Job Opening | Argonia Friends

posted on April 19th, 2017

Argonia Friends Church is following the Holy Spirit in our search for a shepherd to lead our congregation.  We are looking for someone to connect with our community, connect with the youth and lead a congregation seeking God’s direction in every aspect of church life.  We have been led the past four years by a caring and loving leader that is following the Holy Spirit in leaving us to go where God is taking him.  He has led us to look deeper into every aspect of worship, community involvement and personal growth.  This leading has given us a stronger desire to do whatever God wants.

If you are interested in accepting this challenge and growing with us please contact Brian Fitch, presiding clerk: brian.fitch@experitec.com.  You can learn more about the ministry of Argonia Friends by visiting our church website, town website and school website.

Applications Open for Kaleo Academy

posted on April 14th, 2017

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-2-38-01-pmHow is your church investing in Leadership Development for the future? Do you have anything in place to encourage young people towards a life of ministry, service and calling? Kaleo (“to call”) Academy would like to come alongside your church in helping develop high school leaders for the Friends Church, and most importantly, for the Kingdom of God. Kaleo Academy is a National Friends Youth Training for students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school in the fall of 2017 and is sponsored by Barclay College. The Academy is a 10 month program which includes: a week long Theology Camp on the campus of Barclay College (June 25 – July 1, 2017); a supervised Mentor Program to walk alongside the student and mentor from your local faith community; an Online Learning Community with students, mentors, and Friends teachers/leaders; and the Released Project directed towards 50 hours of student service learning.

Kaleo Academy Staff is interested in visiting your local church or your Yearly Meeting Region and presenting a workshop on how the program can take place in your congregation. If you are interested in more details, please contact Kaleo Academy Director, Brockie Follette at brockie.follette@barclaycollege.edu or 620-862-5252 ext. 26.

The group that formed around George Fox and started the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) were known as the Valiant Sixty.  Those early Quakers were young and passionate in telling people about Jesus, the One who can speak to every person’s condition.  We are looking for the new Valiant Sixty; young people who are ready to answer the call and help lead the Friends Church into the future!

Visit our website for more information and to apply: http://www.barclaycollege.edu/kaleo/. Applications are now being accepted through May 31, 2017.

– Brockie Follette, Kaleo Academy Director

641-990-6225

Leadership Institute, May 1 | Dr. Adrian Halverstadt

posted on April 14th, 2017

This week we are remembering with inexpressible gratitude the love of Christ revealed in his suffering love for us on the cross. Then, on Resurrection Sunday, we will celebrate Christ’s victory over the grave. So we will gather with our Institute family on May 1, 2017 as a new people filled with the new life of the Living Christ. We will also begin a new course on Christian Theology and Church History. Dr. Adrian Halverstadt will be our teacher for the three classes in May, June, and July, during which he will bring clarity to the central beliefs of our Christian faith from a distinctively Friends perspective.

Dr. Adrian Halverstadt is my personal friend and colleague. Adrian is Chancellor at Barclay College and represents the college around the nation and across the branches of the Friends Church. He is Professor of Christian Theology in the Master of Arts studies at Barclay College, Director of the distance learning studies, and Professor in the undergraduate Bible/Ministry Division. Serving the wider Friends Church, Adrian is Superintendent of Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting and Director of Evangelical Friends Church-North America. He is a Recorded Friends Minister in Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region, with more than thirty years of pastoral service. Adrian received the Bachelor’s degree from Ft. Wayne Bible College, the Master’s in Christian Ministry from Huntington University, and the Ph.D. in Theology, with a concentration in conflict management and systems theory from Trinity/University of Liverpool. Before coming to Barclay College, Adrian was Interim Pastor of the Pratt Friends Church, Executive Pastor of Willoughby Hills Friends Church, and a District Superintendent in Evangelical Friends Church (Eastern Region). He also opened a mission field in Brazil. Adrian is married to Lisa, and they are the loving parents of Adrian III, Joel, and Tim, and grandparents of six beautiful grandchildren. Adrian describes his commitment to the Church. “Lisa and I enjoy visiting churches and speaking on behalf of Barclay College.  We love the Friends Church and are committed to Biblical holiness.  I am convinced that God can transform the world for His glory through Barclay College and the Evangelical Friends Church!”

Adrian’s presentation will be available on YouTube. So if you cannot listen to his presentation on May 1, I encourage you to view the recorded session. Perhaps you can gather a group in your church to discuss Adrian’s teaching. Another brilliant idea was given to me. You might want to have a Sunday school class to discuss Adrian’s classes and other courses. This is the YouTube link.

If you are able to share in the interactive session with Adrian, here are the locations: Kickapoo Friends Center, Louisville, KY Friends Church, Stone Mountain Friends Church, Atlanta, GA, Indianapolis with Steve Turner, All Nations (formerly Sudanese Community) Friends Church in Omaha, Palmer, Alaska (the home of David Miller), (Alaska Yearly Meeting), Noatak, Alaska (Robert Sheldon, Superintendent), Neighborhood Friends Church (at the home of Tom and Bonnie Bousman), Friends Ministry Center (Wichita), Lighthouse Fellowship Church (at the home of Jerry and Mary Louthan), Bangor Liberty Friends Church, Fowler Friends Church, Barclay College (Jackson Hall), Faith Friends Church, North Newton (at the home of Merl and Eunice Kinser), Friends Community Church (Angleton), New Hope Friends Church, Friends Church at Liberal, Arkansas City Friends Church (at the home of Bud and Pauline Lawrence), Kingston, Jamaica (viewing and discussing YouTube videos), St Paul, MN Friends Church (Bhutanese), and Canadian Yearly Meeting (Montreal Monthly Meeting) at the homes of David Millar, Paul Etienne Mungombe, and Jonathan Esongo.

