104:10-30 God cares for all creation.
Thursday:   Mark 4:26-32 We are part of God’s growing kingdom.
Friday:         Psalm 52:8-9, Psalm 92:12-15, Jeremiah 17:7-8 We can trust in God’s love.
Saturday:    Revelation 21:1-4, Revelation 22:1-5 God will make all things new. 

In view of the increase of Covid-19 cases this week in Harvey County, we encourage you to heed this wisdom gleaned from a church sign near Kansas City:  Thou shalt wear a mask in public!  Hygenesis 3:16.

A small group is gathering to read and discuss Robin DiAngelo’s book White FragilityThe group will meet outdoors, socially distanced, at the home of Jeanette Stucky (see church directory for address) this Friday, June 26, 10am.  If you’d like to participate, it’s not too late to join!  RSVP Dawn Yoder Harms.

Sunday School Picnics
The Faith Formation Commission would like to gather all the children and youth Sunday School classes for some socially distant picnics. Bring your own lunch and a blanket to sit on and catch up with your Sunday School friends during the Sunday lunch hour. Families and Sunday School teachers are invited to join. Here are the age groups and dates for you to join us on the front lawn of BCMC:
Sunday, July 5, noon: Preschool Sunday School Class
Sunday, July 12, noon: K-4th grade Sunday School Class
Sunday, July 19, noon: Jr high Sunday School Class
Sunday, July 26, noon: Sr high Sunday School Class

Just Mercy Movie Discussion

In light of the racial justice conversations that are taking place, the movie, Just Mercy, is being streamed FOR FREE during the month of June. You can watch by “renting” online at:  Apple TV, FandangoNow, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, the PlayStation Store, Vudu, Microsoft, and YouTube. Just Mercy tells the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a civil-rights attorney who works to defend Walter McMillian, who was wrongfully convicted of murder. Pastor Renee will host 2 talkback sessions on this movie (please watch the movie on your own before joining the talkback session). One virtually over Zoom on Monday, June 29th at 7pm. One out on the front lawn of BCMC on Wednesday, July 1. Please RSVP to renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org if you plan to attend one of these sessions. 

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 (renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 605-212-0081) or Barbara Thiesen (thiesenjba@gmail.com or 316-284-2191) for worship-related needs;
Pastor Nathan (nathan@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 316-212-4593) for pastoral care needs;
Pastor Renee (renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 605-212-0081) for faith formation needs;
Monica Lichti (office@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 316-283-3667) for administrative or facilities needs;
Mike Claassen (treasurer@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org or 316-283-2660) for financial questions;
Patty Shelly (pshelly@bethelks.edu or 316-283-7188) for Church Board concerns
Heather Zerger (hesauzerger@yahoo.com or 316-283-1422) for staff congregational relations issues
If you are unsure who to call, please reach out to Monica (office@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org 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.

The Western District Conference office is open.  Visitor protocols include wearing a mask and social distancing.  Though the Resource Library remains closed, they offer resources by reservation and pickup.  See https://mennowdc.org/library/.  

At this year’s virtual WDC Assembly on August 1, there will be four interactive Zoom webinars to choose from and links to many videos from Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Central Committee, Everence, and more of our partners in ministry!  Themes include creation care, reconciliation, mission, and immigration justice, among others.  Non-delegates don’t need to register this year to have access to all these wonderful resources.  Delegates, please register by July 12.  Find information and registration at:  https://mennowdc.org/2020-wdc-annual-assembly/.  Donations for WDC Assembly expenses are welcomed; donations exceeding expenses will go to the WDC Hope Fund to assist WDC congregations with financial need.  

The Western District Women’s retreat committee has decided to have a modified retreat this year, due to concerns about COVID19.  They will have a one day retreat on Saturday, September 12.  There are two options:  an in-person retreat at Camp Mennoscah or a virtual retreat.  A virtual retreat would take place on the computer over a platform like Zoom.  There would be activities to do – some together online, like worship sessions with singing and a speaker; and some smaller group activities like our seminars, where participants would work or talk “together, but separately.” Zoom allows an interactive experience – so it’s not like watching TV. Groups of two or maybe even several could be together watching and participating – like at your church or in your home.   Please let us know your preference by completing this survey today:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6QXF85X

We’ve been made aware of some phishing (fraudulent) emails going around that appear to be from WDC-related persons.  If an email seems odd or not quite right, even though it appears to be from someone you know, do not reply, be alert and proceed with caution! 

