FIRST MENNONITE CHURCH OF REEDLEY CHURCH NEWS. August/September VOX SIMONIS The Voice of Menno Simons Volume 59, Issue 4

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1 FIRST MENNONITE CHURCH OF REEDLEY CHURCH NEWS August/September 2015 VOX SIMONIS The Voice of Menno Simons Volume 59, Issue 4

2 The Vox Simonis is published bi-monthly. 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 submissions to You may now read this newsletter on our website at: WEB SITE INFORMATION First Mennonite Church now has a website on the internet. This publication may be viewed on our website at: You may the church office at: FMC STAFF Stephen Penner, Pastor. Juan Montes, Pastor Barbara Ewy, Director of Children s Ministries.. Dee Patrick, Office Coordinator. Leonard Mireles, Custodian Contact us L Street (P.O. Box 111), Reedley, California, (559) (559) Fax Submissions are accepted and are used by discretion of the editor.

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS REFLECTIONS by Steve Penner 1 THOUGHTS by Barbara Ewy 2 THE LIVES AND TIMES OF FMC PEOPLE AND BEYOND 3 MYF in Kansas City 4 MWC DIARIES OF A CUSTODIAN by Leonard Mireles 5 PEACE CENTER CALENDAR 6 BIRTHDAYS 7 ANNIVERSARIES 7 BULLETIN BOARD 8 AUGUST CALENDAR 9 SEPTEMBER CALENDAR 10

4 REFLECTIONS from Steve Penner Quite a July For over a year Mennonite Church USA folks had been looking ahead to July 2015 with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. The Mennonite Church USA every two year assembly was scheduled for early July in Kansas City. The Mennonite World Conference, which happens only every six years, was scheduled for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in late July. Since the MWC wanders the globe it was quite the happenstance that these two big gatherings fell so close together on the calendar. There was some talk about moving dates around to give more breathing room between the conferences. But meeting sites had long been booked and I don t think the talk of adjusting dates ever got serious. And besides, from a MWC perspective, the world is a lot bigger than just Mennonite Church USA people. Now that both events are part of recent history the most common comment I hear is wasn t there a great difference in the tone of the two events? The contrasts are pretty obvious. Kansas City was a more localized event, a very American event. The MWC was an international event, so people from all the continents attended. Kansas City was a gathering of one particular denomination, our denomination, Mennonite Church USA, the largest Anabaptist communion in the United States. The Harrisburg MWC affair brought together Dutch Mennonites, Brethren in Christ from Zimbabwe, French Mennonites, Honduran Mennonites, Congolese Mennonite Brethren, Canadian Mennonites, Mennonite Church USA people, and of course, many, many more. For most Mennonite Church USA people the most notable contrast was the abundantly joyful nature of the MWC versus the more serious tone of the Kansas City event. In Kansas City we had reached a point where we had to sit down and talk about matters of human sexuality where we are not of common mind. At the MWC we were not obliged to contemplate differences. Rather we could just stay at the level of concentrating on the things we share and celebrate in common. And when one heard something expressed that you found disagreeable, it could just be brushed off as, well, that s just a viewpoint from another part of the world. It doesn t directly impact me. Family metaphors were used a lot, in both places. At Harrisburg we were all part of the big, world-wide family. It s not the time or place to rankle over the details. But at Kansas City we had reached a point in our family life where gnawing concerns, the real lives of people and congregations, needed to come out into the light. Let s be a little more open and honest, even if it stings or grieves. Families do this too. They share from deep within trusting that somehow the ties that bind will hold and, somehow, we will find our way through. I hold that joy, beauty and grace can come in many forms. Kansas City had its times of discomfort. I felt sad, bewildered, sometimes stuck. How difficult it can be to see our way through, to find common ground, to be about God s justice and God s peace, to practice what we preach. But isn t there beauty and joy in that too, in being in touch with challenge and discomfort, and in affirming in the end that God is present still? It was good to have been at both gatherings. They were different but both equally rich. I m blessed to be part of my local church, FMC of Reedley. I m blessed to be part of Mennonite Church USA. And I m blessed to be part of the global Anabaptist communion. 1

