2017 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
August 4-6, 2017
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Arlington DFW South
1507 North Watson Rd
“Rooted and Built Up in Christ”
Worship services, workshops, delegate sessions, lodging and meals will be at the Doubletree Hotel Arlington DFW South, 1507 North Watson Road, Arlington, TX.
Assembly begins with Friday evening dinner and worship, and concludes with Sunday morning worship.
On Saturday evening, assembly participants will have free time to attend a family-friendly festival of food, music and fellowship hosted by Dallas-area congregations at Iglesia Luz del Evangelio, or to visit other area attractions.
The Assembly focus is Rooted And Built Up In Christ (Colossians 2:6-7), also the theme for WDC’s 125th anniversary which will be celebrated at Assembly with a readers’ theater presentation and a timeline of WDC historical highlights. In preparation for Assembly, WDC congregations are also invited to share stories of their own origins, using an on-line form at http://mennowdc.org/wdcs-125-year-anniversary-is-in-2017/. Stories will be posted on the WDC website at http://mennowdc.org/congregation-history-stories/.
Plan now to attend WDC Annual Assembly, as we gather to build relationships, share in our common mission, and give thanks for God’s faithfulness as we are “rooted and built up in Christ!”
(Registration information will be available in June.)
RESOLUTIONS POLICY: Resolutions must be submitted a minimum of 120 days prior to Annual Assembly (in 2017, that date is April 7). Send to: WDC Executive Board, PO Box 306, North Newton KS 67117
FALL 2016 REFERENCE COUNCIL
October 22, 2016 (9 am – 3 pm)
Iglesia Luz del Evangelio,
1524 Dowdy Ferry Rd.
“Held Together in Mission:
Being Church in the Urban context”
- Scripture reflections by Lois Barrett, Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
- Storytelling from urban congregations in WDC.
- Table conversation: How do you define ‘urban?’ How is your congregation and WDC impacted by urban realities? Where is God at work in the city? What is your vision for the urban church? What gifts do urban congregations offer to WDC and the wider church? How can urban and rural congregations learn from each other as partners in God’s mission
- Lunch included, with freewill contribution encouraged help cover expenses
2016 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
July 29-30, 2016
at Bethel College, North Newton, KS
(Bethel College campus map)
“Held Together in Mission”
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19a
FOR DELEGATE APPROVAL (POSTED 05/26/16):
Proposed Change to Bylaw 5 of the WDC Constitution
DELEGADO DE AUTORIZACIÓN (PUBLICADO MAY 26, EL AÑO 2016):
CAMBIA PROPUESTO PARA EL REGLAMENTO 5 DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN DE WDC
MINI MUSIC FESTIVAL- SATURDAY, JULY 30, 7-9 PM
Concluding event at Annual Assembly
Open to the public – free admission – donations welcome!
Read musician bio’s here!
- Krehbiel Auditorium
7-7:45 pm – Four Times Harder (bluegrass/folk)
8-9 pm – Book of JEBB (bluegrass/folk)
- Prairie Skies Stage (outdoor)
7-7:30 pm – Flannelbacks (bluegrass/folk)
7:45-8:15 pm – Venegas Duo (guitar & violin, classical, jazz & folk)
8:30 – 9 pm – Y2OK (folk rock mix)
- Krehbiel Science Center Foyer
7-8:15 pm – Tom Szambecki (jazz piano and combo)
8:30-9 pm – Judith Mace (harp)
- Mantz Library Lounge
7-7:30 pm – Melissa & Bob Atchison (old time folk duo)
7:45-8:15 pm – Dave Anderson (hammer dulcimer)
8:30-9 pm – Rosewood Winds (woodwind trio)
DELEGATES/VOTING/FLOOR PRIVILEGES: Congregational representation at Delegate Assembly shall be by delegates selected and certified by their congregation. Each congregation is entitled to one vote at Delegate Assembly for every thirty members or any fraction thereof. No congregation may cast more votes at Delegate Assembly than it is entitled to on the basis of its membership. The right to vote is restricted to delegates, who may carry more than one vote. A congregation’s votes cannot be carried by delegates of another congregation. Floor privileges are granted to all WDC delegates. At the moderator’s discretion, floor privileges may be extended to other persons attending Delegate Assembly.