We seek to be informed Friends and explain clearly our beliefs. This we can do as we understand more fully our rich Christian history and the beliefs of prominent theologians in our 2000-year history. Adrian Halverstadt is committed to guide us in this high goal. Will you join him and others in our Institute family on May 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. central time? I invite you also to participate in a time of fellowship at 6 :50, during which we will hear the story of one of our members.

May the grace of our Savior be overflowing to you and your church,

Dave Kingrey, Director of Leadership Institute

Jr. High Bible Quiz | Update

posted on April 10th, 2017
The third quiz of the season was held in South Texas.  For the first time ever, Friends Community Church in Angleton, TX hosted our quiz.  The competition was fierce as 14 teams from 8 churches quizzed over Matthew 1-11.  Bethel ended up taking top honors with Bethel Red taking first and Bethel Blue coming in second.  Northridge Blue took 3rd while Friends Community came in 4th. 
 
The others teams ended as follows:

5th–Argonia Blue, Friendswood Blue
6th–Haviland Blue, Friendswood Red
7th–Chandler, Argonia Red
8th–Northridge Red, Tribe of Friends
Honorable Mention–Friendswood White, Haviland Red

The finals will be held at Northridge Friends on Saturday, April 22.

 
 
 
 

Home Missions Update

posted on April 7th, 2017

New Church Planters – Doing the Work of the Church!

Missiologist and author Alan Hirsch believes that many people in the church of America today have forgotten that the gospel mandate is actually to “make disciples of the nations”. In his book “Forgotten Ways”, Hirsch highlights the missional priority of discipleship and helps leaders reframe their understanding and practice of evangelism in the context of disciple making. By reframing mission and evangelism around discipleship, not only do we grow more obedient, but also make space for long-term, authentic, loving relationships with the people in our lives. Hirsch points out that if every follower of Jesus simply did this with just two or three people in their lifetime and asked those people to do the same—disciples making disciples making disciples—in just a few generations we would accomplish what we have sought to accomplish through most of our evangelistic efforts. “Disciple making lies at the very core of the church’s ‘sentness’ and mission,” he writes. “It has never been an optional extra.” This work of discipleship very accurately describes the vital and strategic work of our new church planting leaders here in Evangelical Friends Church – Mid America. We are actively supporting and working with these leaders in eight active projects, and praying with other leaders in several other new mission points throughout our region. Please prayerfully continue to lift these leaders with us!

Gerald & Deloras Mendenhall – planters at Oasis Church in Dodge City KS ~~ please pray for this veteran new church planting couple, and for the strength and renewed energy for building up believers and reaching the lost in this city and beyond. Please pray for the established leaders there, and also for the new believer’s stepping up in ministry. Pray for Gerald this month as he travels to various prisons across this country ministering to those incarcerated and their families. Pray for new leaders who may be found to work with the growing community of young people becoming a part of this church. Pray that an intern would be found to work this summer.

Emilio Sanchez – planter at Iglesia Evangélica Amigos de San Antonio TX ~~ please pray for Pastor Emilio in these days of transition and for new leadership there in San Antonio. Pastor Emilio will be completing his ministry there at the end of March, and either returning to Guatemala, or engaging in other ministry here in the states. Pray with the Partner Church Advisory Team (PAT) and the local team searching for new leadership, especially during this time without pastoral leadership.

Lazarus & Veronica John – planters at All Nations church in Omaha NE ~~ please pray for this couple, along with children, Deng and Aguel (college age), and Chuok, Nyawuda, and Juoly in elementary school. Pray for the many new leaders that Pastor Lazarus continues to disciple and equip for ministry and leadership in the work of the church. He is working with several interns from area colleges on numerous community issues, and is hosting a youth ministry team from Northridge Friends Church in Wichita KS over Spring break. He actively leads the Omaha/Lincoln Sudanese ministerial Alliance and is also preparing to travel with EFM this spring to his homeland to establish new church planting efforts there. Veronica continues to support the family by working in an area hospital. Prayers are appreciated also for the PAT team comprised of leaders from EFC-MAYM and Iowa Yearly Meeting.

Isai & Sucely Ramos – planters at Iglesia Evangélica Amigos de Oklahoma City OK ~~ please pray for this couple, along with daughter Stephanie in elementary school, working to overcome some learning difficulties, and son Benjamin, growing and learning at their home. Continue to pray for some health issues that Sucely has been battling. Pray for the continued strength and energy for Isai, who is working at the Hobby Lobby store and striving hard to maintain and disciple new leaders. Pray for Sucely’s parents, the Aldana’s, who are now living in the city and assisting in this new ministry. Pray also for the leaders from First Friends and COK area that are supporting this ministry in so many ways.

Joel & Blanca Mayorga – planters at Iglesia Evangélica Amigos de Emporia KS ~~ please pray for this couple and the leaders here working alongside the members of First Friends Church to reach this community. Pastor Joel requests prayers for the work and for their personal financial support. They have need for new tires on the vehicle provided by the Zortman family from Fowler Friends Church.