Camp Mennoscah announcements
The Camp Mennoscah summer staff say Hi and Hello to you!  They hope you are enjoying the videos they have created to share a bit of camp with you.  More videos are coming!  The videos are posted online on the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page.  A Facebook account is not needed, though Facebook will try to get you to sign up.  Just click “not now” at the bottom of the pop-up box.  You can get to the Facebook page from www.campmennoscah.org using the button at the top left corner. 
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!
Camp Mennoscah is inviting you to join in a modified Family Weekend on July 18-19.  Many of the same activities like crafts and s’mores will be offered but adjusted to fit life during a pandemic.  The pool is closed for the summer, but the river is still as splashable as ever.  Each family group will be assigned their own bathroom.  Register online at campmennoscah.org or call Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.

Service Adventure only has five spots remaining for the 2020-2021 term beginning this fall. If you are interested in taking a gap year to serve, live in community, and grow spiritually, contact SusanN@MennoniteMission.net or apply online at MennoniteMission.net/ServiceAdventure.  

Mennonite Mission Network is seeking a director to provide leadership and oversight to the Marketing and Communication department. This collaborative leader will participate in Mennonite Mission Network organizational leadership by guiding effective promotion of our distinct brand and storytelling of our domestic and overseas work that inspires constituents. The Marketing and Communication director works closely
with the Director of Donor Relations in the Advancement Division and all other department directors to achieve effective stewardship of the Mission Network brand. Previous supervisory experience as well as experience with 501(c)(3) agencies is needed. The ideal candidate will be passionate about God’s reconciling mission to the world and committed to Jesus Christ. Embracing cultural diversity and anti-racism is essential. Anticipated start date is late July 2020. View the complete position description on our website at www.mennonitemission.net or contact staffrecruitment@mennonitemission.net for more information.

Mennonite Central Committee is looking to fill several essential service positions in the U.S. and around the world. We hope you’ll consider applying or give encouragement to someone else who might be interested in serving with MCC.

Canner Operator : MCC is looking for new canner operators! This two year service term is unique and offers the opportunity to travel around the U.S. and Canada, working as a team while meeting new people! Check out mcc.org/canning  for details! 
Program Manager:  DR Congo: Are you looking for an opportunity to develop your planning, budgeting, and problem-solving skills? MCC is looking for a Program Manager to provide management and oversight of projects and partner relations in the DR Congo. For more information, visit serve.mcc.org or click on the following link: Program Manager – DR Congo
MCC Representative for Bangladesh: Interested in providing leadership to a mature, multifaceted MCC program? MCC is looking for an MCC Representative for Bangladesh, to provide leadership and programmatic direction to a well-established program that supports already-existing Bangladeshi agencies. For more information, visit serve.mcc.org or click on the following link: MCC Representative Bangladesh

Prayer request from Western District Conference:  Pray for the WDC Annual Assembly planning team, as they prepare creative ways for WDC members to meet, learn and worship together on the weekend of August 1. 

Prayer request from Mennonite Mission Network:  The Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Colombia is developing new courses and study plans to prepare young church leaders and to encourage established pastors in their roles. Pray for Bekah York, serving with Mennonite Mission Network, as she prepares to teach some of these courses.

Announcements for June 19-21, 2020

We offer sympathy to Emerson and LaWanda Wiens upon the death of Emerson’s sister, Doris Guhr (of Hillsboro), on Monday, June 15.  A graveside service will be held this coming week, with a memorial service to follow later in the fall. 

Join Pastors Nathan and Dawn in the shade of the oak tree on BCMC’s front lawn at 11am on Monday, June 22, for reflection on the scripture text for June 28 worship.  Bring a chair, mask, and Bible. Insect repellent will be available.

A Church Board appointed Reopening Church task group has begun meeting to plan for the restart of in-person worship at BCMC.  Members of this group are Elizabeth Schmidt (Church Board), Jim Robb (Deacon Commission), Susie Swartley (Worship Commission), Doris Whillock (Hospitality Commission), Jeanette Stucky (Faith Formation Commission), and BCMC staff (Dawn, Renee, Nathan, and Monica).  Please know we are proceeding with caution due to the high-risk demographic of our congregation and the significant potential for transmission incurred in large group meetings.

