Update Newsletter



 August 2018 Volume 41 Number 9

Happening This Fall
Wednesday, August 29, is Fall Midweek Kickoff night! We invite you to join us for a pizza supper beginning at 5:45 p.m. Following this time of food and fellowship, gather in the patio, where we’ll hear about the various programs planned for Wednesdays this fall. After that, Rod Snow will take the stage for a fascinating presentation. Rod is a talented chalk artist and ventriloquist. He says, “When God gives you a talent, there is a willingness to share it with others for His glory.” Rod’s chalk-talks are inspired by his relationship with God and his desire to reach out to others. His gospel presentation is filled with lively humor and appeals to all ages. Mark August 29 on your calendar and don’t miss it!
Then beginning September 5, we resume midweek meals, prayer and Bible study. We look forward to welcoming Rod Ovitt back to the chapel during September, speaking on “Old Testament and New Testament – The Same God.”

Adult Ministries has heard requests for teaching on prophecy, so in October we have invited Bible teacher Bill Archer for a 4-week series, “End-Times Prophecy for Today.”
There will also be two small group studies offered during the fall quarter. An in-depth discipleship program for deeper growth, the “2:7 Class,” will be led by Malcolm Stauffer and John Stauffer. This class will continue on through the Winter and Spring quarters. More information on this class will be coming soon. Another small group study will use the book “The 23rd Psalm for the 21st Century.” It is a wonderful, close-up study of the rich meaning God intended to communicate to His people in the 23rd Psalm, messages we may miss entirely because we are unfamiliar with the world of sheep and shepherds. Your heart will be newly drawn to fully trust your Good Shepherd through this study.

As we turn the corner to autumn and jump back into busy schedules, we hope we’ll see you jumping back into midweek fellowship and Bible study with us! †




Obstacles Youth Face
by Bill Helmlinger

In the spring of 2004, I was a sophomore in high school and baseball season was just getting started. I had just started in two games before the weekend came. That weekend I decided to go to a youth conference called “Acquire the Fire” in Indianapolis instead of playing baseball. This is one of the first times I can remember when I was faced with an obstacle in my life that would help define who I was going to become. This was one of the few times I chose God during my high school years. Sadly, when I returned from the conference, I found myself not in the starting line up the rest of the season because I chose God over baseball. What made it even worse, someone replaced me who had never played outfield before. Talk about the ultimate gut check.
Fast forward 15 years and I find myself serving in full time ministry at First Mennonite Church in Berne, Indiana where I see youth of all ages faced with various obstacles in their lives. Just recently I had an opportunity to poll the youth at First Mennonite on what obstacles they feel hinder them from truly following after God, and the answers given weren’t surprising. One of the major obstacles in a teenager’s life today is being too busy. This can be dealing with sports and/or extracurricular activities such as band, choir, dance, etc.

Let’s focus on sports a little bit. Teens can be in sports all year round. Many students I get to minister to participate in fall, winter and spring sports. There have been a few that have even participated in multiple sports in the same season. The off-season for most sports stretches from when the individual sport is finished and runs until the individual sport itself starts back up. Wednesday was once considered a sacred night and was known as “church night” in this community, but that no longer exists. That isn’t to say that church doesn’t continue on Wednesdays, but schools no longer block it out from scheduling games.

If you were to ask someone in their 50s, they would tell you that there weren’t even practices held on Wednesdays for any sports when they were in school. When I was playing baseball in high school, we only had practices right after school, but there were never any games scheduled on Wednesdays. Just this past spring, one of the local schools had 20 scheduled sporting activities on Wednesday nights. Twenty! Youth are faced with the decision to either go to the game or come to youth group. Let’s just say few, if any, choose the latter. This is probably because they fear losing playing time or being looked at awkwardly for choosing church over sports. Even Sundays are no longer sacred with the amount of youth that are involved in club sports. These take place mostly on weekends.

When we eliminate the two main times that youth are involved in ministry and being taught the Word of God, their faith is going to be hindered. When parents place more of an emphasis on sports over church, the youth will see how much of a priority church is for their parents. As a result, church can become second fiddle to sports in a youth’s mindset. Their need to achieve success at sports overshadows the need to be in church.

I have asked youth many times, “Do we practice our faith the same way we practice our sport and/or instrument?” Does our life reflect the God that we claim to believe in?” As parents what precedence are we setting? Oh, and we didn’t even discuss how much time is spent just practicing for the sport. That would be another whole article.
The use of electronics, especially of video games, is taking over the lives of our youth. The majority of youth today play games, whether on a gaming system, cell phone or computer. They spend a lot of time on them. I have had the privilege and opportunity to go into the local schools during lunch to hang out and talk with youth age kids this past school year. One of the things that predominately took over the conversations was a game called “Fortnite.”