Jeremiah & Wendy Williams – planters at Friends of Lawrence KS ~~   please pray for this couple, along with their little daughter Abi. This ministry team continues to reach out to their neighbors and to live their Friends witness to the community in new and exciting ways! Pray for Jeremiah as he works to renovate this historical church facility for God’s glory.

Dal (D.B.) & Sangita Tamang – planters at Living Friends Church in Ft Worth TX ~~ please pray for this couple along with their daughter, Neemah (20), and son, Silas (19) beginning this new Friends Church in northwest Ft Worth TX. Pastor D.B. is gathering new disciples from his apartment complex as well as numerous other communities from across the metro area. Their leadership team is requesting prayer for Pastor D.B.’s job situation and a feasible new worship location. I was privileged to preach there a couple Sunday’s ago. The congregation has around 50 men, women, and children gathered in, or I should say, packed into a member’s garage. A True Blessing!

Kumar & Jossuda Tamang – planters at St Paul Friends Church in St Paul MN ~~ please pray for this couple along with their two sons, Amrit (18) and Samuel (12) beginning this new Friends Church in the Roseville MN community outside of the St Paul MN area. The church shares a location with Galilee Lutheran Church and have around 30 new disciples in the ministry. They have an active community gardening ministry that is reaching into this predominantly Hindu refugee neighborhood. Their leadership team is requesting prayer for a ministry van to commute members to and from the church for services. Currently leaders are mobilizing their own vehicles for this outreach. Home Missions recently provided several new NIV and Nepali language Bibles for this ministry and the people were truly appreciative of the gift.

George & Beverly Miller missional planters in Caldwell TX ~~ pray for this couple beginning a new Friends vision in a community outside of the College Station TX area. Pray for acceptance and fellowship with neighbors and community to receive this new vision.

Lowell & Melissa Adams missional planters in Dripping Springs TX ~~ pray for this couple beginning a new Friends vision in a community outside of the Austin TX area. Pray for acceptance and fellowship with neighbors and community to receive this new vision.

– Randy Littlefield, Director of Multiplication Ministries

Meet the Team | Saltshaker 2017 India/Bhutan

posted on March 27th, 2017

Meet the Saltshaker 2017 India/Bhutan Team! Please pray for our EFC-MAYM Saltshaker 2017 mission trip team headed to serve this summer in India/Bhutan. The team requests prayer support from friends, family and from churches and church members across EFC-MAYM and beyond. Several team members are also still raising funds. Please contact adam@efcmaym.org if you are interested in supporting these trips with a financial (tax-deductible) donation or make a donation online here. See more information about Saltshaker 2017 here

Saltshaker Prayer Requests
*For Security & Safety, that we would “be strong and courageous” and not be “afraid or discouraged” (Joshua 1:9).
*For Unity, that we may “be made completely one, so the world may know…” (John 17:23).
*For Discernment, that we may “trust in the Lord with all our heart and not rely on our own understanding…” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
*For Health & Comfort, that we would “be in good health physically just as you are spiritually” (I John 1:2).
*For Leadership that we would “imitate” the Apostle Paul “as he imitates Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1).
*For the Mission Fields in Bhutan/Nepal, that we would “promote love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
*For Humility that we would “make our own attitude that of Christ” and “assuming the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Saltshaker Itineraries (Tentative Dates)
June 21-22 – Saltshaker Orientation at Northridge Friends, Wichita, KS
June 22 – Saltshaker team departs from Wichita
June 23 – Team arrives in Kolkata, India
July 2 – Team departs Kolkata for Bhutan
July 6 – Team returns to Kolkata
July 7 – Team departs Kolkata for USA
July 8 – Team returns to USA

Note that India is 10:30 and Bhutan is 11 hours ahead of US Central Time and Nepal is 10:45 ahead of US Central Time.

The sending churches for Saltshaker 2017 include the Friends Churches of Bethel, Northridge, and Rose Hill.

My name is Lynnelle Bogan and I attend Bethel Friends Church in Hugoton, Kansas. I am currently a senior at Hugoton High School and I will graduate in May. The Spring Invasion mission to Mexico in 2016 was my first mission trip. Over the past year I have felt God’s calling to short-term missions and I am excited to pursue that call. India and Bhutan have a very low percentage of Christians and I am looking forward to being a part of the ray of light reaching in to these countries.

 

My name is Jenna Easley and I will serve as the Assistant Director for Saltshaker 2017. Originally from Odessa, TX, I am a 24 year old senior at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas studying Religion and Philosophy as well as Christian Spiritual Formation. I will graduate this May and hope to pursue a life of vocational ministry, whatever that may mean. In Wichita, I attend and serve at Northridge Friends. I have previously had the opportunity to serve with IGo Global in Tokyo, Japan, with the North American Mission Board as a Student Missionary in Delta, Colorado, and most recently served in Mexico during Spring Invasion 2016. I enjoy thrift shopping, flannels, and tacos.

 

My name is Zack Leininger. I am a senior at Hugoton High School and attend Bethel Friends Church. I am active in sports and music at school and currently serve as Student Council president. I participated in two Spring Invasion trips to Mexico. I felt a calling to be part of Saltshaker last year at Camp Quaker Haven, and when I knew the team was going to Bhutan/India, I was even more intrigued. My family adopted my brother, Nathan, from India and the country holds a special place in my heart. On this mission trip I hope to grow closer to God as well as the team who is going. I also hope to further the Kingdom of God by equipping believers that we meet. I am excited to see what God has in store for my life in the future and to share these blessings with my church and all of EFCMAYM.

