WDC Sprouts, July 16, 2019

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

July 16, 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 Work of Your Fingers

*Announcements

The Work of Your Fingers

by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

It was early morning, I opened my Bible and began to read Psalm 8. I was preparing to attend both Iglesia Menonita Hispana and MennoCon 19 conventions in Kansas City, MO. Then, I looked outside of the window of the hotel breakfast room located on the 26th floor.

What I saw dazzled me, a clear sky caressing creation over a limitless blue horizon. Immediately, all attention was drawn to the psalmist’s expression: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars – which you have set in place, what is humankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:3-5 NIV).

The image in front of me, a canvas painted by the architect of the universe, led my heart, mind and lips to be grateful for God’s loving kindness and grace to humanity. I was overwhelmed and the only perfect thing left for me to do was to lift my hands in a reverent stance and praise God.

In contrast to this is the dull image of a broken world, social injustice, racism, lack of compassion, financial disparity, a broken immigration system, the use of cages imprinting emotional, physical and spiritual pain and human rights violations to name a few.  In the midst of this a prayer for restoration and God’s shalom emerges.

Good intentions and prayers are challenged by a call to engage in concrete actions.

As a recipient of God’s transformative love and grace, I am challenged to walk with the disheartened and disenfranchised where they are.

The morning picture was a perfect reminder, divinity and humanity intertwined in a loving relationship, birthed out of God’s grace. It was also an exhortation to continue working toward the eschatological vision, the restoration of all things right now.

The limitless blue horizon canvas was also a reminder that my allegiance and loyalty is first and foremost to the kingdom of God, to God’s shalom and to a commitment to a holistic wellbeing for humanity.

I have been given a canvas to paint on: What kind of a picture will I paint? An image where God’s peace and justice for all is reflected on? Or, will I continue closing my eyes and heart to injustices and disparities?

At the end of the day, I am also reminded that humanity is the work of God’s fingers.

—————–

El Obra de Sus Dedos
Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

Era temprano por la mañana, abrí mi Biblia y comencé a leer el Salmo 8. Me estaba preparando para asistir a las convenciones de Iglesia Menonita Hispana y MennoCon 19 en Kansas City, MO. Luego, miré por la ventana de la sala de desayunos del hotel, ubicada en el piso 26.

Lo que vi me deslumbró, un cielo despejado acariciando a la creación sobre un horizonte azul ilimitado. Inmediatamente, toda mi atención se centró en la expresión del Salmista: “Cuando contemplo tus cielos, obra de tus dedos, la luna y las estrellas que allí fijaste, me pregunto: ¿Qué es el hombre, para que en él pienses? ¿Qué es el ser humano, para que tomes en cuenta? Pues lo hiciste poco menos que Dios, y lo coronaste de gloria y de honra” (Salmo 8: 3-5 NVI).

La imagen frente a mí, un lienzo pintado por el arquitecto del universo llevó mi corazón, mi mente y mis labios a estar agradecidos por la bondad y la gracia de Dios mostrados a la humanidad. Estaba tan asombrado que lo único que me quedaba por hacer era levantar las manos en una postura reverente, rendirle culto y alabar Su nombre.

Por otro lado, hay una imagen opaca.  Es en medio de un mundo quebrantado, de injusticias sociales, racismo, la falta de compasión, la disparidad financiera, un sistema de inmigración desquebrajado, el uso de jaulas que imprimen dolor emocional, físico y espiritual sumado al abuso de los derechos humanos, por nombrar algunos, que emerge un pensamiento y una oración por la restauración y el shalom de Dios.

Las buenas intenciones y las oraciones son desafiadas por un llamado a participar en acciones concretas.

Como receptor del amor y la gracia transformadora de Dios, tengo el desafío de caminar con el desanimado y con el marginado en su propio terreno y condición.

La imagen de la mañana fue un recordatorio perfecto, la divinidad y la humanidad se entrelazan en una relación amorosa nacida de la gracia de Dios. Fue una exhortación a continuar trabajando hacia la visión escatológica, la restauración de todas las cosas en este momento.

El infinito lienzo del horizonte azul también fue un recordatorio de que mi lealtad y mi lealtad son, ante todo con el reino de Dios, Su shalom y a un compromiso para el bienestar integral para toda la humanidad.

Reconozco que se me ha dado un lienzo para pintar: ¿qué tipo de cuadro pintaré? ¿Será una imagen donde se refleja la paz de Dios y la justicia para todos? O, ¿continuaré cerrando los ojos y el corazón a las injusticias y disparidades?

Al final del día, me es necesario recordar que todos somos obra de Sus dedos.

WDC announcements

  1. If you haven’t registered yet for Western District Conference Annual Assembly, you can still register, but please make your own meal arrangements, as the catering headcount has been finalized.  Please join us July 26-27 at Bethel College, North Newton, KS, for “We Are Witnesses!”.  For more information, go to http://mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/#2019annualAssembly
  1. Tom and Lois Harder and their three daughters (“Five Times Harder”) will perform a concert of folk and bluegrass music at First Mennonite Church of Hillsboro, KS on Wednesday July 24 at 7:30.
  1. Christopher Shaw will present an organ recital at Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton KS, on Sunday, July 28, at 3 PM. The recital will feature works by Bach, Clerambault, Krebs, Reger, and Vierne. There will be a hymn with settings by David Cherwien. Shaw will be joined by trombonist Andrew Thiesen for a piece composed by Schiffman.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Young Adult Weekend on August 2-4!  Young adults (18 and older) are invited to spend a weekend enjoying camp activities, worship, and fellowship.  Attendees will share in preparing simple meals.  Scholarships are available online in the registration process or contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 for information.  Register at campmennoscah.org!
  1. Sing for Camp Mennoscah!  We’re having our annual Camp Sing celebration of a stunning summer of youth camps on August 11 at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church in Inman, KS.  We’ll start with a storytime from 5:45pm – 6:05pm, followed by joyous singing at 6:30pm.  After joyfully worshiping in camp songs and hymns, we’ll share in popcorn, pop and conversation.  All are invited, whatever your age or skill!
  1. 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.

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.  

Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS  67117
316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620
Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org
Website:  www.mennowdc.org

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