5 THOUGHTS... by Barbara Ewy VBS 2015 Message Received: Hearing God s Call Listen, God says, I have called you by name. You are mine... we sang each evening. What s you name? and we all shouted our own names. I have called you by name. You are mine. Vacation Bible School met each evening June 22 through 26. Our theme was Message Received: Hearing God s Call. Each evening as we gathered for worship we heard a different Bible story of persons who heard God s call and responded. Samuel heard God s call in the night and listened, doing as God asked. Esther heard God s call to work together with her faith community to do what is right. Mary heard God s call and trusted. The disciples heard Jesus call and followed. Lydia heard God s call and opened both her heart and her home, showing hospitality to others who also follow Jesus. We also collected an offering during our worship time. This year our project supported Mennonite Mission Network projects in Benin. We learned about Benin and focused on La Casa Grande, a home for orphaned and needy children in Benin. $1 helps provide a day of vacation Bible school for one child. $40 helps provide school supplies for one child. $50 provides a child with education, health care, food and clothing for a month. We collected $58 during our week of VBS. Following worship students met in age groups and rotated between three centers each evening. Bible response offered opportunity for students and teachers to discuss the Bible story and daily theme, work on memory work and in student books. Classes were offered for Kindergarten through Grade 2, Grades 3 to 5, and Junior Youth. Early Childhood class for preschool children joined us for worship but was self contained the remainder of the evening. In their classroom they had a simpler version of the Bible story, crafts and games related to daily themes. Creative response provided opportunity for students to respond to the daily theme through related craft activities. We practiced listening and did name mosaics; we experimented with glass jar music and made key rings; we made angel pictures shiny with glitter, placed foam fish with our day s memory work into construction paper nets; we decorated handkerchiefs with a message and made crayon resist pictures. Snacks were also served in this center and a small lending library of books suggested in our curriculum was made available to students and teachers to read in class and/or take home to read and return. I have had books available in previous years; placing them in the creative response center was a good improvement and encouraged use. Active response provided time for students to play organized games and activities outdoors. Games included Simon Says and hockey with pool noodles and whiffle balls. Students participated in a treasure hunt and a hunt for purple cloth. They worked together to get their group across the lawn using a single carpet square. Twenty-seven children were enrolled in VBS. Attendance was 23 most evenings. Our VBS staff this year included: Director: Barbara Ewy Worship Leader: Sharon Reimer Song Leaders: Katrina Mireles and Christy Zimmerman Drama Team: Alan Ewy, Aidan Zimmerman, Suzi Ewy, Maritsa Ambriz, Laurelin Zimmerman, Sarah Clemmer, Joshua Montano Sound: Tyler Linscheid and Rudy Valdovinos Early Childhood: Carolina Valdovinos (assisted by parents and family members) Primary (K-Gr.2): Edith Montano and Cathy Ratmeyer Middler (Gr. 3-5): Katrina Mireles Junior Youth (Gr. 6-8): Glena Penner; substitute Steve Penner Active Response: Maritsa Ambriz, Suzi Ewy, Tyler Linscheid, Rudy Valdovinos Creative Response: Barbara Ewy, Alan Ewy, Christy Zimmerman Fruit for snacks was provided by David and Dorothy Boldt. We had a good week together learning, playing, singing, praying, creating and listening for God s voice. 2

6 The Lives and Yimes of FMC People and Beyond--- Caught in the act of reading: Sharon Reimer is reading Take the Risk by Ben Carson. Over the July weekend Ligia and Jesus Duran, and family, had a wonderful time camping in the great outdoors. Luke Montano made lots of interesting faces during the train ride from Fresno to Kansas City and back. Noticed running like a gazelle behind Reedley College: Ricardo Trejo. Rudy Valdovinos is looking forward to the upcoming Reedley College football season. Jayla Sandoval absorbed an insect bit during her week at Camp Keola. Nurse Sharon Reimer brought her down the mountain to have her swollen eye checked out. Happily, everything turned out okay, and Jayla and Sharon returned to Camp Keola that same day. Caught in the act of reading: Jim Compton-Schmidt is reading Forbidden Knowledge: Lessons from Prometheus to Pornography by Roger Shattuck, Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research by Stanislaf Grof, Rookie on the Battlefield by Paulette Rubick, and Beyond Science: a New Model for Healing the Whole Person by Anne Wilson Schaef. Dave Hasegawa helped to coach Emily Milton s Sanger based summer water polo team. Soon enough Barbara Ewy, Suzi Ewy, and Andy Ewy will board their vehicle and begin the trek to Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. Andy will be a senior at Bethel and Suzi will be a freshman. Carolina Valdovinos plans on taking some AP classes (English Literature and US History) this coming year at Reedley High School. Carolina will be a junior. David Aguilar and Arianna Sandoval are looking forward to their wedding on August 29. On the train ride from Kansas City to Fresno, Glena Penner was really hoping to purchase a blanket at the Albuquerque train station. Alas, it was Sunday evening and there were no blankets to be had. Caught in the act of reading: Barbara Ewy is reading Fifty Shades of Grace compiled by Melodie Davis and Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. Nayeli Becerra likes to play water polo. Jose Mireles now knows for sure that a train ride from Fresno to Kansas City and back takes a long time. Noe Hernandez is studying Engineering at Fresno State. Caught in the act of reading: Fran Loewen is reading The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian and Empress San Francisco by Abigail Markwyn. Lexamarie Sandoval enjoys swimming with the Marlins. Glena Penner, from a floating position, recently observed sea life beneath her in the ocean off the coast of Hawaii. Caught in the act of reading: Wayne and Marty Zimmerman just finished reading The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarloe Russell. Marvin Ambriz recently completed a good year in the Bronx where he working with struggling young students. Now he s back in Southern California working in a lab. He s also applying to medical schools. Paul and Sharon Reimer s daughter-in-law, who speaks sign language, did a lot of signing at the recent Mennonite Church USA Kansas City convention. Caught in the act of reading: Mary Lou Martens is reading Waging Peace by David Hartsough. Jemima Trejo swims for the Marlins. Karen and Dick Peterson sure enjoy bluegrass music. 3 Continued on next page

