Recently, we received information from Mennonite Church USA that the Lilly Foundation has given 1 million dollars to help Mennonite Churches address economic challenges facing pastoral leaders. Over the next three years Everence will be administrating these funds; which have been divided into two funds to be used for specific initiatives aimed at addressing these economic challenges. One fund can be accessed by conferences to be used for financial education events planned for pastors. The other pool has been set up as a grant fund that will be used to address current debt that congregational pastors are under. The catch is that the grants are matching funds; other groups must match whatever Lilly Foundation gives. This match can come from the conference, from congregations, or from groups of interested persons. (It cannot come from the pastor being helped). This is a wonderful opportunity for us to join Lilly Foundation to encourage and bless pastors with these financial needs. More information about conference-wide financial education events will be coming. HERE is a flyer with more information about how you (along with additional funds from SCC) can bless your pastor by helping them with their current debt. You may also contribute matching money to help pastors that are serving other SCC or Mennonite Church USA congregations have access to these grants. Please contact your Regional Conference Minister or the conference office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you would like to help spread the word about this opportunity with your congregations feel free to share THIS VIDEO with the link to the flyer as well.
The Mt Pisgah Mennonite Church is re-visioning their life and mission in their rural community of large farms in northeast Missouri. With young people moving away they need to reach out into the community. It is one of the oldest Mennonite Churches, and only conference congregation, in the state. They have a regular attendance of about 50. John Thomas is a the part time pastor.
On Sunday, January 24, 2016, Sandeep Thomas was installed as pastor of the Argentine Mennonite Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Pastor Thomas is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh PA, and previously served as associate pastor of the Asian Indian Christian Church of Pittsburgh and then worked as a campus pastor in Pittsburgh. In Kansas City Sandeep works half-time for International Students Inc., a ministry to international students studying in Kansas City. The installation service included about 30 guests in addition to the regular attendees. Many of the guests are part of Sandeep’s extended Spiritual circle, largely as part of his student ministry. To learn more about the Thomas family (wife Sufi and children Ahia and Andrew) check out the bio at the Argentine Mennonite Church web site: http://www.argentinemennonite.org/about/staff/.
Regional Conference Minister, Kurt Horst, preached the installation sermon using 2 Peter 1 to encourage Pastor Thomas to: Keep Jesus at the Center, Make Disciples of Jesus, Love the Church and Keep a Balanced Life. The Argentine congregation has had a children’s Venture Club ministry for a number of years and are currently looking for a part-time youth pastor to continue this ministry as those children move into Jr. and Sr. High School.