WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
July 24, 2018
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:
by Beth Yoder, WDC Business Manager
The subject of stewardship has been on my mind recently, both in my personal life as well as being a part of managing the financial resources for WDC. I desire to honor God with the way I use my finances, time, and resources. My husband tends to be better than I at living simply and also being conscious of how and what we buy. It has been good for me to be challenged by his thoughts and concerns.
A portion of Article 21: Christian Stewardship in the Mennonite Confession of Faith says:
As stewards of God’s earth, we are called to care for the earth and to bring rest and renewal to the land and everything that lives on it.11 As stewards of money and possessions, we are to live simply, practice mutual aid within the church, uphold economic justice, and give generously and cheerfully.12 As persons dependent on God’s providence, we are not to be anxious about the necessities of life, but to seek first the kingdom of God.13 We cannot be true servants of God and let our lives be ruled by desire for wealth.
I recently read the book Stewardship for All by Bedru Hussein and Lynn Miller (available at the Conference Resource Library) which references some of the same concepts as the Confession of Faith article.
Lynn reminds us of the story in Exodus 16. While the Israelites wandered in the dessert, God gave them manna and quail each day. They were to collect just enough for the day and were not to save any. Those that did try to save some found that it spoiled by the next morning. This was to teach them to trust God and follow his instructions. I’m not sharing this to say we shouldn’t save at all; rather, as Lynn says, we are called to be responsible, as well as generous. As I read the Exodus story it’s easy for me to quickly become critical of the Israelites who couldn’t trust God and follow the specific instructions. Then I remind myself that perhaps my own habits fail to reflect trust in God.
Some of the most powerful generosity I have experienced has been while visiting other countries, from those who have far less than I do. People being so joyful, welcoming and generous in their hospitality when they could be anxious to give because that may mean their need may not be met tomorrow. Those experiences changed my perspective and yet I tend to be anxious and get caught up in the consumerism of our society. God tells us not to be anxious about anything and asks us to trust in him.
Another challenge Lynn offered was to practice less attachment to our possessions. He mentioned a church that has a catalog of items that church members have available for others to use. Sharing resources—whatever they are—helps remind us that nothing we own is truly our own. I hope that I am not so wrapped up in my life or hang on too tightly to possessions to see the need of a neighbor and offer something I have to help them as neighbors have done for us.
These are just a few thoughts on stewardship that I want to continue to chew on and be challenged by. Whatever our circumstance, may we go forth and live simply, practice mutual aid within the church, uphold economic justice, and give generously and cheerfully.
- The WDC Annual Assembly is this weekend, July 27-28! The Friday evening worship (7 pm at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS), and the Saturday evening concert (7 pm at Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS) are open to anyone without registration.
- Ministers:You can still sign up for the Ministers’ Afternoon Apart on Friday, July 27, 2:30 – 5 pm at Tabor Mennonite Church, led by itinerant Bible teacher, singer and song-writer Bryan Moyer Suderman on the theme Scripture, Stranger, Neighbour: Encountering the “Other” in – and with – the Bible. As part of WDC’s “Year of Evangelism,” and in conjunction with annual assembly, the Afternoon Apart will be an opportunity to search the scriptures” and our own experience to explore examples of encountering the “other” in – and with – Scripture. How might Scripture inform and transform our encounters and relationships with others, inviting people to become disciples of Jesus? How might our encounters and relationships with others inform and transform our engagement with Scripture and life of discipleship? Through story, conversation, film, and song, Bryan Moyer Suderman will lead us in a dynamic and uplifting time of exploration and reflection together. The event is free of charge, sponsored by the WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission. Please RSVP to WDC, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-283-6300.
- The next Leadership Lunch will be on Thursday (July 26) from 12-1:30 pm at the WDC office. The topic is: “Create a trustworthy process (Energize Others)”. All are welcome to attend this conversation on Kansas Leadership Center concepts, even if you haven’t attended a KLC training. Bring your own lunch. (To join this meting by Zoom video conference: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/251773375, Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16699006833,,251773375# or +16468769923, 251773375#, Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923, Meeting ID: 251 773 375
- Be Brave, Be Bold, Be You! Women & Girls Retreat 2018 – September 7-9 at Camp Mennoscah – There’s still time to register! Registration information is available online at: http://mennowdc.org/women-girls-retreat/ and (insert where they are available at your church). There’s something for everyone. Yoga, swimming, art, spiritual direction and much more! Don’t miss it! Open to all women and girls grade 3 and older. (See attached flyer.)
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Celebrating Camp Mennoscah! We’re celebrating 70 years of camp and an amazing summer of over 600 campers at our annual Camp Sing at Hesston Mennonite Church on August 12 at 6:30pm. A freewill offering will be taken to sponsor our 2019 summer youth campers as part of our extravaganza of singing, popcorn, generic pop, and fun times with friends. We’ll see you there!
- Young Adult Retreat at Camp Mennoscah, August 3-5! All young adults (18 years old and older) are invited to spend a few days at Camp Mennoscah, doing favorite camp activities and luxuriating in nature and the camp community. Register online at campmennoscah.organd pick your own level of scholarship! It’s a grand time for all!
Mennonite church announcements
1. Opportunities to learn about immigration and respond with MCC. MCC works with the issue of migration around the world and walks with people who migrate, people who struggle not to migrate and people who provide hospitality to migrants in many places.
Learn: Consider participating in the MCC Migration Learning Tour to Guatemala and Honduras on November 7-17.
Pray: Pray for the migrants who made the difficult choice to leave their home communities in the hope of a better life, for the detained immigrants as they wait in detention and for the border portal agents to execute their job justly and humanely.
Advocate: Contact your elected officials to express your desire for more humane immigration policies.
Serve: Become an immigration court watcher through the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants.
Give: Support our work to support the reunification of families on the South Texas Border. Within the coming weeks, 1500-2000 families are expected to be released from detention. MCC is working with local partners to support families with locally purchased grocery gift cards, clothing and housing assistance. Checks made out to MCC with “Central States Immigration” in the memo line will go directly to support this response. Checks should be sent to MCC U.S., PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501. Or you can Donatemoney to MCC for ongoing work with issues surrounding immigration.
For more information on how you can get involved, visit mcc.org/immigration.
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