WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
January 29, 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:
*The Gospel in Seven Words
The Gospel in Seven Words
by Jennie Wintermote, Conference Resource Library Director
During 2018 WDC observed the “Year of Evangelism” and explored together what it means to share the Good News with those around us. As we live in a society increasingly impacted by globalization and technology, we are more aware of the pain, injustice, and brokenness around us and around the world.
Recently I was asked to express the gospel in just seven words. What an interesting and challenging experience! I started out trying to talk about God’s creative power and Christ’s life and ministry, but it’s hard in just seven words!
As I wrestled with the challenge throughout the week, I found myself considering a variety of different answers! But then I started thinking about the gospel as the “Good News.” What realities of God and Christ’s ministry of reconciliation are Good News in my context?
I find that the Good News becomes the news I need to hear the most. And that, perhaps, is the most important point I would like to make. The Good News of Shalom (healing and right relationship) is shaped by the brokenness we are experiencing at the time. In the great ministry of reconciliation, God works in various ways to bring healing and rightness to each and every individual as they need.
So, even though the official Year of Evangelism is over, I invite you to consider how you’d define the gospel in just seven words. What is the Good News your family, your congregation, your community, and our broken world need to hear?
Having trouble finding your seven words? Grab and friend and chat over coffee, or try checking out a book from the Resource Library to explore how others define the Good News. A new book on my “to read” list is The Magnificent Story : Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth by James Bryan Smith.
No matter the seven words you finally settle on, hold them lightly and recognize that in order for others to hear the gospel, you need to speak Truth, yet in a way that the message you bring is truly Good News of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5).
So what were my seven words? “Love, comfort, and a reason to hope.”
Feb 3 – Pray for junior high youth and sponsors attending Know Jesus, a retreat next weekend organized by the WDC and South Central Conference Youth Ministry Committee and hosted by Hesston College for students to worship together and learn more about Anabaptist roots and faith.
Feb 10 – Give thanks for the WDC Resource Library, and pray that the materials in the library may be used by congregations and leaders to nurture deeper faith, grow in discipleship, and foster life-long learning.
Feb 17 – Pray for the WDC Church Planting Commission as they meet this week to work on guidelines for church planting, and for Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister who provides coaching and mentoring for church planters.
Feb 24 – Give thanks for WDC congregations offering support to immigrants and refugees who seek shelter and hope.
Jan 31 – WDC Resource Commission meeting
Feb 9-10 – Know Jesus (Jr. High event), Hesston College
Feb 15 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission meeting
Feb 19 – WDC Church Planting Commission meeting
Mar 5 – WDC Stewardship Commission meeting
Apr 1-2 – WDC Healthy Boundaries Training
Apr 27 – WDC Executive Board meeting
May 6-11 – MCC South Texas Borderlands Learning Tour
July 26-27 – WDC Annual Assembly, Bethel College, North Newton, KS
Sept 14 – WDC Reference Council
- New for parents at the Conference Resource Library:
- Upside Down Living: Parenting by Katherine & Peter Goerzen (WDC Authors!) Raising kids is hard enough. But raising kids to heed Jesus’ upside-down call away from status and power and toward service and sharing? It can seem almost impossible. So how can parents model countercultural choices? What habits can help families joyfully follow Christ instead of the latest trend?
- White Kids: Growing up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America American kids are living in a world of ongoing public debates about race, daily displays of racial injustice, and for some, an increased awareness surrounding diversity and inclusion. In this heated context, sociologist Margaret A. Hagerman zeroes in on affluent, white kids to observe how they make sense of privilege, unequal educational opportunities, and police violence.
- Raising White Kids: Bringing up Children in a Racially Unjust America Raising White Kids is a book for families, churches, educators and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions.
- With all Due Respect: 40 Days to a more Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tweens by Ninca Ruesner & Debbie Hitchcock Roesner and Hitchcock help parents identify what successful relationships look like and give easy-to-follow lessons in enforcing rules, communicating lovingly, resetting relationships, overcoming fears and exhaustion, and handling rebellion.