 

My name is Hallie Mayes. I am 15 years old and I will be a sophomore at Andover High School next fall. I live in Wichita, Kansas and attend Rose Hill Friends Church where I am involved in youth activities. I am so thrilled to go on the 2017 Saltshaker trip to India and Bhutan. During my time at reGENERATION in Decmember I felt led to join the India/ Bhutan Saltshaker team. I could not be more excited for this incredible opportunity to see and be a part of the work of the Lord in other cultures. 

 

My name is Adam Monaghan and I am the Director for Saltshaker 2017. I am from Wichita, Kansas and I serve as Associate Superintendent for Evangelical Friends Church Mid-America Yearly Meeting. I also lead a ministry to college students at Northridge Friends Church where I attend with my family (wife, Sarah, and three kids). I am really excited to be a part of the Saltshaker mission team because God has called us to be his witness to the ends of the earth (cf Mt 28:19-20, Acts 1:8). My favorite thing about missions is that God gets the glory (Ps.46:10b), the nations get the gospel (Mt. 28:19) and the church gets the “good life” of abundant blessings for being obedient and faithful to go, send, give and pray! I also really love the Evangelical Friends Church all around the world and am excited to get to partner with our churches and missionaries in Bhutan and India. 2017 will be my 10th Saltshaker and I have been blessed with the opportunity to lead or participate in over 50 mission trips! 

 

My name is Mark Persinger. I am a freshman at the University of Kansas, and I am studying human biology. I plan on attending medical school and becoming a pediatrician. I grew up in Hugoton, Kansas, and I attend Bethel Friends Church. I have gone on two Spring Invasion trips to Mexico. I had such amazing experiences on both of those trips, and that has prompted me to want to do more short-term mission work. I have never been to another country besides Mexico, so I am excited to see what it is like there. I felt led to join the Saltshaker India/Bhutan team to experience something completely different than what I’m used to and to help spread the gospel by doing whatever I can. I am extremely excited to see what God has in store for us on this trip!

 

My name is Bailey Pohlman. I live in Sedgwick, KS and attend Northridge Friends Church in Wichita, Kansas. This fall, I will be a senior at Sedgwick High School. I am super excited to be going on this Saltshaker. I felt called to go on this trip after I heard Adam talk about it at reGENERATION. After an assignment in 4th grade, I fell in love with the Indian people and their culture. While I do not know much, I am excited to learn more about Bhutan. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to spread the love of God to the people in India and Bhutan.

 

My name is Alec Schenck. I live in Wichita, Kansas and attend Northridge Friends Church. I am in the 11th grade and go to Northwest High School. I am extremely excited about this trip! At first I was nervous to sign up, but then I prayed for guidance and I was called to go on the 2017 Saltshaker trip to Bhutan/India. I did attend Spring Invasion 2016. On this trip I learned so much and am hoping for a similar experience in India and Bhutan. I am blessed to be on the team and am looking forward to seeing how God is working in other countries.

 

My name is Parker Titus and I am from Hugoton, Kansas and attend Bethel Friends Church. I am currently attending Friends University and studying Computer Science and Christian Spiritual Formation. I am very excited to be on the Saltshaker 2017 team. I have always been very interested in going on an international mission trip, and EFC-MAYM has made it possible. Many young adults are given a huge opportunity to serve God through Saltshaker mission trips. I have always been interested in international missions and I feel called to go to India/Bhutan. On this trip, I hope to allow God to work through my life and allow for personal growth in the Lord. I hope to encourage and bring God’s love to the people we encounter, and hope to advance God’s kingdom through love and faithfulness. I am excited to get to serve in India and Bhutan! Here is a video I made about my trip.

 

Camp 2017 | Registration Open

posted on March 24th, 2017

Camp Registration is open. Further details and registration can be found here.  Please register by May 17 to avoid a late fee!

ALL IN – Living a Life of Worship
Romans 12:1-2, The Message
Kids Camp – June 3-7 (Grades 3-6)
Camp Director – Pam Chambers, Event Director – Sarah Harvey, Speaker – Josh Bunce
Sr. High Camp – June 8-12 (Grades 9-12)
Primary Director – Gabe Hancock, Assistant Director – Royce Bryan, Speaker – Keas Keasler
Jr. High Camp – June 12-16 (Grades 6-8)
Primary Director – Gabe Hancock, Assistant Director – Royce Bryan, Speaker – Jason Porterfield

 

Counselors are needed as well as the following:

Primary Counselor: Assigned 10-12 campers at each camp. Directs campers through the program and gives oversight. May teach an initiative activity. In charge of nightly cabin devotions/reflections. Debriefs campers through spiritual decisions made.

Assistant Counselor: (age 18 or over/at least 1 year prior experience) Assists Primary Counselor in all cabin responsibilities as stated above. Is willing to maintain an attitude of learning and service to the Primary Counselor and Cabin group each day.

Counselor in Training (CIT): (age 16-18 and/or first year counseling).

 

REGISTER HERE

 

– Jesse Penna, Director of Student Ministries

Jr. High Bible Quiz Update | March 4

posted on March 24th, 2017
Bethel Friends Church in Hugoton Kansas hosted the second quiz tournament on March 4.  Eleven teams from 8 churches competed over Matthew 1-9.  The home team, Bethel, took 1st place while Friendswood finished in 2nd place, Northridge Blue in 3rd, and Friends Community in 4th
 
The other teams standings are as follows:
5th–Argonia Blue and Tribe of Friends
6th–Haviland Blue and Argonia Red
7th–Northridge Red and Chander
8th–Haviland Red
 
Congratulations to all the quizzers on a job well done.
 
