Digging down and reaching up, August 27, 2019

by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister 

As I write this article, the parking lot at WDC’s office-building in North Newton, KS, is blocked by construction equipment and workers repairing a section of asphalt, following the digging-up and replacement of a leaking, ancient cast-iron water line running to our building.  Only months earlier, we replaced the roof of the building when increasing leakiness also signaled that it was time for a change!

So, I am grateful for roofers, plumbers and construction workers who get these jobs done.  And, a big, big thank you to John Good, WDC’s skilled, cheerful and generous volunteer building manager who facilitates connections with these workers.

At the same time, it doesn’t take a roofer, plumber or construction worker to know that facility repairs are expensive and inconvenient.  Even I have that figured out!  So, I also give thanks for WDC’s Business Manager, Stewardship Commission and Trustees who administer and discern the best use of WDC’s resources.  Upon their recommendation, extra loan payments for facility repairs were included as part of WDC’s proposed 2020 budget, along with support for WDC’s ongoing mission and ministry.

When the 2020 budget was approved by delegates at the recent WDC annual assembly, some wisely wondered whether WDC could raise sufficient funds to cover the increased budget?  Others offered creative suggestions for fundraising, such as gathering donations to put the conference minister on the roof – or was the idea to first put the conference minister on the roof and then invite donations to bring her down?  I’m not sure if I’m up to that, though it might be better than crawling down into the water-pipe ditch (though, thankfully that’s out of the question, now that the asphalt is replaced)!

Meanwhile, we are 50% of the way through WDC’s current fiscal year, and have only received 27% of budgeted income.  Though expenses are just at 43%,that still leaves a gap of $87,943 as of July 31, 2019.

So, I hope that in the midst of pipe-replacement and roof-repair, we will also dig deep into our generosity and reach high in our aspirations to do God’s work.  And, I can’t help but imagine sitting high up on the roof, looking beyond the tree-tops, way out to WDC’s diverse congregations with over 7,500 members.  And, it occurs to me that if every member contributed $12 above their regular giving to WDC– or if even half of all members each contributed $24 extra – that would easily exceed today’s gap!

Let’s remember that supporting WDC is not just about asphalt and building materials – it’s about the Resource Library, gathering places for pastors, committee meetings, and conversations, it’s about staff ministry and leadership development, faith formation and the work of justice and peace. In the end, it’s about fulfilling our mission to empower Anabaptist/Mennonite congregations to witness and invite others to faith in Jesus Christ, dwell in just and loving relationships, and connect to God’s mission in the world.

Hey, I’m definitely up for that!  In fact, I’ll contribute the first extra gift of $24, especially if it can keep me off the roof. Please join me in whatever way God is calling you to help out. Thanks for your generous support of WDC!

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