WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
October 1, 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:
*Conversations in a changing climate
Conversations in a changing climate
by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister
Last weekend, I attended the annual Prairie Festival at The Land Institute (Salina, KS). The Land Institute is a non-profit science-based research organization working to develop food production methods that sustain the land and soil. This year’s Prairie Festival topic was Carbon, Culture and Change: From the Ground Up. Presentations focused on causes of and responses to the climate change crisis, integrating perspectives from technology, economics, agriculture, public policy, social and cultural transformation, global justice, story-telling, art and music.
I sat beside a young adult who had come all the way from Iowa to attend the festival. She could hardly contain her enthusiasm when she learned that I am a pastor who cares about climate change because of – not in spite of – my faith. Turns out, she also comes from a religious background. Her grandfather was a traveling preacher, and she has an academic degree in New Testament theology. But, she has struggled to find other people who embrace a connection between Christian faith and environmental stewardship. She was particularly eager to talk more with me about a faithful Christian response to the climate crisis, and asked if she could stay in touch to continue the dialogue after we each returned home. I look forward to hearing from her!
This encounter reminds me how crucial it is for us to be having conversations about the connection between Christian faith and the future of this planet. We need to be talking about how the climate crisis relates to other issues important to our congregations and communities: Issues such as rural and urban vitality, agricultural sustainability, immigration, racial and economic justice, the future of our children and youth, indigenous peoples’ rights, physical health and emotional wellness, trauma and abuse, disaster response, and more. Whatever our starting point, context or perspectives, we can join the conversation about faith and the environment.
If you are wondering where to begin, or want to learn more about creation care and climate change from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective, check out these organizations:
– Mennonite Creation Care Network at https://mennocreationcare.org
– Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (a collaborative initiative of Goshen College, Eastern Mennonite University and Mennonite Central Committee) at https://www.sustainableclimatesolutions.org
Oct 6 – Give thanks for Bethel College as it celebrates annual Fall Festival next weekend, and pray for college students, faculty, staff, administrators, and board members.
Oct 13 – Give thanks for congregational leaders in churches across WDC, and pray for wisdom and joy for them as they work together with pastors to guide vision, mission and ministry.
Oct 20 – Pray for participants and leaders from WDC and beyond, attending a transitional ministers’ training this week hosted by Camp Mennoscah and sponsored by Amigo Centre (associated with Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference).
Oct 27 – Give thanks for Benjamin Woodward Breckbill, Associate Pastor at Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, as they celebrate his ordination today.
Oct 11 – Healthy Boundaries 201 training, First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS
Oct 17-18 – Constituency Leaders Council, Phoenix, AZ
Oct 29 – WDC Stewardship Commission meeting
April 17, 2020 – Healthy Boundaries 101 Training
July 31-Aug 2, 2020 – WDC Annual Assembly, Camp Copass, Denton, Texas
- Hoffnungsau Mennonite’s annual mission supper is just around the corner!! On Saturday, October 19, from 5-7, we will be serving our traditional sausage meal with mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed peas, zwiebach and homemade pie. All proceeds raised this year will go to support Mobility Worldwide – an organization that provides Personal Energy Transportation (PET) carts to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Moundridge is home to one of many PET workshops across the nation. For more information, call (620)585-6733 or visit Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church (43 13th Avenue, Inman) on Facebook. Come one, come all! We’d love to serve you supper on the 19th and together raise funds for God’s Kingdom work!
- Leadership Lunches continue on the fourth Thursday of each month. These lunch discussions are based on Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) principles, competencies, and behaviors, but please come even if you haven’t attended a KLC training. Case studies are used to guide our time together. We are looking for a volunteer to present her/his case study on October 24. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer. Join us at the WDC offices from 12-1:30 pm on October 24 (bring your own lunch). If you want to join via Zoom video conference, let us know (wdc@mennonite wdc.org), and you will be sent a link.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Weekend of Wow at Camp Mennoscah! On Saturday, October 5, we’re wowing it up with the last Work & Play Day of the year. You can start your day at 8:30am, do a bit of service, have lunch, and finish the day with whatever (reasonable) fun you find. Come back on October 6 at 2pm to help take out the dam. Spectators are welcome! Wear appropriate clothing for this wow-some event. Register for the Work & Play Day by calling 620-297-3290 or email@example.com!
- Camp Mennoscah is taking out the dam at 2pm on Sunday, October 6. You are welcome to watch or help; most work requires heavy lifting. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. You can’t miss this unique event!
- Camp Mennoscah will be selling monster cookies, water/tea, and souvenirs at Bethel College’s Fall Festival on October 12. You can have a monstrously great time in your new Camp Mennoscah tee shirt! Conversation is free!
- Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are November 1-3 and November 15-17 at Camp Mennoscah! The retreats are weekends filled with time to work on your craft projects and let your phone rest as you talk with other crafters and croppers. Register at www.campmennoscah.org!
Mennonite church announcements
- Looking for a unique way to be a mentor to young adults? Service Adventure is seeking leaders for unit locations across the U.S.! This is an opportunity for individuals or couples 24 and up to foster community with a household of young adults and serve in a non-traditional pastoral role through faith formation, daily living, and house activities. For more information, contact Susan Nisly at Mennonite Mission Network: SusanN@MennoniteMission.net
- The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our December 2019 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on The unexpected. https://themennonite.org/december-2019-call-submissions-unexpected/
- Doctrine of Discovery training – October 14-16– North Newton KS: Oct 14 (7-9 pm) at Bethel College Memorial Hall (public event); Oct 15 (9 am-5 pm) at MCC Central States office; Oct 16 (9 am-4:30 pm) at MCC Central States office. MCC is committed to the ongoing work of education and awareness-raising to engage the legacy of colonialism and understand the intersecting history between Native people and European settlers. This training will introduce an analysis of the Doctrine of Discovery – the theological, philosophical and legal framework established by the Christian Church that gave European governments moral and legal rights to invade and seize Indigenous lands and dominate Indigenous peoples. Using the framework of the Doctrine of Discovery we will explore the taking of land from Indigenous peoples which led to the justification of the global slave-trade of the 15th and 16 centuries and the Age of Imperialism. Participants till gain educational tools which they can utilize to further education others on the Doctrine of Discover, including: The Loss of Turtle Island – a participatory learning experience that depicts the historic relationship between European settlers – including Mennonites – and the Indigenous nations, the original inhabitants, of the land we now call the United States of America. Registration: https://mcc_us.formstack.com/forms/dod_training.
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.