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  • USMB
    have much to be grateful for and we have some momentum In this last season we have rallied around our USMB goal to Partner as one family serving one Lord on one mission for the transformation of individuals families and communities We haven t always gotten it right but sometimes we have In the last 18 years we have partnered with local churches and districts and across denominational lines to plant 27 new churches with a survival rate of 80 percent well ahead of the national average We have consistently invested in local church renewal and in leadership development We have added brothers and sisters from multiple ethnicities to our family and we are richer for it We are learning to drop our regional and institutional boundaries and partner in effective ways for both leadership development and mission We are grateful to have done so with MB Mission and are committed to expanding our collaboration We have reviewed Jesus call to be peacemakers and are anticipating renewed commitment to pursue peace and reconciliation Thanks to our missional focus and local church serving emphasis and in part to a change from the norms system of financial partnership to a percentage based model we have in recent years added 22 local churches to the list of those which support the USMB National Ministries Fund Additionally we have developed a cadre of individual donors who are supportive of our ministries Ultimately our mission is about transformed lives The Spirit is at work convicting and convincing people of sin righteousness and judgment and many among us corporately as church families and also as individuals are partnering with him to invite and welcome people to a family of faith May that tribe increase Wouldn t it be amazing to experience Acts 2 again praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people while the Lord was adding to our number daily those who were being saved Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Checking for USMB validity momentum Sunday Jun 1 2014 Our goal to see lives transformed by Jesus is gaining energy The notes are dated October 6 1982 While I don t remember the reason I wrote them now is a good time to test their validity The questions posed were What concerns do you have for churches in our conference What gives you reason for optimism for the future Five concerns were on my mind at the time 1 A tendency away from healthy cross denominational partnerships to Mennonite Brethren exclusivism 2 The negative impact of multi layered norms asked of the local church 3 The emphasis on most anything except the salvation of pre Christians we know 4 The degree of emphasis on foreign mission at the expense of home mission 5 Limited growth among USMB for decades Reasons for optimism were a longer list based on local churches that would 1 Demonstrate visible unconditional love for one another 2 Show willingness to trust and follow authentic

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Checking-for-USMB-vitality-momentum.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    s hip an after school program all four years including leader of the middle school program for two years Trostel Lopes has also served as a student representative on the Teacher Education Committee Board for three years I know I m not the best leader in the world but I ve been able to develop skills by working with other leaders that are amazing Trostel Lopes says I ve been able to grow because of people around me Waldron has enjoyed watching the transformation What s been neat now is I ve gotten to see a little more of the process with the way God s been working in his life he says I ve seen him really flourish here Future plans Trostel Lopes intends to settle in California after graduating and is already planning to help with his former high school youth group at Reedley MB One day he aspires to become a principal he says in order to have an even larger sphere of influence Some people feel called to go to Africa some people feel called to go to Detroit but I feel called to serve those around me he says Serving other places is very important but I think people often forget to serve and love those around them so I try to do that Waldron looks forward to seeing God s continued work I m curious and excited to see what God has in store for Zack but I know that he s going to impact lives he says He s made an impact at Tabor I ve gotten a chance to be a cheerleader on the side and watch him take God s calling accept it and run with it to where now he s prepared to go on and do great things says Waldron Zack s touched many lives here and we ll miss him but his story is just getting started by Janae Rempel Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Tabor graduate motivated to shape young lives Sunday Jun 1 2014 Trostel Lopes sees classroom as way to reach children by Janae Rempel Editor s Note Last month more than 500 men and women graduated from our U S Mennonite Brethren schools Fresno Pacific University i n California and Tabor College in Kansas TC graduate Zachary Trostel Lopes is an example of the kinds of students who attend our USMB schools preparing for a life of work and service Whether teaching in an elementary school classroom or leading a junior high youth group Zachary Trostel Lopes has a heart for shaping lives A senior at Tabor College in Hillsboro Kan Trostel Lopes life course began to take shape upon coming to faith in Jesus as an eighth grader It just kind of clicked one day he says I was a good person but just because you re a good person doesn t mean you re a Christian You have to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness and receive

