November 4, 2011
www.nplains.org
A JOURNEY WITH JESUS: ANOTHER WAY OF LIVING
Northern Plains District Communications
District News and Announcements


“District News and Announcements” is for members and friends of the Church of the Brethren in the Northern Plains District.  District Leaders, Commissions, Committees, and those doing special ministries share information on programs and activities.  Local churches share news and invitations.  Forward this e-newsletter to others interested in Church of the Brethren life and work in the Northern Plains.  Send information or feedback to Tim Button-Harrison, District Executive, nplainscob@gmail.com or Jess Hoffert, District Communications Intern, nplainscom@gmail.com.
FEATURES:
Click above for a District Communications update.
Click above for a recap of our Intercultural Workshop.
Click above to view our Spiritual Moments gallery.
In this issue...

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1. BARBARA WISE-LEWCZAK AND SUE BOLLINGER TO BE ORDAINED
2. KATHY MACK RECEIVES MCPHERSON YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD
3. CHANGE OF DISTRICT FINANCIAL SECRETARY AND P.O. BOX
4. SHELLER ENDS TERM AS IOWA PEACE NETWORK COORDINATOR
5. DISTRICT YOUTH RETREAT AT IVESTER COB NEXT WEEKEND
6. CAMP PINE LAKE UPDATE: NEWSLETTER AND LODGE WORK DATES
7. DIANE MASON THIS MONTH'S FEATURED TRiM STUDENT
8. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF LEADERSHIP: PETER AND JESUS
9. SEARCH FOR DISTRICT COMMUNICATIONS PARTNERS
10. WANTED: OUTSIDE PHOTO OF YOUR CHURCH BUILDING
11. REMEMBERING HEIFER PROJECT DURING THE HOLIDAYS
12. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS
13. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR DISTRICT STAFF
14. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS, WEBSITES AND MORE





1. BARBARA WISE-LEWCZAK AND SUE BOLLINGER TO BE ORDAINED

Barbara Wise Lewczak has been approved for ordination in the Church of the Brethren. Her service of Ordination will be at 2 p.m. on November 6 at the Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren (4100 6th Ave., Des Moines, IA) where she is serving as pastor. A reception with light refreshments will follow the service. Barbara and the Stover Leadership Team welcome your presence at this special event.

Sue Bollinger has also been approved for ordination in the Church of the Brethren. Sue's service of Ordination will be held during the morning worship (10:00 a.m.) on December 4 at the Lewiston Church of the Brethren (25335 County Rd 25, Lewiston, MN) where she serves on the congregation's preaching team and as its ministry coordinator. There will be a celebration lunch after the service. Everyone is welcome! [RETURN TO TOP]


 



2. KATHY MACK RECEIVES MCPHERSON YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD

McPherson (KS) College recently announced its 2011 Young Alumni Awards.  Among the three recipients of the award is Kathy Mack (class of '86).  Kathy currently serves as President of the Northern Plains District Board and is part of the Hands of Christ project in Rochester, MN where she lives.  Next summer, she will begin representing the District on the Annual Conference Standing Committee. Kathy has worked for IBM for 22 years, with one of her first projects to improve the performance of the AS/400 software often known as the "green screen."  Congratulations, Kathy!  And thank you for your service! [RETURN TO TOP]




3. CHANGE OF DISTRICT FINANCIAL SECRETARY AND P.O. BOX

Nancy Davis' service as Northern Plains District Financial and Office Secretary concludes December 31, 2011.  Phyllis Prichard of Ames has been appointed by the District Stewards Commission and Board to begin serving on January 1, 2012 as our next Financial Secretary.  Since Phyllis lives in Ames, (as does the District Executive) a new District P.O. Box has been opened in Ames, which people may begin using effective immediately.  The Ankeny P.O. Box will stay open until the end of the year, and after that, all mail will be forwarded to Ames.  The new address is Northern Plains District/Church of the Brethren, P.O. Box 573, Ames, IA 50010-0573.
 
