‘News’

HMB Update | Heroes in the Making

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Throughout Scripture, the most basic words of our faith—hope, promise, Heaven, eternity—connect us to our future. Scripture is filled with verses that urge us to look forward. We anticipate what lies ahead and look to identify our role in God’s mission to redeem the world—essentially Jesus’ big dream of a movement spelled out for us in Acts 1:8.  If we are to see a change in the scorecard of success in the U.S. church, we must first see a paradigm shift in our thinking, a shift that overflows and infects others. Big dreams prompt change.  Big Dreams change our questions.   Big Dreams change our prayers.  Big Dreams change the people around us.  Big Dreams change our churches.  Big Dreams change us.  The future of the movement of Friends lies outstretched before us!  Your Home Missions team is currently envisioning how we can better come alongside the local churches of Mid America.

I find it difficult to address the subject of multiplication without at least touching on some very fundamental concepts of math.  When it comes to church growth and church multiplication, words like “growth,” “subtraction,” “plateau,” “addition,” “reproduction,” and “multiplication” are unavoidable.  As leaders, we tend to adopt our own definitions based on our unique context for church.  Our temptation might be to look at our success and incorrectly conclude that we’re being obedient to Jesus’ commands and multiplying, or to look at our church size and mistakenly conclude that we can’t be a reproducing or multiplying church if we’re small.  

Let’s start with a very simple and basic review of some mathematical concepts—just enough basics to equip you for the journey to becoming a multiplier. Rather than making up our own definitions, I’m embracing the terms that have been handed down to us through mathematics. These are not “secular or business” concepts but rather the principles that emerge from God’s creation.  Subtraction occurs whenever the output result decreases with time.  With every positive unit of effort, subtraction occurs with a loss or decrease in the output number.  We all know the pain of seasons of subtraction.  On the personal front, it might be losing loved ones.  In ministry, losing team members is agonizing.  Subtraction compels us to action.  But subtraction is a normal part of life, including the life of a church.  As we think about the first 500 churches founded in the first century after Jesus, all of these churches ultimately experienced subtraction all the way to their death.  But the church is still around and vibrant today, but not because of the growth of churches, but because of the sending nature of churches.

Growth is the process of increasing in size. Growth can happen through addition, reproduction, or multiplication.  Regardless of the strategy, model, or culture we embrace and pursue, growth is a primary goal. But real multipliers must throw off the shackles of an addition-growth scorecard, opting instead for the pursuit of multiplication growth.  In all the turmoil of subtraction, we desperately pursue and seek out addition growth. But even addition is temporary.  

C.S. Lewis once stated “You get to decide what legacy you will leave.”  Don’t let the reality of subtraction discourage you, but do let it mess with your thinking.  Addition-focused scorecards and cultures constrain us to less abundant thinking that moves from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, and so on.  By embracing accumulation cultures, we miss the abundance Jesus intends for us through multiplication. The best multipliers are leaders who surrender their personal addition-based scorecards to a far better scorecard using Jesus’ math.  Multiplication carries the legacy of your church to future generations, far beyond the accumulation you achieve in your local context.  That’s why sending out leaders to multiply and start new churches, and then continuing the movement into the future is so vitally important. Your sending capacity is your best asset, and your sending results could ultimately be your primary legacy.  

We leaders here in EFC-MAYM believe our best days are ahead and not something we just dream about from time to time.  The process of multiplication must be reflected in the local church.  It is extremely difficult to multiply new ministries and ultimately new churches unless our congregations are multiplying new leaders and new groups at the local church level.  We in Mid-America believe we must be about this sending of new leaders and ultimately new churches.   Home missions team members are those regional leaders that have been designated by leaders from your seven Areas across Mid-America.  And though our Friends congregations extend from south Texas in the Houston area all the way and including our newest church in St. Paul Minnesota, we do see signs of new life all around.  So there are really great opportunities to expand the Kingdom of God.  New opportunities require new vision and new leaders.  Throughout the last two millenniums of church history, the Kingdom has advanced as new leaders and visionaries stepped into new territories and attempted new methods in obedience to our Lord Jesus’ command to go and make new disciples.  

Our dream and our hope is that those apostolic workers from each congregation will join in the new opportunity to catch and share a new vision for sending new leaders on this exciting apostolic journey.  May we be faithful.  Please connect with these area multiplication leaders to whom you have asked to serve your Areas:  Texas Area – Drew Davenport or David Byrne;  COK Area – Nick Shaffer and Brad Wood;  Western Area – Caty Zortman or Dennis McDowell;  North Central Area – Jonathan Harkness;  Northeast Area – Mike Herriges or Walt Mills;  Tri-State Area – Josh LeeMasters;  Central KS Area – Marc Compton or Carrie Corliss.  These leaders and our new church planters already serving in various communities across Mid-America are our heroes, and God is calling numerous others of you to join their ranks in Jesus’ mission to build His Church to the glory of our Father in heaven.  God is at work through His Holy Spirit!  Amen.  

– Randy Littlefield, Director of Multiplication Ministries

Kingdomtide

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

As we move into the month of November, it feels as though we are doing more than simply turning a page on the calendar. Things just feel different.  The air is cooling, the leaves are disappearing, and the stores are bustling. Ready or not, the holiday season is suddenly upon us.

We are entering into a new season on the church calendar this month as well. The period between Pentecost (“fifty days” after Passover, celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Christian church) and Advent (the beginning of the Christian year, celebrating the “coming” of Christ into the world through his Incarnation and Virgin Birth) is commonly referred to as Ordinary Time.  The final month of this Season after Pentecost, the period between All Saints’ Day and the First Sunday of Advent, has been designated as Kingdomtide in many church traditions, an intentional time of celebration and reflection on the reign of Christ.

Personally, I find it difficult to describe the ongoing, life-altering, transformational ministry of Jesus in the lives of his followers through the power of the Holy Spirit as “Ordinary Time.”  I much prefer the term “Kingdomtide,” emphasizing the central message of the gospel which was continually proclaimed by Jesus and the early church: “The kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk 1:15).

