WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
June 4, 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:
*We Are Witnesses
We Are Witnesses
by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)
“We Are Witnesses!” is the awe-inspiring theme for our WDC Annual Assembly July 26-27. The Apostle Peter was given a message from the Holy Spirit that “God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10.34-35). This is a truly radical statement of welcome! In Peter’s case, he and the Early Church were called to embrace Gentiles, people Peter and fellow Jews thought were outside of the circle of God’s care. Who is God calling us to welcome with the love of Christ from the margins through hospitality and fellowship today?
At Annual Assembly, we will hear personal testimonies of how the Holy Spirit has been at work transforming hearts and lives. We’ll hear stories of justice and injustice for migrants seeking asylum. We’ll hear Glen Guyton’s testimony of how God changed his vocational path for life and how he sees God at work in the lives of Anabaptist leaders today. As our Mennonite Church USA Executiive Director, he has a bird’s eye view of the bigger Mennonite Church picture these days. We’ll also have a chance to remember that our witness is fallible, for we are human beings, seeking to follow Jesus the best we can. We’ll hear about God blessing a church plant with growth in numbers and in faith. We’ll also have the opportunity to engage with creation care narratives, as well as hear the stories of some of the first faithful women in ministry in our conference. These are only a few of the stories of faith you can expect to hear at Annual Assembly this year.
Throughout Assembly, there will also be times to tell pieces of your own congregation’s or your personal story of following Jesus. In addition to telling our own faith stories, we’ll have the opportunity to act on our faith by tying MCC comforters to be sent to help bring comfort to those who have experienced natural or human-created disasters around the world. Remember that children and youth are invited to attend for free. Please come as a family. There will be age-appropriate ways to learn about Jesus and have fun doing it.
Come prepared to listen for how the Holy Spirit is at work among us, welcoming people from the “outside” into the center of God’s love. We are witnesses!
- WDC Annual Assembly– Come listen to the personal testimony and insights about leadership in today’s Mennonite Church USA by featured speaker and MC USA Executive Director, Glen Guyton July 26-27 at Western District Conference Annual Assembly, Bethel College, North Newton, KS. For more information, go to mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/#2019annualAssembly.
- WDC ministers: Save the date for Ministers’ Afternoon Apart, Friday, July 26, 1-5 p.m. at Bethel College (prior to WDC Annual Assembly) a resourcing event on the theme of missional leadership and discipleship, with presenters Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, director of a new ministry program at Hesston College, and Michele Hershberger, Bible and Youth Ministry Professor at Hesston. More description and registration information to come soon!
- Conference Resource Library Book Sale June 13-15. Support the Library and take home some treasures. Both library discards and book donations are looking for new homes. Thursday & Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday 9am-noon. WDC Offices, 2517 N. Main in North Newton
- Churches are invited to print this in bulletins: Conference Resource Library Summer Reading Program – for people of all ages in all congregations! Take the summer to explore what it means to follow Christ and find some new favorite books. Children can sign up at: https://forms.gle/tZoohWMz76YPEzDj6 and will earn prizes for every 15 books (or chapters) they read. Adults sign up at: https://forms.gle/LWZZyUhx5G396q6Z9; adult prizes include books and giftcards.
- Conference Resource Library Summer Story Hour – All children ages 3-8 are invited to come “Down on the Farm” for a farm-tastic summer story hour. Mondays at 9:30, June 17-July 22 at 2517 N Main in North Newton KS. Stories, crafts, and more led by Marjie Warkentine. Sign up at: https://forms.gle/AnSemnebkm8xr8gg6.
- Mennonite Church USA convention, July 2-6 –WDC Executive Board has appointed the following persons to serve as WDC delegates at MC USA delegate assembly: Ray Reimer, Lois Barrett, Jim Stucky, June Krehbiel, Peter Goerzen, Kathy Neufeld Dunn, Byron Pellecer, and Heidi Regier Kreider. The Board has also appointed Matthew Garber, a Bethel College student and member of Faith Mennonite Church, to serve as WDC representative in the Step Up program for youth and young adults.
- The June/July/August 2019 issue of WDC Gardenis posted at: http://mennowdc.org/wdc-garden-june-july-august-2019/ In this issue, read about the upcoming WDC Annual Assembly, a church plant who has applied to be a WDC member congregation, and more. WDC Garden is a quarterly newsletter to help you know what’s going on in WDC!
- The WDC Immigration Task Force would like you to know about two events coming up in June in the broader Wichita, Kansas area that celebrate immigrants and refugees – the Celebration of Immigrants event on June 15, and World Refugee Day on June 20. Please see the attached flyers for more information!
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Summer youth camps at Camp Mennoscah start June 9! We still have openings for all of our camps grades 3-9 and expect to open more spaces for our senior high camp soon! Our theme for the summer is Peace Works! Invite a friend, tell a cousin, and send a grandkid, niece, or nephew! Camp is great for faith formation and learning to live in loving community with others. Register online at www.campmennoscah.org! Fun is to be had–and we’ve got it!
- Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our summer staff orientation! Ken, Meg, Gardell, and Deborah led sessions on everything from personalities, self-regulation, safely driving a Gator, and building fires. Wichita Weather Service provided storm training and Kingman Emergency Management trained us in CPR. Karen & Darrin provided amazing meals. You all helped us prepare for an amazing of campers and faith formation! Thank you!
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.