WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
October 17, 2017
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 Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
While living and planting a church in Wichita, Kansas my wife and I decided to go out to get a glance of the city and to run some errands. After a long day, we were tired and hungry.
As we were heading back home, I looked through my car window and I saw this restaurant which had a sign that said: “under new management.”
Despite the enticing legend of the sign, we decided that it was best for us to go home and enjoy a home cooked meal.
That sign at the restaurant reminded me that a new beginning, a new way of relating with God starts with Jesus. He is our new beginning and in him we are under new management.
From time to time, I find myself reflecting on the narrative of Nicodemus and Jesus’ conversation as depicted in John 3.
Nicodemus’ approach to Jesus is fascinating. The conversation between them needs to be seen with eyes of hope in a better tomorrow, whatever that means for each one of us and with the expectation that we will experience God’s kingdom in various ways.
The gospels show Jesus constantly interacting with all kinds of people. In many situations, we see Jesus surrounded by people with or without means, with believers and non-believers; including Law professionals who were constantly asking “tricky” questions.
Jesus is laying out a new proposal for Nicodemus, He needs to be under new management, under a new perspective in life, he needs to be born again.
Nicodemus was longing to experience something different and relevant to his life.
He seems to be in a quest for that something that can make him a better human being and for a new way of relating with God.
What really mattered in this interaction was the fact that humanity needs to be born again, a radical change in one’s life must happen. Born again is an act of God out of love for humanity but it also deserves a human response.
Maybe we are not so different from Nicodemus; there is a lot of stuff in the Bible that we do not understand. There are many things in life that we do not know why they happen and how to respond. It could be that we have been longing for a new chance in life, for a new beginning just as he was.
Being born again changes everything, people are made new and the old ways no longer have power in their lives. It is a new life style made possible through Christ and through the presence of the Holy Spirit. God wants to put our lives under new management, under Jesus Christ.
Today’s proposal is to experience God in a closer relationship. God sent Jesus to start something new in the world and in our lives. Therefore, it is through church planting and evangelism that our relatives, neighbors, and friends may get to experience newness of life just like Nicodemus.
May we continue in the days ahead of us, being fully engaged in the Great Commission.
- The 2018 WDC Annual Assembly, scheduled for July 27-28, will be an opportunity to meet together and see the worship and fellowship spaces in severalcentral Kansas locations! On Friday, July 27, the Annual Assembly will be at Tabor Mennonite Church, rural Newton; and on Saturday, July 28, it will be at Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS. Then on Sunday, July 29, all are invited to worship at the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel. Save these dates for the next WDC Annual Assembly!
2. The WDC Reference Council meeting will be held Saturday, October 28 from 8:45 am – 2:30 pm at the WDC Office, 2517 North Main, North Newton, KS. All persons serving on the WDC Executive Board, or a Commission, Committee or Task Force have been invited and are encouraged to attend. This Reference Council will focus on building relationships, equipping and collaborating for ministry, and planning for the year to come in light of what our vision and mission calls us to. Connecting via video conference is available for those who cannot attend in person. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-283-6300 by October 25.
- On November 19, Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, in partnership with Western District Conference, MCC Central States, and Bethel College, is sponsoring the Kansas premier production of ‘DISCOVERY: A COMIC LAMENT” produced by Ted & Co. TheaterWorks. This is a play about the Doctrine of Discovery, the legal framework that justifies theft of land and oppression of Indigenous Peoples. It finds unexpected humor at the crossroads of justice, land use, and Indigenous experience and nudges us to question our stories with honesty and integrity. Several scenes in the show have their roots in Kansas locations. The production will take place in Krehbiel Auditorium on Bethel College Campus. Tickets are $10, available from the Bethel College Bookstore, 316-283-2500.
- First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS, will hold their annual hog roast on October 22 from 5-7 pm at the Scout Park Gazebo, at 3rd & Locust Street in Halstead. Bring your lawn chair, and enjoy bluegrass music (Flannelbacks), a pulled pork dinner and the beautiful fall atmosphere. Cost by donation, with proceeds to Harvey County Circles of Hope and WDC Hurricane Harvey Relief in the Houston area. Inclement weather plan: inside at First Mennonite Church, 427 W. 4th St, Halstead.
Mennonite church announcements
1. The Worship and the Arts Festival Choir is calling on all interested singers to join the evening worship celebration Saturday, Nov. 18, in Bethel College’s Memorial Hall, North Newton, KS. Rehearsal is that evening from 5-6:30 pm, with supper provided. The service begins at 7:30. Please contact Dr. William Eash at email@example.com or 316-284-5316 to reserve your place in the choir! For more information about the Worship and the Arts Symposium that takes place during the day Nov. 18, featuring Ted Swartz of Ted & Co., see bethelks.edu/worshiparts
- Mennonite Mission Network invites youth groups to Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton KS on November 5 at 7 pm, to learn more about service opportunities. The Albuquerque Service Adventure unit will be here to share about their experiences this year along with staff who can answer questions about other Mennonite Mission Network programs. Join this fun evening of conversation and root beer floats! If you aren’t able to bring the whole group, please encourage any youth who might have an interest in attending. Parents are also welcome to attend. Please contact Susan Nisly for more information and to let her know how many people will be coming at SusanN@mennonitemission.net.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117