The new director of New Hope Shelter, Brian Bisbee, has been working at the shelter for two weeks. He has been living at the shelter until he and his wife are able to move into their new home.  They are planning to have a truck ready to unload at their place on Thursday, July 2, at 6 pm.  New Hope Shelter is reaching out to see if anyone could help with unloading the truck and moving on July 2.  There will be pizza and pop provided.  If you are able to help please contact Ashli Teel at the New Hope Shelter, 316-283-7711 or Valetta Seymour at 620-217-7536.

The WDC Virtual Annual Assembly will be held August 1-2.  “Living in Exile” will use Scripture themes from Jeremiah 29:4ff and I Peter 2:11-12 with emphasis on listening to our brothers and sisters on the margins and being missional in new contexts.  Everyone is invited to attend (no travel required)! 
During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeking well-being for all, we will gather for this year’s Assembly virtually.  Various online media platforms such as Zoom, FacebookLive and YouTube will be used. 
Keynote speaker, Danny Carroll R, Wheaton College professor and author (The Bible and Borders:  Hearing God’s Word on Immigration) will engage us in thoughtful conversation about God’s people and their migration in biblical times and today.  (Want a taste of his gentle reflection?  Go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3441Cajdz4.)
There will be no registration fee for delegates or other participants, although donations are invited to help cover Assembly costs.  Only delegates need to register. Please contact Dawn Yoder Harms if you would be willing to serve as a delegate.

A group of Mennonites worked together to create a virtual hymn for My Soul Cries Out this week. It is a cry from Mennonites across the US for an end to white supremacy and police brutality against our siblings of color.   If you have access to youtube you can listen with the following link.

Just Mercy Movie Discussion
In light of the racial justice conversations that are taking place, the movie, Just Mercy, is being streamed FOR FREE during the month of June. You can watch by “renting” online at:  Apple TV, FandangoNow, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, the PlayStation Store, Vudu, Microsoft, and YouTube. Just Mercy tells the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a civil-rights attorney who works to defend Walter McMillian, who was wrongfully convicted of murder. Pastor Renee will host 2 talkback sessions on this movie (please watch the movie on your own before joining the talkback session). One virtually over Zoom on Monday, June 29th at 7pm. One out on the front lawn of BCMC on Wednesday, July 1. Please RSVP to renee@bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org if you plan to attend one of these sessions. 

Western District Conference announcements:
· Danny Carroll R, child of immigrants, Bible professor and author of several books on God’s people on the move, will be the Western District Conference Annual Virtual Assembly  keynote speaker.  He is bilingual, so he has graciously agreed to record his addresses in both Spanish and English.  During our hour of conversation over Zoom with Danny on August 1, 3:30 pm, he will speak in Spanish.  English speakers will have a chance to practice listening carefully to an interpreter, as our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters do much of the time.  
· Resources on Racial Justice:  The Resource Library has suggestions for growing and learning about the issues of racism and white privilege facing our nation.  Check out the lists on our online catalog (under the “Lists” tab and the 2020 Resource Lists Heading) or here: Racism & White Privilege Education 6/9/20 NEW THIS WEEK Racism & White Privilege Education (Kids) 6/16/20 Please contact the library to borrow materials or log into the online catalog to reserve them.  
· Resource Library – Summer Reading Programs–Running June 1-August 15
Adults–This year you’re invited to read any title in our collection and submit a brief review.  Each review will be a ticket into our prize drawings for books, giftcards, and more.  Reviews may be submitted at https://forms.gle/r4kpXQBQqZPuGjiw8, posted on the WDC Resource Library FaceBook page, or given to Library Director, Jennie Wintermote.
Children–Download a reading log here and mark off a box for each book you read (picture books) or every 15 pages (for chapter books) or contact the library for a copy.  Turn in your reading log after August 15 for fun prizes.  (Turn in by mailing, dropping off, or sending a picture of your log to crlib@mennowdc.org).  We would appreciate it if you register your child(ren) at https://forms.gle/mgPPft74HBDs9ZMu6 so we can have enough prizes ready! 