Regardless of our personal views regarding the church calendar, I know that we can all agree on the centrality of proclaiming this “good news of the kingdom” (Mt 24:14), through both word and deed, until our Lord’s return.  We have all been called to engage in a common mission as we join our hearts, minds, hands and feet in the corporate embodiment of our Lord’s prayer: “May your kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10).

This is also in keeping with the good and beautiful dream that has been entrusted to us as an extended family of Friends here in Mid-America:

We dream that whatever is true in heaven be true on earth … in our local churches, in the communities where our churches serve, and in the family of churches called Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America Yearly Meeting.

So how might we embody our prayers during these high and holy days on the church calendar in such a way that “whatever is true in heaven be true on earth?”  And how might we proclaim the good news during this season of Kingdomtide in such a way that our lives and the lives of our friends and neighbors might be genuinely transformed from something merely ordinary and lifeless to something truly extraordinary and life giving?  And how might these seasonal practices become increasingly integrated into our daily lives throughout the remainder of the year as well, converting good and beautiful dreams into unforced rhythms of grace that faithfully reflect the rule and reign of Christ?

Each of us will need to answer these questions for ourselves, of course, but allow me to offer just one practical suggestion in order to help prime the pump just a bit:

Invite someone outside of your own family to join you for Thanksgiving dinner.

For some of us, this is already a common practice.  If so, we might consider how to expand our guest lists this year.  For others, this may be a brand new idea.  If so, I would encourage you to try it on for size.

In an iCulture that is rooted in rugged individualism and increasingly saturated in national self-interest, the ministry of hospitality is an increasingly rare and priceless commodity these days.  A recent study published in the American Sociological Review indicated that at least “25% of all Americans have no close confidants” whatsoever.  And yet, from the very beginning of human history our Creator made it clear that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Ge 2:18). As Henri Nouwen once observed, “We are able to do many hard things, tolerate many conflicts, overcome many obstacles, and persevere under many pressures, but when we no longer experience ourselves as part of a caring community, we quickly lose faith.”

Inviting someone new to Thanksgiving dinner won’t instantly remove loneliness from the world, but it will certainly reduce the risk for the folks who gather around our tables. In the process, we may find that our capacity for extending Christ-like hospitality to our friends, neighbors, co-workers and even complete strangers will increase exponentially. We may even find that “loving foreigners” (Dt 10:19) and “caring for orphans and widows in their distress” (Ja 1:27) is no longer reserved for special seasons, but is considered nothing more than a normal Christian life.  Before you know it, we may just end up living in such a way that our entire lives become so permeated with the passionate, relentless grace and mercy of our good and beautiful God that the people around us can’t help but proclaim, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Happy Kingdomtide.

– David O. Williams, General Superintendent 

Leadership Institute, Nov 6 | New Testament Course

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Josh Bunce, Bible/Theology Professor at Barclay College, will teach the three-month course on the New Testament, beginning November 6. Last month, Kevin Lee described Old Testament prophesies, foreshadowing Christ and New Testament events. Now Josh, with clear instruction, will give accurate meaning and interpretation of the New Testament events and teachings that underlie our Christian faith. Josh’s hope, and the desire of each of us, is to understand more fully God’s revelation in the Bible, so that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we might be more effective ministers and church leaders in our world that desperately needs the Gospel. Josh is committed to help us in this noble mission. His first class will focus on the Gospels.

Josh Bunce is Chair of the Bible/Theology Department and Professor of Biblical Studies, Church History, Christian Beliefs, and Youth Ministry at Barclay College. He is a graduate of Barclay College, with Summa Cum Laude honor. He did graduate work at Friends University in the Master of Arts in Christian Ministries and earned the Master of Divinity degree from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. Josh was recorded as a Friends Minister in Northwest Yearly Meeting. He has Friends pastoral experience, having served on the pastoral team at Netarts Friends Church in Northwest Yearly Meeting. Josh is active in the Haviland Friends Church, where he provides volunteer leadership in worship and preaching. He is married to Marcy, and they are the loving parents of three beautiful children: Audrey, Ethan, and Clayton.

We wish for the greatest number of us to be able to participate in this creative learning experience, so we will offer live, interactive classes at these places: St Paul, MN Friends Church (at the home of Kumar Tamang, with Friends from Nepal and Bhutan), Canadian Yearly Meeting (Montreal Monthly Meeting at the home of David Millar, and the  homes of Paul Etienne Mungombe and Jonathan Esongo, Friends from Congo), (Quebec City Meeting with Musato L. Dems and Alphee Ndahond, Friends from Congo), All Nations (formerly Sudanese Community) Friends Church in Omaha, Palmer, Alaska (at the home of David Miller), Noatak, Alaska (Robert Sheldon, Superintendent), Louisville, KY Friends Church and Stone Mountain Friends Church Atlanta, GA (with Friends from Rwanda and Burundi), Samson Retnaraj (EFM missionary in Nepal), Mncedisi Nkomo (pastor in Zambia), James Nduwayo (pastor in Rwanda), Faniyi Paul and Gabriel Sunday (pastors in Nigeria), Amuri Edouard with African Friends in Chicago, Anthony Moodie at the Dover Friends Church in Jamaica, Kickapoo Friends Center,Indianapolis, with Steve Turner, Lighthouse Fellowship Church (at the home of Jerry and Mary Louthan), Friends Community Church (Angleton), Neighborhood Friends Church (at the home of Tom and Bonnie Bousman), Friends Ministry Center (Wichita), Bangor Liberty Friends Church, North Newton (at the home of Merl and Eunice Kinser), Fowler Friends Church, New Hope Friends Church, and Barclay College (Jackson Hall).

For Friends unable to join us November 6, Drew Davenport will place the video recording of the class on YouTube at this link.