RESOLUTIONS POLICY: Resolutions must be submitted a minimum of 120 days prior to Annual Assembly (in 2016, that date is March 31). Send to: WDC Executive Board, PO Box 306, North Newton KS 67117
SPRING 2016 REFERENCE COUNCIL
April 23, 9 am – 3 pm
at First Mennonite Church, 6714 West State Hwy 4, Beatrice, NE
“Held Together in Mission:
Being Church in the Rural Context”
2015 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
October 30-31, 2015,
at Bethel College, North Newton, KS
“Held Together in Christ”
(based on Colossians 1:17)
The Annual Assembly provided rich opportunities for fellowship and for discerning together where God’s Spirit directs us now and for the future. Among other business, delegates acted on the RESOLUTION / ESPAÑOL RESOLUCIÓN that was presented by Rainbow Mennonite Church at the 2014 Assembly and has been processed by the Discernment Task Force since then.
Actions taken at WDC Delegate Assembly, October 31, 2015:
- Delegates approved by a 72% vote the resolution from Rainbow Mennonite Church. 185 delegates voted yes, with 30 of these noting that they oppose same-sex relationships. 72 voted no, with four of these noting they affirm same-sex relationships. The resolution is as follows:
Be it resolved that the Western District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA, out of respect for the responsibility and commitment “to seek to understand and interpret Scripture in harmony with Jesus Christ as we are led by the Holy Spirit in the church,” upholds the right of individual congregations to discern how homosexuality will be subject to Biblical interpretation, and
Be it further resolved that pastors, with the affirmation of their congregations, consistent with Mennonite polity, and without fear of censure, may officiate or refuse to officiate ceremonies that consecrate before God monogamous, life-long unions, regardless of the sexual orientation of those being united.
- Persons were elected to serve in WDC positions (some are new to these positions and some are continuing):
Executive Board – Norma Duerksen, Kristen Swartley
Gifts Discernment Committee – Ryan Koch, Jane McNair
Ministerial Leadership Commission – Peter Goerzen, Brad Roth
Resource Commission – Katherine Goerzen, Ann Hiebert
Stewardship Commission – Leanna Ediger, Stephen Hochstetler
Church Planting Commission – Veronica Robles, Lee Suderman
- A budget of $577,050 for 2016 was approved. This includes funding for the new Church Planting Commission, and continuing staff support for church planting, congregational resourcing, and the resource library.
RESOLUTIONS POLICY: Resolutions must be submitted a minimum of 120 days prior to Annual Assembly (in 2015, that date is June 30). Send to: WDC Executive Board, PO Box 306, North Newton KS 67117
FAITH FORMATION LAUNCH
Western District Conference (WDC) sponsored an Anabaptist Faith Formation Launch June 12-13 on the Bethel College campus in North Newton, KS. The launch included times for worship and breakout sessions, where 14 different workshops were offered.
This event kicked off a focus on faith formation in WDC congregations. “Faith formation”, says Katherine Goerzen, chair of the planning committee, “is an integral part of the church’s calling to equip the saints for the work of ministry. We hope this launch will provide practical, meaningful ways for congregations to build on the good faith formation already taking place.”
The Anabaptist Faith Formation Network’s website was launched during this event: http://www.anabaptistfaithformation.org/
- What does Group Spiritual Formation have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Karen Andres)
- What does Technology and Social Media have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Andy Brubacher Kaethler)
- What does a Labyrinth have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Gerry Epp and Annali Murray)
- What do Youth and Young Adults have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Rachel S. Gerber)
- What does the Bible have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Peter Goerzen)
- What does Silence have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Mary Herr)
- What does the Work Week and Daily Life have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Jim Jantzen)
- What does Aging in the Spirit have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Eric Massanari)
- Resources for Faith Formation (MennoMedia and Jennie Wintermote)
- What does Teaching Preparation have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Rachel Miller Jacobs)
- What do Children and Families have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Shana Peachey Boshart)
- What do the Arts have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (Laverle Schrag)
- What does Music have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation? (WDC Music & Worship Task Force)
- What does Justice have to do with Anabaptist Faith Formation?
For more information, contact Katherine Goerzen (email@example.com).
SPRING 2015 REFERENCE COUNCIL
The Western District Reference Council met on April 11 at Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS. This gathering was an opportunity to hear the latest developments from Mennonite Church USA and continue ongoing discernment regarding the RESOLUTION from Rainbow Mennonite Church that will come before our Western District delegate assembly in October. The resolution deals with pastors performing same-sex unions.
Themes Bubble up from WDC’s uncertainties on sexuality, governance, by Laurie Oswald Robinson
Reference Council was held on Saturday, November 15, from 9 am to 3 pm at Eden Mennonite Church, 401 18th Ave, Moundridge, KS. Agenda included the release of the full report of the 20 question Discernment Task Force survey.
