‘Local Church’

Summit 2018

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
 
 
SAVE THE DATE… Kingdom. Mission. Passion. 
Friends SUMMIT 2018 | December 28, 2018-January 1, 2019 | Denver Marriott Tech Center.
Conversations that could change your life!
Evangelical Friends Church-North America.
$340/person (at four/room rate).

Spotlight on Oasis Friends Church | Dodge City

Friday, 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.

Iglesia Amigos Emporia | Update

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

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Please see the following update about the ministry of Joel & Blanca Mayorga, the new pastors of Iglesia Amigos Emporia.

We give infinite thanks to God for allowing us to come minister to the church in Emporia. We arrived March 15, and have been staying in Wichita in a house provided by the Zortman family. We are so thankful for the ways God has been providing for our needs!

Our two main leaders at Iglesia Amigos Emporia are Yanira and Marleni, two women who have shown perseverance in their prayers and work on behalf of the Church and the Lord. They have met nearly every evening for the past two years to pray for God’s work to continue among Spanish-speakers in Emporia.

Even though we are living in Wichita, we have been very active in ministry on the weekends. In the past few months we’ve visited several members in their homes, held worship services on Sunday afternoons, helped to plan and run VBS in August and have been working alongside the people from both Iglesia Amigos Wichita and Iglesia Amigos Emporia to refurbish a mobile home where we hope to live as soon as mid-October.

We are giving thanks and praise to God for every person he has allowed us to minister to in the short time we have been here. At our last worship service, we had 25 in attendance! We are looking forward to see what God will do once we have moved to Emporia!

On a more personal note, we’ve enjoyed fellowship with Friends at Ministry Conference, in our Northeast Area gatherings, at Family Camp, and our brothers and sisters at Iglesia Amigos Wichita and Emporia Friends Church. We feel very loved! We’ve had a lot of firsts as we transition to a new culture and language, our first English language class taught by Charlene Littlefield,
and our first taste of waffles—which we love!

Here are some pictures so that you can share in our adventures!

– Joel and Blanca Mayorga, Pastors at Iglesia Amigos Emporia

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Applications Open for Kaleo Academy

Friday, September 9th, 2016

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 being accepted now through January 1, 2017.

– Brockie Follette, Kaleo Academy Director

641-990-6225

“Leading A Multiplication Movement” | Update on Multiplication Ministries

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Most transformational organizations, religious or otherwise, are launched with a certain ethos and energy that starts with a seminal vision/idea and swells like a wave to impact society around it. Take the Celtic Christians, the Moravians, early Pentecostalism, and closer to our time, the Vineyard, for examples of dynamic movements that have had global impact. It is perfectly true to say that most groups that have impact on either a local, national, or international level almost always begin with a form that sociologists call a movement. That is, there are some common characteristics that mark off the early phase of dynamic social movements that are distinct from the social structures of the later institutions that arise from them. This is as true for ecclesial, para-church, and mission agencies, as it is for corporations, community projects, political parties, and many other secular organizations.

However, in the midst of the rapid change and hyper-growth of almost everything around us, we as the Church have almost lost our voice to impact the culture. Now more than ever, what is “new and improved” becomes “old and worn out” in just a fraction of the ti21549278-b14a-4c56-a546-f1145ebadb26me. This dramatically impacts the mission of the church. As leaders responsible for our generation, we simply cannot expect significantly different outcomes using outmoded understandings of the church and culture. If churches are not prepared for what is here today, how will they respond to what lies ahead? So the good news is that we can become the church as it was always meant to be – a rapidly spreading, high impact, movement. We need not settle merely for striving in this rapidly changing world; Jesus’ people can actually thrive in it, and God willing, even redirect it. But if we are to do so, we will have to change. Our Heavenly Father has given us everything we need to get the job done.1

Church multiplication matters! First of all, because the church is the bride of Christ, but also the church is God’s intended vehicle to advance the gospel and grow believers into the image of Jesus. New churches matter because they are the most effective of all churches in reaching the lost around us. New church planting is no longer on the fringes of church life. It is now an anticipated and even preferred destination for new church leaders. It must be a priority for denominations, networks, and local churches. In our Friends Church movement our response to this challenge is a new non-profit organization that we have chosen to call, Multiplication Catalyst Ministries, or MCM Associates, which is easier to say!   Persons wiser than I have rightly recognized, that a committee or a board sometimes paralyzes the movement of God’s Holy Spirit.  Although you see, we are not planting churches so much as we are planting a movement; the movement of the Friends Church! We will identify, train, empower and champion any ready churches and Friends regions in North America over the next few years. Our mission is to reanimate a church movement by deeply embedding “a go with Jesus!” challenge into our local ministry culture.