Camp Mennoscah Announcements:
· Summer staff are sharing camp with you from a distance!  Videos are being posted on the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page daily with some typical activities of camp and some of the wild, creative fun we strive for in a week of camp.  A Facebook account is not needed, though they will try to get you to sign up.  Just click “not now” at the bottom of the pop-up box.  You can get to the Facebook page from www.campmennoscah.org using the button at the top left corner.  Send us your thoughts!
· Camp Mennoscah is open to a limited number of individuals and families for both days and overnights.  Reservations must be made in advance.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 for further information. 
· Family Weekend at Camp Mennoscah!  Camp Mennoscah is inviting you to join in a modified Family Weekend on July 18-19.  Many of the same activities like crafts and s’mores will be offered but adjusted to fit life during a pandemic.  The pool is closed for the summer, but the river is still as splashable as ever.  Each family group will be assigned their own bathroom.  Register online at campmennoscah.org or call Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.
· Here are great opportunities to support the mission of Camp Mennoscah
1. Pray for the staff, volunteers, and campers to find creative ways to connect with one another this summer.
2. Make a general fund gift to support creative summer connection content and to sustain camp operations. Maybe even a little extra this year, if you are able to do so!
3. Encourage others to remain involved in camp’s ministry.
It is a blessing to have your support during this unique year! If you have questions about giving options,  contact Michael Unruh at 620-382-6560 or michael.unruh@campmennoscah.org.

Mennonite Central Committee in North Newton is open on a limited basis Monday-Friday, 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm.   Following the biblical call to love our neighbors as ourselves, there are several COVID-19 protocols in place when you visit MCC. Please take your time, read the posted signs and follow the directions to the best of your ability. Masks are required and some are available, if needed. The material resources center and warehouse are not open to volunteer groups at this time, except for a handful of essential volunteers. Material resource donations are being accepted in the 24-hour donation room on the northeast side of the building for contactless drop-offs.  If you need to meet with a staff person, please call the office and set up an appointment with that person at 316-283-2720 or email centralstates@mcc.org.

Prayer request from Mennonite Mission Network:   On this Father’s Day, join Mennonite Mission Network in praying for fathers around the world, especially those who struggle to provide life’s necessities for their children. May we share what God has given us, acknowledging that we are all part of God’s one global family.
Prayer request from Western District Conference:   Pray for Camp Mennoscah and WDC members and congregations, as they make new kinds of connections this summer in the place of traditional camp experiences. 


Announcements for June 12-19, 2020

Please keep Jim Banman in your prayers as he mourns the passing of his wife Judy Coover.  Judy died June 11 with Jim at her side.  Funeral services will be held at a later date due to COVID 19 restrictions. 

Casa Betania plans to participate in the Newton city-wide garage sales on Saturday, June 20. If you have items that you would like to donate, please either drop them off Wednesday evening, June 17, between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Casita, 510 SE 2nd, or call Pastor Graciela at 956 466 4814 to set up a time to drop them off. Large items may be easiest to receive early in the morning on Saturday, June 20. A note about large items coming can be sent to Linda Shelly, lindajs81@gmail.com . (Please put “garage sale” in the subject line.)

Children and Youth, you are invited to offer art for display online during our virtual WDC Assembly.  Read or listen to Jeremiah 29.4-13 and 1 Peter 2. 11-12, then draw or paint a picture, write a poem, or other artistic response to these scriptures which are our theme texts for Assembly, “Living in Exile.”  We will include them in a PowerPoint during the delegate session on August 1.  Pastors, please invite your kids and youth to participate.  Please send them to kathynd@mennowdc.org.  Thank you.  

Available Now – WDC Resource Library Curbside Pickup (2517 N Main in North Newton KS):  Reserve resources any time through our online catalog at https://mennowdc.booksys.net/opac/crl/.   Your items will be available during pickup hours (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 pm) or they can be mailed to you.  To reserve items, log on with your library barcode number (please email the library if you need your library card number), or email Library Director, Jennie, at crlib@mennowdc.org.  Jennie can offer suggestions for individual study, children’s story, group discussion and other resourcing needs.

 Resources on Racial Justice:  The Resource Library has suggestions for growing and learning about the issues of racism and white privilege facing our nations.  Check out the list on our online catalog (under the “Lists” tab and the 2020 Resource Lists Heading) or here: Racism & White Privilege Education 6/9/20  Please contact the library to borrow materials or log into the online catalog to reserve them.  