7 Continued from previous page Jordan Penner and Jenny Regier have been attending a MCC leadership seminar in Akron, Pennsylvania. Once it s over, they will return to their home in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Peter Boldt is in the process of recovering from shoulder surgery. Soon enough Peter hopes to be active on the crew team at UCLA. When Carol Krehbiel plays Words with Friends, she s on the constant lookout for words that give her major points. Myranda DiQuirico and Suzi Ewy spent lots of time in the observation deck during the train ride back and forth to Kansas City. Caught in the act of reading: Dee Patrick is reading Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury. Noticed on Facebook: beautiful pictures from Washington state contributed by Rusty and Christine Moyer. Juan Montes had hoped to participate in the Anabaptist World Cup at the Mennonite World Conference. Sadly, an injury forced him to sit on the sidelines. Jayla Sandoval is taking piano lessons from Mary Lou Martens. Katherine Martinez will be taking AP English Literature and AP US History this coming year at Reedley High School. Notice on Facebook: Emily Milton recently made a beautiful backhand goal for her Sanger based water polo team. At the recent Mennonite World Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Steve Penner requested to stay in a home rather than a hotel. Arriving at a late hour on a Tuesday evening, he found himself hosted by a Brethren in Christ couple, John Sider and Patty Kim. Patty, he soon learned, is a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 103 rd district. Noticed on Facebook: fruit from the Boldt family farm at a grocery store in Washington. As part of their celebration of Tyler s high school graduation, Jerry and Ro Linscheid, as well as Tyler, recently spent time in Hawaii. MYF WORKING ON A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SERVICE PROJECT IN KANSAS CITY Sebastian Garcia Emily Milton Ethan Milton Baldemar Ambriz Yazmin Ambriz Katherine Martinez 4

8 Pictorial Highlights Diaries of a Custodian by Leonard Mireles The fence behind the playground where the chain link meets the wood fence was repaired before Vacation Bible School thanks to Pastor Montes and Sebastian Andrade. Both the chain link and wood fence needed repairs. If you see little flags with paint in the grass it's because Comcast Cable is marking where their underground cable is going to go for their services to the facility. They don't want to interfere with other underground piping. The long dividing doors at the end of the Fellowship Hall were repaired. That is all... 5

9 Meets at the Fellowship Hall of First Mennonite Church, Located on L Street between 12th and 13th Streets in Reedley Contact: Come for the food, stay for the program, leave inspired! CALENDAR Friday, August 7, 6 PM in the lobby of The Terraces, Sierra View Homes Live streaming of the Campaign Nonviolence National Convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Keynote address by Rev. James Lawson, leading strategist for the Civil Rights Movement. No other meetings in August. Friday, September 4, 6:30-8:30 Documentary: Inequality For All 2013 PG 88 min. Discussing numerous issues in clear and accessible language, former U.S. Labor secretary and current UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich makes a compelling case about the serious crises the U.S. faces due to the widening economic gap. Friday, September 11, 6:30-8:30 Speaker: Leni Reeves. Subject: Cuba (Title unknown at this time) Friday, September 18, 6:30-8:30 Speaker: Alison Weir, American journalist and founder of If Americans Knew. Subject: Israel / Palestine (Title unknown at this time) Friday, September 25, 6:30-8:30 Speaker: Pulitzer Prize winner, Diana Marcum. Scenes from California's Dust Bowl Friday, October 2, 6:30-8:30 Speaker: Aziza Hasan, executive director of Newground, a Muslim-Jewish partnership for change. Topic: Softening the Heart Through Story. How to unleash the power of story-telling to connect with people across difference and help them see the human sitting across from them. 6

