This committee shall consist of the three elected officers plus the conference minister ex officio. It shall meet as needed to transact such business and offer counsel as may be required for the orderly and timely conduct of WDC agenda. The Executive Committee shall make decisions concerning projects and assignments authorized by the Executive Board, but in all cases these will be reported to the full Executive Board at its next meeting.
- (2022) Lois Barrett, Moderator, Mennonite Church of the Servant, Wichita, KS
- (2022) Delon Martens, Moderator-Elect, First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS
- (2022) June Krehbiel, Secretary, Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS
Gifts Discernment Committee
Six members shall be elected by the Delegate Assembly. The Executive Board shall nominate persons for election to the committee. Two committee members shall be elected each year at the annual Delegate Assembly. The Gifts Discernment Committee shall nominate no fewer than one or more than two persons for each elective office to be filled. Nominations, elections and appointments should be made with sensitivity and balance with regard to the makeup of the conference. The Gifts Discernment Committee shall present the slate of nominees at the Delegate Assembly.
- (2021) Alberto Parchmont, Iglesia Menonita Casa del Alfarero, Pasadena, TX
- (2021) Rachel Voth Schrag, Peace Mennonite Church, Dallas TX
- (2022) Eric J. Jantzen, Rainbow Mennonite Church, Kansas City, KS
- (2022) Dwight Mueller, First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS
- (2023) Eldon Epp, First Mennonite Church, Ransom, KS
- (2023) Ardie Goering, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS
Develops policies about items of historical and cultural interest including the collection, preservation, and availability of official records and materials pertaining to the Western District Conference and its congregations via a relationship with Mennonite Library and Archives at Bethel College as the official depository of this material.
- Raylene Hinz Penner, Southern Hills Mennonite Church, Topeka, KS
- Roger Juhnke, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS
- Brett Klingenberg, First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, NE
- Dale Schrag, Facilitator, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS
- John Thiesen, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS
Staff Relations Committee
Oversees personnel matters and policies in consultation with the conference minister.
- (2021) Kent Dick, First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS
- (2021) Pauline Buller, (Stewardship Commission liaison) First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS
- (2022) Ken Regier, First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
- (2023) Jay Goering, Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS
Youth Ministry Committee
Envisions and implements area conference youth ministries which engage congregations in reaching, resourcing, and reviving youth for an everlasting relationship with Christ.
- Isaac Landis, Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston, KS
- Clayton Gladdish, Hesston Mennonite Church, Hesston, KS
- Derek King, Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS
- Marshall Anderson, Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS
In response to special needs or interests, task forces may be created through an application process (Task Force Application) for the purpose of performing special duties and assignments. Applications for the creation of a task force shall be processed initially by a commission before being forwarded to the Executive Board for action. Funding for a task force is the responsibility of the commission to which the task force is accountable. The Executive Board may also create task forces by the application process. Task force assignments expire after three years unless renewed by the Executive Board.
Hope Fund Task Force
Purpose: To process and approve applications for grants from the Hope Fund, according to guidelines approved by the Executive Board.
- Wayne Albrecht
- Lesther Caceros
- Peter Goerzen
- Matt Lehman Wiens
Immigration Task Force
Purpose: To coordinate a network of WDC congregations involved or interested in ministries related to immigrants and refugees. In order to accomplish this mission, the task force will 1) maintain a database of congregations, including contact information and the nature of the congregations’ interests and involvement related to immigrants/refugees; 2) connect congregations with similar levels and types of interest and involvement for mutual support and resourcing; 3) networking, encouraging, and posting information from and to congregations about legislative developments, conferences, direct actions, speakers etc; and 4) facilitate periodic face-to-face gatherings of immigration/refugee congregations (for example, at Reference Council meetings, WDC Assemblies), and other like-minded organizations in the broader church and in our communities.
- Kendra Davila
- Pat Cameron
- Ryan Goertzen-Regier
- Raylene Hinz-Penner
- Karin Kaufman Wall
- Anali Looper
“Strangers in Town” video
Immigration Task Force encourages WDC congregations and individuals to take action on behalf of our refugee neighbors. Here are a few possibilities to consider:
Pray! Loving God, in your infinite compassion, we seek your Divine protection for refugee children who are often alone and afraid. Provide comfort and healing to those who have witnessed violence and destruction, who have lost parents, family, friends, home, and all they cherish due to war or persecution. Comfort them in their sorrow, and bring help in their time of need. Show mercy to migrant children who travel without parents or others who care about them. Reunite them with their loved ones. Guide these children who are strangers in a foreign land to places of peace and safety. Bring them comfort, healing, and hope, too. Show us how we might reach out as your hands of help and hope to them.Open our hearts to migrant and refugee children, so we might see in them your own migrant Son, Jesus. Give us courage to stand with them against those who would do them harm. May we truly love our neighbors as ourselves. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Call your representatives in Congress.
Support WDC congregations who are assisting refugees and immigrants in a variety of ways. Contact Kathy Neufeld Dunn, the WDC Staff Liason for the Immigration Task Force for more information. 316-283-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource about what immigrants and pastors and lawyers can do in case of ICE raids: https://mailchi.mp/
Websites for Immigration Resources:
- Mennonite Church USA news on immigration
- WDC Resource Library
- MCC Washington Office
- MCC US Office on Immigration
- MCC Resource Library (Select Category: Immigration/Refugee)
- Peace and Justice Support Network of MC USA
- Sanctuary Movement: www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org (and for particular resources: www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org/resources.html)
- LearnPrayJoin: Immigration Justice Webinar, Aug 27, 2018
Information about immigration:
- 4 Facts about Border Enforcement
- 8 Things to Remember When the Immiration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Conducts a Raid
- Atlanta 2003 Immigration Statement Congregational Resources
- Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Fact Sheet
- Hospitality or Legality: What’s more important when debating Immigration?