 Virtual Summer Story Hour:  Children ages 3-8, come take a dip in the ocean through Summer Story Hour!  Virtually join Library Director Jennie Wintermote and volunteer Marjie Warkentine for “Oceans of Fun” with 8 weekly sessions June 15-August 3.  Sign up today at https://forms.gle/61539e9zGnE7u98y5  The first 15 children who sign up will receive a list of supplies they will need for each project.  Join us for “oceans” of stories and fun!

Camp Mennoscah is open to a limited number of individuals and families.  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!

Service can be a family activity! Check out MennoniteMission.net/SOOP to find flexible service terms so the whole family can be the hands and feet of Jesus!  

Free Debt Counseling:  In these trying times, Everence has made free debt counseling possible through Lutheran Social Services Counseling.  See     https://www.everence.com/everence-articles/core-markets/national-advisors-and-representatives/webinars/20191114-performing-a-financial-health-check-up  for more information.  You don’t have to struggle alone. 

Announcements for June 7-14, 2020

Pastors Nathan, Renee, and Dawn invite you to join them in reflecting on scripture texts that will center our worship throughout the month of June. The texts focus on themes of lament, tenacity, and seeking good in the places we find ourselves.  Gatherings will be in-person on Mondays, at 11am, under the large tree on BCMC’s front lawn (with 6’ between us).  Bring your Bible, lawn chair and a mask!

Thank you to John Waltner, who completed his time as Congregational Moderator/Church Board chair at the end of May.  Welcome, Patty Shelly, who serves as the new Congregational Moderator/Church Board chair and Elizabeth Schmidt, who serves as the incoming Moderator/chair.  Thank you for your willingness to share you gifts with us in this way!

Your prayers are welcomed:· for the family of Esther Rinner, who died on Saturday, May 30, especially for her daughters, Jeanette and Amy. A service is being planned for a later date. 
· for Lynn Loucks, who was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and is recovering from surgery and awaiting cancer treatment.
· for Jon Voth, who in preparation for a surgical biopsy of a lymph gland on June 10 will have a COVID test on June 4 and then be in isolation at home until the biopsy. He would welcome support from our congregation. His cell phone number is 316-284-1072 and his email is jon.voth@hesston.edu

In the face of racial injustice that has fueled protests this past week, Executive Director of MCUSA, Glen Guyton, calls on our historic peace church to speak out on the injustice happening in our country. As we have watched this week, the country is burning, and along with our thoughts and prayers on this situation we are called to take action. Read his poignant open letter here

In addition, we encourage you to pick up a copy of Robin Diangelo’s book, White Fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism and read it.  Interested in discussing it with others?  Please be in touch with Dawn Yoder Harms, and we’ll arrange a discussion group.

Sharing with our local and global community:
On May 28, the Deacon Commission, in collaboration with the Witness Commission, approved the sharing of these gifts from the Caring Fund related to Covid 19 needs: 

· $1000 to the Hand to Hand project through the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance (MECA) to help alleviate hunger exacerbated by Covid 19.  Before Covid 19, 68% of Gaza’s  population was “food insecure” and the unemployment rate was 52% (and this situation has only worsened with the spread of the virus). This project is supported by the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network and WDC Israel-Palestine Task Force.  $75 provides food for a family for 2 weeks. 

· $1000 to Working Men of Christ, an organization that works with men and women” who have served time in prison, supporting them in group homes, helping them find jobs, and providing guidance and direction.  There are 8 group homes across Kansas, including 2 in Wichita. Many of program participants land in service-related jobs and have been laid off during this time of Covid 19, bringing significant challenges to them and group home directors. The Caring Fund gift from BCMC will be used to help ensure continuity and support for home directors during this time of added challenge.

Celebrating together: Follow this link to share in the Retirement and Farewell service for Renee Sauder with the Stirling Ave. Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario, which took place on Sunday, May 31: https://share.vidyard.com/watch/yjT1pf2Vtkm8wWw4EWtGny?    Renee began her ministry 37 years ago here at BCMC during Rev. John Esau’s tenure, serving at BCMC from 1983-1990. You can read John Esau’s reflections on their ministry together in Renee’s memory book, accessed at www.stirlingmennonite.ca/memories, password: 57stirling.

This past Sunday, Andrew Toews from Rainbow Mennonite Church (parents Margaret and Francis from our congregation) did a reflection and shared a unique musical rendition of HWB 169/563–a version of Psalm 121.  He has kindly agreed to share it with us.  Enjoy his musical offering at   https://youtu.be/jt8KS3zZ6PQ .  Thank you, Andy!

