WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
August 27, 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:
*Digging down and reaching up
Digging down and reaching up
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!
Sept 1 – Pray for all who gather at the Women and Girls’ Retreat next weekend at Camp Mennoscah, and give thanks for women and girls who lead and participate in so many creative ways in WDC congregations.
Sept 8 – Pray for WDC Executive Board, Commissions, Gifts Discernment Committee and staff as they gather for Fall Reference Council meetings next Saturday.
Sept 15 – Pray for interim and transitional pastors in WDC as they provide leadership for congregations in the midst of change.
Sept 22 – Pray for WDC youth pastors, mentors, sponsors and other leaders as they nurture faith formation and support young people in our congregations and communities.
Sept 29 – Give thanks for the many ways WDC congregations reach out to serve their communities through ministries of peace, justice, evangelism and hospitality.
Sept 2 – WDC Office & Resource Library closed for Labor Day Holiday
Sept 6-8 – Women & Girl’s Retreat, Camp Mennoscah
Sept 7 – Youth Lead Now, Hesston College, KS
Sept 13 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission meeting
Sept 14 – WDC Reference Council, WDC Executive Board meeting, WDC Resource Commission meeting
Oct 11 – Healthy Boundaries 201 training, First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS
Oct 17-18 – Constituency Leaders Council, Phoenix, AZ
July 31-Aug 2, 2020 – WDC Annual Assembly, Camp Copass, Denton, Texas
First Mennonite Church, McPherson, KS is offering bierocks for sale, available for pick up on Saturday, September 21 from 1-4 pm. Cost: $30 per dozen / $15 per half dozen. A portion of the proceeds goes to a local mission. Preorder by Saturday, September 14 – e-mail email@example.com or phone 620-241-4040. Please leave your name, number ordered, and a contact phone number.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Get Ready to Work & Play! Camp Mennoscah has a Work & Play Day on Saturday, September 14, from 8:30am to 2:30pm. We’ll jump full-steam into tasks, pause for a simple lunch, and then finish up needed details after lunch. Wear your grimy work clothes! Depending on weather, we’ll be painting the pool. Tasks for all skill levels and ages are available. Register at campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290! This helps us be prepared for you!
- Thank you for celebrating with us! The Camp Mennoscah Camp Sing at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church was a blast with approx. 175 people singing their hearts out. You raised over $1000 for a new digital piano and sound system–a great way to keep singing and worshiping! Be ready for next year!
- Come Celebrate Another Great Year at Camp Mennoscah! Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 22, for Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting! All are welcome to attend. Self-guided camp activities available beginning at 2:00 p.m., with a BBQ chicken supper beginning at 5:30. After supper, staff will share about the past year, and campers will reflect on their camp experiences. Also, enter your name to win one of several Camp Mennoscah prizes! Please register online at campmennoscah.orgto let us know you’re coming!
- Spend a peaceful weekend at camp! The Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be September 1-2. The theme for the retreat is Living Peacefully! Come support each other and enjoy fellowship, music, and worship. This retreat is for individuals affected by mental illness, including family and friends. Register online at campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290.
Mennonite church announcements
The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College will be organizing a series of free public events, Sept. 8-22, on campus and in the Newton community, in connection with the 2019 Campaign Nonviolence Week of Action. Activities include film screenings, “swords into plowshares” demonstrations by Colorado Springs-based RawTools, and a lecture by Palwasha Kakar. See kipcor.org or call 316-284-5217 for more information.
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.