First Mennonite Church of Reedley

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March 2007

VOX SIMONIS - "The Voice of Simon"

March 2007


The Vox Simonis is a monthly publication (with exception of January) of the First Mennonite Church. The Vox Simonis is designed to inform the FMC Congregation and friends of the congregation of *God*s work* through the individuals, families, church groups, and the greater community.



``Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.''
                                                     
Mark 12:29-31





Individual submissions are welcome. Please bring contributions to the church office. You may also email submissions to fmcreedleyjuno.com


Web Site Information

First Mennonite Church now has a website on the internet. To visit the FMC site, go to:
www.fmcreedley.org

You may e-mail the church office at:
officefmcreedley.org


FMC STAFF

Stephen Penner, Pastor ……………………………………….......E-mail: stevepenneryahoo.com

Juan Montes, Pastor ………………………………...............................E-mail: jvmontesjuno.com

Barbara Ewy, Director of Children*s Ministries …………………………….E-mail: abewycvip.net

Dee Patrick, Office Coordinator ………………………………...........E-mail: fmcreedleyjuno.com

Paul Reimer, Custodian ........………................................................E-mail:psreimernetzero.net


Contact us...
1208 ``L'' Street (P.O. Box 111), Reedley, California, 93654
(559) 638-2917   (559) 637-8826 Fax

Submissions are accepted and are used by discretion of the editor.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


REFLECTIONS by Steve Penner                                                                                      

THOUGHTS by Barbara Ewy                                                                                          

BEIRUT SEITINGS by Ken Seitz                                                                                       

Peace Center Calendar                                                                                                    

Lectures on Dutch Mennonite History                                                                             

Bible School Preview                                                                                                       

Birthdays & Anniversaries                                                                                               

Reedley Hall of Fame Recipient                                                                                        

Travis Oberg Produces CD                                                                                              

MC-USA Convention Youth Seminars                                                                               

MC-USA Convention Special Needs                                                                                 

Saving Time, Saving Energy                                                                                              

US Religious Delegation Finds Hope in Iran                                                                     

Prayer Vine                                                                                                                      

Calendar                                                                                                             





REFLECTIONS
FROM STEVE PENNER


Meeting Mennonites in the Congo

When I first went to the Congo in 1972 I lived and worked in the southeastern part of the country. I taught at a Methodist church and mission school. I had MCC friends who were assigned to teaching assignments in Mennonite schools but, as for me, I was among the Methodists. The question always lingered with me, I wonder what those Congolese Mennonites are like?

Over the years I heard about how the Mennonite churches in the Congo have mushroomed. Today there are about 100,000 members in the Mennonite Church of Congo (CMCO) churches, about 95,000 in the Mennonite Brethren churches (CEFMC), and another 25,000 in the Evangelical Mennonite Church (CEM). Our denomination, Mennonite Church USA, has its primary links with CMCO and CEM. Now, two times in less than a year, I've been privileged to visit the Congolese Mennonites. I just returned less than two weeks ago from visiting the Congo as part of a Mennonite Church USA delegation exploring the idea of church-to-church relations with our sisters and brothers in the Congo.

Our sisters and brothers in the Congo face many serious challenges, some of which do not sound strange at all to our ears. They wonder and worry about their young. They wonder where leaders will come from. They are concerned about music in their churches. They face many questions around issues of leadership. They worry about their church buildings. They concern themselves with the future, and how to build their churches so that they are stronger. University students wonder about what kind of future awaits them.

Of course, in day to day life, a much greater percentage of Congolese Mennonites than American Mennonites face basic economic survival concerns. I heard it said several times during my recent trip to the Congo that so many people get up in the morning just trying to figure out how to get a step ahead. They ask can I scramble around this day to be sure there's enough of life's basic necessities for me and my family?