I invite you to expand your knowledge of the New Testament under the informed teaching of Josh Bunce. The class will begin at 7:00 p.m. central time on November 6.

– Dave Kingrey, Director of Leadership Institute

Soul Keepers

Friday, October 6th, 2017

*While I thoroughly enjoy the ministry of writing, there are times when it seems even more helpful to borrow the words of a fellow colleague. As I was preparing to pen an article for this particular edition of Insights, focusing on the celebration of Pastor Appreciation Month, I came across the following words of wisdom from Pastor Eric Geiger, and I share them here with great pleasure. The original article in its entirety can be found on Eric’s blog. 

– David O. Williams, General Superintendent

 

 

October is fast approaching, which means so is “Pastor Appreciation Month.” Very few folks celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month, and I am not advocating that it become a more prominent holiday on our calendars. While I am grateful for those in our churches who express appreciation to pastors during October, it is far better for the pastors, their families, and the churches they serve if the love, support, and encouragement is ongoing. Below are two important passages and five gifts we should give our pastors.

“Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith … obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything.”
(Hebrews 13:7, 17-18)

“The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, and, the worker is worthy of his wages.”
(1 Timothy 5:17-18)

  1. Pray for them. The greatest gift you can give your pastors is prayer. Pray that the Lord will keep them to Himself, pure and blameless (1 Timothy 3:2). Pray they will persevere in life and doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16). And pray for their families as their families shoulder the burden of ministry alongside them. As you pray for your pastors, you will find yourself loving them more and more. You can’t pray for someone and despise them at the same time.
  2. Imitate their faith. Of course, this is a challenge for leaders to be imitable, to live holy lives in response to the grace of God. And obviously this does not mean our pastors are perfect, as the writer of Hebrews has clearly articulated Jesus as the only perfect One. But this does mean we should learn from our pastors; we should put into practice the faith we see displayed in them.
  3. Follow their lead. In His providence, God places pastors in their places of ministry. The Lord gives them unique gifts and specific passion for the churches they serve and the communities they serve in. Their passion, sense of mission, and specific gifting will and should impact the direction of the church.
  4. Pay them well. This is biblical. The church’s goal should not be to “starve the pastor to keep him humble.” That is the Lord’s work, not the work of the finance committee. Too many pastors and their families are under unnecessary financial stress because some churches are not generous in this manner.
  5. Help them love their families well. Pastors must be able to love and shepherd their own families well if they are to lead the people of God (1 Timothy 3:5). Help your pastors love their families well by not putting expectations on them that would equate to neglecting their families if they actually lived up to the expectations. Rejoice that your pastors disappoint others by not accepting all invitations so that they may invest more in their own families.

A pastor never “clocks out.” A pastor is a pastor all of the time. The responsibility is enormous as, to quote Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the pastor “is given charge of souls.” Let’s encourage, love, and support our pastors as they seek to faithfully fulfill all the duties of their ministries.

Hurricane Harvey Recovery Update

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Here is the latest update from our south Texas leaders regarding recovery efforts among our Houston area Friends churches:

The clean up is mostly done and out to the curb.  The sheet rock, carpet, and other ruined items have been removed from homes.  We did not have the wind damage with Harvey and so the clean up of trees and lawn debris is minimal. We are now somewhere between the waiting and reconstruction phases.  We are waiting for insurance adjusters, rejection letters, FEMA awards, and available supplies.  YES, we are needing to reconstruct our homes and churches.  YES we need SKILLED manpower to do this.  The time for massive groups of unskilled, grunt type labor is past.  We are beginning to look for skilled labor that can drywall, tape/float, paint, install cabinetry, flooring, siding, roofers, etc.  This includes small groups of people that have a balance of skilled and teachable volunteers. Some of our churches/homes will be ready for these groups very soon.  We will have need of groups for a few months to come.  If you are able to provide a group or groups please contact Robyn Burns at robynburnsmarko@gmail.com. Please indicate how many workers, what skills they possess, and when they are available so we can plug that into the needs present.  With God’s help and a lot of prayer, we hope to plug the right group into the right church to help the right situation.

We have received close to $10,000 so far in donations from our extended family of Friends from across EFC-NA.  Thanks so much for your ongoing encouragement and support!

– David O. Wiliams

 

Home Missions Update

Friday, September 8th, 2017

“The Church must be forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored.” –T.S. Elliot

You may know me as part of Communitas in Wichita, or you might know me as the 2nd daughter of Randy & Charlene Littlefield. I grew up in the Friends Church, starting out at Northridge Friends and then to Linwood Friends when it was planted in Wichita. When I was nine, my dad left Pizza Hut Inc., and we moved to Friendswood where my dad attended HGST and worked as the Associate Superintendent of Church Planting with EFC-MA. During the 4 years we were in Friendswood, Friendswood Friends Church was home, but we traveled to many Texas Area churches and church plants, encouraging new works and mission, many of them cross-cultural and/or urban. As a fourth grader I remember calling folks out of a phone book in a phones-for-you campaign and also helping to literally build a new Life Ministries Center building in Houston’s fifth ward.  My parents have always been pioneers and encouragers of innovation and have always valued sharing life with and advocating for those on the margins.  Like Jesus’ model of discipleship, they took us kids along to serve and minister with them. For this example, I am so grateful.  

I love the Friends Church. Not just because it’s my family heritage, but because I think we are rooted in exactly what the world needs and wants today. In an era of highly stylized forms of church with heirarchies and business models, the world is looking for genuine community where each one has a part to play. Friends can offer this. 

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

In an era when culture is shifting rapidly, we must be about keeping the faith but adapting the practices. The mission field is next door and down the street and across town, and if we continue to treat mission as something that only happens “over there” or if we sit comfortably in our pews with a “come to us” mentality, we will not survive. If we adapt, it will be uncomfortable and there will be some failure, but ultimately, I believe Friends will get to be part of what God is doing in the world. THAT excites me.

