by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)
It occurred to me at our recent Western District Conference Annual Assembly that we have many, many resources in our conference.
Let me start with the obvious one: We have a resource library and a knowledgeable librarian, too! If you are hunting late at night for ideas for children’s stories, there are online lists of books or DVDs to consider. Go to the Western District Conference website: mennowdc.org, then click on the Resource Library/Online Catalog, then at the homepage, click on “List.” You will be astounded how many topical lists are available. There is also a music loan library at the WDC Office. Can’t get to the library? Jennie is happy to mail resources to you.
In addition to the resources in our library, more resources are being created by Western District people for Anabaptists online. There are two Resource Commission sponsored faith formation curricula available: The Upside-Down King (about Jesus and his ministry) and Detectives of Divinity, a 13-session Bible curriculum for grades 1-5 that has been field-tested in WDC churches. The title “Detectives of Divinity” comes from Bryan Moyer Suderman’s song of the same name. Detectives will be available on the WDC website at the end of this month. A group of committed Western District teachers, artists, and business people have created a non-profit called Springs Forth! which will focus on creating Vacation Bible School options since MennoMedia will discontinue producing these resources soon.
We have many human resources in WDC. I thank God for the many “retired” pastors who still willingly do interim ministry, as well as fill pulpits on occasional Sundays. We have a list of folks who are willing to do pulpit supply on our website. Consider inviting a Bible scholar from Bethel or Hesston College to your congregation.
Because of your generosity, WDC also has a number of grants available to individuals and congregations. Here are just a few – contact the WDC office for more information:
Mustard Seed grants – Resource Commission is excited to have more money thanks to offerings at Annual Assembly, to offer grants to congregations who submit applications describing creative ways to share the good news of Jesus in their communities.
Sabbatical grants for pastors.
Congregational development grants – This fund helps to pay for a consultant to come to your congregation to assist with a pastor/congregational review, visioning process, or to help untangle conflictual situations.
Continuing Education grants for pastors, so leaders stay attuned to 21st century ministry challenges and joys.
Seminary Scholarships – If you are considering attending seminary on-campus or online at an Anabaptist-Mennonite seminary, we have scholarship money for you.
Always and forever, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us. Spiritual resources of prayer, Bible study, spiritual retreats, sharing the good news, and disciplining are also a vibrant part of the churches of Western District Conference.
Please share this article with a new person or two in your congregation. Let’s share the rich resources that God has blessed us with in WDC!