The Discernment Task Force of Western District Conference (WDC) is delighted with the strong participation in the twenty-statement online survey regarding human sexuality, polity, Membership Guidelines, Confession of Faith, and Scripture. There were 1,700 surveys returned, with 700 of those coming in during the last week in August. Comments from participants generated 500 pages of personal perspectives to sort through and categorize.
The WDC Executive Board appointed the Discernment Task Force to guide a year-long conversation across Western District Conference in response to a resolution brought by Rainbow Mennonite Church, Kansas City, in 2014. The resolution asks WDC to allow pastors and congregations “to officiate or refuse to officiate ceremonies that consecrate before God monogamous, life-long unions, regardless of the sexual orientation of those being united.” See http://mennowdc.org/conference-life/annual-assembly/#2014 for the full text of the resolution and its introduction at Assembly 2014 in Waxahachie.
Jim Schrag, Task Force chair reflected, “As our discernment moves forward, the first question appears to be, not whether WDC will maintain a basic polity of congregationalism, but rather what kind of congregationalism will it be? What kind of covenants do WDC congregations need with each other? What can congregations decide on their own?”
The WDC Reference Council meeting at Eden Mennonite Church on November 15 focused on these questions after receiving a full report of responses to the survey.
2014 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
“God With Us – Patient and Persistent”
JULY 4-6, 2014
LAKEVIEW CAMP AND RETREAT CENTER
5128 FM 66
Waxahachie TX 75167
DISCERNMENT TASK FORCE
Western District Conference asks that members of WDC congregations (age 9th grade and up) participate in a 20-question online survey. This is the first step in a conference-wide conversation responding to the Rainbow Mennonite Church resolution asking for greater latitude for churches and pastors to determine their pastoral response to persons in same sex relationships. Your participation is vital.
Click HERE for the survey; it can be done in Spanish or English.
A brisk telling of God’s grand story
(Brad Roth, pastor of the West Zion Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS,
prepared this readers theater version of the Bible
for Western District Annual Assembly 2014
held in Waxahachie, TX, July 4-6.
Brad Roth, Judy Harder, and Rosie Jantz
read it in the Friday night service.)
WDC Constitution & Bylaws
(with proposed changes)
WDC Policy Regarding Resolutions for Delegate Discussion and Action 12/2012
Resolutions must be submitted by March 3, 2014 to the Executive Board.
2013 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
AUGUST 2-3, 2013
BETHEL COLLEGE AND BETHEL COLLEGE MENNONITE CHURCH
NORTH NEWTON, KANSAS
- 2013 Annual Assembly Brochure
- Annual Assembly Report Book 2013 (English)
- 2012 Treasurer’s Report
- Proposed 2014 Budget
- Children’s Information and Release Form
- Delegate Information
- Ballot 2013
- WDC Annual Assembly 2013 Minutes, Budget, Election Results, Certified Delegates
Loren Johns Presentations:
Aug 2, 2013 Worship: Shaped by God’s Story – The Bible and Anabaptist Interpretation
Aug 3, 2013- Morning Seminar: Anabaptist Approaches to Scripture
Aug 3, 2013 – Afternoon Seminar: Homosexuality and the Bible
Aug 3, 2013 – Worship: Shaped by God’s Story: Work of the Discerning Community
Terry Shue Presentation:
Aug 3, 2013 Presentation at Delegate Assembly: Mennonite Polity
Lois Barrett Workshop:
Mission of God and the Bible
2012 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
JULY 6-8, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
2012 WDC Annual Meeting Content:
- Policy Regarding Resolutions for WDC Delegate Discussion and Action
- Resolutions and Background Information ENGLISH
- Resolutions and Background Information SPANISH
- Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, 1995
- Resolution on Human Sexuality, 1986
- A Call to Affirmation, Confession and Covenant Regarding Human Sexuality, 1987
- A Mennonite Polity for Leadership – (Buy it here.)
- A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE BOARD TO DELEGATES TO THE WDC ASSEMBLY (MAY 16, 2012)
- Delegate Session Information
- Mennonite World Review Blog, by Joanna Harader, May 9, 2012
- A resolution on Mennonite church statements, by C. Norman Kraus, May 2012
- Naming what unites us, by Mark Thiessen Nation, May 2012
- Naming what divides us, by John D. Rempel, February 2012
- Who wants to hang in there? by Andre Gingerich Stoner, February 20, 2012
- Being a Faithful Church: Testing the Spirits in the Midst of Hermeneutical Ferment, by Robert J. Suderman, June 2009 (Click here for Spanish)
- Spiritual Disciplines for Times of Disagreement and Concert of Prayer
- Proposed 2013 WDC Budget
- English Financial report
- Spanish Financial report