Midwest District Review

News from the Midwest District of the Missionary Church


Every year we welcome in the New Year with certain favorite traditions. Some people spend the evening with friends. Some light fireworks. Some of us really live it up and stay awake until 10:30 PM! And, of course, many people make New Year’s Resolutions.

A resolution is a formal declaration of will, a commitment we make to, in some fashion, reform our lives. The Bible doesn’t speak of resolutions, per se; it speaks of vows—sacred promises made to God or to others. The Bible takes such vows with utmost seriousness (Numbers 30:2; Ecclesiastes 5:4-5).

Though vows (and resolutions) are serious matters, that doesn’t mean we should avoid making them. But we ought to consider a couple of things before we do. First, is my resolution one I intend to keep? If not, I shouldn’t make it. Promises—even if made only to ourselves—should remain unbroken.

Second, is my resolution a worthy one? So often we make resolutions pertaining to physical health. We resolve to lose ten pounds this year. We resolve to start eating right. We resolve to start exercising regularly. We resolve to floss at least three times a week. I don’t mean to suggest that these are not worthy ambitions. (Really, can the importance of flossing ever be overemphasized?!). But, surely, if we are serious about the reformation of our lives, spiritual concerns ought to receive more consideration than they often do.

Some years ago, I ran across a collection of resolutions made by the great Puritan preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards. His resolutions, made while still a young man, make most of my resolutions seem rather pale and tame by comparison. Let me share few with you:

“Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God.”

“Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.”

“Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.”

“Resolved, To think much, on all occasions, of my dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.”

“Resolved, Never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s.”

This, it seems to me, is how we ought to take stock of our lives. This is how meaningful life transformation might proceed. May God help us, this year, both to make and to keep resolutions worthy of the name.


Ramona and I would like to express our gratitude for the generosity and affection displayed by the people and churches of the District this past Christmas season. We are grateful for the privilege of serving you and pray that God will grant you a joyful and spiritually fruitful New Year.

2019 Midwest District Conference

Monday, March 25th, 5:30pm to Tuesday, March 26th, 5pm

Timber Lakes Camp and Retreat Center (Williamsburg, KS)

Join the pastors, delegates, and guests from the Midwest District at our 2019 District Conference. Focusing on the theme "Together in Prayer," the conference will include several sessions led by Rev. Tom Swank, the director of prayer ministries for the Missionary Church. Included in the business to be conducted at conference will be an election for the position of District Superintendent (Rev. Petro's current term of office ends in July). Contact your local Missionary Church for registration details.

Timber Lakes Matching Gift

Last year an offer was made to Timber Lakes Camp to match any gifts, up to a total of $5,000, received by the camp for capital improvements. To date about half of that amount has been received. Anyone wanting to contribute to this project should send their gifts to the Timber Lakes Treasurer, Ryan Mayhew, at 320 South Pine, Newton, KS 67114.


The people of New Life Missionary Church, led by senior pastor, Bob Thompson, and associate pastor, Ben Roed, are excited at all that God is doing in and through them. Each Sunday, people come to services with an expectant attitude and a desire to worship. They enjoy the presence of God and freedom through the Holy Spirit. Discipleship is emphasized in all that the church does and, as people are mentored, they in turn reach out to disciple and mentor others. The church's home or small groups are developing deep relationships and result in God's Word taking root in hearts and lives.

As a result of all that God is doing at New Life, He is helping them reach out to impact their community. The women's ministry has organized "New Life Clothes Closet" where used clothing is collected and two times a year, people can come and take (free of charge) items needed by their families. Their Fall and Winter festivals give them an opportunity to connect with the unchurched and also to develop relationships in an informal setting with other churches in the community. On Wednesday nights they provide a meal prior to their midweek classes/activities. This allows youth to come to the church directly from their sports practices. It has also opened up avenues to minister to unchurched men, women and children.

As the people of New Life Fellowship come to mind, please pray that God will continue to bless their influence in Bedford and throughout southwest Iowa.

Upcoming Midwest District Retreats and Camps

It's time to begin planning for this year's district camping events:

March 8-10, 2019 - District Men's Retreat at Timber Lakes

April 12-13, 2019 - District Women's Retreat at Timber Lakes

June 10-14, 2019 - "Wanted," the district's Junior Camp (formerly known as Children's Camp)

July 8-12, 2019 - The district Youth Camp will be held at Timber Lakes.

July 23-28, 2019 - Family Camp featuring Sean Azzaro as the camp speaker.

Check out the district website (www.midwestdistrict.org) for registration forms and more information.

New Name, Same Great Exerience

The Midwest District's JUNIOR CAMP (formerly known as Children's Camp) is designed for kids ages 9-12. It will be held at Timber Lakes Camp and Retreat Center on June 10-14. This year's theme is "Wanted" and will feature Sam Petro as the camp speaker. Once again, there will be a significant discount ($60) for any campers who register by March 1st.

In addition to campers, we are also looking for adult counselors and teen assistant counselors who can serve at camp. All registration and application forms are available on the district website.



Our 2019 Family Camp will be held at Timber Lakes on July 23-28 (one week earlier than previously announced). Our speaker will be Rev. Sean Azzaro, the founding pastor of River City Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. River City began in the Azzaro home with 5 families and launched as a church in March of 1998. Since that time, River City has grown into 3 vibrant, growing fellowships! Sean is a teacher, songwriter, and storyteller who is passionate about calling people into an intimate relationship with Jesus, and into authentic community with other believers.