During my trip to the Congo I met an array of Mennonite folks, lay people and pastors, business people and children. I think of Pascal Kalunga, who has committed himself to teaching positive ways of resolving conflict. Pascal started a peace center in Kinshasa and has chaired the Urgent Peace Project, an educational effort begun to train election observers. I think of Beatrice Kadi, Fabienne Ngombe Kadinda, and Sidonie Swana Falanga, the officers of the Mennonite Women Theologians. Their young organization (it was founded in 2001) works to encourage the aspirations of women within the Mennonite communities of the Congo. But they face obstacles. Too often they say, ``men do not accept that women preach to them'' or ``women's gifts…have been smothered…''

I traveled many miles in the Bandundu province with three other members of the Mennonite Church USA delegation and with Pastor Jackson Beleji-Mwatha, who is the ``community evangelist'' for the CMCO churches in the entire Bandundu region. Pastor Jackson's charismatic personality never failed to inspire a crowd. Our entourage was led by the General Secretary of CMCO, Laurent Kamizelo, who was the calm and solid counterpoint to the dynamic Pastor Jackson. Laurent's steady, graceful spirit was a wonderful blessing to all of us.

In smaller villages I met local pastors like Bolivar Kingombe Nzamba and Musumadi J. Ngwangia. Pastor Ngwangia resides in Kinzanga where one of his parishioners is the local village chief. It was the first time in my life that I have met a Mennonite village chief.

I found Mennonites in the Congo to be motivated to share the message of Jesus Christ with their neighbors, naturally inclined in practice care for each other within their communities, and consciously aware of Jesus' calling to be peacemakers. Being in the Congo reminded me of how much we share in common, yet how vastly different our circumstances are. Still, as we all reminded ourselves over and over again, we find unity in our common commitment to follow in the way of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
   
                                                                        

THOUGHTS
by Barbara Ewy




KIDS CLUB HAPPENINGS

        Kids Club is a happening place! We have just completed our study of Kids and Values: Living God's Way. Since September we have been working with values such as trust, respect, courage, honesty, and kindness. We looked at stories of Elijah, Vashti, Esther and Micaiah (from 2 Chronicles 18:1-27) as well as modern day stories of people trying to live by God`s values.
        A typical evening included worship time with music and the story. Earlier in the year we used puppets to tell the story. More recently we have been drawing the story. Each child has received paper and marker so that they could draw the story as well. Their pictures were then placed in a notebook which they will keep as a visible reminder of what we have studied. The notebook also includes our memory verses and other information from our studies.
        In centers we have done many related activities. When we studied the stories of Vashti and Esther we created a mural of the banquet at the king's palace. We celebrated Purim and retold the Esther story complete with masks, booing the villain and sharing Purim cookies for snacks. We did map studies of the land where the Bible story took place and learned about life in Bible lands at our research center. We began work on an ``angel quilt''. Each child is tracing their hands on cloth to be the angel wings. When all the blocks are completed and the top is put together, we will tie it and present it to the church nursery.
         When we talked about kindness, children paired up and read books to each other or to younger children as an act of kindness. We have also made bannock (a native American bread), participated in a scavenger hunt, traced each other on large paper and then glued pictures representing our interests onto the outlines. We also took time to celebrate Christmas and Valentines with special holiday related activities.
        This month (March) we will experience some changes in our Kids Club program. Beginning March 7 Kids Club will move to Wednesday evenings rather than Thursday. The Tuesday evening tutoring that has been happening will move with us and continue as part of our Kids Club time. This is not really so new as we have had a homework table at Kids Club for some time now. Tutoring will be available during the early part of the Kids club evening. Children who do not need help on a given evening will be offered other activities such as games and stories during that time. The latter part of the evening we will be working on worship themes: What is worship? How do we worship? What do we find about worship in the Bible? Children will have opportunity to worship together as well as to plan activities for their own worship time. We want to experience worship as time to meet with God and listen to God's voice, as well as time to offer our praise and selves to God.




BEIRUT SEITINGS
By Ken Seitz


Greetings, one and all,

The month of Valentines (and my birthday -- Ken) has nearly gone. It has been a month of efforts to complete the reporting and planning process for MCC as we anticipate a new fiscal year starting March 1, one week from today. Having been through the cycle now about three times, it's not nearly so formidable as the first time two years ago.

My birthday was this past Sunday; yesterday our friends from Home of Hope, directors John and Lina Eter, insisted on taking us to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate. That restaurant, The ChopSticks is located just 250 meters down the hill on a strip of frontage road off the freeway, near the place where we waited a full day last summer on July 20 to board the evacuation ship for Cyprus. Talk about reliving those memories for a few moments. Anyway, we enjoyed a scrumptious meal with our friends from one of MCC's partner agencies.