(Order of photos from left to right: Haviland Red, Chandler, Northridge Red, Haviland Blue, Argonia Red, Argonia Blue, Tribe of Friends, Friends Community, Northridge Blue, Friendswood, Bethel)
 

Kyrie Eleison

posted on March 22nd, 2017

At first glance, some of you may look at the title of this post and wonder if I am about to sing the praises of one of the best point guards in the NBA, a Rookie of the Year, four-time All-Star, and Olympic gold medalist who just happens to play for the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers. But you would be wrong. That would be Kyrie Irving. (And yes, of course, I am pulling for Kyrie, LeBron and the rest of the Cavs to become just the twelfth team to repeat as NBA champions. But that story will have to wait a few weeks longer.)

Kyrie eleison is not a person, but a prayer. The first time I remember hearing this mysterious yet strangely attractive phrase was back in the mid-1980’s when I was still in my early days as a youth pastor in northeast Ohio. “Kyrie” was the title of a hit song recorded by a band called Mr. Mister (I know, it sounds a bit redundant, doesn’t it?). If you want to experience a little blast from the past, you can still find the music video here. It’s actually a pretty cool song.

I’m not sure what inspired the recording of the popular song, but I can tell you about the origins of the ancient prayer itself. Kyrie eleison is a Greek phrase that means, “Lord, have mercy.” Its frequent use as a central prayer of the Christian church derives from several New Testament passages where some form of this phrase is invoked as a passionate plea from a genuinely broken and contrite heart. A Canaanite women, for example, cries out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, O Lord” (Mt 15:22). Two blind men call out, “Lord, have mercy on us” (Mt 20:30). Bartimaeus implores Jesus, “Have mercy on me” (Mk 10:46). But the kyrie eleison is perhaps most powerfully illustrated in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18:9-14):

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Over the centuries, the phrase kyrie eleison (“Lord, have mercy”) has become one of the most beloved and frequently repeated prayers in the entire church, especially among our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters. This is also the same phrase that inspired what is commonly called the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner”), a humble petition that has become increasingly popular among Western Christians as well.

So why am I spending so much time describing, affirming and commending to modern day Friends the value of an ancient prayer that has its roots in Eastern Orthodoxy?

I have been following Jesus for nearly 40 years now, and I have always found prayer to be the most essential and most challenging of all the spiritual disciplines. But what has helped me most in recent years is the discovery that prayer is not limited to a few, specific methods or models that are unique to any one denomination or tradition. As my good friend, Fil Anderson likes to say, “There are as many ways to pray as there are moments in the day.”

I have found that the more that my prayer portfolio has expanded, the more freedom, depth and joy I have experienced in my walk with Christ. This has also helped me to more readily embrace the biblical admonitions to “pray without ceasing” (1 Th 5:17) and to “pray always” (Lk 18:1).  I have found it much more do-able to pray always when I am better equipped to pray all ways.

If you are interested in expanding your prayer portfolio, I would encourage you to explore the kyrie eleison or Jesus Prayer, especially during this season of Lent. Try them on for size and see how they fit.  To borrow from William Penn, you might think of it as a “holy experiment.” At the end of the day, I pray that you will be encouraged and empowered to pray as you can, not as you can’t.

Oh, and one more thing. It is critical to remember that we are never alone when it comes to this life of prayer.  Our good and beautiful, triune God is always praying with us. As the Scriptures reminds us, God the Father “knows what you need before you ask him” (Mt 6:8), God the Son “always lives to intercede” for us (Heb 7:25), and God the Spirit “intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Rm 8:26).  As we learn to pray with God, not just to God, we grow to understand that prayer is simply a matter of staying in the conversation, i.e., continually and intentionally resting in the gracious embrace of our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, the Lover of our souls, the One who longs to communicate with us “face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Ex 33:11).  And somehow, in the midst of this unfolding friendship with God, we are mysteriously and progressively transformed in such a way that others can actually see in us an imperfect yet increasingly authentic reflection of the very face of God (cf. 2 Co 3:18). As C.S. Lewis has testified, “prayer doesn’t change God; it changes me.”

Lord, have mercy.

 

– David O. Williams, General Superintendent

Pastoral Opening | Alva Friends, Oklahoma

posted on March 22nd, 2017

The Alva Friends church is prayerfully searching for a pastor after 14 years.  Are you being called to pastor a church in a small college town in Northwest Oklahoma?  We are praying for someone who is willing to work with young people and those young at heart.  The potential in our town is not only in the young, but college age and in a drug/alcohol rehab workcamp.  We are the county seat of Woods County, home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Share Medical Center hospital, Northwest Technology Center and Alva municipal airport. 

You may contact David O. Williams, DMin, General Superintendent at dwilliams@efcmaym.org or Peggy Fox, Chairman of Pastor Search committee atpegfox@cneconnect.com or 580-748-0028 and leave a message for me to return your call if you have questions about our town or church. Please, if emailing, put Alva Friends Church in subject line. Thank you!

 

Leadership Institute, April 3 | Derek Brown on Worship Leadership, Part III

posted on March 22nd, 2017

The Church Leadership Institute for Ministry will gather April 3, 2017, during the season of remembering Christ’s death and celebrating His resurrection. We will be filled with gratitude for God’s supreme gift of Christ’s sacrificial love for us. We will also share feelings of gratefulness for God’s gift of our Ministry Institute.