Business as usual won’t cut it.  I’m not saying to turn the ship on a dime or throw the baby out with the bath water, but I am suggesting that we reorient ourselves back to our roots, harness what made us Friends in the first place, and move into the future with a sense of hope and adventure and determination, with a renewed passion for Christ and His Kingdom.  

“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mk 2:22)

I’m encouraged by the ministries, initiatives, and new churches among Evangelical Friends in our region that reach out to the community with the message of hope. Let’s keep asking, “What else is the Holy Spirit inviting us to be a part of as salt and light in our neighborhoods and communities?” Let’s keep experimenting. Let’s keep moving.

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

– Carrie Corliss

The Discipline of the Empty Chair

Friday, September 8th, 2017

As I write these words, I am gazing at a one of my favorite images. It is a photograph I took a few years ago while hiking around Sprague Lake, a pristine mountain oasis located at the south end of Rocky Mountain National Park. At the center of this picture there is an alpine lake, surrounded by a vast forest of Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine. Enthroned in the background are the majestic, snow-capped summits that preside over this portion of the Continental Divide: Flattop, Thatchtop, Chief’s Head, Long’s Peak. In the foreground, at the bottom of the photograph, there is an empty bench made of rough, hand-hewn timber that has my name on it, or so it would seem. As naturalist John Muir was known to say, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

As an avid hiker and nature lover, this image continually reminds me to give thanks for the breath-taking beauty I have been privileged to behold, while stirring within me a fresh hunger for exploring the multitude of new destinations that are just waiting to be discovered. More importantly, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the empty bench serves as a regular reminder that our risen Lord is inviting me to recognize his presence, to engage him in conversation, to join him on the journey, and to allow him to be the strength of my life at every point along the way: “I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1).

This is easier said than done, of course. Like everyone else, there are an endless number of competing voices pulling at me from every direction from morning to night, both internally and externally. And I want very much to respond to them, to please them, or to appease them, at the very least. I want to have a sense that I am valued, appreciated, affirmed, loved.

But among the many capricious voices clamoring for my attention, there is but one Voice that has the ability to satisfy the deepest longings of my heart. Augustine was right: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You, O Lord.” At the end of the day, whether we realize it or not, we ultimately live, move and have our being before an Audience of One.

This became unusually clear to me seventeen years ago during my first weeks on the job as a professor at Barclay College here in Haviland. I moved to the sunflower state by myself in August of 2000, leaving my wife and six children in Ohio, waiting for our house to sell. Although I was extremely excited to begin my new adventure on the college campus, I was less than thrilled to do it by myself. I was the new kid on the block, living alone in an empty house, occasionally feeling like I was stranded on a desert island in the middle of a tiny, remote village in the middle of … somewhere.

After enduring two or three weeks of this solitary confinement, the Lord decided it was time to crash my little pity party. As usual, He did so in a very kind and unexpected manner. As I was laying down for bed one night, I noticed something that had been there all the time. It was there when I sat down for dinner, it was there when I rode in the car, it was there when I flew on the plane, and it was there when I was at work in my office.

“It” was an empty chair. Except that it wasn’t empty at all. The Lord was gently reminding me that what appeared to be an empty chair was, in a very real sense, continually occupied by the One who promised to be with me “always, to the very end of the age” (Mt 28:20). He was with me when I laid my head on the pillow each night, when I got into the car each morning, when I took my seat on the plane, and when I sat down to work on each and every course syllabus. He was with me, and He wasn’t going anywhere. He was just hoping that I would notice.

As this simple reality began to sink in, the Lord began to transform my loneliness into a whole new appreciation for solitude. It wasn’t long before the silence became increasingly welcomed as a personal invitation to engage in intimate, uninterrupted conversation and ongoing companionship with Christ. As Paul Tillich has said, “Loneliness is a word to describe the pain of being alone; solitude is a word to describe the glory of being alone.”

In time, the house in Ohio sold and my family was finally able to join me in Kansas. As thankful as I was to have them all with me, I have to confess that I was somewhat disappointed at first to discover that it was suddenly much harder to find an empty chair!

The lesson was not wasted, however. I am continuing to benefit from the discipline of the empty chair. To this day, when I find an empty chair next to me along the way, I am regularly reminded that it is not empty at all. The Lord is with me, and he’s not going anywhere. He is my constant Companion and Friend. He is just waiting for me to acknowledge his presence, to engage him in conversation, and to join him on the journey. And when I do, my spirit sings for joy: “And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known” (see “In the Garden” by C. Austin Miles).

May our Lord Jesus continue to bless you and keep you, dear friends, and may you experience great joy on your journey as you embrace his presence in your midst!

– David O. Williams, General Superintendent

Hurricane Harvey Update

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Here is the latest update from our Friends in south Texas (as of September 5, 2017) as they recover from the impact of Hurricane Harvey:

  • The folks in Friendswood were hit especially hard by Hurricane Harvey, but they have also been given a unique opportunity to provide ministries of compassion to their friends and neighbors.  According to Molly Black, at least 36 homes of church members were seriously damaged by the flood waters.  At least 24 of these homes have already been gutted (with most belongings, carpeting and drywall out on the curb while things dry inside), and they hope to finish with the remaining homes by the end of this week.  Over 100 volunteers have been actively involved in these efforts, many of whom have provided ministry to more than 50 young children who are trying to make sense of it all.  The congregation met for worship on Sunday morning, and the church office reopened today (the office will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for additional recovery time, but will reopen again on Friday).  You can find additional updates on the Friendswood website.
  • Pastor Jim Barclift reports that his home on the north side of Houston is still in the process of repair, but he and Cindy are safe and sound and living with their daughter in a nearby neighborhood.  Lighthouse had three homes of church members that were flooded, but since the church property was not damaged it is now being used as a Relief Distribution Center, providing food, clothes and other essential items for the residents of League City.
  • At nearby Bayshore, Pastor Karl Newmann is leading efforts to assist the three or four church families whose homes were flooded, but he is also giving thanks for minimal damage to their church property, which they hope to offer to work crews in the coming days as a base for long term rebuilding projects.
  • The church property at Friends Community (Angleton) was also spared any serious damage, as well as Pastor David Davenport’s home, due in large part to the timely efforts of the entire Davenport family, who laid sand bags around the perimeter of the house before the nearby rivers and creeks crested.  David remains concerned for four of their church families who live in the Lake Jackson area, since the flood waters are not expected to crest until later this week.
  • David Davenport also reports that three or four homes of members from Liverpool were flooded, but the church property was not damaged.  Pastor Bubba Rouse and his wife, Shelly, are staying with family in the area as they wait for the flood waters to recede.
  • Our Friends from Northshore had over a foot of water in the church last week, and are continuing the process of clean up and recovery.  Pastor Robyn Burns-Marko currently serves as our Texas Area Elder, and will be meeting today with Karl Newmann, our Texas Area Superintendent, to put together a strategic plan for ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts among our Houston area churches in the days ahead.  David Byrne, Director of the Coalition for Hispanic Ministries (CHM), will be assisting them as well. 
  • Our yearly meeting office in Wichita is serving as the primary collection and distribution center for financial assistanceto our Friends in south Texas.  You can send your donations directly to the Ministry Center (2018 W Maple, Wichita, KS, 67213) or you can contribute online here.  Just make sure and clearly designate any gifts for “Hurricane Harvey Relief.”
  • Here is a link to a video that was prepared by a member of Morningside Friends Church in Port St. Lucie, Florida (please keep these folks in prayer as well as they brace themselves for Hurricane Irma).

 

– David O. Williams, General Superintendent

Pastoral Opening | Liberal, Ks

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

We are seeking a Pastor to guide our church forward into the next chapter of life and growth in Liberal, Kansas. The Pastor must be Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, and have a clear calling from God to pastor. The ideal candidate is someone who loves people both inside and outside the church, and who passionately communicates God’s Word. Additionally, it is incumbent upon this candidate to embrace and practice Friends values.  Ideally, we would like to see a leadership track record that demonstrates collaboration, recruiting, and team building. Moreover, it would benefit the church for our Pastor to be culturally-current, creative, and financially responsible.

Ideal candidates will have a degree from a Bible college or seminary. Five plus years of a proven pastoral track record desired, but the church is willing to consider recent Bible college/seminary graduates with some ministry experience. Additionally, a connection, understanding and calling to southwest Kansas would be extremely beneficial and preferred.

The Lead Pastor will exemplify the character of elders described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4, and Matthew 20:25-28.

This position is salaried, full-time exempt, and includes the use of a beautiful parsonage in a great neighborhood.

Please submit resume and list of references for prayerful consideration.

The contact address is: friendspastorsearch@gmail.com

Leadership Institute, Aug 7 | Kevin Lee

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Kevin Lee, our teacher for our new Institute course in the “The Survey of the Old Testament,” will reveal to us the glorious beauty to be found in these ancient Scriptures, during the months of August, September, and October. Kevin teaches with the high view of the Bible held by George Fox, who claimed, “The Scriptures were given forth by the Spirit of God.” Therefore, we will know God more fully as we understand the Scriptures more fully. May we grow in our knowledge of God and the Scriptures during this course in the Old Testament, starting August 7, 2017.

Kevin Lee has a ministry of law enforcement with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department in Kansas (the Emporia region).  His background includes college teaching and administration, church leadership, and studies in Bible, theology, and pastoral ministry. With a true pastor’s heart, Kevin is able to render a very unique ministry in his law enforcement work. He has numerous opportunities, in ways that many of us do not have, to touch people’s lives with the compassionate love of Christ. Before assuming his present work, Kevin Lee was Vice President for Student Services, Head Soccer Coach, and Professor in the Bible/Ministry Division at Barclay College. Specifically, he taught Old Testament and New Testament courses in the Distance Learning program. He is also well rooted in the Friends Church. Kevin grew up in Northridge Friends Church. After completing an undergraduate degree in Bible and Business Administration at Barclay College, he served as a youth pastor for ten years in Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America Yearly Meeting (Hutchinson and Bethel Friends Churches). In 2005, his family moved to southern California, where at the Friends Center at Azusa Pacific University, he earned the degree, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies.  While studying for the Master’s degree, Kevin served as Minister to College Students at Friends Community Church in Brea, California. He also has experience in banking and substitute teaching and coaching in the public school system. Kevin is married to Jennifer, and they are the loving parents of three beautiful children: Nathan, Hannah, and Jessa.

Because God has blessed our Institute so abundantly, we desire to share the fruits of our teaching. Technology has made possible our ability to hear, see, and interact with Kevin and one another. This we will do at the following locations: St Paul, MN Friends Church (at the home of Kumar Tamang, with Friends from Nepal and Bhutan), Canadian Yearly Meeting (Montreal Monthly Meeting at the home of David Millar, and the  homes of Paul Etienne Mungombe  and Jonathan Esongo, Friends from Congo), (Quebec City Meeting with Musato L. Dems and Alphee Ndahond, Friends from Congo), All Nations (formerly Sudanese Community) Friends Church in Omaha, Palmer, Alaska (at the home of David Miller), Noatak, Alaska (Robert Sheldon, Superintendent), Louisville, KY Friends Church and Stone Mountain Friends Church, Atlanta, GA (with Friends from Rwanda and Burundi), Samson Retnaraj (EFM missionary in Nepal), Mncedisi Nkomo (pastor in Zambia), Friends in Jamaica, Kickapoo Friends Center, Indianapolis, with Steve Turner, Lighthouse Fellowship Church (at the home of Jerry and Mary Louthan), Friends Community Church (Angleton), Neighborhood Friends Church (at the home of Tom and Bonnie Bousman), Friends Ministry Center (Wichita), Bangor Liberty Friends Church, Fowler Friends Church, Faith Friends Church, North Newton (at the home of Merl and Eunice Kinser), New Hope Friends Church, Friends Church at Liberal, and Barclay College (Jackson Hall).