10 August Birthdays Ethel Harder Paul Reimer Sylvia Gomez AJ Salyers Joshua Boldt Don Ewy Sara Blake Edith Montaño Joshua Quintanilla Marty Zimmerman Grace Montes Katie Salyers Xavier Bonilla Ellen Ewy Josiah Harder Roberto Valdovinos David Hasegawa Jenny Penner Daniel Boldt Andrea Friesen Ethan Milton Doris Reimer David Rodriguez Manuel Saucedo Marco Saucedo Vern Warkentin Hope Nisly Ron Ewy Hazel Neufeld Shannon Oberg Jayla Sandoval Florence Siebert Doug Kliewer Merle Siebert 7 David Krehbiel Yajaria Bonilla Isaias Montaño Linda Ewy September Birthdays Melinda Hasegawa Fran Loewen Paul Buxman Amelia Mireles Judy Warkentin Michael Friedenberg Ruth Anne Krause Emily Milton Manuel Ambriz Jesus Duran Agnes Jantz Erasmo Quintanilla Sharon Reimer Rudy Valdovinos Tyler Linscheid Paisley Caron Lance Zimmerman August Anniversaries Kyle & Bethany Bohn (3 year) Ray & Agnes Jantz (62 years) Francisco & Beth Rodriguez (5 years) Eric & Annarie Wergelund (12 years) Frank & Ruth Rogalsky (61 years) Brad & JoLynne Blake (33 years) John & Frances Rogalsky (60years) September Anniversaries Xavier & Yajaira Bonilla (4 years) David & Carol Krehbiel (55 years) Dick & Karen Peterson (48 years) Chester & Betsy Funk (54 years) Manuel & Daisy Baritta (4 years)

11 THE BULLETIN BOARD If there is something you would like to post on The Bulletin Board, please call Dee in the church office, , or send her an at Border Learning Tour Join others from our church in traveling to southern Arizona as part of a Border Learning Tour. We will learn about border realities including the forces that push people to risk a lot to cross the border. Our visit will be coordinated by Mennonite Central Committee staff and friends. The plan is to drive to Tucson on February 9, take part in the Border Learning Tour February 12-12, and return to Reedley on February 13. If you are interested in participating please contact Pastor Steve. Help your kids (or grandkids) start saving money during Everence Federal Credit Union s Youth Savings Month this August. To help them learn about savings, Everence will add $5 to their accounts if they deposit $15 in a new savings account or existing account. Offer is good through August 31, For an application, visit or check with the church office. 8

12 August 2015 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat pm Education Committee Mtg pm Dine Out 6pm Mission & Service Comm Mtg pm Immigration Update & Issues 6pm Prayer Walk in Fresno 7pm RELID PIM Family Camp pm MVS Laura Penner speaking 7pm Council Meeting pm Worship Committee Mtg SUNDAY 5:00 a.m. Prayer Time in the Sanctuary 8:45 a.m. Prayer Time in the Infant Nursery 9:30 a.m. Worship Services in English 11:00 a.m. Christian Education 12:00 p.m. Spanish Worship Services MONDAY 12 noon AA Meeting in the Library TUESDAY 7:00 a.m. First Look Bible Study in the Library 9:30 a.m. Needles & Notions WEDNESDAY 6:00 p.m. Los Amigos / AA Meeting in Spanish 7:00 p.m. Kids Club & MYF 7:00 p.m. Alabanza y Oración 7:00 p.m. Marriage & Family Class in Rm. 5 7:00 p.m. PIM Young Adults 7:00 p.m. Choir Practice THURSDAY 5:00 p.m. PIM Worship Team Practice FRIDAY 6:30 p.m. Peace Center in the Fellowship Hall 6:30 p.m. PIM Young Adults Meeting in the Basement 10

13 September 2015 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat pm Deacon s Meeting pm RELID :30pm West Coast Relief Sale Corporation Mtg 7pm Council Meeting 6:15pm Choice Books Banquet pm Education Committee Mtg SUNDAY 5:00 a.m. Prayer Time in the Sanctuary 8:45 a.m. Prayer Time in the Infant Nursery 9:30 a.m. Worship Services in English 11:00 a.m. Christian Education 12:00 p.m. Worship Services in Spanish MONDAY 12 noon AA Meeting in the Library TUESDAY 9:30 a.m. Needles & Notions 6:00 p.m. Tiemplo Servicio de Oración / Prayer Time WEDNESDAY 7:00 p.m. Kids Club & MYF 7:00 p.m. Alabanza y Oración 7:00 p.m. Marriage & Family Class in Rm. 5 7:00 p.m. PIM Young Adults THURSDAY 5:00 pm PIM Worship Team Practice FRIDAY 6:30 p.m. Peace Center in the Fellowship Hall 11

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