Registration open for senior adult conference


Celebrate 2015 highlights God’s story in the lives of his people

By Connie Faber with files from MB Foundation

This year it isn’t only USMB high school students who are boarding charter buses to attend a national conference planned just for them. USMB senior adults are gearing up for Celebrate 2015, a weekend conference for builders and boomers hosted by MB Foundation (MBF) and held Oct. 2-4 at the Sheraton Hotel (right) in Overland Park, Kan.  

“Colleges have their homecomings, families have their reunions, churches celebrate their anniversaries and young people have their youth conventions,” says Larry Nikkel, described in the Celebration 2015 registration booklet as an MB enthusiast. “And now, we who are well along toward our appointed years, have an opportunity to have our own party; a party with some singing, telling a few stories, eating a little, laughing a lot and maybe even learning a few new things.”

Senior adults who have not yet registered for Celebrate 2015 may do so until Sept. 9. Registration can be completed online at MB Foundation’s website or by completing the form found on the last page of the registration booklet. Registration booklets are available from any USMB church office or by calling MBF at 800-551-1547.

MBF is working with Fairview (Okla.) MB Church to have their bus provide transportation for attendees living in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma to and from Overland Park. The bus will leave Fairview and then stop in Enid, Okla., before making three stops in Kansas—Wichita, Newton and Hillsboro.

Travel groups from the West Coast and Midwest are also forming, reports Jon Wiebe, president and CEO of MB Foundation. Two travel agencies—Prudent Tours of Hillsboro, Kan., and Golden Valley Travel based in Reedley, Calif.—are offering tours to Branson, Mo., following Celebrate 2015.

Crafted around the theme of “This is My Story,” this conference will challenge attendees to identify God’s gospel story in their lives and to then be inspired to communicate their story in a variety of ways as they re-engage in their communities.

Keynote speaker Don Argue (left) will talk four times. Argue formerly served as chancellor and president of Northwest University, a top-ranked Christian institution located in Seattle, Wash., and is past president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Argue is known as a Christian statesman, visionary leader and able communicator.

Workshops offered on Saturday morning by Nikkel, president emeritus of Tabor College, and MBF’s Wiebe as well as  Winnie Bartel, a family counselor; and David Wiebe, executive director of the International Community of Mennonite Brethren, will provide practical insights on how one can make an eternal difference during life’s fourth quarter. 

The Ball Brothers will provide entertainment Friday night and comedian Kenn Kington will perform Saturday evening. The Ball Brothers quartet includes brothers Andrew and Daniel Ball along with brother-in-law Chad McCloskey and life-long friend Andy Tharp. They are known for “music that spans the generations.”

Kington is a popular comedian who has been performing for over 25 years, appearing on Comedy Central and selling out comedy shows nationwide. He connects his talent for storytelling with his faith and a passion to encourage people by speaking from his heart and life.

Saturday afternoon attendees are free to enjoy the sights and attractions of the greater Kansas City area. An optional activity will be a tour of Steamboat Arabia, a museum that houses artifacts salvaged from a steamboat that sank on the Missouri River in 1856. Remarkably preserved clothes, tools, guns, dishware and more provide a look at life on the American frontier in the mid-19th century.

Some have inquired whether this will be a time for MB Foundation to sell their services.  “No,” says MBF President Wiebe. “We are privileged to host the event and will be present, but this event is about providing a place for you to laugh, cry, worship and grow in your faith walk.”

MBF recruited a national advisory team for the event consisting of Erwin and Winnie Bartel, Shafter, Calif.; Dale and Eleanor Boese, Salem, Ore.; Jack and Laverna Braun, Hillsboro, Kan.; Bob and Lynette Ewert, Bingham Lake, Minn.; Russ and Kathy Isaac, Peoria, Ariz.; Dean and Loretta Jost, Aurora, Neb.; and Marvin and Tips Just, Reedley, Calif.

To learn more about Celebration 2015, go to MB Foundation’s website at



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