Some Friends prefer a time more convenient than Monday nights. Graciously, Drew Davenport places the video recorded classes on YouTube. A good model to follow in viewing them is to gather a group in your church or area, so that you may discuss the class presentation together. Click here to go to the link.

Kevin Lee’s hope is that through his teaching, the Holy Spirit will open to us new insights into the Truths of God that are revealed in the precious Scriptures. The first class in the Old Testament series is August 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. central time. At 6:50, we will hear the story or testimony of one of our Institute Friends.

Inviting you to join us as Kevin opens to us the fascinating beauty of the Old Testament,

Dave Kingrey, Director of Leadership Institute

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

I was looking through my dresser drawers the other day and I came to a startling realization: I have way too many t-shirts. The problem is that I really like t-shirts, and I find it surprisingly difficult to part with them. After all, t-shirts are readily available, relatively inexpensive and extremely comfortable. They can be easily re-purposed as rags, quilts, pet bedding or painting attire. They also make great souvenirs and serve as portable billboards for your favorite people, places, teams and causes.

The most recent addition to my t-shirt collection is one of my very favorites so far. It’s a trekking t-shirt that features a solitary hiker and a solitary tree framed by the following caption: “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.” This caption is actually a portion of a short poem written by Bilbo Baggins, the main protagonist in The Hobbit and a primary character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The poem presents an encrypted description of Aragorn, an heir to the royal throne who is currently wandering throughout the land as a vagabond ranger known as Strider. The poem is used to help convince Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo, to trust Aragorn even in his Strider guise. Aragorn later recites the first two lines when he is attempting to get Frodo to trust him enough to join him on his journey. 

For those who may not be familiar with these fanciful tales of Middle Earth, it may be helpful to note that Tolkien, a devout Christian, created them to serve as allegorical representations of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. As such, Aragorn (and to varying degrees, Gandalf and Frodo) embodies much of the character of Christ. Not only does he wander in the wilderness before revealing his true identity as the chosen one, but through multiple acts of sacrificial love on behalf of his friends, Aragorn helps to save all of Middle Earth from the demonic sway of Sauron and his dark forces of evil. Sound familiar?

As I reflect upon my first three years of ministry as general superintendent for EFC-MAYM, there have been many days when it seems as though Mid America bears an uncanny resemblance to Middle Earth. To be honest, I have frequently felt a bit like Frodo, just a little Hobbit from the Shire. One day he is minding his own business and enjoying a relatively simple life with his friends and neighbors, and the next thing you know he is suddenly summoned to fulfill a new and unsolicited mission, one that is way above his pay grade, in response to the call of a great and godly king who, like Aragorn, typically appears in the distressing disguise of a vagabond ranger who is relentless in his determination to free the entire land from its captivity to the dark forces of this fallen world.

While there are those rare times now and then when the king chooses to reveal his true identity in all of its splendor, more often than not, his character is made manifest most clearly in the midst of the seemingly mundane, messy, every day, ordinary events of human life. And every life has a story to tell.

Far from fanciful tales, the stories we have to tell here in EFC-MAYM are about very real people from very real places who find themselves fighting all-too-real battles. Having visited all of our churches (including multiple visits to many churches) during my extensive travels across Mid-America over the past three years, I can speak from firsthand experience when I say that we are all just a bunch of ordinary Hobbits after all, an equally flawed yet remarkably resilient family of Friends, representing a wide variety of racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and we all share a common condition:

  • We are all harassed and helpless, left to our own devices, like sheep without a shepherd.
  • We are all longing to be free from Satan’s reign of terror upon this fallen planet.
  • We are all weary of the wreckage left behind in the wake of sin and death.
  • We are all desperately seeking salvation, in all of its multi-faceted expressions.
  • We are all passionately and unconditionally loved by our great and godly King, who also just happens to be our Creator, Redeemer and most faithful Friend and Companion, the One who is absolutely relentless in the pursuit of his mission to “seek and save that which was lost.”

As we gather for the 146th sessions of EFC-MAYM this month in Haviland, we will pay special attention to the Israelite’s long, arduous, transformational journey through the wilderness on their way to the promised land. We can learn much from those fellow sojourners who have walked before us on this trail of faith (cf. Heb 11), but if we have any hope of completing the journey ourselves, we must “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer [trail blazer] and perfecter [trail guide] of our faith” (Heb 12:2), for he is our one and only reliable Way in the wilderness. Over time, as we learn to follow him even more faithfully, we find our lives slowly, surely and increasingly reoriented as we wander together along this truly transformational journey with Jesus, our vagabond King. And it isn’t long until we come to the very same conclusion as J.R.R. Tolkien and every other faithful friend and fellow traveling companion who has gone before us:

“Not all who wander are lost.”

 

Updates from EFM

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
Lazarus John, pastor of the Sudanese Evangelical Friends Church in Omaha, Nebraska, is currently on a two-month exploration trip to South Sudan and the border city of Gambella, Ethiopia (Gambella is ethnically Sudanese and a stable base for operations). He is visiting leaders who have been leading and planting churches under the name of Evangelical Friends Church. Please pray for Lazarus as he makes this difficult journey, and for his wife, Veronica, and their family and church, as they continue on in Omaha while Lazarus is away.  Thank you to all of you who have already been praying for Lazarus and have supported him financially for this Luke 10 trip.
 
Here are some of Lazarus’ objectives:
  • To visit the Great Upper Nile, Great Equatoria, and Great Bahra Ghazal regions in South Sudan and the Gambella region in Ethiopia.
  • To visit new churches that have been planted over the last six years.
  • To further discern possible relationships with EFM and/or EFC-Rwanda and EFC-Africa, including the role Lazarus and his family would have in these relationships.
  • To assist with the registration and licensing of churches in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
  • To train church leaders in discipleship and Friends church-planting structures.
  • To lead in the preparation of self-sustainable financial strategies.
  • To clarify organizational structures for local, regional, and national leaders.
  • To build relationships and healthy communication patterns.  
  • To establish a unified vision of Evangelical Friends for an exciting future. 
 