In general the situation has been somewhat calmer here than durin2
g January. February 14, the day when supporters of the Hariri government, gathered downtown to honor their fallen leader in that tragic car bombing event of February 14, 2005, passed without serious incident or clashes between the two throngs claiming the downtown that day.

We trust that soon some way can be figured out for the stalemate regarding who is to govern this country. Meanwhile we work, wait, and watch. People are nervous and tired.

For some reason this turns out to be a rather abbreviated version of "Beirut Seitings" this month. We need to leave now for a short walk down to Near East School of Theology to get in on a lecture by Dr. Gordon T. Smith, from USA, on the theme "What Can Protestants Learn from Jesuit Spirituality?" How many of you would like to see my notes or his handouts (if he has any)!!!?

Meanwhile, thanks again for remembering us in your prayers and support for MCC. Until next month.

Ken and Kass Seitz
MCC Lebanon
February 22, 2007








Reedley Peace Center
P.O. Box 1739, Reedley, CA 93654
Meets in the Fellowship Hall of First Mennonite Church,
located on L Street between 12th and 13th Streets in Reedley
******************************************************************************
Friday. March 2, 5-6:15 - Demonstration at Reed and Manning.
6:30-8:30 Speaker: Michael Hubbart. Topic: The West Bank * It Sure Looks Like Apartheid to Me . In October Mike did a brief training with International Solidarity Movement and then worked with internationals at Birzeit University, at nonviolent demonstrations against the building of the wall at Bil'in and with the Tel Rumeida Project in Hebron.

Friday, March 9
, 5-6:15 Demonstration at Reed and Manning
6:30-9:30 Movie: Lage Raho Munnabhai. Hindi movie with English subtitles. Munnabhai is obsessed with the voice he listens to daily on his radio. He gets a chance to meet the lady behind the voice if he can answer ten questions related to Gandhi. Munnabhai impersonates a professor and takes up reading all about Gandhiji as he promises to deliver a lecture on the Mahatma. He then starts seeing visions of the Mahatma, and begins to follow the path Bapu (Gandhi) shows him, following the principles of Satya (truth) and Ahimsa (non-violence). This comedy has been instrumental in reintroducing the way of Gandhi to contemporary Indian society.
This movie will be introduced by Dr. Su Kapoor who will also lead a discussi3
on at its conclusion.

Friday, March 16
, 5-6:15 Demonstration at Reed and Manning
6:30-9:30 Speakers: Rusty DeRuiter and Carl Buxman speaking about their recent work in Kenya.

Friday-Sunday, March 23-25
The Reedley Peace Center will hold its annual retreat at the St Nicholas Retreat Center in Dunlap. Ron Schmidt, professor of Political Science at CSU Long Beach will be our featured speaker. Saturday afternoon will provide these choices: Creative writing with Hope Nisly, Pastel workshop and demonstration with Paul Buxman, and Listening to Handel's Messiah with David Krehbiel.

If you are interested in attending, please call (559-637-9098) or email (ckrehbielearthlink.net.) Carol Krehbiel.

****************************************************************************


LECTURES ON DUTCH MENNONITE HISTORY
MARCH 20-24

The Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies and the California Mennonite Historical Society are hosting a set of lectures on Dutch Mennonite history. Brochures are available in the church office with full details about he series entitled ``Dutch Doopsgezind Dilemmas: The Mennonite quest for balance between heavenly and worldly citizenship.'' This lecture series is by Professor Piet Visser, Theological Faculty of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and Mennonite Seminary, Amsterdam. These lectures will be held on the campuses of Fresno Pacific University and Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno.