The June/July/August issue of WDC Garden (WDC’s quarterly newsletter) is now available!  However, since many WDC churches are not meeting in person during this time of pandemic, it will not be sent in bulk to churches for distribution.  It is available online at: https://mennowdc.org/wdc-garden-june-july-august-2020/.  

Virtual Summer Story Hour:  Children ages 3-8, come take a dip in the ocean through Summer Story Hour!  Virtually join Library Director Jennie Wintermote and volunteer Marjie Warkentine for “Oceans of Fun” with 8 weekly sessions June 15-August 3.  Sign up today at:  https://forms.gle/61539e9zGnE7u98y5  The first 15 children who sign up will receive a list of supplies they will need for each project.  Join us for “oceans” of stories and fun!

Summer Reading Programs–Running June 1-August 15:  Adults–This year you’re invited to read any title in our collection and submit a brief review.  Each review will be a ticket into our prize drawings for books, giftcards, and more.  Reviews may be submitted at https://forms.gle/r4kpXQBQqZPuGjiw8, posted on the WDC Resource Library FaceBook page, or given to Library Director, Jennie Wintermote.

Children–Download a reading log here and mark off a box for each book you read (picture books) or every 15 pages (for chapter books) or contact the library for a copy.  Turn in your reading log after August 15 for fun prizes.  (Turn in by mailing, dropping off, or sending a picture of your log to crlib@mennowdc.org).  We would appreciate it if you register your child(ren) at https://forms.gle/mgPPft74HBDs9ZMu6 so we can have enough prizes ready!

Library Reopening–Curbside Pickup Starting Soon (When Harvey County, Kansas enters Phase 3) You can start reserving items at any time through our online catalog at https://mennowdc.booksys.net/opac/crl/   Once the library is open for curbside checkout, these items will be pulled and available during pickup hours (or mailed to you).  In order to reserve items, you will need to log on with your library barcode number (please email the library if you need your library card number).  You are also welcome to email Library Director, Jennie, at crlib@mennowdc.org in order to reserve items.  Jennie is also happy to offer suggestions for individual study, children’s story, group discussion and other resourcing needs.

The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our August 2020 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Why I am an Anabaptist.  More information:  https://themennonite.org/august-2020-call-submissions-anabaptist/

Consider being an Mennonite Voluntary Service participant for the 2020-2021 MVS year! The application deadline has been extended until the end of July. Visit MennoniteMission.net/MVS to learn more and apply!  

Everence will host a Social Security and retirement income planning webinar, Tuesday, June 16 at 6:30 pm.  Attendees will learn about Social Security strategies, risks that can impact retirement savings and strategies to help income last throughout retirement. The workshop is free. Register soon by contacting Darlene Buller at 316-283-3800, 877-467-7294 or darlene.buller@everence.com

Please join Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) on June 16 at 1 pm CST/ 12 pm, MDT, for a webinar: MCC’s migration work in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala/El Salvador to discuss questions such as: How are MCC workers and partners in Latin America being affected by COVID-19? How are U.S. policies and protocols affecting the spread of the virus among the vulnerable population? How are organizations and faith communities responding? And how can each of us get involved and support their work during this time? Learn how to join this conversation at mcc.org/immigration-webinar-series. 

You’re invited to join MCC on June 17th at 6 pm CST/ 5 pm MDT for a webinar featuring Paul Shetler Fast, MCC’s global health coordinator. Learn how COVID-19 is threatening the developing world and how MCC is responding. MCC’s monthly webinar series, featuring a wide variety of stories from MCC projects from around the world, explores how MCC is responding to COVID-19. Experts in the field will give us a behind-the-scenes experience, sharing their own stories. Come with your questions! Register for upcoming webinars and browse through past recordings at mcccanada.ca/mcc-webinar-series.  

As our communities begin reopening, Everence is expanding their availability with limited in-person services at office locations in North Newton and Hutchinson.   In-person meetings with financial representatives are available by appointment. You may also meet with them by email, phone or videoconference.

Additional details regarding the Everence office reopening are available on their website:  everence.com/kansas

Western District Conference Prayer Request:  Pray for the WDC Executive Board as it meets this week to offer vision and leadership to the conference in the midst of challenging times.