Derek Brown, who has carefully and wonderfully taught our previous two classes, will speak to us and guide our discussion in his third and final session on Worship Leadership. Derek, as we have discovered, is a very articulate teacher. Derek is Chaplain, Chair of the Pastoral Ministry Department, and Director of the Pastoral Ministries and Transformational Leadership concentrations of the Master’s studies at Barclay College. As Professor, he teaches courses in Bible, Theology, Pastoral Ministry, Leadership, Preaching, and Worship. Derek received the B.A. degree from Barclay College, the M.A.R (Master of Arts in Religion) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Ph.D. degree from Johnson University. Derek’s doctoral studies were in Friends Faith and Practice, particularly the history of the Faith and Practices in the six Yearly Meetings in the Evangelical Friends Church – North America. He also studied the development of the Friends pastoral system in North America. His dissertation is a significant resource for 21st-century Friends. Derek is married to Jessica Huffman, who is the great-niece of Max Huffman, former Director of Indiana Yearly Meeting’s Missions Department. Jessica and Derek are the loving parents of precious twin daughters,

Our hope is to make available this Institute class, and all Institute classes, to as many Friends as possible. With this goal we offer live, interactive classes at these locations: All Nations (formerly Sudanese Community) Friends Church in Omaha, Friends Bible Training School in Alaska Yearly Meeting, Noatak, Alaska (Robert Sheldon, Superintendent), Neighborhood Friends Church (at the home of Tom and Bonnie Bousman), Friends Ministry Center (Wichita), Lighthouse Fellowship Church (at the home of Jerry and Mary Louthan), Bangor Liberty Friends Church, Fowler Friends Church, Barclay College (Jackson Hall), Faith Friends Church, North Newton (at the home of Merl and Eunice Kinser), Friends Community Church (Angleton), New Hope Friends Church, Friends Church at Liberal, Arkansas City Friends Church (at the home of Bud and Pauline Lawrence), Louisville, KY Friends Church, Stone Mountain Friends Church, Atlanta, GA, Indianapolis with Steve Turner, Kingston, Jamaica (viewing and discussing videos),  Kickapoo Friends Center, and St Paul, MN Friends Church

(Bhutanese). If you are unable to join one of these Institute groups and you prefer to view the video on YouTube, click here.

Derek will begin teaching at 7:00 p.m. central time, April 3, 2017, preceded by a time of fellowship and sharing at 6:50. You will want to make this class a priority, because from it you will take many ideas that you will find useful in your churches.

– Dave Kingrey, Director of Leadership Institute

Twaddells Raising Support in EFCMAYM | March-June

posted on March 9th, 2017
EFM Missionaries Roy and Jinky Twaddell are living in Haviland, KS for the next 4 months as they complete their deputation and support raising to prepare to go as missionaries to the Philippines to do ministry among Muslims. They are available March through June to speak in EFC-MAYM churches and to share about their ministry. You can contact Roy directly at rtwaddell@icloud.com or 949-633-8925 to schedule a visit to your church, Sunday School, small group, mission group, Friends Women group, etc.
 
Please pray for the Twaddells as they seek to complete their fundraising support. They are currently at 70% and need to raise the remaining 30% before returning to the Philippines.
 
Thanks for your love for missions, care for our missionaries, and partnership in the Gospel!
 
– Adam Monaghan, Associate Superintendent

Inaugural Institute Symposium | Barclay College | March 4

posted on March 3rd, 2017

I wanted to share a unique opportunity with you to join in the Inaugural “Robert Barclay Institute” symposium on Saturday morning March 4.  A brief understanding about the Robert Barclay Institute is as follows:

Purpose:

This scholarly resource supports Barclay College’s efforts to give historic Quaker thought a vibrant place in campus life and to allow Robert Barclay and other early Quaker voices to speak effectively in today’s world. The goals and aims of the Robert Barclay Institute fall under the identity, mission, and strategic plan objectives of Barclay College. This institute is made up of faculty, administrators, students, alumni, affiliated scholars and constituents.

Objectives:

  • Research the early voice (writings) of our Quaker leaders
  • Articulate ways the early Quaker movement speak into today’s culture
  • Reinvigorate evangelical expressions of Historic Quaker Faith and Practice
  • Connect contemporary Social Issues with evangelical Quaker Faith and Practice

Nurture Vocation and Calling amongst evangelical Quaker Christians

Here are the details about the presentation:

Saturday, March 4, 2017 | 9:30-10:30 a.m. (brunch to follow)
Student Center – Gathering Room
Theme: All Are One in Christ Jesus: The Social Justice Actions of Early Quakers as an Example to Contemporary American Evangelicalism
Presenter: Derek Brown, PhD
Responder: Aaron Stokes, MA in Quaker Studies, student
Moderator: Kevin Mortimer, PhD abd

Details for the gathering can also be found by clicking here.

I will share more info in the future about this Institute, but wanted to make you aware of this forthcoming opportunity.

Inaugural RB Institute Symposium Brochure

– Jesse Penna, Student Ministries Director

Spotlight on Oasis Friends Church | Dodge City

posted on March 3rd, 2017

Gerald and Deloras Mendenhall, pastors of Oasis Church in Dodge City, shared an article with us this week that was published in the December 2016 Dodge City Daily Paper. Excerpts of the article are included here:

Fred Utter Jr. is a relatively new resident of Dodge City and he’s happy despite the challenges he’s had in the past.