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Tabor-graduate-motivated-to-shape-young-lives.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    and 2 Evangelical Anabaptist Mission and Evangelism Cultural Hermeneutics and Contextualization Tabor College offers the same set of courses as a credentialing requirement for pastors in the Southern District KHW Tabor College inaugurates online degree program If someone addicted to alcohol is an alcoholic Rick Bartlett says he must be a MOOC aholic someone addicted to the thrill of learning online via MOOCs Massive Open Online Courses Bartlett is Tabor College s director of theological education His love for online learning makes him the perfect candidate to inaugurate Tabor College s new master s level Entrepreneurial Ministry Leadership EML degree the first online graduate degree offered by a U S Mennonite Brethren institution Under Bartlett s direction Tabor will enroll its first class of students for the EML program this fall Based out of Tabor Wichita Bartlett expects to draw students from across the U S and beyond because all coursework will be online except for a one week class in Wichita and 10 days of international study in Thailand The program is targeted to people in ministry roles who want to explore creative ways to serve their communities to see a need and fill a need Bartlett says The course includes a customized study focus for each student and is suitable for people involved in church ministry as well as community based and nonprofit work He is looking forward to implementing many of the unique possibilities that web based study allows from the creation of online learning communities he calls guilds to accessing live interaction with experienced leaders such as MB Mission Executive Director Randy Friesen in Canada and Mennonite World Conference General Secretary Cesar Garcia in Colombia KHW Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 2 Comments Howard Miller 2014 11 01 06 12 54 0 How would I access the courses Connie Faber 2014 11 01 08 07 19 0 To access the courses you will need to contact either Tabor College Wichita or Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary Online courses make MB history theology accessible Sunday Jun 1 2014 Internet option attracting pastors MB church members By Kathy Heinrichs Wiest Sidebar Eight courses offered for certificate in Mennonite Brethren Studies Sidebar Tabor inaugurates online degree program It was already Thursday of the week before Easter Southern District Minister Tim Sullivan hadn t started on the week s classwork for the Evangelical Anabaptist Confessions of Faith class he was enrolled in But he wasn t worried about how he would fit the required class discussion into his busy Easter schedule Even if he couldn t get to it until late Saturday evening he could just plop down in his overstuffed recliner with his laptop computer and open up the website to catch up on the online conversation with classmates The online class Sullivan is enrolled in is part of an effort to make theological education more accessible to Mennonite Brethren leaders Board of Faith and Life Chair Larry Nikkel calls it a new day for our denomination

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Online-courses-make-MB-history-theology-accessible.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    50 percent feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could but have no other way of making a living Over 1 700 pastors left the ministry every month last year These are staggering statistics And while there are certainly many many pastors who are fulfilled in ministry and thoroughly enjoy what they are doing sadly there are many who are simply struggling often with no one knowing What can we do about this I can tell you that on the national and district level we often pointedly ask our church planters questions such as How are you doing really Are you and your wife doing well in your marriage spending quality time as a family Are you taking a day off getting adequate rest If you are a leader in your church ask your pastors the same questions We re also attempting to provide more tangible ministries for USMB pastors such as life on life coaching and connecting points with other pastors One of the reasons for pastoral burnout or emotional fatigue is that pastors are constantly giving of themselves This can be extremely draining emotionally and physically over time Pastors often do not have adequate means to refuel So I encourage you to also make sure your pastor gets adequate time away that your pastor is given some Sundays out of the pulpit to get extra mental and emotional rest And for sure every seven years provide your pastor with an extended opportunity for a sabbatical rest of three months or more Saying Well I don t get a sabbatical does not understand the constant emotional and spiritual effort your pastor is providing for you and your church Being a pastor whether it s as a lead or associate pastor or a church planter is hard work Let s do all we can to take care of our spiritual shepherds I firmly believe God will honor that Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Caring for emotional health of our pastors Sunday Jun 1 2014 Pastoral ministry brings emotional pressure feelings of discouragement by Don Morris Mission USA director The emotional health and well being of our USMB pastors and their families is an important issue to address I am convinced this is a problem about which few people in our churches are fully aware Simply put we have several pastors associate pastors and church planters experiencing mounting emotional pressure and feelings of discouragement This is not a concern just in our churches but in churches all across America According to statistics provided from studies of American pastors by Barna Research and The Fuller Institute 80 percent of pastors surveyed believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families 80 percent of pastors and 84 percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors 90 percent of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry 70 percent