BE BOLD! GOD IS WITH YOU
A BIBLE SCHOOL PREVIEW


        Our summer Bible School material has arrived! Be Bold! God Is With You focuses on the stories of Biblical people who found themselves in fearful situations and chose to obey God despite their fears. Be Bold! teaches children that it is okay to be afraid and that they can choose how to respond to fear. Being afraid does not have to hold us back and limit us in our response to God.
        Worship times will focus on the stories of Jeremiah, Ruth, Mary and Joseph, Peter, and Ananias. These people found themselves in fearful situations. They each made the choice to follow God and do what God asked, even though they felt fearful and uncertain4
of what might happen.
        Vacation Bible School is scheduled for the evenings of June 24 through 29. Your help is appreciated. We need age group leaders and leaders for Courage Connection activities. The latter includes an Anabaptist history adventure, drama, scavenger hunts, games, art, and offering related activities. We also need persons to work with early childhood in a self-contained classroom, a snacks coordinator, and members of the worship and drama team. Please pray for us as we prepare for this week of learning and fun together. If God is calling you to help with the activities, please talk to Barbara Ewy. It will be an exciting week!


Vacation Bible School
June 24 through 29




                 




Happy Anniversary

         3/8 - Jess & Evaline Preheim (55 years)
         3/22 - Paul & Ruth Buxman (13 years)
         3/24 - David & Dorothy Boldt (27 years)
         3/25 - Bruce & LaVeta Auernheimer (14 years)

Happy Birthday

3/1 - Carl Pankratz
3/6 - Rusty Moyer
3/6 - Paul Ruth
3/9 - Blanca Romero
3/19 - Brad Blake
3/11 - Anette Ewy
3/19 - Tom Janzen
3/22 - Travis Oberg
3/23 - Kim Bergen
3/23- Zachary Blake
3/24 - Jordan Penner
3/31 - David Linscheid


REEDLEY HALL OF FAME RECIPIENT
IS ONE OF OUR OWN!

Georgia Linscheid was inducted into the Reedley Hall of Fame as the 23rd member at the annual Reedley District Chamber of Commerce membership awards banquet held Saturday, February 17.

Georgia has volunteered for many years at various places in the community and has served for many years as a volunteer on several boards. She served on the Board of Directors and helped organize an Auxil5
iary for Sierra View Homes. She got involved in city affairs by helping organize the commission of Aging where she was on the planning Committee that organized the Tri-County Citizens Day which involved the counties of Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Kings. For many years she has in the antique department of the MCC Relief Sale.

She also is a current charter member and past president of the Reedley Historical Society and helped in the formation of the Reedley Museum. Additionally, she served as a board member of the Hope Mission Foundation on the Hope Reservation in Kykotsmori, Arizona.

Congratulations, Georgia!












Travis Oberg is Making a CD

Many of us know that our good friend Travis Oberg has been making music for a long time and has been hoping to record his music on a cd. Now he has opportunity to make a professional quality cd and is looking for help in financing the project. He will be recording in a new studio at Hume Lake which he can use for a bargain price. The total cost of the project is $3,500 and if you would like to help you can make out a check directly to Travis and send it to:

