WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
September 18, 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:
*Indwelt by the Spirit
Indwelt by the Spirit
by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
I was reflecting on Cornelius’ conversion and Holy Spirit experience as narrated in Acts 10. It seems like everybody who was at his house listening the word were indwelt by the Spirit. Cornelius is described as a devout man who feared God with all his household and as a generous person and as a man of prayer.
In this narrative, Peter’s experience constitutes an intriguing part as well. He was told by the Lord that there were three men looking for him and that he needed to GET UP, to GO downstairs and then GO with them without hesitation. This is a clear calling for action, to join God’s mission. It took Peter three times to experience the same vision plus a direct command before he acted upon!
This was the type of reflection we experienced with Camino Nuevo’s support group. How can we share the word with our neighbors and serve them? What does it mean to be Christ’s follower? How do we make disciples? After much reflection and prayer, it was decided to have a missional approach, a Hot Dog Festival at a local park.
Sister congregations will join this church plant to build rapport and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The intent is to join God at work in their local community and invite people to enter, live and eventually share the kingdom of God.
The Gospel is about the sacred and the secular. Without a doubt, we might have different opinions what the Gospel is about. However, I believe the Gospel has the power to impact all of human life. The Gospel is about the work of the Spirit and not about human effort alone.
It’s about God’s redemptive work, it’s about reconciliation, it’s about changing one’s mind and life, it’s about conversion. It’s about fixing, in Jesus Christ, the human separation from God. It’s about a new opportunity in life and a fresh start.
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word… if you ask me, this is a “Gentile Pentecost” and a conversion experience.
May we continue finding ways, individually and collectively, to speak and share the Word with those next to us and may we continue seeking the welfare of the city, urban or rural, and praying to the Lord on its behalf.
Revestido por el Espíritu
by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
Estaba reflexionando sobre la conversión de Cornelio y su experiencia con el Espíritu Santo tal y como se narra en Hechos 10. Parece que todos los que estaban en su casa escuchando la palabra, fueron revestidos por el Espíritu. Cornelio es descrito como un hombre devoto, que temía a Dios con toda su familia, como una persona generosa y como un hombre de oración.
La experiencia de Pedro también constituye una parte intrigante en esta narrativa. El Señor le dijo que había tres hombres buscándolo y que necesitaba LEVANTARSE para ir abajo y luego IR con ellos sin titubear. Este es un claro llamado a la acción, para unirse a la misión de Dios. ¡A Pedro le tomó experimentar la misma visión tres veces más una orden directa antes de actuar!
Este fue el tipo de reflexión que sostuvimos con el grupo de apoyo de Camino Nuevo. Nos preguntábamos ¿Cómo podemos compartir la palabra de Dios con nuestros vecinos y cómo servirles? ¿Qué significa ser seguidor de Cristo? ¿Cómo hacer discípulos? Después de un tiempo de reflexión y oración, se decidió tener un evento con enfoque misional y en un parque local, el cual se le llamó Festival del Hotdog.
Las congregaciones hermanas se van a unir a esta iglesia emergente para conectarse y para desarrollar una relación con el vecindario, así como para compartir el evangelio de Jesucristo. La intención es la de unirse a Dios en Su obra en la comunidad local e invitar a las personas a entrar, vivir y, eventualmente, a compartir el reino de Dios.
El Evangelio tiene que ver con lo sagrado y lo secular. Sin lugar a duda, podríamos tener opiniones diferentes sobre el Evangelio. Sin embargo, creo que el Evangelio tiene el poder de afectar toda la vida humana. El Evangelio tiene que ver con la obra del Espíritu y no solo con el esfuerzo humano.
Tiene que ver con la obra redentora de Dios, se trata de la reconciliación, tiene que ver con un cambio de mente y de vida, tiene que ver con conversión. Se trata de reparar, en Jesucristo, la separación humana de Dios. Se trata de una nueva oportunidad en la vida y un nuevo comienzo.
Mientras Pedro todavía hablaba, el Espíritu Santo cayó sobre todos los que escuchaban la Palabra … sí me preguntan, este es un “Pentecostés gentil” y una experiencia de conversión.
Quiera Dios que continuemos encontrando maneras, individual y colectivamente, de hablar y compartir la Palabra con nuestros prójimos y que podamos continuar buscando el bienestar de la ciudad, urbana o rural, y orando al Señor por ella.