Stop by or contact the library to borrow these (or other great) parenting resources! firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-283-6300
- Join MCC Central States May 6-11 for a South Texas Borderlands Learning Tour focused on education related to a range of matters surrounding immigration. Cost is $650. Contact Ana Alicia Hinojosafor more information: https://mcc.org/get-involved/events/learning-tour-south-texas-borderlands
- First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS, will hold their annual Verenike Supper on Saturday, February 16 from 4:30-7 pm at 427 West 4th Street, Halstead, KS. The menu is verenike, ham gravy, sausage, green beans, cherry moos, zweiback, beverages, relishes, pie. Cost is by donation for church service trips and service projects. All are welcome!
- The Hesston College Bel Canto Singers AND the Bethel College Concert Choir will be performing at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS on February 17 at 7 pm. This will be a fund raiser for Tabor’s new fellowship hall. Bringing these two choirs together for a concert is a dream come true for their directors, and it will be a very special evening indeed. Save the date!
- Save the Date! All women are invited to the Western District Women in Mission spring supper Thursday, March 21 at First Mennonite Church, McPherson at 6:00 pm. Michelle Armster, Executive Director of MCC, speaker. Music by Michelle Unruh and Laura Unrau. More details coming soon.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Camp Mennoscah’s online registration for summer youth camps AND Youth Volunteer Weekend will open February 1! Register at campmennoscah.org. Those interested in counseling or volunteering as kitchen staff should contact Olivia at email@example.com. We’re planning on an absolutely amazing summer!
- Youth Volunteer Weekend is March 15-16 at Camp Mennoscah! It’s a time of refreshing worship, snazzy service, and other camp folks, both old and new. This retreat is for those grades 7-12. Full scholarships are available. Register online at campmennoscah.org!
- Spring Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are around the corner! Grab your crafty stuff or paper and pictures and join us at Camp Mennoscah on March 8-10 or March 15-17. You can’t beat the hours of focused energy on your projects–or maybe just distracted conversation, snacks, and spiffy fun times with others! It’s your weekend. Register online at campmennoscah.orgor call us at 620-297-3290.
- It’s time for DESSERT! Camp Mennoscah will be holding the annual Hymn Sing and Dessert Auction at Bethel College Mennonite Church on February 24 from 4-6pm. We’ll be celebrating and raising funds for our summer staff who provide mentoring relationships and faith formation, which is what camp is all about. One set of hymns will be “bluegrass” and led by (former) summer staff!
- Camp Mennoscah is now accepting applicants for a quarter-time (10 hours/week) custodial-housekeeping position. The position will remain open until filled. Contact Olivia at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org further information.
Mennonite church announcements
- MCC welcomes alumni to host reunions at the Welcoming Place in Akron, Pennsylvania, in 2020 as we celebrate our 100thanniversary. To see if a reunion is already scheduled for the country where you served or to organize a reunion, contact email@example.com.
- The Mennonite Central Committee Central States board of directors invites you to their Annual Meeting on February 23 at 10 a.m. at MCC in North Newton, Kansas (121 E. 30th).
- Bethel College’s peacebuilding institute, KIPCOR (Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution), is offering “Building a Trauma-Informed Culture at Work and Beyond,” Thurs., Feb. 7, 6:30-8:30 pm at the KIPCOR office (2515 College Ave. in North Newton), with regional expert Joyce McEwen Crane, Ph.D., of Friends University. This workshop is appropriate for congregations that want to “create a safe, collaborative culture where relationships can flourish… [Integrating trauma-informed principles helps equip you] to connect with others in meaningful and effective, low-conflict ways.” The cost is $25/person, and you are invited to come at 6 for snacks and networking. Register by going to kipcor.org(look for the “Building a Trauma-Informed Culture” box) or calling 316-284-5217, weekdays from 9-5.
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.