Fundraisers foster support for church planting


Plant 2013 dinners and auctions scheduled for Dinuba, Wichita

By Connie Faber

Funding the USMB goal of planting 60 new congregations—six new churches each year for the next 10 years—will require an increased financial commitment from individuals and U.S. Mennonite Brethren congregations.

And so USMB is hosting two regional Plant 2013 fundraising events to raise awareness of USMB activities and support for new church plants.

"Because we are trusting the Lord of the church to enable us to partner in the planting of six new churches a year, we need to be active in sharing that vision and calling on God's people to provide the financial resources,” says Ed Boschman, USMB executive director. “These are the reasons for Plant 2013."

Plant 2013 Pacific is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, in Dinuba, Calif., and Plant 2013 Midwest is on the calendar for April 20 in Wichita, Kan. Both events will begin with a silent auction followed by dinner and a live auction. Donations for the Dinuba auctions are still being accepted, as are donations for the Wichita auctions. Individuals interested in making a donation should contact J Epp, USMB director of development.

Currently Epp is hard at work organizing the Dinuba event. He hopes to see 200 people at the event and to raise $25,000 for church planting, goals Epp hopes to meet again in April in Wichita.

Event goers are encouraged to arrive at 5:30 pm in order to participate in the silent auction. Silent auction items will include baked goods, two two-foot tall handmade dolls, family board/electronic games and other hand-crafted items.

Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. dinner are $15 when purchased in advance and $20 at the door. A table for eight goes for $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at local church offices or online.

Among the items auctioneer Todd Croissant will be selling at Plant 2013 Pacific are two weeklong stays—one at a four-bedroom home in Lincoln City, Ore., and a second at a villa in Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. The Oregon home, in the gated community of Indian Shores on a freshwater lake and six blocks from a beach on the Pacific Ocean, sleeps 12 and has five bathrooms. The Mexico condo has a partial ocean view from the balcony and sleeps up to eight.

Other items donated for the auction include a National Football League football signed by David Carr , a quarterback for the New York Giants, and a pair of cleats signed by Carr and his brother, Derek, who is a quarterback on the Fresno (Calif.) State Bulldog football team. Other items to be auctioned include entertainment opportunities, antiques and home and garden items.

While participants will enjoy a catered dinner and the fun of bidding on a variety of donated items, Epp says people will also learn about the work of the national conference.

“We want to expose more and more people to the ministries of the USMB,” says Epp, “as we invest in the local church through LEAD events, mentoring and church assessments, plant new churches and grow new leaders through Ministry Quest and local church internships.”


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