With momentum coming out of our 2016 National Friends Church Multiplication Conference, my task along with our EFC-MAYM Home Missions Team, is continuing to oversee our new church planting projects, and also working with MCM Associates to complete the not-for-profit ministry incorporation, and raising future funding support, while actively recruiting regional point catalysts’ from each geographical entity across America. Once incorporated here in the state of Kansas, with Barclay College as the formal address, the core team of active apostolic leaders including Jim LeShana, Vice-President at Barclay College; David Byrne, Executive Director of Coalition of Hispanic Ministries; Mike Dennis, Pastor of Riverbend Friends in Tecumseh MI, and an EFC-ER Multiplication leader; Tom Palmer, former new church planter and leader in Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends; Thayne Thompson will bring his experience, enthusiasm, and business background in as Treasurer; and I will be leading this newScreen Shot 2016-08-27 at 11.00.33 AMvision. Please pray with us, and also as God leads, challenge your local congregation to make a monthly financial commitment to this ministry. Make these pledges payable to MCM, and send them directly to Thayne Thompson at 807 N Timberleaf Dr. in Derby, KS 67037. Reap the blessings!

– Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

 

Update | Booker Friends Church

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

unnamed (2)SWEET GOOD-BYES!

Booker Friends Church hosted a farewell reception earlier this summer for Associate Pastor Pat Hout as she retires and moves to Brighton, CO. On hand for the occasion were her daughters (from left) Christy Neifert of Commerce City, CO, Sandy Bierbaum of Cleveland, OH, Loretta Neely of Brighton, CO, Pat, Tammie Harrison of Aurora, CO and Wendy Colón of Commerce, CO. During her 40 years in Booker, Pat served as Librarian of the Booker School/Public Library, was Director of Kiddie corner for about eight years and most recently served as Associate Pastor of Booker Friends Church.

Friends of Lawrence | Community on Mission with God

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Dear Friends,

This is Jeremiah, Wendy and Abigail Williams writing to you from Lawrence, Kansas. Many of you know us personally and many do not. If by chance we do not know one another, perhaps through the Quaker grapevine you may be familiar with our family’s recent relocation and the deep desire He has put in our hearts to love and serve our new friends and neighbors in the name of Jesus. It has been more than evident thus far that there are those of you who are aware of our current journey and have partnered with us in Spirit and prayer. The power of Christ at work is undeniable, and we are deeply grateful for you and your commitment.

Believe it or not, we are creeping up on the one year anniversary of living here in Lawrence. While Lawrence and it’s rich Quaker heritage (original home of Kansas Yearly Meeting and Lawrence Friends Church) puts us in a somewhat unique situation, as we were preparing to move to Lawrence in June of 2015 we were very much under the impression that this first year of living – as on any other mission field – would be a year of relationship building, observing, discovering and learning. The Lord has not disappointed! Relationships are abundant and we continue to grow in our love for this community and its people.

In just under a year of experience so far, our growing need for the prayer, support and partnership of Christian brothers and sisters in this Kingdom adventure has become increasingly clear. One of the most astounding realizations in our time here is that we have been slow to ask for help or support in any official form (due in great part to the fact that we have not always known how others could best help). And yet, the Lord has still impressed upon the hearts of individuals (without us asking) a desire to pray for us and support us in many ways. This has been a true blessing. We now are at a point where what lies ahead has become clear enough to see the next step or two and with this clarity has come the recurring conviction that none of this is possible without the greater Christian community … without you. As we are all, by His grace, aiming to discern and live a life that honors Christ and draws others to Him, we genuinely desire your relationship and partnership in this great adventure.

With this in mind, we are eagerly hoping and praying that, if time and opportunity allows, we could visit with you face-to-face in your local communities, churches, and/or homes. While e-mail, internet, etc. is such a blessing for communicating with one another, we would love nothing more than to meet with each of you in person. This could be during a time of corporate worship on a Sunday morning, or it could be over a meal together on a Saturday evening, or both. In whatever shape or form seems most fitting, we would love to share more of the story that continues to unfold here in Lawrence, discerning together the potential ways that the Lord might call us to partner with one another in some fashion during the days ahead.