Travis Oberg
10320 Jackson Road
Sacramento, California 95827







Here is a list of some of the seminars being offered for youth at the Mennonite Church USA Youth Convention in San Jose this July 2-7.
**How Do I Read the Old Testament as a Mennonite and Person of Peace? - Jim Brenneman
**How Do I Talk to People About My Faith Without Cramming It Down Their Throat? - Brian Martin Burkholder
**What Stance Do You Take About War? - Andre Gingerich Stoner
**What Can You Really Do To Make Peace Practical in Everyday Life? - Rich Meyer
**What Can I Get Out of the Bible? - Jennifer Davis Sensinig
**American Idols: A Modern Monstrosity - Steve Kimes
**What Does It Mean to Have a Personal Relationship with God
* *When God Feels So Distant? - Dan Schrock and Berkey Avenue youth sponsors
**Restorative Justice and Conflict Resolution in the North American context - Ted Lewis
**Congregations Caring About Mental Illness - Ruth Detweiler, Paul Leichty, Burton Buller, Melodie Davis,
**When a Youth Dies - Loanne Harms
**High Temperature Peer Mediation - Rich Meyer
**Everything I Ever Needed to Know About God I Learned In Biology Class? - Wi6
lliam Beck
**From Horses to Porches: Growing up Amish - Steve and Diana Yoder
**The Next Generation: How Millennial Youth (This means You!)
**Are Expected to Shape History - Tom Price *Ted & Lee
**Real Life at a Mennonite College : What I Want My Youth Group to Know-
Cheryl Zehr Walker and current college students
**Choosing a College is Hard Work! - Carlos Romero and panel
**Think Beyond the Border - Abe Bergen, Fred Martin, Melanie Olfert
**Life & Faith: What Happens When They Don't Add Up - Kent Miller
**Are you a radical dude or just plain tired? - Cal Zehr
**Financial Management for Teens - Barbara Reinford, Lois Bontrager
**A Call to Peaceable Witness in Afghanistan -
**Youth Ministry in Northern Ireland : How do Protestant and Catholic Youth co-exist? - M VS workers in Northern Ireland
**A Conversation with Menno Simons - Dale Schrag
**Crossing the Religious Divide: Insights into the world of Christian/Muslim youth work - MVS worker
**5% hog the M&M's - Susan Mark Landis and MCC Washington staff
**Flicks, Movies, and Faith? - Mike Furches
**God's Advice for the Frisky Teenager - Peter and Natalie Eberly
**When Divorce Happens - Kirsten Klassen
**Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll - Making Good Decisions From the Menu of Life - Lynn Miller
**Deaf People also "Hear" the Call - Myron Yoder
**Sexuality: God's Gift - Keith Graber Miller
**Veterans for Peace - Titus Peachey
**Peacemaking and Patriotism: What's a Faithful Mennonite to Do? -Keith Graber Miller
**Small-town kids serving the city: How a girl from Pretty Prairie is impacting San Francisco - Amy Krehbiel
**Dare to be Different! - Ryan Showalter
**Every Young Man's Battle - Eric Horst
**Calling All Livers: Living the Call Takes Guts - Jep Hostetler
**Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll - Chris Birky
**Decision Making - Jeff Selzer
**Overcommitted? - Jeff Selzer
**Deny Yourself, Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me - Del Hershberger
**Is Jesus the Only Way? - James Krabill
**Am I ready for baptism? - Andy Brubacher Kaethler
**Is God Calling Me to Be a Pastor? - Andy Brubacher Kaethler, Marvin Lorenzana



The planning committee for the Children's Convention is in need of several items (see attached list). Items will be collected from your location and then returned on Saturday, July 7th in the evening. If you can provide any of the following items please contact Barbara S. Abebe at: 559-341-4962 (cell) or
.


Infant/Toddler Equipment Needs:
2        low tables
2        rocking chairs
4        portable cribs
1       small refrigerator
1       small microwave
         Gross motor climbers for toddler/preschool age
         Toddle7
r toys trucks, dolls, etc.
         Volunteers, especially for the evenings


Preschool Equipment Needs:
         ?        Adjustable 6-8 ft. tables (tbd by number of registrants)
         1        Kitchen set?wood or plastic; all-in-one
         1       Small Child table for kitchen area
         ?        12'' chairs (tbd by number of registrants)
         1        Rocking Boat
                  Wooden blocks (large/unit blocks)
                  Trucks/cars (Used with blocks)
                  Large pillows (3-4)
                  Bean bags
         Dolls?assorted sizes with clothes and accessories,
                  such as stroller, bottles
         Lego-like blocks
         TV/VCR
         Books, CDs and Videos (theme oriented)
         Puzzles wooden, 24-piece
         Wagon (for transporting children and supplies)
         Sleeping Mats
         Towels
         Small blankets
         Art supplies paper, construction paper, markers, glue,
                  scissors, crayons, etc.
                  Snack prep supplies bowls, pitchers, knife, napkins, paper
                           plates, cups, etc.

         K-5 Equipment Needs:
                  Wipe-off boards
         Games/books for quiet corner
         Bookshelf
         Snacks for afternoon
         Bottled water for field trips


SAVING TIME, SAVING ENERGY
by Bob Aldrich, California Energy Commission

Spring forward...Fall back....
It's ingrained in our consciousness almost as much as the A-B-Cs or our spelling reminder of "i before e...." And it's a regular event, though perhaps a bit less regular than the swallows coming back to Capistrano.
Yet in those four words is a whole collection of trivia, facts and common sense about Daylight Saving Time.

Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time is extended one month and begins for most of the United States at:
2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March to 2 a.m. on the First Sunday of November.