We are grateful for Nancy's years of excellent service, both as Office and Financial Secretary.  We are also grateful to Phyllis for accepting the call to serve as our next Financial Secretary.  Stay tuned for more about Nancy's years of service and how we will honor her for her work.  Also, keep her in your prayers as she will be having knee surgery on November 8th. [RETURN TO TOP]



4. SHELLER ENDS TERM AS IOWA PEACE NETWORK COORDINATOR

The District joins Iowa Peace Network (IPN) in thanking Christine Sheller who has served IPN as coordinator for approximately 2 years.  Christine is a recent graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary, a licensed Brethren minister, and a member of Ivester Church of the Brethren.  She is ending her term as  coordinator December 1, 2011, but will continue to represent the District on the Joint Oversight Committee of IPN.  (The District's other representative is Myrna Frantz, also a member of the Ivester congregation.)
   
We also join IPN in welcoming Jess Hoffert as its new coordinator starting in December.  Jess is a recent graduate of Drake University in journalism and is currently working at Meredith Publishing in Des Moines.  He is also serving as the District's Communications Intern.   The annual Iowa Peace Network open house will be held at Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren (4100 6th Ave., Des Moines) on November 20 from 1-3 p.m.  There will be peace items for sale, as well as crafts from Guatemala.  The Prairie Creek String Band of Marshalltown, Iowa will also be on hand to provide peace, folk and holiday music.

The Northern Plains District of the Church of the Brethren is one of the founding churches of Iowa Peace Network and continues to annual support IPN through the District budget.  Individuals and congregations are encouraged to support Iowa Peace Network so it can help us all to better engage our communities in doing 'the things which make for peace'.
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5. DISTRICT YOUTH RETREAT AT IVESTER COB NEXT WEEKEND

Open to all Senior High Youth (including recent graduates)! Enjoy plenty of fun and games, singing, fellowship and spiritual time at the District Youth Retreat. The fun starts Friday evening (November 11) and continues through Sunday morning (November 13) at Ivester Church of the Brethren.

Reconnect with old friends and make new ones as well. Take a break from your busy fall schedule to enjoy some time in God's presence. $35 registration fee covers the cost of everything, including meals.

Contact Barbara Wise Lewczak at bwlewczak@netins.net for more information
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6. CAMP PINE LAKE UPDATE: NEWSLETTER AND LODGE WORK DATES


Click here
to view the Fall 2011 Camp Pine Lake Newsletter.

Contents include:

  • Information about the new Day Camp ministry and summer staff
  • Application information to be a summer staff member in 2012
  • A recap of the 2011 Church of the Brethren camps
  • A list of volunteers for the 2011 camp season
  • Camp dates for 2012
  • Overview of the new “Outback” low ropes course
  • Update on Friendship Lodge renovations
  • Camp Pine Lake contact information
Also, please consider coming to camp on one or more of the following Saturdays to work on the interior of Friendship Lodge: November 12, December 10, January 28, February 11, March 10 and May 5. Work will begin around 8 am on these days, with a lunch break at noon. Feel free to stay as long as you wish. Those who have weekdays free are also welcome to help out. Contact camp manager Matt Kuecker so he can have projects, materials and/or tools ready. His cell number is 515-689-3044. Thanks in advance for sharing your time and labor to help make this happen! [RETURN TO TOP] 


 



7. DIANE MASON THIS MONTH'S FEATURED TRiM STUDENT
Lois Grove, Minister of Leadership Development and TRiM Coordinator

Diane entered the TRiM program in 2009 responding to God’s call to “Prepare!”  She appreciates the flexibility of TRiM which allows her to take many classes at home and also to tailor, within established parameters, her studies toward her interests.  She is grateful for godly parents who lived the Christian example.  She is thankful for her loving husband who has been patient and supportive while she studies.  She rejoices in her children and grandchildren for whom she wants to exemplify obedience to Christ.  And she is glad to be part of the community of faith at Fairview that is willing to stretch as they accommodate four TRiM students at once! 