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Caring-for-emotional-health-of-pastors.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    church plant core team for The GreenHouse a USMB church plant in Saratoga Springs Utah led by Jason and Nicole Quiring is making connections with their community Easter Sunday 28 people went up the hill close to the Quiring s home for a time of worship and sharing Quiring spoke about beauty coming from failure and life coming from death using John 12 23 28 and other New Testament passages that all point clearly to the person work and sacrifice of Jesus being complete Nicole used colored plastic eggs filled with symbols of the story of Christ s death and resurrection to share the Easter story with children who were present This story is taken for granted in many of our churches but takes on a whole deeper meaning here in Utah says Quiring referring to this predominantly Mormon state When the group returned to the Quiring s house another dozen people joined them for a brunch It was so fun to sense and hear people s surprise at how welcoming our core team was I was so proud of how the gospel is taking root in our core people says Quiring The GreenHouse is a partnership plant of Henderson Neb MB Church Fairview Okla MB Church New Hopedale Okla MB Church the Pacific District MB Conference and Mission USA Mission USA Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Utah church plant makes connections at Easter Sunday Jun 1 2014 Easter Sunday events draw dozens of people Mission USA news story The church plant core team for The GreenHouse a USMB church plant in Saratoga Springs Utah led by Jason and Nicole Quiring is making connections with their community Easter Sunday 28 people went up the hill close to the Quiring s home for a time of

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Utah-church-plant-makes-connections.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    room to grow and a new neighborhood to serve In preparation for its grand opening celebration Easter Sunday at the new location Grace Point McAllen invited households in the community to enjoy a free barbeque chicken meal served at their new site During the meal Grace Point members visited with their 200 some guests getting to know them and inviting them to the Easter service Thanks to the meal and other efforts to connect with the community attendance Easter Sunday at Grace Point McAllen was 25 percent higher than usual More importantly God was at work We were excited to see two people confess Jesus as Lord and Savior says Aaron Hernandez Grace Point pastor The following Sunday six individuals were baptized in a joint service with Grace Point Grulla Grace Point McAllen s mother congregation In early May the two Grace Point congregations worked together to give away 1 000 plates of food to teachers and staff at 12 schools in La Grulla Rio Grande City Hidalgo and McAllen The plates were packed with chicken rice beans and potato salad We wanted to thank them for their work says Hernandez and remind them that God loves them and that we as a church are praying for them Grace Point McAllen is a church plant of Grace Point Grulla and Mission USA Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Outreach efforts include plates of food Sunday Jun 1 2014 Offering free food helps McAllen church plant introduce itself to community Mission USA news story Grace Point McAllen a USMB church plant in McAllen Texas recently shifted its gatherings from a hotel on the south side of the city to a newly remodeled facility on the north side The new location gives the congregation room to grow and

