April 23, 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)


*Take a Break from Vacations

Take a Break From Vacations

     by Olivia Bartel, Camp Mennoscah Director

It’s the time of year when vacation advertisements start popping up all over the place.  Your brain melts into an oozy, gooey mass from the strength of your longing for one of those vacations to exotic locations filled with spectacular delights.

Those vacations, however, are often all flash and pizzazz.  They feed the frenzy and need for more more more and leave you drained and empty by the time you return home.  You dash from one event to another desperately trying to visit one more place, buy one more souvenir, or do one more thing.  These dazzling vacations don’t leave you refreshed or rejuvenated because they have no real substance.  Such vacations only deaden and numb us to the whole purpose of going on vacation.

We go on vacation because we’re tired and weary and need a break from whatever it is that we do.  The goal is to invigorate ourselves.  Instead of amazing opulence and dramatic sights, we need something fulfilling.  We need to be challenged.  We need something that makes us feel good about who we are.

Camp Mennoscah can do that.  We can give you a place to refresh your soul.  There’s Bible Study to challenge your brain and river play to challenge your body.  Electronic overstimulation and excessive consumption?  Not at camp.  The absence of electronics creates a space to relate to God and make friends face-to-face in the midst of nature.

And it’s not just for kids.  Adults can have a different, but similar, kind of fulfilling vacation at Camp Mennoscah.  Come with your church or visit with your family.  Double how meaningful your time at camp is by volunteering for our summer youth camps.  Why you are at camp isn’t as important as simply spending your time in a way that rejuvenates you.

Camp Mennoscah offers summer youth camps for kids going into 3rd grade through high school.  Facilities can be rented for family gatherings, church retreats, organizational meetings, and any number of events.  Opportunities for volunteering as a counselor, kitchen helper, or nurse are available.  Contact us at 620-297-3290.

WDC Announcements

1.  Tick tock, tick tock.  Time is running out for all you last minute early birds.  The Early Registration Discount for Camp Mennoscah’s summer youth camps ends May 1st.  So get those forms in to us so we can slash your costs by a whoppin’ $10 per camper!   (Full camp fees must be paid and forms postmarked no later than May 1.)  Contact us at campmno@mennowdc.org or 620-297-3290 for details.

2.  Sound like a rooster crowing? We don’t care–all God’s critters got a place in the choir!  Join us for the Camp Mennoscah Camp Sing on May 5th at 7pm at Faith Mennonite Church (2100 N Anderson, Newton, KS).  It’ll be fun times even if you come just for the popcorn and generic pop.  Funds raised will go to the new bathhouses.  Questions?  Call 620-297-3290.  Olivia may not know the answer, but she’ll find out for you.

3.  Quit hiding your light under a bushel!  We know there are gobs of folks out there who are stunning nurses and others who have the skills to stir gravy, boil water, and peel potatoes–we just can’t find you!  Camp Mennoscah is looking for nurses for June 16-20, July 14-20, and July 21-27.  We’re also looking for kitchen helpers (only a basic understanding of kitchen stuff needed) for most of the weeks of our summer youth camps.  Don’t be shy about it–shine your light at Camp Mennoscah!  Contact us at 620-297-3290 for bushels of fun.

Kansas Announcements

Save the Date:  2013 Women and Girls Retreat at Camp Mennoscah – September 6-8 – Denise Nickel, assisted by her sisters, will speak and share in song.  Theme: “Serving Creates Lifelong Memories” (serving is a daily choice, serving in difficult situations and serving those we care about).  NEW Friday evening – Et Cetera Shop Fashion Show and desserts!

MC USA Announcements

1.  Considering service? Get your feet wet this summer, with Youth Venture: a 2-3 week, service and learning experience for 14-20 year olds! Serve in Alaska, Florida or Texas. Apply by June 1. More info and applications can be found at:  http://www.mennonitemission.net/Serve

2.  A new Master of Divinity program will begin at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana, in August, giving students options for study from a distance as well as on campus.

The new program has received accreditation approval from the Association of Theological Schools. Approval from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association is pending.

MDiv Connect, the distance option, includes online courses and hybrid courses, which involve both online and on-campus learning. Students entering the program will come to AMBS for orientation in August. Then over the course of five and a half years, they should plan to make two annual week-long visits to campus for classes, spiritual formation and vocational discernment.

MDiv Campus, the option for residential students, builds on long-standing strengths of AMBS. Intentional community living provides advantages for mentoring, spiritual practices and integrating study with ministry in diverse settings in Elkhart and other locations.

The new MDiv, in both forms, will comprise 80 credit hours, a reduction of ten from previous requirements. More interdisciplinary courses make this shift possible and allow students to better integrate understanding and skills for ministry. The program also requires cross-cultural studies and two internships. Christian leadership is a new major, added to continuing majors of pastoral ministry; pastoral care and counseling; faith formation; biblical studies; peace studies; and history, theology and ethics.

Additional information for MDiv Connect and MDiv Campus is available on the AMBS website, www.ambs.edu, and from the AMBS admissions office, admissions@ambs.edu.

AMBS is a seminary of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, preparing leaders for God’s mission in the world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, AMBS offers Master of Arts degrees in theological studies, peace studies and Christian formation, as well as undergraduate ministry studies. Through the Church Leadership Center, Institute of Mennonite studies and library, AMBS also offers enrichment for people in ministry and for people who wish to enhance their contributions to their congregations and vocations.

3.  The latest issue of On the Way, Mennonite Church USA’s free, bilingual online newsletter, is available at www.mennoniteusa.org/on-the-way. In this issue, you’ll find Phoenix 2013 convention highlights—public witness, worship speakers, delegate information and more. Early registration ends this Thursday, April 25. We’re excited and hope to see you in Phoenix July 1–6! This issue concludes our first volume of On the Way. Stay tuned post-convention for updates on the future of On the Way. (You can subscribe to receive the newsletter directly at http://eepurl.com/i8oX9.)

4. Get Excited: Convention is coming – Convention is only two months away, and we hope you are getting excited. Did you know we have a whole host of special events you can sign up for? From servant projects throughout the city to cross-border trips to a prayer walk through downtown Phoenix and even an evening outing to Wet N’ Wild Water Park, our time together will be anything but boring. It’s not too late to register. Visit www.MennoniteUSA.org\Convention for more info.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org

Website:  www.mennowdc.org