Diane is currently enrolled in two courses through Bethany Seminary which will complete requirements for a Certificate from there.  She will begin her ministry internship soon.  Diane has been serving as the treasurer of the Northern Plains District since January 2011.  Meanwhile, she welcomes opportunities to do pulpit supply as she is able. [RETURN TO TOP]

 



8. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF LEADERSHIP: PETER AND JESUS
Lois Grove, Minister of Leadership Development and TRIM Coordinator

As a person who is more intrigued by the social sciences than the physical, I don’t get very excited about the physics behind a person’s walking on water and actually become amused to hear the debate surrounding it.  To focus on the physics behind this event in Matthew is, in my viewpoint, to miss a very important ‘Jesus’ moment.  

The disciples had spent a shaky night on the water and then to see what at first appeared to be ghost appear to them, but later turn out to be Jesus himself, turned their fears into calm. I love Peter’s willingness to jump out of the boat and walk to Jesus, but soon his bravado gave way to fear and lack of courage.  When he focused on reality—the turbulent waves and probably his own sense of not being up to the task—he quickly started sinking.

As leaders, how often do we become so swept up in reality and our own inadequacies to the point where we lead from a FEAR of changing anything and a failure to imagine that by trusting in the power of Jesus we could change our “we’ve never done it that way before”  attitude to “what if we looked at it this way”?  

Society in general, the church, our political system are all suffering from being so steeped in “what is” that we can’t imagine “what if”.  Albert Einstein was quoted as saying that “imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Roger Peckover, in his Friday evening sermon at District Conference, used as his focal point (literally) the cover of the book, “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, depicting two children and a dog, courageously and imaginatively out on the edge of somewhere.  I want to include a poem from that book:

    Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
    Listen to the DON’TS
    Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
    The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
    Listen to the NEVER HAVES
    Then listen close to me---Anything can happen, child. ANYTHING can be.


Blessings as you lead with imagination.
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9. SEARCH FOR DISTRICT COMMUNICATIONS PARTNERS

Please consider being your church’s Communications Partner for the district. We are looking for a representative from each congregation to submit prayer requests to the District Communications Intern, so they can pass them on to the church that’s praying for you that week. So far we have six partners from six churches, which means we're about 20% there. These include representatives from Common Spirit, Iowa River, Panther Creek, Prairie City, Stover Memorial and Hands of Christ. If you are interested in being a Communications Partner, or have any other questions or comments about District Communications, e-mail Jess Hoffert at nplainscom@gmail.com. And don't forget to "like" Northern Plains District on Facebook! We've got 50 likes so far, which is a great start. [RETURN TO TOP]   




10. WANTED: OUTSIDE PHOTO OF YOUR CHURCH BUILDING

Karen B. Harper is creating a Northern Plains picture map using photos of each church building in our District for identification.  To help with this project, please email an outside photo of your church building to harper.doyle@hotmail.com.
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11. REMEMBERING HEIFER PROJECT DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Paul Coffman, English River COB

Persons and nations with some wealth have not done very well at helping those less fortunate.  Heifer International (the entity that has evolved from Brethren Heifer Project) has done better.  Their method has been to give living, productive, food producing animals to those in need.  Their method further involves training the recipient in how to care for the animals.  It also involves the agreement that the first offspring of the animals will be given to another needy person or family.
 
A Heifer International project in Nepal has helped women in villages get a start in self sufficiency.  Gita Acchami reinvested her earnings from the two goats she received from Heifer International to open a community shop.  She says, "Two goats and a lot of training and education were the keys to changing our situation."  She also said, "We learned that women were not meant to be oppressed."  That same encouragement resulted in women pooling their resources to install a village tap and pipes for drinking water.

We have the opportunity to take part in a growing holiday tradition by giving gifts that help people all over the world in need.
 