If you don’t know what Fortnite is, it is a third person shooter game that has the weapons like a Call of Duty game but the graphics of a Halo game. If you still don’t know what this game is, that’s okay. This game has been played so much that almost every youth knows about this game, whether they have played it or not. I am a part of two different youth ministry groups on Facebook that have youth pastors from all over the nation talking about how often their youth play this game. That is how popular this game is.
I remember asking a student about this game, and he told me he played it until midnight the day before. How does he study for school? How does he get chores done at home? How would he even have time to spend with God?

How much time we spend on our devices can drastically affect how we take care of ourselves and even how we treat others. Electronics affect not just youth, but adults as well. Just as youth can be ineffective at school, adults can be ineffective at work and in their daily relationships as well.

As parents, we need to be proactive in how long we allow our kids to spend on electronics. Kids are being raised more on electronics and less on the Word of God.
I know at times this has been a struggle in my own house. It took me making some drastic changes in the atmosphere of my home. That meant getting rid of my Xbox, which was consuming my time from my family and work. The key to ridding myself of this was to focus more on my faith and my family. When we rid ourselves of the distractions that keep us from being obedient to God, wonderful things happen.

When we take the time to look at our faith and the faith of our children, we have the opportunity to see if there are any obstacles that may be hindering our spiritual growth. I encourage you to be proactive if something needs changed. Remember, God is there for all of us to turn to for help through these times. †



Among Our People

Tim Bauman was placed on Hospice and released from Lutheran on July 13 after a long stay. He passed away on July 18 at home.

Modjeska Hawkins was at Lutheran July 3-5 and had a pacemaker implanted.

Elaine Liechty was at Bluffton Regional July 7-12 with a broken ankle. She had surgery on July 9 and was sent to Swiss Village Rehab.

Claudette Stauffer had kidney stone surgery at Parkview on July 10 and returned to Swiss Village on July 12.

Fred Wulliman had back surgery at Lutheran on July 11-13 and returned home on July 13.

Derryle Pharr was admitted to Adams Memorial on July 15 for tests and released on July 18.

Lydia Lehman was admitted to Adams Memorial on July 14 after a fall and was placed on Hospice on July 18 and returned to Swiss Village. She passed away on July 27.

Tim Sprunger was admitted to Adams Memorial after a fall on July 19. He was released on July 23 and is recovering at home. †


Home Going

Lydia A. Lehman, 88, Berne passed away on July 23 at Swiss Village where she was a resident. She was born to Daniel and Elma Ashbacker Garber on November 2, 1929 in Versailes, MO. She married Peter Lehman on April 16, 1949.

Lydia was a faithful member of the First Mennonite Church, which she joined on April 3, 1949. She was in Christian Endeavor and was a Summer Bible School teacher. She was employed for 22 years at the Palmer House, Earthen Treasures, and a custodian at the Berne City Building. Her interests were gardening, caring for her flowers, sewing, quilting and listening to southern gospel music.

Survivors include Malcolm Lehman of Berne, Carol Lehman of Berne, Sandra (Charles) Fowler of Noblesville, Gaylord "Pete" Lehman of Decatur, Gail Lengerich of Decatur, Olin Lehman of Berne, Erma Garringer of Mt. Ridge, KA; 11 grandchildren, Jeff (Alyse) Lehman, Jule (Robert) Buuck, Jodi (Aaron) Sluder, Jeanene Lehman, Joe Lehman, Brant (Maile) Fowler, Doug Lehman; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Preceding in death are her parents; husband; and brothers, D. Clifford, Vernon "Gabby” and Laurel Garber.
Funeral services were Sunday, July 29, 2018 at the First Mennonite Church Chapel at 2 p.m. with visitation one hour prior to services. Visitation also Saturday, July 28 at the Swiss Village Auditorium from 4 to 7 p.m. Officiating was Pastor James Schwartz. Burial is in the MRE Cemetery, Berne. †

Note of Appreciation

I want to thank the church for your prayers, cards and visits following my recent hip surgery. Thanks also to Jim Schwartz for spending time at the hospital during the surgery. God’s grace is sufficient for our every need. I have been blessed with the healing that has taken place.
Paul Lehman †


Grandparents Day

In celebration of Grandparents Day on September 9th, a group photo opportunity will be made available that morning after the worship service for grandparents and their grandchildren. Pictures will be sent by email to recipients. †