The new starts and stop dates were set in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Daylight Saving Time Saves Energy

         One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it saves energy. Energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.
In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.
Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country's electricity usage by about one percent EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time.
         Daylight Saving Time "makes" the sun "set" one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means that less electricity would be used for lighting and appliances late in the day.
         We also use less electricity because we are home fewer hours during the "longer" days of spring and summer. Mo8
st people plan outdoor activities in the extra daylight hours. When we are not at home, we don't turn on the appliances and lights. A poll done by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings/can do more in the evenings."
         While the amounts of energy saved per household are small...added up they can be very large.
In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset by the morning's need for more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is less than one hour. So, Daylight Saving Time saves energy for lighting in all seasons of the year except for the four darkest months of the year (November, December, January and February) when the afternoon advantage is offset by the need for lighting because of late sunrise.
         A report was released in May 2001 by the California Energy Commission to see if creating an early DST or going to a year-round DST will help with the electricity problems the state faced in 2000-2001-2002. The study concluded that both Winter Daylight Saving Time and Summer-season Double Daylight SavingTime (DDST) would probably save marginal amounts of electricity - around 3,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) a day in winter (one-half of one percent of winter electricity use - 0.5%) and around 1,500 MWh a day during the summer season (one-fifth of one percent of summer-season use - 0.20%). Winter DST would cut winter peak electricity use by around 1,100 megawatts on average, or 3.4 percent. Summer Double DST would cause a smaller (220 MW) and more uncertain drop in the peak, but it could still save hundreds of millions of dollars because it would shift electricity use to low demand (cheaper) morning hours and decrease electricity use during higher demand hours.
Used by permission. For more information about DST (I.e., the history) go to: www.energy.ca.gov/daylightsaving.html





NEWS RELEASE FROM MCC
U.S. Religious Delegation Finds Hope in Iran

February 25, 2007

As Christian leaders from the United States, we traveled to the Islamic Republic of Iran at this time of increased tension believing that it is possible to build bridges of understanding between our two countries. We believe military action is not the answer, and that God calls us to just and peaceful relationships within the global community. We are a diverse group of Christian leaders from United Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, Baptist, Evangelical, Quaker, and Mennonite traditions. The Mennonites have 17 years of on the ground experience in Iran. We were warmly welcomed by the Iranian people, and our time in Iran convinced us that religious leaders from both countries can help pave the way for mutual respect and peaceful relations between our nations. During our visit we met with Muslim and Christian leaders, government officials, and other Iranian people. Our final day included a meeting with former President Khatami and current President Ahmadinejad. The meeting with President Ahmadinejad was the first time an American delegation had met in Iran with an Iranian president since the Islamic revolution in 1979. The meeting lasted two-and-a-half hours and covered a range of topics, including the role of religion in transforming conflict, Iraq, nuclear proliferation, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What the delegation found most encouraging from the meeting with President Ahmadinejad was a clear declaration from him that Iran has no intention to acquire or use nuclear weapons, as well as a statement that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through political, not military means. He said, "I have no reservation about conducting talks with American officials if we see some goodwill." We believe it is possible for further dialogue and that there can be a new day in U.S. Iranian relations. The Iranian government has already built a bridge9
toward the American people by inviting our delegation to come to Iran. We ask the U.S. government to welcome a similar delegation of Iranian religious leaders to the United States. As additional steps in building bridges between our nations, we call upon both the U.S. and Iranian governments to: immediately engage in direct, face-to-face talks; cease using language that defines the other using "enemy" images; and promote more people-to-people exchanges including religious leaders, members of Parliament/Congress, and civil society. As people of faith, we are committed to working toward these and other confidence building measures, which we hope will move our two nations from the precipice of war to a more just and peaceful relationship.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
J. Daryl Byler Director, Mennonite Central Committee's Washington Office
Jeff Carr Chief Operating Officer, Sojourners/Call to Renewal
Ron Flaming Director of International Programs, Mennonite Central Committee.
Edward Martin Director of Mennonite Central Committee's Central and Southern Asia Program
Jonathan Evans Special Representative for Iran at the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Mary Ellen McNish General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Shanta Premawardhana Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA for Interfaith Relations and Director of the NCC Interfaith Relations Commission
Maureen Shea Director of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church.
Patricia Shelly Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA. Geraldine
Sicola Associate General Secretary for International Programs, American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) David Robinson Executive Director of Pax Christi USA
Joe Volk Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
James Winkler General Secretary of the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) The United Methodist Church



Mennonite Mission Network
Prayer Vine for March 2007
Connected to the true vine, to ministries across the street and around the world.