If you have a specific place and time in mind when your church might invite us to share more about the work of the Kingdom in Lawrence, please contact Jeremiah by phone (307-371-6725) or email (jeremiah_j_williams@yahoo.com). If you still feel a bit in the dark about who we are and what we are doing, you can read more by going to our blog: https://friendsoflawrence.wordpress.com.

Thanks for your prayerful consideration, and we hope to see you soon!

– Jeremiah, Wendy & Abigail

Stories from the Local Church | Friends of Lawrence

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Community on Mission with God

Jeremiah, Wendy and Abigail Williams were led to Lawrence, KS in June of 2015, under the umbrella and support of EFC-MAYM. They have quickly grown to love the people of Lawrence and are continually seeking the Lord’s direction in how they can best love and serve this community. To learn more about their ministry, visit the Friends of Lawrence blog.

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Spotlight on the Local Church: Rose Hill Friends “Connecting With Missionaries”

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

diversity-detailDuring the month of October, Rose Hill Friends Church featured a different missionary each Sunday by inviting missionaries in Nepal, India, Africa and Lawrence, KS to visit and share what compels them to serve God. Modern technology is great! Skype or FaceTime enables every church to connect with our missionaries in a more personal way. Using the internet, RHFC connected with missionaries in Nepal, India and Africa. If your church hasn’t tried this, you need to soon! Find someone (a teenager!) in your church who is technology savvy to help set up your internet connection, then email a missionary and ask when it would be convenient to visit. We don’t have to wait anymore to “catch up” for when they come for deputation! Does your church have a point person, who is excited about missions, who regularly shares missionary news?  Has your church adopted a field, giving your church a special connection?  You can also access videos on the EFM website for all of our missionaries, made especially to be shared in your church, small groups, or Friends Women groups. Are you on their email or mailing lists to receive newsletters?  Most missionaries are on Facebook, “friend” them and see fun, in-the-moment updates with pictures. There are many ways to connect, we just need to do it!  Through the live internet visits with the missionaries, RHFC learned that “Christ’s love compels them” (2 Cor. 5:14) to love and serve people. That same love should compel each one of us to take every opportunity to connect with our missionaries, to know them, encourage them, pray for them, support them and love them.O-Desiree

-Desiree Crisp, Rose Hill Friends Church
used with permission from the Fall edition of the EFC-MAYM Friends Women Quaker Bonnet

Home Missions Board Update

Monday, September 7th, 2015

blogg-01Following an active search and an intense time of shared leadership by the local team, the Partner Advisory Team, chaired by Bob Mardock, is pleased to announce, effective August 1, 2015, that Pastor Emilio Sanchez (pictured 3rd from left) has been called as Lead Pastor at Iglesia Amigos de San Antonio, TX.

In the beginning of this plant, founding Pastor Runy Moscoso completed over two years of pioneering work to plant and launch this new church project. Lay leaders have guided the work the past year seeing growth while actively looking for a new pastor.

Please pray for Emilio and his team who are ministering in San Antonio. If you’re in the area, you would be blessed by attending their 10:30am services at

4450 Walzem Road, San Antonio, TX, 78218.

– Randy Littlefield, Associate Superintendent of Multiplication Ministries

Spotlight on the Local Church: Bayshore Friends 80th Anniversary

Friday, September 4th, 2015
See the invitation below to our 80th Anniversary Celebration in September. We urge you to celebrate this marvelous event with us, if not in person certainly in prayer and thanksgiving.
We’re excited about each year that God continues to preserve his church; but are blessed that we still have four charter members here on earth with us as we reach another milestone.  Esther (Lawrence) Stutzman, her brother Walter “Bud” Lawrence, Stella (Reppert) Callison and Thelma (Lawrence) Hopkins are to be honored for their contribution in starting Bayshore Friends Church and dedicating themselves to it’s early growth.  Esther Stutzman and Stella Callison live locally and Esther will be in attendance at the event.  Bud Lawrence lives in Arkansas City, KS; Thelma Hopkins the eldest of the group at 96, lives in Sparks, Nevada.  Also to be honored for her part in preserving the church is Mary Alice (Selleck) Beaty, honorary charter member and daughter of our first pastor, Harold Selleck.  She is still an active member of the church, overseeing Spiritual Life and playing the organ each week with the Praise Team.

