Weekly Word

Zach Batson Licensed

Zach Batson, Associate Pastor at Journey@McPherson was licensed towards ordination by Regional Conference Minister Clarence Rempel on January 26. It was also the 7th Anniversary of the beginning of the church. Zach came to a fullness of faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized in the early years of the church. He was mentored by Pastor Jim Ostlund, and entered into leadership through worship ministry. He completed a two-year Masters Degree in Spiritual Formation at Friends University in 2019. South Central Mennonite Conference supported Zach in his study for ministry with $2,000 in Education Grants designed specifically for conference members seeking pastoral training. Praise the Lord for this call on Zach’s life and into ministry!  Pray for Zach, Journey@McPherson, and the two-year discernment of a possible lifelong call to ministry that this License begins.

Proclaiming God’s Kingdom in Matamoros

Since 2015 SCC has been supporting the IBA program from Mennonite Education Association with tuition assistance for students in Matamoros, Mexico.  The IBA program exists to provide biblical training to Hispanic leaders, increasing their theological and spiritual maturity.

         SCC has supported four pastors in Matamoros for five years, from their first course through graduation from the IBA program in November 2019.  The following is their letter of gratitude, translated and delivered by Violeta Ajquejay, associate director of IBA, who traveled to Matamoros for the IBA graduation ceremony.  She reports that these graduates are very active in their congregations and doing God’s work in their communities. We praise God for the opportunity to join in His work in Matamoros and pray that God’s kingdom will continue to be proclaimed in our communities and around the world.

January 7, 2020

To South Central Mennonite Conference (SCMC)

Greetings! Trusting that our Good God blesses you and your families according to His promises.  This letter is to extend our gratitude on behalf of my brothers and sister who completed their studies with Anabaptist Biblical Institute (IBA).

This trajectory has been long, with doubts and difficult times in the way, that sometimes we considered giving up. Each of my fellow students have struggled to achieve this goal. Dealing with jobs, family matters and their activities in the church or mission, and with all of this, we finished the IBA studies, an experience that we value.

We thank SCC and its leaders and its church members who strive to serve in the expansion of the Kingdom of God and bear witness to the FAITH that is common to us. From this region of Mexico, we join the work entrusted to us by our Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15, 16). And we commit to continue working on the mission on this side of the border in Mexico, and to continue putting into practice what we have learned in IBA. We hope that the Lord’s work we do, you will see it in some way as your ministry outside of the USA. Because without your support, we wouldn’t have had the leadership skills and bible knowledge we have now.

We are very grateful for the generous support that you gave us unconditionally and your prayers for the past five years. Without a doubt, it would not have been possible to reach our goal without your help.

We bless your lives, your families and your ministries.

Always grateful,

Meliton Viveros Arriaga, IBA Tutor

Matamoros, Mexico


1. Guadalupe Zaleta Sanchez, Pastor de Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Gethsemani (Pastor at Gethsemani Evangelical Mennonite Church)

2. Rebeca Salinas L., Iglesia Fundamento para la Familia (Foundation for the Family Church)

3. Odilon Zaleta Sanchez, Pastor de Iglesia Camino de Santidad (Pastor at Way of Holiness Church)

4. Meliton Viveros Arriaga, Pastor de misión, Mi Hogar Santuario Para Dios (Pastor at Mission, My Home, Sanctuary to God)


Four years ago Pleasant View Mennonite Church began using an Annual Evaluation Tool as a way of yearly  “taking the temperature” of the congregation. This short questionnaire asked congregants to evaluate pastors, elders, and even participation.  Being so close to specific situations, however, congregational leaders had struggled to compile and summarize the results without getting stuck on specific comments.

This led leaders to seek an outside resource person who, while having some prior knowledge of the church, wasn’t so close to the situation that they would get triggered and derailed from seeing the big picture.  This quickly led them to ask their SCC Regional Conference Minister (RCM), James Wenger, to assist the congregation in compiling the evaluations.

Pastor Jeff Selzer said, “We were really pleased with the way James summarized the evaluations in a succinct way that gave us a big picture of where the congregation is at this point in time.  So pleased that, though we had initially thought we would need to shorten his report, we ended up distributing it to the congregation in full! We will certainly look to use our conference RCM to help us with this again.”