Other missions-sending news in Central Africa:
 
Please pray for Rwandan Friends as they are currently planting worship groups and churches in Kampala, Uganda. EFM is partnering with Rwandans who are discipling and training both Ugandan and Sudanese leaders who currently reside in Kampala, seeking the right leaders who might plant other churches in Uganda or South Sudan in the future. Rwandan leaders are also making Luke 10 exploration trips to Juba, South Sudan, as they discern where or how they may begin a new mission to plant the seeds of a new yearly meeting in South Sudan.
 
Please pray for Burundian Friends as they continue a missions-sending objective in Kigoma, Tanzania. They have a handful of churches and worship groups in the Kigoma area, including some Burundian and Congolese refugee camps, with a base church building on property in the outskirts of Kigoma. The current leader in Tanzania is Mopendo, a Muslim back-ground believer who was led to Christ through a dream and later joined Friends via Congolese contacts. He is working with Burundian leaders to get the church, a seed for a new yearly meeting, registered with the government.
 
Thank you for praying for these African missions-sending efforts among Friends!  It is also wonderful to see EFC-Africa and FUM African leaders being transparent with each other, partnering where it makes sense, and always cheering each other on in the Great Commission!
 
– Matt Macy, Associate Director of EFM
 
P.S.  Please make note of EFM’s current mailing address: PO Box 771139, Wichita KS 67277.  Although the USPS is to forward our mail for 12 months, we have heard of some mail being returned to sender.
 

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).

Leadership Institute Update | July 3

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Dr. Adrian Halverstadt will bless us once more on July 3, 2017, as he completes our study of Christian theology, with specific emphasis on our Friends beliefs. Adrian knows the Church and Christian theology through studies in his Master’s and Doctoral work, as Professor in undergraduate and graduate Bible/Theology courses at Barclay College, and as a Friends Church pastor and leader. He has studied the great theologians and devotional leaders through the centuries. An additional blessing is Adrian’s broad knowledge of Friends history and theology, so he teaches Church history and beliefs through the eyes of Quakerism.

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

If you also want to view the video recorded session and absorb your learning experience a second time, or if you cannot be at one of these sites, simply click on this YouTube link here.

After Adrian’s teaching in this session, I am certain that you, like me, will have a deeper understanding of the beliefs of our beloved Christian Church. This is important, because being firmly grounded in our roots, we will be able to grow and produce fruits for strong leadership and ministry today and in the future. Jesus’ teaching is clear, “The tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33 NRSV). This applies to the Church, of which you and I are servant leaders.

The class begins at 7:00 p.m. central time, July 3, 2017, with a time of friendly fellowship at 6:50.

Inviting you to enrich your faith, knowledge, and life by sharing in Adrian’s final class on Christian Theology.

-Dave Kingrey, Director of Leadership Institute

The Way in the Wilderness

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
– Luke 3:4

When God is about to do something new and wonderful in the world, he often calls his people to the desert in order to prepare the way. It’s as if he must begin with models before he is ready to build a movement. And more often than not, it seems, his workshop is found in the wilderness.

Throughout his forty years of tending sheep in the Midianite desert (Ex 2-3), God was preparing Moses to lead his fellow Hebrews out of slavery and into the Promised Land. While seeking asylum from Saul in the desert strongholds of Ziph, Maon and En Gedi (1 Sa 23-24), David was being prepared to rule over the nation of Israel as God’s anointed king. Elijah’s frantic flight into the Sinai desert (1 Ki 19), following his initial contest with the prophets of Baal, prepared the way for a fresh encounter with God and a renewed call to return home and finish the job. It was in the wilderness of Judea that the word of God came to John the Baptist (Lk 3), launching his ministry as the forerunner of the Messiah. Following his baptism by John in the Jordan, it was into this same Judean desert that Jesus was led by the Spirit (Lk 4), where he made final preparations for public ministry by facing his demons on their home turf and demonstrating a divine identity that would soon be revealed to the whole world. And whenever he needed to be reminded of his true identity, “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Lk 5:16).

If Richard Foster is right in his assertion that “our adversary majors in three things today – noise, hurry and crowds”– then there is no better path towards healing and deliverance than the way of the desert. But, as Kenneth Leech has observed, those who are called to the desert must be “conscious of the severe temptations which the desert environment itself held. For these waste regions were the abode of the demons and the forces of evil … to enter the desert then is to enter the arena of spiritual conflict.” And yet, it is in the midst of such intense conflict that true character is forged, argues Henri Nouwen, for the desert itself provides a “furnace for transformation,” and “it is from this transformed self that real ministry takes place.”

It is interesting to note that as persecution began to diminish during the third and fourth centuries of the Christian church, “red martyrdom” (giving one’s life for the sake of the gospel) was gradually replaced by “white martyrdom” (dying to one’s self for the sake of the gospel). It was during this time that an increasing number of devoted Christ followers found themselves drawn by God to leave the relative comfort and complacency of organized religion in favor of the silence and solitude of the desert. These Desert Fathers and Mothers were desperate to exchange material prosperity for moral purity, worldly passion for eternal purpose, and shallow companionship for genuine community. They did not go into the wilderness in order to escape trouble, but to seek transformation. They sought to become less attached to the empty values of this fallen world and more fully attached to God’s vision of a better world.

I have never spent extensive time in the desert myself, but I have experienced firsthand the immeasurable value of silence and solitude and the rich blessings of the common life, especially during my tenure as a professor and campus pastor at Barclay College. I often refer to Barclay as the “Quaker Monastery on the Plains” due to its small size, close-knit community, commitment to meaningful ministry and remote location on the Kansas prairie (a region that, ironically, was once referred to as the “Great American Desert”). Needless to say, students and faculty don’t come to Barclay because it is a place of power, prestige and material prosperity. In fact, this reality has a wonderful way of purifying one’s motives. One could easily argue that those who come to study and serve at Barclay are either clearly called or just plain crazy!