- Loving Strangers as Ourselves: Biblical Reflections (order information)
- MCC U.S. Immigration Listening Project: What the Church is Saying
- MCC U.S. Washington Office Guide to Immigration and Globalization
- MCC U.S. Washington Office Guide to Immigration Reform
- Mission Dei, Volume 19: Immigration and the Bible
- Top 10 Immigration Myths and Facts
- Washington Memo “Members of one family: U.S. Immigration Policy” Summer 2011
- What Part of Legal Immigration Don’t You Understand?
- Interfaith Sanctuary Toolkit Manual del Movimiento Santuario
- Immigration Raids Rapid Response For Faith Allies
Israel-Palestine Relations Task Force
Background and Purpose: The task force originated in March of 2017 in response to the MC USA 2015 resolution, Supporting Palestinian and Israeli Partners in Peacemaking and to encourage WDC delegates support of the 2017 Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine resolution which passed overwhelming in Orlando. The task force encourages WDC congregation’s faithful response to the 2017 resolution by:
■ Understand the realities of the Occupation – study Kairos Palestine & MennoPIN Resources.
■ Engage Christian Zionism – encourage conversation & relationship with Zionists for a just peace.
■ Avoid economic support for the occupation – learn Boycotts, Divestments & Sanctions (BDS).
■ Strengthen relationships & understanding of Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian communities.
■ Partner with Palestinian, Israeli and Christian Peacemakers – in action, prayer & advocacy.
5/14/2020: MennoPIN Appeal to help Gaza during Covid-19 crisis
- Resolution: “Seeking Peace in Israel-Palestine”
- Summary of the process of how this resolution came to be
- Endorsements by Church Leaders
- Listing of further resources for study
MennoPIN – “The Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network” – This volunteer group of Mennonites has extensive resources for study and reflection.
Facebook: WDC Israel Palestine Task Force – Keep up-to-date on events in our conference that will help resource our delegates and others before the Orlando convention.
Mennonite Central Committee Palestine and Israel – MCC has been working with Israeli and Palestinian partners for so many years, they have deep understandings of the situation theologically, spiritually, politically and economically.
Make Your Own Hummus – A fun justice initiative
(February 2, 2019) “What Would They Say Now? Encounters with People of the Bible – Six Reflections for Lent” by Friends of Sabeel North America is available for your Lenten study and prayer group now. WDC Israel-Palestine Task Force encourages you to go to: https://www.fosna.org/sites/default/files/Lent2018.pdf to use this powerful resource. “Let us journey through the Scriptures by immersing ourselves in the experiences of particular Biblical characters—in this booklet, Abraham, King Hezekiah, the exiled community in Babylon, Mary of Nazareth, the Magi journeying to Bethlehem, and Jesus on the Mount of Olives—and by subsequently pondering the similarities and differences between the “then” and the “now” in each sacred location. Our own personal experiences of life will help us to connect with the events of that far-away land, regardless of whether we have ever visited or will ever have any plans to travel there. By looking for some small role that each of us can actively fulfill in cultivating holiness in the Holy Land, that is, by promoting the growth of justice and compassion there, we can maintain a close relationship with the environment in which the Lord God chose to reveal the divine will to humanity.” —Carole Monica Burnett & Diane Dublin, FOSNA Theology Committee
- Bob Atchison
- Katie Mitchell-Koch
- Esther Koontz
Farm Worker Health Task Force
Purpose: A resolution was presented, seconded and carried during the Western District Conference (WDC) sessions in 2003 at the Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS, to appoint a committee for the task of identifying the concerns and needs of the Low German Mennonites (LGM) from Mexico in the area of the WDC, especially in Kansas.
This Task Force is guided by the Mennonite Central Committee of Canada statement and/or mandate as we seek to be the appropriate resource in working with the Low German Mennonites in the WDC region.
Mennonite Central Committee seeks to share God’s love with LGM by working in a mutually beneficial relationship with local leaders, communities, and organizations to enhance their capacity to address such issues as poverty, conflict, literacy, health and natural disasters.
Mandate: MCC’s mandate is to partner with LGM in order to address locally identified needs which are congruent with MCC’s overall mission. MCC at the international, national, provincial and regional levels are expected to follow a hemispheric approach with respect to goals, assumptions and program implementation strategies.
Goal 1: To improve the literacy level of people in the LGM communities.
Goal 2: To provide resources to LGM colonies for community building projects.
Goal 3: To coordinate a hemispheric approach in programs with LGM’s.
This led to the formation of the “Low German Mennonites from Mexico Support Committee Task Force” which coordinated with Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to help meet the health needs of the Low German migrant farm workers. This was especially beneficial because the Task Force could find Low German speakers to hire as Health Promoters or translators who would communicate with the Low German Mennonites to help them find resources they needed. KDHE provides the funds through grants to pay the wages of the Health Promoters who work with Low German, Spanish, and English speaking farm workers. The Health Promoters help their clients get appointments, help them get vouchers to pay for the medical appointments, and provide educational materials and information.
The program has expanded to include Spanish speaking farm workers.
At the February 3, 2021 Task Force meeting, the consensus was to change the name to “Farm Worker Health Task Force’ to reflect the actual population served by the Task Force.
- Lotti Boschmann
- Mary Duerksen
- Margaret Goering
- Carola Ratzlaff
- Lici Roth (Health Care Promoter)
Trustee Task Force
Purpose: To review loan applications for the Revolving Loan Fund. To make recommendations as to the acceptance of property or disposal of property. To evaluate and enter into legal contracts (real property). To supervise and manage Conference property.
- Eric Bruce
- Rick Krehbiel
- Gary Rediger