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Outreach-efforts-include-plates-of-food.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    The group welcomed each of us as we landed on the firm ground Maybe that support shouldn t have surprised me For my family that care and encouragement began seven years ago when God led us to Madera Avenue Bible Church It humbles me each time and it is often that I hear someone in church pray for our family We came to serve this church but they have served and ministered to us even more You see my husband Pastor Tim Bergdahl is currently fighting cancer and undergoing chemotherapy Six months prior to his diagnosis our young daughter was burned in a fire Our church members have gathered around and supported us through thick and thin The outpouring of their love has come through trick or treat and Christmas bags for our children each year delicious meals delivered to our home and anonymous cash gifts that always come at a needy time People give us hugs and stop by to say hi We feel loved when someone picks up our daughter at school drives Tim to and from chemotherapy and gives me clothes The church has even kept us on full support as Tim has gone through over 50 rounds of chemotherapy The list could go on an on I couldn t think of a better place for us to be during this difficult time in our lives Skydiving was a leap of faith Letting go of a decently good airplane was pretty scary Moving here to minister in Madera was not only a leap of faith for us but also the thrill of a lifetime God is so very good And so very often he shows his kindness and blessings through our church family We love you Madera Avenue Bible Church Thank you for being our family Janine Bergdahl is a home economics teacher at Madera South High School She and her husband Tim have two daughters Kayleigh and Pradnya Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Taking a leap of faith Sunday Jun 1 2014 Skydiving ministry are thrilling acts of faith By Janine Kroeker Bergdahl People don t normally put the words church and skydive in the same sentence to describe a church sponsored outing But last Dec 1 several of us from Madera Avenue Bible Church Madera Calif left for the Madera Parachute Center right after church for our skydiving training and to sign our lives away We invited others to grab a bite to eat and then join us The four jumpers from our church were Sam Wall Diane Kirk Clay Garrison and myself We were joined by friends Nicole Toews Janice Lowder and Corrine Bartlett Most of us went tandem attached to an expert jumper who did most of the work and talked us through the jump However Clay a colonel who heads the Fresno unit of the California Air National Guard went through the training to jump accelerated freefall The event took the entire afternoon with the last jumpers

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Taking-a-leap-of-faith.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    God is moving There is no other explanation for it Whatever the reason many Christians are excited by the trend but also wary particularly of films made by secular filmmakers Reverence for and faithfulness to Scripture are top concerns Indeed some films stray far from the text The Last Temptation of Christ 1988 is a familiar example of straying so far as to become irreverent But films made by Christians aren t exempt from this concern Some smooth over difficult aspects with modern sensibilities Still others favoring plot or fearing controversy lack the deeper more troubling themes and confrontations in the stories Son of God was criticized for trying to please too many resulting in a bland film and a bland Jesus It s important to keep in mind that any film made by a Christian or not will take creative liberties to fill in gaps as it takes the story from the text to the screen and that s not necessarily a bad thing We need to be able to approach each film with a willingness to discern which bits come from the Bible which bits don t and how God might be speaking to us through both writes Chattaway in a blog post about Noah In Can an Atheist Make a Good Bible Movie film critic Brett McCracken reminds us that God gives his gifts to both Christian and non Christian artists and we need to open our minds to the possibility of truth beauty and goodness shining forth in films from even the most secular filmmakers We won t always agree on which films do this But if we approach films with Chattaway s and McCracken s advice we may find the truth of the text comes to us in a new way on the big screen Carmen Andres is a freelance writer and former CL editor who lives in Alexandria Va She blogs at www intheopen blogspot com Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments What s up with all the BIble movies Sunday Jun 1 2014 How should we respond to Hollywood s Year of the Bible By Carmen Andres It s not hard to see why headlines proclaim this as Hollywood s Year of the Bible Son of God opened at the end of March followed by Noah a month later Mary Mother of Christ and Exodus are slated for this December In various stages of development are films about Pontius Pilate David Goliath a Ben Hur remake and another Moses movie In addition a handful of faith based films are also on the big screen this year Heaven is for Real and God s Not Dead came out earlier this spring and Left Behind is due out in October Bible movies have been around as long as film itself Film critic Peter Chattaway in Battle of the Bible Films published in Christianity Today notes Bible films were very popular with the major studios in the silent era and in the

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Whats-up-with-all-the-Bible-movies.html (2016-02-17)
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