– Donna Maples, Administrator-Bayshore Friends Church

 

Embracing the Peculiar

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

As Friends we have a rich heritage that often gets overlooked as we struggle to survive in today’s ever changing culture. We grasp onto as much of yesterday as we can grip in our fingers while the world around us changes at greater speeds every day. But when it comes down to it, our heritage isn’t really based on the re-creation of our history, but on our willingness to adapt to the new and changing cultures around us. Not watering down the foundational principles of our spiritual convictions, but rather, innovating new ways of delivering these principles to the next generation. A few years ago J. Brent Bill shared this thought with me; “The distinctives remain the same, it’s how we live them out that must change.”

How can we learn to embody the foundational pillars that the Quaker movement was built upon and still impact the generation of today? I think our first step is to understand what these pillars are. Carol Spencer, in her book Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism, shares 8 essential elements of Quakerism; scripture, eschatology, conversion, charisma, evangelism, mysticism, suffering, and perfection. Sadly, we have lost our grip on many of these elements as we have struggled to hold onto our traditions rather than our foundations.

What does Quakerism version 2015 look like? Does it recapture a thirst for scripture by studying God’s Word to the point of embodying His worldview? Does it have an understanding of the real and present Christ that is not distant, but is among us even now? Does it help lead others into authentic relationship with Christ where the old self is put to death and the new self emerges? Does it regain the charismatic roots that helped it spread all over the world by following the movement of the Spirit? Does it regain its ability to spread the Good News to others through word and deed, preaching and teaching at every opportunity? Does it reacquire the mystical sense of experiencing God first hand? Does it endure even to the point of suffering, through a deep knowing of God and understanding His will? Does it climax at the point of unity with God, a complete victory over sin?

These questions have to be asked as we take the message of Christ forward as Friends to the generations to come. We have the unique position of being a movement that, historically, can leave behind meaningless traditions and symbols, for a deeper understanding of what these things represent. Can we do that again? Can we escape the need to keep our traditions at the expense of losing our impact? Can we once again tap into our innate desire to follow God wherever He may lead? If so, I think it starts with a new appreciation of spiritual formation. We need to seek a spiritual depth in our church that, for many in our culture, has been laid aside for an easier path.

In a world that questions everything and takes nothing at face value, Friends may have the best chance to relate. With a fresh take on the foundational distinctives that at one time made us a peculiar people, we can capture the moral imaginations of the world around us. I still have more questions than answers, but I am convinced that God wants to include Friends in his plan, and I’m eager to see how we fit.

“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14

– Manny Garcia, Lead Pastor at Northridge Friends ChurchNFC_LOGO-01

Spotlight on the Local Church: Friendswood Friends Church

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

 

An Everyday Peacemaking Intensive


May 2, 2015 from 9am – 4pm
.

CULTIVATE HOUSTON is a one-day seminar designed to train, equip and mobilize everyday peacemakers into conflicts unique to our city.  Through the combination of engaging content, dialogue, experiments and reflection, CULTIVATE HOUSTON will help you:

  • Discover God’s mission of PEACEMAKING.
  • SEE your city.
  • IMMERSE into what’s broken.
  • CONTEND with creativity.
  • Usher in RESTORATION.

 

Register Now!

$10 registration fee includes lunch and materials. To ensure enough food is ordered, please register by April 25th.

Taught By:

Jon Huckins & Jer Swigart of
The Global Immersion Project

 

Hosted By:

Friendswood Friends Church
502 S Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546
Office Phone: 281-482-7821

Sponsored By:

 

Spotlight on the Local Church: Northridge

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

northridge friends churchWhat Do We Get Out of It?

by Larry Kinser, Interim Pastor

When working for Evangelical Friends Church-Southwest, I fielded a common question in most of my on-site church visits. “What do we, the individual church, receive for our investment in the denomination?” Without being terse or unkind, the obvious first response was that I am able to make an on-site visit for encouragement and counsel because of their contribution to the central office. That should have been obvious.

I would quickly move beyond the temptation for reaction and search for a response. The truth of the matter was that the question and perspective was wrong. Yes, it is true that the central denomination exists to come along-side the local church and help, but that is a secondary purpose.
The correct perspective is: “In many areas of ministry, we can do more and better ministry together than we can do by ourselves.