1 Church Ministry - South Korea Please pray for Mennonite workers in South Korea as they meet for a retreat today through Sunday with resource person Julie Bender, a Mennonite mission worker in China, to reflect on their ministry and experiences in Korea.
2 Church Ministry - U.S. Pray for area conference resource advocates as they meet today through Sunday in Baltimore for their annual event to explore new resources available from Mennonite Church USA agencies to equip congregations for missions locally and worldwide.
3 Church Ministry - Kenya Pray that the Mennonite church in Kenya will be empowered by a recently completed baseline study, helping them understand their past and sharpen a vision for the future.
4 Church Ministry - Japan Gerald and Rie Neufeld, Japan, move this month from Miyazaki to Sadowara. Pray for a smooth transition and for the music and children*s ministry they wish to develop with Sadowara Mennonite Church.
5 Church Ministry - Kenya Pray that God will call workers to serve in pastoral care and administration in Kenya, positions currently held by mission workers Kevin and Sharon Yoder who will return to the U.S. in June.
6 Church Ministry - South Africa Following discussions with Grace Community Church in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, Christine and Phil Lindell Detweiler request prayer for the ongoing development of an integrated program of biblical training, community projects and responses to the HIV/AIDS situation.
7 Church Ministry - Colombia Pray for Amanda and Gamaliel Falla, Colombia, as they prepare for North American ministry. Pray that local leadership in congregations on the Caribbean coast of Colombia will cover responsibilities and support each other mutually.
8 Church Ministry - U.S. Mission Network's congregational relations team assists international mission workers to arrange visits with supporting churches during their upcoming North Ame10
rican ministry periods. Pray that these personal contacts will bless both the workers and the congregations.
9 Church Ministry - U.S. Pray for participants today and tomorrow at the final session of *Cultivating a Missional Identity* with Atlantic Coast Mennonite Conference, which focuses on leadership and missional engagement.
10 Church Ministry - South Korea Pray for the new congregation of Grace and Peace Church, meeting at Korea Anabaptist Center in Seoul, as it worships together and builds a community with an Anabaptist identity.
11 Teaching - Japan Pray for attentive ears and hearts for students in the monthly English Bible class Mary Beyler teaches at Tottori Mennonite Church in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. Both Christians and non-Christians attend.
12 Church Ministry - Japan Pray for Kaz Enomoto in Tokyo as he travels to Yamanote and Hagi churches to do leadership training. Pray that God will call individuals to lead the church in Japan.
13 Teaching - Media Secular nursing, educational institutions and mental health facilities are using the video/DVD *Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness* produced by Mennonite Media. Pray it will bring greater awareness of hope possible for those struggling with these illnesses.
14 Teaching - Niger Pray for mission associate Martine Audeoud as she does weekly Bible teaching with women at a local church in Niamey, Niger.
15 Teaching - U.S. Please pray for representatives of Native Mennonite congregations as they meet to receive resources and mutual support today through Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
16 Community Service - U.S. Pray for the Peace and Justice Support Network as it is involved in the ecumenical Christian Peace Witness today in Washington, D.C., an effort to bring a peaceful resolution to the war in Iraq.
17 Community Service - U.S. Pray for Mennonite Voluntary Service participants Heather Kauffman, Sarah and Tim Koontz and Rachel Zehr as they share Christ*s love in San Antonio through a home repair agency, a youth program, a low-income clinic and a day care.
18 Community Service - Germany Pray for Michael (MJ) Sharp and Tim Huber, Germany, as they work through Military Counseling Network with U.S. soldiers who are struggling with serious post-traumatic stress disorder.
19 Community Service - U.S. Remember Mennonite Voluntary Service participants serving in St. Louis: Elina Born and Amanda Maust working with autistic children at Edgewood Children*s Center and Dan Worth at Habitat for Humanity.
20 Community Service - U.S. Pray for SOOP (Service Opportunities for Older People) participants serving in Reedley, Calif., as they partner with Mennonite Central Committee West Coast in its fruit drying program and the Ten Thousand Villages and thrift stores.
21 Community Service - Mongolia Marlow and Vicky Ramsay request prayer for the new Mongolian leadership team that is assuming responsibility for the Celebrate Recovery groups established in local churches in Mongolia to work with alcoholics and their families.
22 Community Service - U.S. Pray for health, strength and a growing faith for Laura Kraybill, Esther Misrahi, Rike Muschka and Terra Wiens, Service Adventure participants in South Bend, Ind.
23 Ministry with Youth - Argentina Gretchen and Keith Kingsley request prayer for the youth and leaders of an indigenous denomination in northern Argentina who meet in a large conference today through Sunday in the Chaco province.
24 Ministry with Youth - France Join Julian Wiebe-Johnson, France, in giving thanks for the growth and consistent attendance in the Mennonite church youth group of *glise *vang*lique of Chatenay-Malabry. Pray fo11
r the group*s week-long retreat during spring break.
25 Ministry with Youth - Japan Mike and Teresa Sherrill request prayer for the youth at Shiroshi Church, Hokkaido, Japan. The youth initiated daily prayer for each other through their cell phones.
26 Ministry with Youth - Middle East A Mission Network couple is working with Arab believers to begin a creative arts center for teenagers in the Arab Peninsula. Pray for this one-on-one outreach to young people.
27 Special Event - Japan Special event: Pray for God*s guidance as mission workers in Japan and Mission Network administrators John Lapp and Sheldon Sawatzky meet today through Thursday in Hokkaido, Japan.
28 Ministry with Children - Argentina Pray for David and Starla Moyer, Argentina, in their leadership role at Centro Cristiano in Santa Rosa where a new Sunday school program for neighborhood children begins this month.
29 Ministry with Children - Media Pray that children will learn the ways of peace as they watch video stories recently compiled on *Rhythms of Peace,* a DVD released by Mennonite Media.
30 Ministry with Youth - U.S. Pray that Mennonite young people will be inspired as a result of their youth pastors and sponsors receiving *Relate: A Christian Service Newsletter,* an e-mail resource with an Anabaptist focus.
31 Ministry with Youth - Macau Praise God for the *tweens* (10- to 12-year-olds) at Macau Mennonite Church. George and Tobia Veith request prayer that they will become a thriving youth group and grow in faith.

