WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
April 29, 2014
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 – Resurrection and Pastor Bob
by Clarence Rempel, WDC Conference Minister
Bob Beecher, pastor of Beatrice Mennonite Church, went home to be with the Lord, on Monday, April 7, 2014. He had experienced what initially appeared as a light stroke a week earlier as he and his wife, Cindy, sat down for supper. At the funeral service on Thursday, April 10, members of Beatrice Mennonite Church deeply grieved this sudden loss of a pastor who had loved them deeply. After five years of short-term pastorates, the church felt that they had struck gold and were now ready to name new goals after the first year. Members noted Pastor Bob’s reverent respect for and engagement with the Scriptures and his readiness to pray always. “He just talked to God before, during, and after conversations and meetings.”
Pastor Bob’s death seemed too soon and too sudden. Bob had a lifelong dream of pastoring a congregation and considered this the crowning capstone to a life of church-related ministry from camp director to denominational minister to church consultant/coach. He was dreaming of a ten-year chapter.
It seems too soon in that Bob was born in 1949 which happens to be my model year. So young! His death reminds me of own vulnerability and mortality.
So I began Holy Week at Beatrice Mennonite Church with the Palm Sunday declaration, “Hosanna! God saves!” When Jesus died, everything seemed lost for the disciples, but it wasn’t. When we experience the death of a loved one or a beloved leader, all seems lost for the moment, but it isn’t. Because God saves. God saves persons; God saves situations; God saves churches. There is even a good news rumor out there that God is going to save the world. “Hosanna! God saves!”
We were at Palm Sunday living in anticipation of both Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. I Corinthians 15 begins with the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day. Most of the chapter proclaims that this resurrection isn’t only for Jesus. It is for all who believe in Jesus. We too will be resurrected. And death, which now harasses us will ultimately be destroyed. Hosanna! “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…Death will be swallowed up in victory” (I Cor. 15:52, 54).
That chapter ends with a wonderful resurrection promise for the present for each of us. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (I Cor. 15:58).
It is a promise for Pastor Bob, and it is a promise for you and me. Every gift shared, every ministry offered contributes to God’s global restoration project and will be vindicated in the final resurrection. The Message Bible says it this way, “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”
May 4 – Pray for God’s guidance for Beatrice Mennonite Church, NE, in the loss of their pastor, Bob Beecher, on April 7. Pray God’s comfort for Bob’s wife, Cindy, and wisdom for decisions to be made.
May 11 – Pray for Associate Pastor Derek King as he is licensed towards ordination at Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS.
May 18 – Pray for the planning and preparations for Assembly 2014 in Waxahachie, TX. Pray for the staff, moderator, preachers, musicians, seminar leaders, and delegates in their preparations.
May 25 – Pray for the WDC ministry staff – Conference Ministers Clarence Rempel and Gilberto Flores, Marlene Bogard, Minister of Christian Formation, and Dwight Regier, Youth Ministry Network Team Leader.
June 22, 3 pm – SHINE Curriculum Launch, Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS
July 4-6 – WDC Annual Assembly, Waxahachie, TX
Aug 16 – Day on the Farm, rural Hillsboro, KS
The May issue of Parish Paper, entitled “How to Welcome Children with Autism and Their Families” can be viewed at: https://mennowdc.org/conference-life/parish-paper/.
1. God With Us – Patient and Persistent is the theme of our 2014 Western District Conference Assembly on July 4-6 in Waxahachie, TX. Join us for meaningful worship, storytelling, celebrating our Year of the Bible and much more. Registration opens on May 5 at mennowdc.org.
2. Shine Launch! Mark your calendars for June 22 at 3 pm for a rousing introduction to the new faith formation curriculum from MennoMedia. Singing, worship, hands-on activities will help teachers and parents get acquainted with this tool for pre-school through grade 8. Location: Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita.
3. We’re telling you NOW! This year, we’re celebrating at the end of our summer with a Camp Sing party! The joyous singing of camp songs and eating of popcorn will take place on August 10th at 6pm, place to be determined. Mark this on your calendars, folks!
4. Get Real! Summer is sneaking closer each day and Camp Mennoscah is REALLY ready for some REALLY big fun. Our summer theme is Get Real: Finding Your True Self in Jesus. Registration forms can be found at www.campmennoscah.org under Camps. Scholarships are available. We want everyone to come to Camp Mennoscah!
5. Summer heroes needed! Camp Mennoscah is looking for summer heroes to work in the kitchen and super nurses to apply bandages, comfort the homesick, ohh and ahh over minnows caught, and have fun. Kitchen staff needed July 27-Aug. 1, June 22-28, and June 8-14. Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 for weeks nurses are needed and for more information. Summer volunteers get a free tee shirt!
6. Family Camp for ALL ages! Camp Mennoscah’s Family Camp is July 26-27 and you should expect gobs of fun and gazillions of activities–all led by our wonderful friends Ruth Harder and Jesse Graber! It’s going to be a blast! And a hoot! Grandparents, bring your grandkids. Families, pack that car full. Everyone is invited! More information is coming–make sure to save this weekend for Camp Mennoscah!
7. Iglesia Menonita Casa Betania, Newton, KS is having a burrito (chicken or pork) fundraiser on May 2-3. $2.50 each. To order, call (316) 644-5800.
Mennonite Church USA Announcements
1. Join the urban gardening movement! Service Adventure’s newest placement is looking for volunteers to join a team of people committed to providing food to urban and rural communities! Ages 17-20 can apply today at MennoniteMission.net/Serve.
2. Bethel College is seeking a full time Administrative Assistant to the Director of Development. This position provides administrative support services for the Development Office, manages the database as related to donor gifts and produces donation letters and computer reports as needed. See www.bethelks.edu/jobs for complete details. AA/EOE
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620