  • Unless a church is of ‘mega-size’, it cannot provide a camping program alone. It needs the help of the total organization.
  • Our Jr. High quiz program provides a greater community platform that makes Bible knowledge a competitive team sport, thereby attracting and training more youth.
  • Missions endeavors, both in the U.S. and off-shore, are much more effective when we collaborate together for common goals and projects.
  • Larger and healthier churches can provide the resources, through the central office, to help and encourage the smaller or the unhealthy churches.
  • A system of providing pastor placement resources would only be possible with a centralized system.
  • Sometimes financial resources can be shared or loaned.

 

And that is just a start.

Northridge Friends Church is a member church of Evangelical Friends Church, Mid-America Yearly Meeting. Being one of the three larger churches, we carry the privilege of providing significant resources for the greater community of churches. Since we are located less than three miles from the denomination offices, we also provide logistic support through sharing our facility for meetings. The smaller churches also rely on Northridge for transportation help through our van pool.

Northridge is a significant church among Friends, and we should take great joy in providing the resources to make other churches significant. Check out efcmaym.org

– Interim Pastor Larry Kinser, Northridge Friends Church

Tribe of Friends

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

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Northbranch 125th Anniversary Celebration

Monday, October 6th, 2014

DSC_0439On Saturday, September 28th, 2014, Northbranch Friends Church near Burr Oak, KS held their 125th Anniversary Celebration. I had the honor of attending the celebration services and sharing a few words on behalf of EFC-MAYM.

The 125 years of history of the Friends Church at Northbranch is rich. Between 1874 and 1891 Friends began to settle in Jewel County, KS and the church was formed, originally meeting in homes and old dugouts. See the following report (125 Year History of the Northbranch Friends Church), researched and written by Erma Dillon about the heritage and history of the Northbranch church and academy. Northbranch is one of EFC-MAYM’s oldest churches. it is also located in a very beautiful and unique rural setting only two miles from the Nebraska border.

One of the amazing things in the present day, was the love that the younger generation expressed for the oldest generation in their church. A young teenage girl and a 91 year-old woman both shed tears as they shared about their love the for the Northbranch Friends and for how they have been discipled in a loving church family throughout their lifetimes. About 100 people were gathered representing current and past members to celebrate the heritage of the church and academy. Even a couple former pastors were able to be present and share greetings. Another exciting thing about the celebration is that Northbranch is still looking to the future with anticipation and hope for ministry!

May God bless the future of Northbranch Friends and their ministry in rural Jewell County, KS as well as their new pastor, Jonathan Harkness and his wife Emily and their children!

-Adam Monaghan, Associate Superintendent of Missions and Events

Service Project Report from Ministry Conference 2014

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The Ministry Conference Saturday afternoon “Service Project” (Saturday, July 26, 2014) experience was quite a blessing in the Friends University Neighborhood (in Central Wichita) where I live. Crossroads Friends became neighborhood focused starting especially in April 2011. We go on mission with our neighbors to seek the kingdom of God, and we have found it slow, but deeply rewarding. Our basic strategy is to see neighbors know each other by name and eat meals together, and serve together, and be included and accepted among our church friends whether they ever come to church or follow Christ or not. Some of the neighbors have been coming to our Bible Study twice a month for quite some time.

These service projects as a part of Ministry Conference 2014 created another breakthrough in our adventures on University Avenue. After handing out around 90 invitations to neighbors, asking them to provide us some volunteer projects for Ministry Conference, it was interesting that only the households that were in a circle of about 3 and especially 4 houses away from my own house responded. We are in significant relationships within a depth of 3 houses, so most of the houses we served were new to us in knowing their name, but were right at the places where God has been sending my family and our church to know and love people.

Before the Service Project

Picture 1 of 3

Here are some highlights:

  • A team cleared out Tom’s backyard, since he was unable to due to fighting cancer with chemotherapy, and Dale next door couldn’t keep up with the work due to fighting pneumonia this summer. We know Dale well, who led this work team to Tom’s, but Tom is new to us. Marc Compton at Northridge has volunteered to follow up with Tom’s yard work on an ongoing basis. David Byrne provided the before and after pictures below.
  • A team cleaned up Amy’s flower beds as she is about to give birth, couldn’t manage the work in the heat, and wanted her place looking nice before visitors came to see the baby soon.
  • A team helped Judy with some junk that needed hauled and changed a light bulb that was out of reach on her barn-garage. We were not able to complete some porch painting for Judy, so Mike Lemen and some youth from Northridge came back later and finished it up. Judy, new in town from Colorado and new to us, has been to our home with other neighbors for ice cream once and for a cook-out once due to these projects, and we have even enjoyed a little kingdom conversation as she ponders her more universalist perspectives.
  • A team cleared out Tim’s over-grown backyard, after it got out of hand while Tim has a new baby in the home and their basement was just flooded.
  • A team worked alongside Charlotte to prime her front and back porches.
  • A team worked on Kenny’s back yard, doing a major clean up and haul-out. We have known Kenny, age 88, since April 2011, but as we worked on Kenny’s yard, Lance, who is Bill’s son (Bill lives next door to Kenny) asked for help with unloading a mechanical wheel chair. This sparked a relationship in which I have walked alongside Lance as a pastor, as Bill’s health declined suddenly, and as he passed away recently. Also, Kenny’s yard project sparked a new relationship with Kent who is behind Kenny, and we have helped Kenny capture a raccoon that was terrorizing their yard, and we have plans to fix up a fence together between their homes.
  • A team helped Anthony do some yard clean up. My sons did some follow up work which created an opportunity for our first meal together. Since then Anthony has been to a neighborhood cook out and has attended worship in our back yard.

As a direct result to these Ministry Conference activities, we worked ‘better together’ to be good news as the church to neighbors (both those we served, but also our neighbors who saw us or helped us serve) who I know for a fact would not ‘go to a church service or church building’ but are open to Christ and his Kingdom. We had our first “Crossroads Worship Service” there in our backyard recently, followed by a cook out, and had four neighbor-households join us who don’t have a church home and don’t much care for ‘church,’ but two of them sure liked our gathering and expressed interest in what ‘our church’ is doing.

Two special moments for me personally: 1. When I saw so many Friends from such a variety of geographical and church-cultures among EFC-MAYM blessing my neighbors with either their hands or their loaned equipment on one of the hottest afternoons of the summer. 2. When I worshipped recently in my back yard with my two favorite groups of people besides my family: my local church family and my neighbors.

– Matt Macy, Associate Director of EFM

Spotlight on the Local Church: Fill the Bus for Family Camp

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

bus

In recognition of the jam-packed schedules and busy pace of society, Fowler Friends recognizes the value of Family Camp. It provides families with an opportunity to get away from the rush and reconnect with each other and God. Fowler Friends Church has made many efforts to publicize this event. Four Sundays in March during announcement time, families who had previously attended Family Camp shared a few details about camp and how it had blessed their family. In May and July, items were collected to create two Family Camp Theme Baskets to donate to the camp auction. Members of the congregation who will not attend camp were still invited to donate items on the list to support and encourage those who will be attending. Finally, Fowler Friends posted a large paper bus in their foyer to promote their goal of filling the bus for Family Camp. As families register, their faces will be photographed and added to the bus display. Fowler Friends is thankful that the local public school system allows them to borrow school buses for these types of events. Family Camp will be August 29- September 1 over Labor Day weekend.

– Corri McDowell

Spotlight on the Local Church: Hispanic Ministry Outreach at Fowler Friends

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

In an effort to improve ministry to the Hispanic community, Fowler Friends Church recently implemented live bilingual translation and the use of assisted listening devices. After personally visiting several Hispanic families in the community, the consensus of the feedback was that these families enjoyed worshiping alongside the English speaking believers during the same service. In response, once per month the entire worship service is translated in Spanish from the front of the sanctuary. The remaining Sundays translation is offered to attendees by way of assisted listening devices. The translator listens to the service through an earpiece and translates on the fly into a transmitter that passes the translation on to the listener through their earpiece. Use of both methods allows an attendee to receive the gospel message in their native language on any given Sunday without having to attend a separate service. Fowler Friends is excited about the potential this has to impact Hispanic ministries and outreach in the community of Fowler.

– Corri McDowell

Update From Liberal Friends Church

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
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Thornburg Family

Randy & Divonna Thornburg were honored with a reception at the Friends Church of Liberal on Sunday afternoon, June 22 in the fellowship hall of the church. The Thornburgs have been serving as the pastors there for the past five years. They will be moving soon to serve as pastors of a Friends Church in Indiana.

-Submitted by Diana Hoover, Booker Friends, Western Area Superintendent