WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
April 2, 2013
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:
*Clarence’s Clarion Call
Clarence’s Clarion Call – Give Me Resurrection
by Clarence Rempel, WDC Conference Minister
I might have overdosed on Jesus’ passion, suffering and death during Holy Week. It began Maundy Thursday with a beautiful service of sharing a meal with foot washing, hearing the biblical passion narrative read, and receiving holy communion. I left thankful and ready for the surprise of resurrection. I am like a little kid. I know how the story ends, but I want to hear it again.
Good Friday I revisited the passion story in a silent movie from 1929 accompanied by dramatic organ music. Between observing scenes and reading scripts, this movie took an awfully long time to get to the glorious climax of the story. In fact, I learned a lot more about Mary Magdalene than I did about the resurrected Jesus.
At the sunrise service on Easter, we began by singing a song about Christ’s death and hearing the unfolding story of Passion Week beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. I was getting anxious for resurrection.
Easter Sunday afternoon we took in an exquisite concert of African-American spirituals at Bethany College, Lindsburg, Kansas, focusing on Christ’s birth, suffering, and death. Wait a minute! What happened to the resurrection?
I relish the Apostle Paul’s concise statement of the good news of Jesus Christ in I Corinthians 15:3-8. One critical verse about Christ’s death – “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” – and five verses about Christ’s resurrection beginning with – “he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” And then fifty more verses about resurrection. I like that ratio.
The Apostle Paul goes on to make the reckless, all-or-nothing claim that without the resurrection you can just forget about the whole salvation-in-Jesus thing. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all others,” (I Corinthians 15:17-19). Amen! Give me resurrection!
Resurrection means that Jesus is indeed the “Lord and Messiah” he claimed to be (Acts 2:36). Give me resurrection!
Resurrection means that the victory over sin and death has been won, and we can already live in the way of righteousness (Romans 6:4-13). Give me resurrection!
Resurrection means that our bodies are precious to God and deserve to be cared for now and will be restored in the future (I Corinthians 15). This is in contrast to the Graeco-Roman philosophy that matter is evil and the only hope for the soul is to escape the evil of matter and the stranglehold of the body. God’s global restoration project is not about escaping the world of matter. Resurrection means that the injustices and evils of this present world must now be addressed with God’s healing and hope. Give me new life. Give me resurrection!
Resurrection means that none of our work done for Jesus in the name of Jesus will ever be lost (I Corinthians 15:58). Every smile of hospitality and every dollar of charity will be caught up into the stream of God’s expanding kingdom that’s flowing through our world and into eternity. Give me resurrection!
April 7 – Pray that Congress would shape a fair and just immigration policy that would be helpful to our Hispanic brothers and sisters.
April 14 – Pray for Gilberto Flores, Director of Church Planting, and the Church Planting Task Force, as they discern calling new church planters and new church locations.
April 21 – Pray for leaders to provide guidance and energy for youth ministry in Texas.
April 28 – Pray for wisdom in continuing development of the bi-conference Youth Ministry Network of South Central and Western District conferences in Kansas.
July 1-6 – Mennonite Church USA Assembly, Phoenix, AZ
Aug 1-3 – WDC Assembly, Bethel College, North Newton, KS
Sept 15 – Michael Novelli, Year of the Bible training event for youth leaders
Oct 19 or 26 – Reference Council
Oct 31 – New Pastor Orientation
Nov 1 – Prevention of Pastoral Misconduct Training
The April issue of Parish paper entitled “Oral Communication: How to Strengthen Our Effectiveness” can be viewed at: https://mennowdc.org/resources/publications/parish-paper/
1. Resolutions coming to the WDC Annual Assembly delegate body should be submitted by April 6, according to the Resolution Policy, which is posted on WDC’s website at: https://mennowdc.org/conference-life/annual-assembly/. “Any proposed church statement should be discerned through congregations or WDC commissions and task forces and submitted for consideration to the WDC Resolutions Committee a minimum of 120 days prior to annual conference sessions.”
2. Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus will be in concert at Bethel College Memorial Hall, North Newton, KS, on Sunday, April 21 at 7 pm. They will also be in concert at Central Community Church, 6100 W Maple St, Wichita KS on Sunday, April 28 at 7 pm.
3. Pack Your Bags! The Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat at Camp Mennoscah, April 22-24, is traveling from Kansas to the Congo for “A Century of Change: In Congo and Kansas.” But if Congo isn’t your cup of tea, we’ve got plenty of coffee breaks for you, as well as sessions on Environmental Art, Aging with Grace, and Holy Humor. There’s a little bit of everything, including singing and Bible study! Contact us at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to register.
4. The Countdown has Begun! We’re beginning to count down the days to the start of our summer youth camps at Camp Mennoscah and we’re SO really a lot excited! It’s “All Things New” for our summer theme with a focus on seeing God at work around us. Find your camp and registration forms at www.campmennoscah.org under Camps or call us at 620-297-3290. Only 60-ish more days to go!
5. Camp Sing 2013! Camp Mennoscah’s Camp Sing will be held on Sunday, May 5 at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, KS at 7pm. The Camp Sing will be raising funds for new bathhouses–and it’s a competition between the boys’ side and the girls’ side! Popcorn and our favorite (or cheapest) generic pop will be served. Tee shirts can be ordered by calling Kara at 620-983-9003 or through the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page.
6. Potato Peelers and Bandaid Appliers Wanted! Camp Mennoscah is looking for kitchen staff and nurses for several of our camp weeks. Nurses are needed for June 16-20, July 7-11, and July 21-27. Nurses receive a volunteer stipend or camper discount and a free camp tee shirt. Kitchen staff are needed for June 16-20, June 23-29, July 7-11, July 21-27, and July 28-Aug. 2. Kitchen staff can receive a camper discount and a free camp tee shirt. Contact us at email@example.com or 620-297-3290 for more information. Everyone needs another camp tee shirt!
Mennonite ChurchUSA Announcements
1. Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary seeks Volunteer Coordinator: We are seeking a qualified individual or couple to coordinate the work of our short term and local volunteers, connecting these volunteers with assignments from faculty and staff. If you like to work with people, have basic computer skills and are well organized, please consider this volunteer assignment for a one-year, renewable term. The position opens August 1; start date is negotiable. Call 574-296-6234. Get details.
2. From Eastern Mennonite Seminary – Check out our summer courses:
Sermon on the Mount: Peace, Justice and the Reign of God (online)
Foundation of Christian Preaching
Spirit World and the Global Church
Biblical Foundations of Peace and Justice
Mennonite Faith and Polity
Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation
Summer Institute for Missional Questions (Lancaster)
3. Mennonite Church USA job opening: a new 1/4 time position as Administrative Coordinator working with Iris de León-Hartshorn. Iris is Director of Transformative Peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA Executive Board. The attached job description describes the work and the skills needed. Contact information is provided for persons who are interested.
4. Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN administers the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program, which grants money to congregations to provide sabbatical leaves to their pastors. Congregations may apply to receive up to $50,000 to use on behalf of their pastors’ sabbaticals, with up to $15,000 of that money available to the congregation to help cover costs while the pastor is away. There is no cost to the congregations or the pastors to apply; the grant money represents the Endowment’s continued investment in the health and vitality of American Christian congregations. For more details, see information on the WDC website: https://mennowdc.org/resources/grants/
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620