“After my last stint in jail, I came to Dodge City with nothing but the clothes on my back,” he said. “However, I got involved with a local church and some groups have helped me out and I have this job” (as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army).

“I enjoy every day ringing the bell. I’m free, clean and sober, the sun is out, people are friendly and I get to listen to holiday music. I enjoy every second of it.”

Oasis Church Pastor Gerald Mendenhall met and befriended Utter in 2013 – before he went back to jail – and was the first person Utter called upon arriving in Dodge City.

“The church and the Salvation Army are my family now,” Utter said. “I had a choice when I left jail as to where to go. I could’ve returned to Joplin, Missouri where I have some family, but they are still using, so that was a no. So, I figured I had a decent foundation in Dodge City and the people are nice, so I came here with nothing. Best thing I ever did.”

– Adapted from article originally published here: http://www.dodgeglobe.com/news/20161216/bell-ringer-enjoying-season.

Pastoral Opening | Mt. Ayr Friends

posted on March 3rd, 2017

Mt. Ayr Friends Church, a small, country church located approximately eight miles south of Alton, Kansas, is looking for a pastor to help lead them in the work of God’s kingdom within the congregation and in the local community.  This is a fellowship of devoted believers that describe themselves as “friendly, willing, active and Spirit-filled.”  They desire to have someone partner with them who is able to offer biblical leadership and grow with them as they seek to deepen their faith in Jesus Christ. 

Prospective candidates should contact Virl Gregory, presiding clerk, at 785-984-8068 or vgregory@netcomtechs.com.

Tribe of Friends | Journey Internship

posted on March 3rd, 2017
This summer we will partnering with the Tribe of Friends to continue a unique internship and training program for college students who have finished their freshman year. The purpose of “The Journey Project” is to develop leaders – the kind of leaders who live out their faith in such a way as to change lives and communities through the sharing of God’s unconditional love.
 
Interns will be stretched beyond their comfort zones as they serve those in need and live in Christian community with one another. Interns will be equipped and trained to make a difference in the world. And they will experience the joy of their salvation in ways they never imagined! 
 
We invite you to visit www.tribeoffriends.org to learn more, and to contact us if we can answer any questions. 
Registration deadline is March 15.
 
– Jesse Penna, Student Ministries Director

 

Announcement | EFM Office

posted on March 3rd, 2017
 
For some time we at Evangelical Friends Mission (EFM) have been asking a crucial question: How can EFM be better structured to mobilize Evangelical Friends worldwide to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ? At its meetings last November the Board gave Dan Cammack, Executive Director of EFM, and Matt Macy, Associate Director, permission to develop a restructuring plan and to begin implementing it. They have been doing so with the help of several board members, the executive committee of the Board, and a consultant.  
 
The restructuring plan has the following goals:

  • To become more integrated with the yearly meetings/regions of Evangelical Friends Church – North America (EFC-NA)
  • To build our capacity as Evangelical Friends to sustain the mission work we already have as well as to plant new fields and partner with yearly meetings around the world that are or will be planting new fields
  • To enable EFM to be more efficient and effective in its work as well as a better steward of its resources
  • To engage the younger generations in Great Commission work
  • To see if we can finally put to rest the organizational confusion that has plagued EFM for most of its existence by developing closer working relationships with our yearly meetings/regions.

The more we thought and prayed about how to accomplish these goals the clearer it became to us that we need to regionalize our office staff and tasks; in other words, we foresee the likelihood that future EFM office staff will be scattered across EFC-NA’s yearly meetings/regions with no central physical office.  

 
On February 16 and 17 we began implementing the restructuring plan by taking a very painful step: We closed down our office in Arvada, Colorado and laid off John and Vicki Hinshaw, David Cordova, and Laurie Mortimore who live in Colorado and Sue Jones who lives in Southern California. This was painful because they are not only our co-workers but also our friends, and some of them have served with EFM for a long time. David has been with EFM for nearly 28 years, Vicki for 22, and Laurie for 15. They will always have a special place in our hearts and in the history of EFM.  
 
We are now entering into an interim period of about four months with an interim staff that will be based mostly in Wichita, Kansas. This interim period gives us time to bring our current system to an end and to grieve the many good things we are losing from this change, which is first and foremost our office staff. This interim period also gives us time to answer many questions like: Who will the new staff be? Where will they work? How will the yearly meetings/regions and EFM work more closely together? And many more questions. The consultants we are working with are taking the directors, Board, and others connected to EFM through an assessment process in the coming weeks and months that will help us answer many of these questions.  
 
We are doing what we can to minimize the effects of these changes on the lives and ministries of our missionaries. Please pray for them as they make adjustments along with the rest of us.  
 
Throughout this restructuring process we continue to depend on you for your prayers and financial support. We also ask for your patience. It’s going to take a little while to get the interim staff up and running, so for a time we may not be able to respond to your questions or requests as quickly as we have in the past. Please hang in there with us and don’t be afraid to follow up with us if you’re not getting a response.  
 
The contact information for EFM during the interim period is:  
 
Mailing address: PO Box 771139, Wichita, KS 67277  
 
Thank you for your attention to this announcement and for your prayers. May the Lord use this time of change to further his mission to the world.  
 