3 EASY WAYS TO GIVE
1. Call toll free (800) 698-2511  Credit card gifts only.
2. Give online at www.heifer.org/catalog
3. Mail a gift order to: Heifer International P.O. Box 6021, Albert Lea, MN  56007 [RETURN TO TOP]




12. DISTRICT CALENDAR OF EVENTS

November 5, Church Development and Renewal Committee, Clear Lake Library, 10:30
November 6, Barbara Lewczak Ordination Service, 2 p.m. Stover Memorial COB
November 8, Central Iowa Brethren Pastors Meeting, Stover Mem. COB, 10 a.m.
November 14-17, DE at Advanced Foundations for Church Leadership
November 18-21, DE on vacation
November 20, Iowa Peace Network Open House,1-3 p.m., Stover Memorial COB
December 4, Sue Bollinger Ordination Service, Lewiston (MN) COB
December 13¸Central Iowa Brethren Pastors Meeting, Ankeny COB, 10 a.m.

---- 2012 ----
January 21-26, Council of District Executives Winter Meeting

February 3-4, District Board Meeting, South Waterloo COB

February 18, Church Development and Renewal Committee, Clear Lake Public Library, 10:30

February 27-March 1, DE at Advanced Foundations for Church Leadership
March 20, Central Iowa Ecumenical Pastors Forum, Ankeny Resurrection Lutheran, 9 noon
April 5, Maundy Thursday Love Feasts
April 8¸Easter
April 27-28, District Board Meeting, Camp Pine Lake, Eldora, IA
May 17-19, Church of the Brethren, Church Planting Conference
May 22-23, Iowa Ecumenical Leaders Annual Retreat
June 18-21, DE at Advanced Foundations for Church Leadership
July 1-7, Brethren Song and Story Festival at Camp Emmanuel, Astoria, IL
July 7-11, Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO

August 3-5, Northern Plains District Conference, Cedar Rapids Brethren/Baptist Church

September 24-27, DE at Advanced Foundations for Church Leadership [RETURN TO TOP]





13. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR DISTRICT STAFF

Tim Button-Harrison, District Executive, 1211 Clark Ave., Ames, IA 50010, 641-485-5604, nplainscob@gmail.com

Nancy Davis, Office/Financial Secretary, P.O. Box 493, Ankeny, IA 50021, 515-964-4816, npofficesecretary@gmail.com

Lois Grove, Leadership Development, 6 Grenville St., Council Bluffs, IA 51503, 712-326-8266, grove19@msn.com

Matt and Betsy Kueker, Camp Managers, 23008 W Avenue, Eldora, IA 50627, 641-939-5334, camppinelake@heartofiowa.net

Barbara Lewczak, Camp Program Director, 26505 195th St., Minburn, IA 50167, 515-240-0060, bwlewczak@netins.net

Jess Hoffert, Communications Intern, 708 16th Street Apt. 3, Des Moines, IA 50314, 507-429-0495, nplainscom@gmail.com

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14. ARCHIVES, DOCUMENTS, WEBSITES AND MORE

Archive of Newsletters
   October 15, 2011 (District Conference Report)
  
October 7, 2011
  
September 21, 2011
   August 26, 2011
   June 29, 2011
   May 28, 2011
   April 28, 2011
   March 31, 2011
   February 18, 2011
   January 20, 2011
   December 10, 2010
   November 13, 2010

 
Documents
  
2011 District Directory
   2011 District Budget
  
2012 District Budget pages one, two and three
   District Constitution and Bylaws
   Church Development and Renewal Charter

 
District Membership Task Force Resources
  
Annual Conference Statement “The Meaning of Membership”
   List of Resources for Membership Training
   Background and Notes for Discussion
   Where Do We Go From Here?

 
Weaving Our Stories Together: Documents and Links

   Logo to use in newsletters, projections, etc.
  
"Weave Us Together" song by Rosemary Crowe
   District Board Fall 2010 Workshop led by Janis Pyle
 
Brethren Heritage Day 2010: Stories and Poems
  
“Planting a Church on the Prairie” by Marlene Neher
   “Pray for Us and We’ll Pray for You” by David Whitten

   “A Cool, Soaking Rain” by David Whitten
   "The Boastful Farmer" by Lee Hogle
   "The Race of Life" by Lee Hogle
   “Total Nonsense” by Lee Hogle


Other Pieces
   Harold Smith Eulogy by Tim Button-Harrison

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