It seems only fitting, then, that our 2017 Ministry Conference will be hosted by our friends at Barclay, especially during the college’s centennial celebration year. In keeping with our theme, “The Way in the Wilderness,” we will gather in Haviland, Kansas, a place that has served as formational furnace for our extended family of Friends in Mid-America, North America and all around the world for more than 100 years now. During our time together, we will pay special attention to the Israelite’s long, arduous, transformational journey from slavery in the land of Egypt to freedom in the promised land of Canaan. Throughout their 40-year camping trip through the desert, God’s people were faithfully sustained each and every step of the way by Yahweh, their good and beautiful God.  This is the same God who continues to lead His people through the wilderness of this world today, not merely by cloud or by fire but by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, as we all look forward to that great day when we will arrive safely at our final destination in the ultimate Promised Land (cf. Rev 21:1-22:5).
The question is: “How are we called to live while we are on the way?”

That is the question that will provide the primary focus for our time together in Haviland this summer, July 20-23, as we gather on the campus of Barclay College. I hope that you will join us as we wander together along this transformational journey with Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2) and our one and only reliable Way in the wilderness.

– David O. Williams, General Superintendent

 

Journey Project Internships

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
 
The Home Missions Board is excited to partner in several unique Journey Project internships this summer in different locations across the yearly meeting. 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.  Journey Project interns will be stretched beyond their comfort zones as they serve those in need. They will be equipped and trained to make disciples and make a difference in the world. And they will experience the joy of their salvation in ways they never imagined!
 
In addition to the summer internships, the Home Missions Board is hoping to bring on a young Spanish-speaking couple, Dario & Raquel Bastias, to EFC-MAYM for an extended, year-long “Journey Project” internship.  Dario & Raquel would start their year with us this summer in Wichita and then on to Tyler, Texas for a Luke 10 trip to explore a potential calling to help plant a new Friends church there when their internship concludes. If you are able to provide a camper or RV for them for 3 to 6 weeks this summer (June 4 – July 20) for this Luke 10 exploratory trip, please let us know!
 
From August 2017 through May 2018, Dario & Raquel would be available to spend time in a number of areas to learn from and connect with the local church and the local community. The interns’ ministry focus would be to have presence in the community. As they arrive in a unique community, their mission is to learn who the people are and where God is at work outside the walls of the church, and to join Him there. Through a partnership with a host church, we believe this internship will help build a bridge for the church to re-engage or engage for the first time with a unique community outside of its walls. What an exciting opportunity!
 
Host Church Opportunity: Dario & Raquel could come to your community for 1, 2, or 3 months. We ask the host church to provide housing for them in the target community. The interns will be raising some of their own personal support in addition to some Home Missions Board support for their other living and personal expenses. 
 
While at the host site, we also ask the host church to provide a mentor that would meet with the interns weekly for one hour in a Life Transformation Group. No training is required for the mentor, but note that a commitment to a Scripture reading plan is. 
 
We invite you to visit www.tribeoffriends.org to learn more about The Journey Project.
 
– Home Missions Board Chairman, John Harkness

Jr. High Bible Quiz | Final Tournament

Friday, April 28th, 2017

The 2017 Quiz season came to a close with the final tournament held at Northridge Friends on Saturday, April 22.  Fourteen teams from 8 churches competed over the chapters of Matthew 1-14.  Taking top honors was Bethel Blue followed by Bethel Red.  Third place went to Northridge Blue and Argonia Blue came in 4th.  The other teams placed as follows:

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

In addition, the top average scorers for the year were recognized as “All Star” Quizzers.  This year the awards went to  Aubreigh Haxton of Argonia with an average of 103 points per tournament, Rolanda Gerber of Bethel averaging 148, Aspen Sohm of Bethel with a 150 average, and Hannah Harvey of Northridge scoring an average of 162 points per quiz.

The Frazier Award was also given to an outstanding quizzer who exemplified great leadership and good Christian testimony as well excellence in quizzing.  The nominees were Luke Ballard, Cooper Dawson, Hannah Harvey, Aspen Sohm, Madelyn Campbell, Grayson Bergquist, Rowan Davenport, Ky Leslie, and Aubreigh Haxton. This year’s winner is Rowan Davenport of Friends Community Church.

Congratulations to all the quizzers and coaches for a great quiz season.

 
 

Meet EFCMAYM Summer Intern

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Christa Follette recently completed her second year at Friends University where she is double-majoring in Health Science and Christian Spiritual Formation. While growing up, she attended Grinnell Friends Church (Grinnell, Iowa), where her father was the pastor. She has been attending Northridge Friends Church since coming to school at Friends University and she has become plugged into the church and yearly meeting through being an AWANA Recreation Leader, being a part of the college and young adult gatherings, and the annual Friends Friends Friends Retreat. Northridge has helped her to fall in love with Wichita and the people here, and she is excited to spend the summer serving alongside Mid-America Yearly Meeting (and Northridge Friends) as a summer 2017 intern.

Her internship will cover a broad array of work and service to the Yearly Meeting and Northridge. The internship is being funded by the Clarence and Lilly Picket Endowment Grant for Quaker Leadership. Some of her duties will include: assisting Janet Penna in the office, covering office hours, helping in camp planning for MAYM camps at Camp Quaker Haven, planning and executing Yearly Meeting Gathering in July, helping plan summer programming and VBS at Northridge Friends, and other projects for the MAYM and Northridge staff members.

She has expressed that she is thrilled to spend the summer serving the Friends Church and she hope that her work will be a blessing to the Yearly Meeting and its churches! Stop in to the office this summer at 2018 W. Maple to say hi to Christa!

 

Job Opening | Argonia Friends

Wednesday, 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

Friday, 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