– Dan Cammack, Executive Director of EFM

Leadership Institute, March 6 | Derek Brown

posted on February 24th, 2017

We were greatly blessed last month with Derek Brown’s excellent teaching, and he will continue to inspire us with practical guidance for our Worship, Teaching, and Preaching Ministry when he speaks at the Church Leadership Institute class March 6, 2017.

Derek Brown has years of teaching, preaching, and leading worship in the local church, and teaching these subjects as Chaplain, Professor, Chair of the Pastoral Ministry Department, and Director of the Pastoral Ministries and Transformational Leadership concentrations of the Master’s studies at Barclay College.

Having studied in his Ph.D. research the Faith and Practice manuals of the six Yearly Meetings in Evangelical Friends Church – North America, and more specifically the development of the Pastoral system in North America, Derek brings a particular Friends emphasis to his understanding of Friends worship and ministry.

A fact about Derek’s good habits will interest you. He frequents the Quaker Room of the Worden Memorial Library at Barclay College, where he prefers to teach and where he continually studies the rich resources of Friends history. The question is, “Does Derek spend more time there, or do I?”

These are the sites where the technology for the classes is available: Sudanese Community Church (Omaha), Friends Bible Training School in Alaska Yearly Meeting, Noatak, Alaska (Robert Sheldon, Superintendent), Neighborhood Friends Church (at the home of Tom and Bonnie Bousman), Friends Ministry Center (Wichita), Lighthouse Fellowship Church (at the home of Jerry and Mary Louthan), Bangor Liberty Friends Church, Fowler Friends Church, Barclay College (Jackson Hall), Faith Friends Church, North Newton (at the home of Merl and Eunice Kinser), Friends Community Church (Angleton), New Hope Friends Church, Friends Church at Liberal, Arkansas City Friends Church (at the home of Bud and Pauline Lawrence), Louisville, KY Friends Church, Stone Mountain Friends Church, Atlanta, GA, Indianapolis with Steve Turner, Kingston, Jamaica (viewing and discussing the videos), and Kickapoo Friends Center.

If you cannot be at one of these locations, and you are free at this time, please notify me, and I will send you the link for the video conferencing. Or you may prefer to view the video recorded session, which Drew Davenport uploads to YouTube. Thank you Drew! Maybe you can gather a group from your church to view and discuss Derek’s teaching. This is your link.

If possible, please join us at 6:50 for a time of getting better acquainted. Otherwise, we hope to see you at 7:00 p.m. central time on March 6, 2017.

With hope for our deepest worship of our Living God,

– Dave Kingrey, Director of Leadership Institute

Jr High Bible Quiz | Update

posted on February 15th, 2017
The first quiz of the season was finally held on Feb. 11, hosted by Haviland Friends church.  Twelve teams from 8 churches competed over Matthew 1-6.  The final standings are listed below along with photos of each team.


1st
| Bethel Blue
2nd | Northridge Blue
3rd | Friends Community
4th | Friendswood Blue
5th | Chandler, Argonia
6th | Friendswood Red, Bethel Red
7th | Haviland Red, Haviland Blue
8th | Tribe of Friends, Northridge Red

 

Entertaining Angels

posted on February 7th, 2017

I’m sure that you are all well aware of the recent discussions taking place in our country regarding the appropriate treatment of immigrants and refugees.  For those of us who claim to be devoted Christ followers, this is about much more than mere politics, demographics or statistical sound bites. These are real people with real names and real faces.

It would be good for all of us to remember that Jesus was one of those names and faces at one time as well, a Middle Eastern refugee whose family was temporarily displaced during a brutal despot’s reign of terror (Mt 2:13-18).  It might also help us to gain a better grasp on why our Lord is so painfully clear and unequivocal in His declaration that the way we care for our most vulnerable neighbors (“the least of these”) is in reality the most accurate measure of how much we actually care for Him (Mt 25:31-46).

These conversations take on even greater weight for those Hispanic, Sudanese and Bhutanese immigrants and refugees who are part of our extended family of Friends here in Mid-America. I recently spent a weekend with some of these very real names and faces during my first site visit to St. Paul (MN) Friends Church, our newest body of believers here in EFC-MAYM. This is a fellowship comprised solely of Bhutanese refugees. Like nearly every other member of the group, their pastor, Kumar Tamang, was born and raised in the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan. In the 1990’s, Kumar and more than 100,000 of his fellow countrymen were forced to leave Bhutan during a period of ethnic cleansing due to the fact that they are of Nepalese descent. Because the government of Nepal does not permit citizenship for Bhutanese refugees, they eventually become a people without a country, until they were granted entry to the United States.

Our new Friends in St. Paul provide us with a very tangible reminder that, as much as we might prefer to duck and run from these messy issues, we cannot do so without betraying those we have been called to embrace as our very own family members (Gal 6:10). And while we are always praying for new ways to take the gospel to the “ends of the earth” (Ac 1:8), we cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that we are currently living in a time and place when the ends of the earth are coming to us in record numbers.

So what does all of this mean for those of us who are called to serve as faithful and fearless witnesses to the gospel here in our own “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria”? 

While there are no easy answers to this question, I do want to commend the excellent work that is being done to address these critical concerns by our friends and partners at World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table. I would encourage you to visit their websites, where you can find additional information and valuable resources that may help you and your church family to offer Christ-like compassion and hospitality to the “aliens and strangers” who are currently knocking at our doors (Heb 11:13).

You may be surprised to discover how many angels you have been entertaining in the process (Heb 13:2).