Mennonite Mission Network Prayer Request:  Mennonite Mission Network requests prayer for Juliet Kilpin and Peaceful Borders, an Anabaptist organization in the United Kingdom that advocates for refugees. Pray for resources for refugee-led support groups (Hopetowns) that bear witness to suffering and injustice and provide the basics: food, water, shelter, and a cellphone charger.

From Mennonite Church USA:  Learn more about the humanitarian work being done in North Korea during a free webinar on June 12 at 5:30 pm, EDT. Mennonite Church USA is co-sponsoring this webinar, led by author Joy Yoon. Register by June 10 at  https://bit.ly/NKoreaWebinar.
Pray for our conferences that are meeting online for their annual gatherings this month: Central District Conference, Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Central Plains Mennonite Conference and Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. 

Menno Snapshots
Pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler shares what it means to honor all members of the body of Christ
in the church’s responses to the pandemic and reopening in her blog, “The most precious of all.” Read more at http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/most-precious/

Announcements for May 29-June 5, 2020

Prayers are welcomed for those receiving hospital care this week:  Lee Suderman (Wesley Medical Center);  Lynn Loucks (Newton Medical Center).

BCMC Women’s Fellowship has a deficit for the 2020 year of $4025. We have missed the March, April and May meetings and may miss the fall meetings too. We are asking the members to contribute to make up that deficit so all our budget commitments can be met. All donations will go to the budget ministries. Please make your checks payable to BCMCWF and send them to Lois Goertzen, 3043 Ivy Court, North Newton KS 67117.

BCMC giving totals for May 24:  General Fund $7,097; Rejoice $341; Living Stones $25; Bethel College Scholarship Fund $200; Elevator Repair $300.

2020 Annual Assembly Invitation Video:  Here is a link to a YouTube video inviting delegates and friends to Western District Conference’s virtual Annual Assembly August 1-2 – https://youtu.be/jn1zOf3jVGA.   WDC’s hope is to encourage people with a diversity of voices, ages, and viewpoints.to be part of this year’s Assembly. 

Mennonite Central Committee Flatlander Bicycle Ride:  The planning committee is going ahead with plans for the 2020 Flatlander ride to be held September 19.  More information about this event can be found at:  https://mcc.org/get-involved/events/mcc-flatlander-bicycle-ride.  We are currently looking for additional people to help on the planning committee, and also for individuals or groups to help us with the SAGs (refreshment stops) on the various bike routes.  If you are interested in helping or have questions, please call Donna at 316-727-6346 or email her at beckerdonna2@gmail.com.  Hope to see you there.

Spiritual practices Zoom webinar offered by Mennonite Mission Network  When: June 4, 2020, at 7 pm EDT/ 6 pm CDT   What: Spiritual practices for peacemakers: finding your center when you feel pulled apart
How: Visit the registration page for more information and instructions to join! Encounter anew, or rediscover ancient spiritual practices which create a daily rhythm of life. Turn your despair and isolation into hope and community. Join us for this webinar, exploring the practice of prayer, ritual, and community in this time of loss and loneliness. After the webinar, you will be invited to join a 30 day virtual learning community of 12-15 people, that will seek and find this daily rhythm of life together!

The Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum, 200 N. Poplar, Goessel, will reopen their doors June 2, 10am – 5 pm, Tues.- Sat.  During this pandemic, your safety is as important as preserving our heritage. Plenty of space allows distancing within the eight buildings on the museum campus. Visitors are welcome to wear face masks. Feel free to call first. 620-367-8200. For other information visit the museum website  www.goesselmuseum.com  

Reflecting on Faith and Fear:  “A Time Enduring” is a second FREE edition of the Rejoice devotional in the midst of a pandemic.  These are wonderful, thoughtful reflections by some gifted Anabaptist writers.  Find a copy of this at:   https://mennowdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020-Rejoice-Time-Enduring.pdf  

Prayer request from Mennonite Mission Network:  Mennonite Mission Network requests prayer for Meserete Kristos College which trains leaders for the Anabaptist churches in Ethiopia. Pray that the faculty, staff and students will shine with God’s light in their communities as the college has had to send students home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And

Western District Conference:  Give thanks for collaborative efforts among WDC congregations as they have responded to the impact of coronavirus through sharing resources, planning joint initiatives and supporting each other.