Prayer Vine is published monthly by Mennonite Mission Network
www.MennoniteMission.net



CALENDAR OF EVENTS
4 - 3:00 p.m. Dedication of the Ibarra-Otero House 1204 12th Street
7 - 6:00 p.m. Dine Out hosted by the Friendship Group
7 - 6:45 p.m. Trustee Meeting
10 - 7:00 p.m. PIM Family Nite "Noche de la Familia"
12 - 7:00 p.m. Worship Committee Meeting
13 - 8:30 a.m. Education Meeting
17 - St. Patrick's Day!
20 - 7:00 p.m. Council Meeting in Library
21 - 6:00 p.m. "Viva la Chicken!"
25 - 6:00 p.m. Western Mennonite High School Choir
26 - 7:00 p.m. Deacon's Meeting in Library

Sunday


Christian Education - 9:30 a.m.


 English Language Worship - 
   10:45 a.m. in the sanctuary

Spanish Language Worship -
  10:45 a.m.
 
in the Fellowship Hall

Church in the Basement - 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday

Quilters - 8:00 a.m.

Young Women's Group - 12:00 p.m.

Wednesday


Quilters - 8:00 a.m.


Dine Out - 6:00 p.m.  
(1st Wednesday)

(No Dine Out June - September)

MYF - 6:30 p.m.


Kids Club - 6:30 p.m.

Grupos de Crecimiento
"Growing Groups" - 6:30 p.m.


Thursday

Bi-Lingual Bible Study - 7:30 p.m.
     Meets in the Library

Friday

Peace Center - 6:30 p.m.
     Meets in the Fellowship Hall

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