April 9, 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)


*Pick My Brain

Pick My Brain – Surprised by the Bible!

     Guest contributor:  Mike Bogard, Associate Interim Pastor, First Mennonite, Hutchinson, KS

In anticipation of Western District Conference’s “Year of the Bible” which will be launched August 1-2, I have decided to read the Bible chronologically.  To be quite honest, although I have read much of the Bible, I have never set the goal of reading and recording a complete read of the whole Bible; cover to cover.  On the Western District Conference’s “Year of the Bible” website (http://www.yearofthebiblenetwork.org) under the Reading/Adult tab, I discovered three links to a variety of Bible reading plans, some of which will even keep track of your reading progress if you do the reading on their website.

I was intrigued.  I decided to get a head start on the “Year of the Bible” and picked the chronological reading plan at the www.biblestudytools.com website.  Although you can do the actual reading on their website, I chose to use the website as a guide and read the Bible on my tablet.  To this point I have read the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; and Job.  Here are some of my surprises!

A.  Most Biblical scholars place the story of Job in the pre-patriarchal (the Genesis 1-11 stories) or early patriarchal (the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob stories) period even though it is generally agreed that Job was written sometime between the 6th and 4th century B.C.E.; which means the story was passed on orally for a long, long time. So – I read it right after Genesis 11.

B.  When you read Exodus through Deuteronomy, you read a lot of the same things over and over and over again.  I particularly noticed how the people of God are repeatedly and repeatedly and repeatedly cautioned about breaking God’s laws, especially the laws prohibiting the worship of other gods.  At times, God seems to expect the people to worship other gods and the consequences for doing so are quite severe.  It made me tremble when I think about the things, other than God, that I am tempted trust in!

C.  A third surprise was that it didn’t take nearly as long to read those six books as I imagined.  When you pick up the whole Bible and hold it in your hands, it can be intimidating to set a goal of reading the entire thing.  But on a tablet, you don’t see or feel the whole Bible as a large book you intend to read.  You also don’t notice how much you have left to read in a given book and often, you don’t know how much of the chapter you have left to read because the entire chapter won’t fit on the tablet’s screen.  The next thing you know, the chapter is read, the book is read, and the Pentateuch is read!

Reading the whole Bible does take a measure of self-discipline, but you don’t have to set a time limit on the experience.  Give it a try.  It is amazing what you discover you didn’t know, and what you remember you once knew.  I anticipate that it will be a transforming experience.

Marlene Bogard says….

1.  Remember to weekly check the Year of the Bible website:  www.yearofthebiblenetwork.org.  New links and downloads are added weekly.  This week added:  Bible Quiz ideas under Live It / Fun.

2.  Send us links, ideas, documents relating to how we all can engage more intentionally with the Bible.    They will be “curated” and then added to the website.

3.  The publicity on the Year of the Bible Launch (August 1-2) is almost ready.  Registration will be cheap – with phenomenal discounts for those traveling over 100 miles.

4.  Ask to join the Year of the Bile Network Facebook group.  Chime in, post ideas, respond to others.

5.  I hope my husband Mike inspires many of you to “go and do likewise!”

WDC Announcements

1.  Going Green in the Resource Library – In your Conference Resource Library, we are celebrating spring with a very colorful display of resources on caring for God’s creation.  Use some of these resources for a topical study on creation care, stewardship of the earth, leaving a small carbon footprint, the spirituality of going green, eco-friendly lifestyle and crafts for kids, much more.  If you search for “Environment” on our on-line catalog at www.mennowdc.org, you will get 109 DVD’s and books.  Plan a discussion, retreat, summer project now!  Call us:  316-283-6300 or email:  crlib@mennowdc.org.

2.  For late night Camp Mennoscah fans, we announce a gathering at Druber’s Doughnuts in Newton, KS, on April 15th beginning at 11:30pm.  We’re really sorry that it’s on a weekday, but it was the best date that we could find.  Talk to Olivia (she’ll be the one in the Camp Mennoscah tee shirt) for your doughnut coupon.  And since it’s Tax Day, you’re responsible for sales tax and any amount above the cost of a pinecone (that’s 82 cents).  Don’t forget to wear your camp tee shirt!

3.  Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat–For all attending the Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat, please note that some of you received confirmation postcards with an incorrect date.  The correct dates for the retreat are April 22-24.  Registrations accepted until full.  We’ll see you there!