- The next Leadership Lunch will be on Thursday, September 27 from 12-1:30 pm at the WDC office. The topic is: “Understand the process challenges (Diagnose Situation)”. 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 meeting by Zoom video conference: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:https://zoom.us/j/226841242, Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16468769923, 226841242# or +16699006833, 226841242#, Or Telephone: Dial US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833, Meeting ID: 226 841 242
- Prayers for Peace, a service planned by the Newton, KS Mennonite churches, will take place on Sunday, October 7, 7 pm at New Creation Mennonite Fellowship. You are all invited to this time of scripture, prayer, music, and reflection.
- Attn members of WDC elected leadership groups (Executive Board, Commissions, and Gifts Discernment Committee) – You are invited to the WDC Reference Council at the WDC office in North Newton on October 20, 8:30 am – 12:00 noon. The focus will be on building relationships, equipping and collaborating for ministry, and planning for the year to come. RSVP email@example.com or 316-283-6300.
- As part of WDC’s Year of Evangelism, join brothers and sisters in Christ for: Telling the Jesus Story, a seminar focused on testimony, to be held October 26-27 at Iglesia Luz del Evangelio in Dallas TX. Keynote speaker: John Garland, pastor of San Antonio Mennonite Church. A van from the Newton, KS area is an option for traveling together with others. More information and registration at: mennowdc.org/year-of-evangelism/
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- The last of the Whale playground work days are here! Come volunteer at Camp Mennoscah onSeptember 21 from 9am-4pm and September 22 from 9am to 2pm as we finish the last steps for the new slides and cable climber. Noon meal provided. Volunteer for a day or half a day! Contact camp at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’re coming!
- Buddy Burners Return! Activities for Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting begin at1pm on Sunday, September 23, with your choice of outdoor activities. At 3pm, the Buddy Burners (tin can stoves) will come out for a pancake extravaganza! Come to show off your pancake cooking skills and stay to dedicate The Whale playground and celebrate Camp Mennoscah’s 70th Anniversary at the Annual Meeting! Think of stories of your time at Camp Mennoscah to share as we celebrate 70 years on the prairie! All are welcome to attend. Register online at campmennoscah.org to let us know you’ll be there!
- We’re at Fall Fest! Camp Mennoscah will have a booth at Bethel College’s Fall Festival onSaturday, October 6. The booth will feature monstrous monster cookies, water, and camp souvenirs for sale. Stop to say howdy, buy a cookie or 70th anniversary tee shirt and then head off to your next Fall Fest adventure!
- Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are nearly half-full! These retreats at Camp Mennoscah are are October 26-28and November 2-4 and are a hootin’ good time to work on your scrapbook or your favorite craft–or just spend time relaxing with friends! Register online at campmennoscah.org! Further questions? Call 620-297-3290.
Mennonite church announcements
1. The worst monsoon flooding in a century has damaged roads, homes and sources of income for hundreds of thousands of people in the Kerala state of India. As displaced people are returning to their homes, Mennonite Central Committee is working with Gilgal Mission Trust in India to provide tarps, food baskets, cooking utensils, and cleaning and hygiene items. Donations to support the response can be given online at mcc.org/india-flooding; by phone at 888-563-4676; or by mail to MCC U.S., 21 S. 12th St., PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501.
- Cultivating Generous Congregationsis a 2-day event for pastors and church members who believe that giving is part of pastoral care and discipleship. Normally, this conference is $250, but through the generous support of a grant from Lake institute on Faith & Giving, this November 9-10 event is only $50 per ministry team at the Cross Winds Conference Center, Hesston, KS. For more information and to register, by October 30, contact Mitch Stutzman at 316-283-3800 or email@example.com.
- Exploring Peace and Justice in the Bible (noncredit): Oct 24 – Dec 11. Participants in this online AMBS short course taught by Safwat Marzouk, Ph.D., and Drew Strait, Ph.D., will study six biblical passages and reflect together on what they contribute to the practice of peace and justice today. Cost $200 before Oct. 3; $250 after. CEUs available. ambs.edu/shortcourses
- Gain peacebuilding skills for today and tomorrow. Prepare for work and scholarship at the cross-section of theology and transformative peacebuilding through AMBS’s Master of Arts: Theology and Peace Studies. Concentrations: Conflict Transformation, International Development Administration, Environmental Sustainability Leadership. ambs.edu/matps
- This summer, theHolding It(,) Together podcast of MC USA’s Women in Leadership is focusing on “Breaking Silences” and courageously facing conversations that have been put off for too long. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or online at https://themennonite.org/the-latest/holding-together-podcast/.
- Register now forWomen Doing Theology Nov 8-10 to join MC USA’s Women in Leadership in building upon a history of Anabaptist theologians, ministers, teachers, activists, creatives and many others gathering to do theological work born out of women’s experiences. Find out more and register at http://mennoniteusa.org/wdt18.
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