Pastor and Congregation News
- Dale Kauffman, pastoral team member at Journey@Yoder, has concluded his ministry there. Joel Schroeder has joined that team effective February 1. Joel was formerly part of the pastoral team at First Mennonite Church in Newton, KS
- Kurt Horst, former lead pastor of Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston, is serving a two-month interim pastor assignment at Buhler Mennonite Church.
- Regional Conference Minister Clarence Rempel, and his wife Amanda, spent most of the month of March in Zambia, where a daughter and family are living. They canceled a visit to Ukraine and came home early due to the corona virus pandemic.
- Masemo Wakibogo, a member of Whitestone Mennonite Church, was recently licensed for pastoral ministry. Beginning last December, he is giving leadership to a Swahili language group that is meeting at a Methodist church in Wichita. Its participants are primarily from east Africa. Masemo and his family came as refugees from Congo less than three years ago; he graduated from Hesston College with a degree in Bible and Ministry.
- Journey Mennonite Church has named Eric Miller and Jim Ostlund co-lead pastors. Eric, teaching pastor, will also continue as campus pastor for Journey@South Hutchinson and Jim, Directional Pastor, will also continue his campus role for Journey@McPherson.
- Zach Batson was licensed toward ordination on January 26 at Journey@McPherson, where he is serving on the pastoral team. This also marked the 7th anniversary of the beginning of this congregation.
- Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of churches discontinued worship services and other group meetings beginning March 15. Many of our congregations have moved online including live streaming or closed circuit TV. The duration of this arrangement is indeterminate, given the varying advice coming from both the national and statewide levels about the length of time needed for “social distancing.”
Executive Committee Activity
The conference Executive Committee has met twice times since the last newsletter was published, plus a time of fellowship after the Christmas holidays. Major agenda discussion includes the following items:
- Approved a plan to support a Swahili-language church plant in Wichita, led by Masemo Wakibogo.
- Acknowledged the receipt of a report from the Advisory Group (AG) appointed by the MC USA Executive Board to review the status of the denominational Membership Guidelines, with plans to engage pastors in a discussion of the AG recommendations.
- Approved Ministerial Grants available to pastors, for Kevin Santiago, pastor of Peace Mennonite Community Church in Aurora, Colorado; and Zach Batson, pastoral team member at Journey@McPherson.
- Agreed to change the annual assembly date to July 24-25, with Bethel Mennonite Church as the host congregation.
- Gave extended time to review possible structural and staffing changes for our conference, in line with an expanded vision that has been the subject for group meetings during the past two years.
- Accepted the resignation of Judy Miller as chair of the Ministerial Commission, in which capacity she had served on the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee is scheduled to meet next on April 20.