Weekly Word

“I have seen God…”

Kristi Martin, DeeDee Landes and Pastor Ron Moyo were some of the first recipients of South Central Conference (SCC) Leadership Transformation Grants to attend Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) programs.  After realizing the Hesston School’s weren’t eligible for summer nutrition assistance these leaders felt called to start much needed summer meals not only to provide nutrition but also build community. DeeDee commented, “when starting up SFP (Summer Fellowship Program) I realized there were many things that I had learned at KLC that I was thinking about and applying to our situation.  I really appreciated the learning that I received and was glad to have received that training. I would like more!” 

One of the most joyful gifts of being involved in the program for both DeeDee and Kristi has been the relationships with members of their community they would not have met without SFP.  DeeDee said, “It is fun to interact with my new friends when I am volunteering at the elementary or walking the streets in Hesston. However, the most joy comes seeing my children doing the same.”

Since beginning, SFP has grown to include two other area churches and expanded from one meal each week to three.  DeeDee has seen God at work in weeks when attendance was higher than expected. She says, “I have seen God multiply food right in front of us…we just pray and keep handing out food and there has always been enough.”

Pray for the continuation of the Hesston Summer Fellowship Program as they plan, find volunteers, and engage families in 2020.  Pray also for God to lead you in sharing His love in your community.  

On March 30, 2020 at the Kansas Leadership Center from 6:30-8:00 PM we will celebrate five years of partnership with KLC at a dessert reception and short program.  All KLC Alumni and interested persons are invited to attend. SCC continues to give grants for Leadership Training to our members in Kansas communities. If you’re interested in Leadership Training through SCC’s grant program contact Howard Keim, at

Call and Response

Photo: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

In 2016 Regional Conference Minister James Wenger received conference support and organized a year long mentor for a larger-than-usual group of new pastors in our congregations.  Using the book Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton, Howard Keim coached the participants in developing their pastoral identity, asking them, “What does it mean for you to be a pastor?” rather than focusing on the technical aspects of how to do pastoring.  One of the participants in this coaching group was Zach Batson (recently licensed toward ordination as associate pastor at Journey@McPherson).

Baptized at Journey in 2014, Zach’s initial involvement in McPherson was using his gift of music to lead worship.  Zach says through this mentorship, “… it became more clear to me how God had developed me for broader aspects of church leadership.  Through my conversations with Howard and the other young pastors I began to realize a strong hunger for learning about the work of God throughout history—especially in the Anabaptist tradition, and how I am uniquely gifted to partner with Him in my own context.  This has helped me to make decisions like helping to start our Arts After School Program for middle school students. Howard also helped me to see how God has prepared me for ministry in ways I wouldn’t have expected. Years in construction management combined with my love for creative thought and the arts can be a strong combination for leadership in the church.”  

Through discernment with Howard and the Journey family Zach decided to attend Friends University, earning a Masters degree in Christian Spiritual Formation and leadership; which the conference supported with a Ministerial Grant.  Zach says, “I couldn’t be happier that I chose that program! I’ve discovered deep joy in my own journey of transformation and I am excited to take part in the continued transformation of people and our community. Recent conversations with Clarence Rempel, current regional conference minister, and my licensing have helped to confirm this call.”