WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
April 2, 2019
A weekly communication for WDC Churches and Pastors
WDC Executive Board, Commission, Committee and Task Force members
Any content may be used in bulletins and newsletters and
forwarded to congregational leaders and members.
WDC Sprouts is also available at: www.mennowdc.org (Publications)
IN THIS ISSUE:
*Praying for Our Children
Praying for Our Children
by Jennie Wintermote, Director, Conference Resource Library
From the moment I saw you, I started to pray.
Big prayers and small ones I have sent God’s way.
I prayed as I held you when you sat in my lap.
I prayed while we rocked, as you peacefully napped.
–Matthew Paul Turner
It’s a gift and a joy to pray for our children. Our biological children, our grandchildren, our foster children, our adopted children, our nieces and nephews, and perhaps most meaningfully the children in our church families.
When I was in elementary school, my home church (Hope Mennonite in Wichita) invited adults in the congregation to draw the name of a child from a basket. They were encouraged to pray for that child, and to writes notes or in other ways share their love (and God’s!) to the child. I was blessed by a woman who not only cared for me over those few weeks, but continued the relationship through high school and college, and continues to think of me today. Even though I live out of town and have my own daughter, she takes time to speak with my parents and to check up on me. When I visit Hope she is intentional about greeting me. I knew I was loved and enveloped in prayer.
Some congregations in WDC are blessed with overflowing Sunday school rooms and dozens of community children on Wednesday nights–some struggle to keep young families because their children are the only ones in Sunday school. No matter where your congregation falls on this continuum, I’d like to offer an invitation. As Easter approaches and we celebrate Jesus’ great love for us, I invite you to extend that love to your children. The children in your home or your children at church–pray for them, greet them, write them a note on their birthdays or another holiday, in some way show that you care. You may be surprised at how a simple gesture can teach them (and their parents) what it means to be a part of the family of God. I will never forget how loved and supported I felt as a parent last Advent season when people at First Mennonite (Newton) took the time to cut and paint wooden nativity figures for not only my toddler daughter, but for every child in the congregation. I am not alone in praying for her. I am not alone in modeling God’s love. She is loved and she will know it.
I began with a quote from Matthew Paul Turner’s “When I Pray for you” and would like to end the way he ends the book. As you think about all the children in your life, pray boldly and dream big dreams for them. May these words undergird our prayers for our children and for one another.
I’ll pray where you go, that wherever you land,
you’ll find purpose and meaning and a role in God’s plan.
That you’ll know who you are. And like what you do.
And love yourself fully, as God wants you to.
‘Cause when I pray for you,
I pray all that you do brings love and brings light,
and helps the world shine like new.
P.S. To read the full text of “When I Pray for You” or another great title about loving the children in your life (or for other parenting and faith-shaping and sharing resources) stop by the Conference Resource Library in North Newton, or contact Jennie at email@example.com, (316)283-6300.
The first issue of the WDC Israel-Palestine Task Force newsletter was recently sent to churches to be distributed to all members. If you’d like to get alerts when future issues are posted online, send your name & email address to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating it is for Israel-Palestine Task Force newsletter.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Friends, moms, dads, neighbors, grandparents, and other random volunteers welcomed! Camp Mennoscah is looking for kitchen helpers for the weeks of June 9-15, June 23-29, and July 14-20. No great skills are needed; following directions is all that is necessary (bring your sense of humor and flexibility). Contact Olivia at email@example.com 620-297-3290. Parents receive a camper discount up to full camp fees! It’s going to be an amazing summer with amazing volunteers!
- Retirees Retreat at Camp Mennoscah, April 22-24! We can’t wait to see retirees of all ages for a time of renewal! There will be sessions on everything from trips to Central America and Ukraine to Reader’s Theater and a steel drum concert. Take time for a break or go for a walk or have coffee and conversation. Singing and Bible studies included! A poster for the Retirees Retreat is attached. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-297-3290 for a brochure. Register online at campmennoscah.org! Bring friends!
- Work and Play Day at Camp Mennoscah coming soon! Our first Work & Play Day of the year is April 27. We’ll start work projects at 8:30am and end at 2:30pm, just in time for you to spend the rest of the afternoon playing. A simple lunch will be served. Please register online at campmennoscah.orgor call us at 620-297-3290 to let us know you’re coming! All ages invited; those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Men and Boys Retreat is April 5-7 at Camp Mennoscah. It is a retreat for all ages of men and boys. Brad Roth will be our speaker for the weekend. There is no pre-registration, but lodging is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Saturday supper is the first meal provided. Questions? Contact Kevin Neufeld at email@example.com 316-322-5515.
Mennonite church announcements
Mennonite Mission Network is looking to fill the following Service Adventure positions. Youth ages 17-20 can apply today at MennoniteMission.net/SERVE: Art store assistant in Anchorage, Ak: Anchorage re:MADE is a resale store, helping people help themselves by repurposing donated and landfill-recued items. Come volunteer with others to sort, clean, repurpose, paint or repair items to be sold. Easter Seals assistant in Johnstown, PA: Easter Seals is a non-profit organization that works with hearing impaired persons. Volunteer responsibilities would include administrative office duties, customer service, event planning and development. Mentorship program assistant in Albuquerque, NM: First Nations Community Healthsource is a clinic that is committed to providing health services to American Indian families and other under-served populations residing in Albuquerque and surrounding areas. Volunteers will help to facilitate the mentorship program at First Nations.
WDC Sprouts announcement guidelines: Announcements pertain to Western District Conference (WDC) ministries and churches, institutions with which WDC has formal relationships, and Mennonite Church USA agencies and ministries.