4. The 3rd annual Camp Sing will be held at Faith Mennonite Church Sunday, May 5 at 7 pm.  Come enjoy fellowship while singing camp songs with past camp music leaders!  This year’s Camp Sing will benefit the construction of the new bath houses.  Last year we raised over $11,000; let’s see if we can match that amount!  Camp Sing tee shirts ($15) should be pre-ordered by April 15th through the camp facebook page, by calling Kara at 620-983-9003, or by emailing Jill Robb (adamandjillrobb@gmail.com) – write “Camp Sing shirts” in subject line.

5.  They’re Here!  Camp Mennoscah is thrilled to our bones to announce the 2013 summer staff.  They are Ben Kreider (returning grounds/maintenance), Patrick Loganbill (returning lifeguard), Rachel Miller (returning music), Jared Regehr (asst. lifeguard/maintenance), Melinda Regehr (office), John Regier (returning nature), Lizzie Shelly (returning as crafts), and Megan Siebert (asst. lifeguard/maintenance).  You can sign up to spend a camp week with these fun folks for a discounted rate with the early registration discount until May 1st!  Contact us at campmno@mennowdc.org for details.

Kansas Announcements

1.  SAVE THE DATE:  2013 Women and Girls Retreat at Camp Mennoscah – September 6 – 8, Theme:  “Service’, Speaker:  Denise Nickel & Sisters (Humor, In Everyday Life, & With Sisters in the Church).  NEW Friday evening – Et Cetera Shop Fashion Show  and desserts!!

2.  Everyone is invited to a May Day Brunch Saturday, May 4, 11:30 a.m. at Martinelli’s Little Italy in Salina.  The program includes a “Calendar of Quilts” presentation by Leadell Ediger and an auction to benefit Salina Mennonite Church Building Fund.  Tickets are $15 and may be obtained by contacting Vera Zerger at 785-823-8346 or vtzerger@cox.net.

3.  Bethel College Alumni Banquet. The Bethel College Alumni Association invites alumni and friends to its annual banquet, 6 pm, Sat., May 18, in Memorial Hall. Alumni awards will be presented to Justina Neufeld and G. John Dick. Cost is $20 if paying by May 3, $22 by May 6-8. Contact Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, 316-284-5205. Reservation deadline May 8.  (Please use this announcement for the next two Sundays, April 14th and April 21st.)

Mennonite ChurchUSA Announcements

1.  Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution presents their spring film series!  The first film in the two film series is a documentary titled “We Women Warriors” and follows the stories of three Colombian women who use nonviolent resistance to protect and defend their tribespeople.  The film showing will be held at Krehbiel Auditorium on the Bethel College campus on Sunday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m.  A “talk-back” session will be held directly after the film by former Colombian MCC worker Jennifer Chappell Deckert.  This film is free and open to the public, and all are invited to attend!  For worship resources and advocacy actions visit washington.mcc.org/days.  (A poster is attached which can be used to publicize this event.)

2. Public witness opportunities at convention. When 6,000 Mennonites gather together in Phoenix, a lot is possible. In keeping with our theme, “Citizens of God’s Kingdom: Healed in Hope/ Ciudadanos del Reino de Dios: Sanados por la Esperanza,” you will have many opportunities to explore what it means to live out our primary allegiance to God. You’ll also have opportunities to learn about some of the ways our country’s definitions of citizenship operate, and how we can engage conversations about immigration and peacebuilding. Options include taking a trip across the Arizona/Mexico border; joining a traveling choir of Mennonites singing at sites of suffering and hope throughout Phoenix; becoming part of a dancing Mennonite flash mob; and attending a variety of learning experiences centered on these topics. For more information, visit www.MennoniteUSA.org\Convention.

3. Service Opportunity – Construction Assistant Position now available:  Camp Deerpark is perched on a ridge of the lower Shawangunk Mountains 80 miles northwest of New York City.  Owned by the New York City Mennonite churches, Camp Deerpark is dedicated to providing affordable Christian camping for inner city Mennonites with a mission to empower youth to serve Christ in the city. http://www.campdeerpark.org.   We are currently looking for young men ages 18-25 with construction and machinery operation experience to assist us for one year in the construction of a new summer camp village.  Tasks will range anywhere from installing water lines to operation of our portable sawmill or setting rafters.  Room, board and a living allowance are provided.  For more information on our internship program and a detailed job description, please visit http://www.campdeerpark.org/index.php/en/get-involved/service-opportunities or contact Sean McConaghay directly by email deerparkfacilities@gmail.com or phone (845) 239-5120.

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