July 15, 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)



*Pastoral Openings
*News and Transitions
Pastoral Openings

Congregational Information Forms can be viewed at:  www.mennowdc.org (Pastoral Openings)

Hanston (KS) Mennonite Church

Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS – Interim Youth Leader

Buhler/Hoffnungsau/Inman Mennonites churches – Youth Pastor

Trinity Mennonite Church, Hillsboro, KS


News and Transitions

1.  Delegate actions at WDC Annual Assembly (July 4-6 in Waxahachie, TX):

a.  Persons were elected to serve in WDC positions (some are new to these positions and some are continuing):

Executive Board: Anita Kehr (Moderator Elect), Norma Johnson, Wendy Funk Schrag
Gifts Discernment Committee:  Phyllis Goertzen, Brian Stucky
Ministerial Leadership Commission (formerly known as Leadership Commission):  Terry Rediger, June Thomsen
Resource Commission:  Jeff Koller, Jennie Wintermote
Stewardship Commission:  Dwight Flaming, Karen Zehr
Church Planting Commission (a newly-created Commission):  Violeta Ajquejay, Nita Nikkel, Virgil Penner, Lici Roth, Lee Suderman, Marv Zehr

b.  A new commission was created in the structure of WDC – the “Church Planting Commission”.  This Commission provides leadership and resources for church planting initiatives and fosters relationships with emerging Anabaptist/Mennonite groups.  The Church Planting Commission helps emerging groups and their leaders connect with the congregations, resources, staff, and structure of Western District Conference.

c.  The name of the Leadership Commission was changed to “Ministerial Leadership Commission” to more accurately reflect the focus of their work of credentialing ministers.

d.  The 2015 WDC budget of $554,450 was passed.

2. Bethel Mennonite Church, Hammon, OK, was officially closed on May 30, after many years of not functioning.

3.  Burrton Mennonite Church, KS, will close on January 4, 2015.

4.  Jim Dunn, Pastor at Burrton Mennonite Church, will retired on December 31.

5.  Katherine Goerzen has been named Coordinator of the AMBS-Kansas Center (formerly AMBS-Great Plains Extension) in North Newton, KS, an ongoing course offering site of AMBS (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary).

6.  John Stoesz has begun as Executive Director of Camp Mennoscah.

7.  John Tyson will begin as Pastor of Faith Formation at Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS, on August 15.

WDC Announcements

1.  Survey to All Western District Conference Members
Dear Pastors and Administrative Assistants,
We ask for your help in distributing an online survey to all the members of your church from the Discernment Task Force of Western District Conference. The introduction to the survey will come to you in a separate email with full explanation that you can then forward to the members of your congregation. The survey can be done in Spanish or English. We want to hear from all of our churches and as many members as possible. We ask congregations to provide paper copies of the survey for members without internet and take responsibility for entering the data for those members. You are the critical link to facilitate the participation of your members. We will also be sending bulletin or verbal announcements for July 20 and 27 and for August. We appreciate your support and participation. We seek your counsel.  –Joy in Christ, Clarence Rempel Jim Schrag

2.  Please use this announcement in July 20 bulletins or immediately after sending out the survey:  You should have received a survey request from the Western District Conference (WDC) Discernment Task Force via email this week.  The Task Force will be guiding our conference-wide conversation in response to the resolution from Rainbow Mennonite Church introduced at Assembly 2014.  Your participation is vital in providing counsel to the leadership of WDC.  Please respond to the online survey immediately.

3.  Pastors’ Day Apart on Thursday, October 30, will feature Brad Brisco from Kansas City on “Cultivating an Incarnational Church.”  Mark the date.  Brad is the author of Missional Essentials and The Missional Quest:  Becoming a Church of the Long Run.  More information will follow.

4.  Camp Mennoscah staff is looking forward to seeing all our good friends from this summer’s youth camping season at our annual CAMP SING August 10 at 6 pm at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton!  Come enjoy singing, fellowship, and snacks!  Donations will be accepted for the new bathhouses and we’ll have a few souvenirs for sale.

5.  Scripture Sing: First Mennonite Church, Newton, invites you to an evening of song and scripture on Sunday, July 20, 7 pm Musicians will come with some pre-selected songs, connecting them with specific scripture texts, but there will also be opportunity for suggestions from the floor. The only requirement? Connect the song with the text. If you have instruments bring them along. If you want us to sing a new song, bring the music along to help us learn.

6.  Spread the word about Day on the Farm (rural Hillsboro, KS), just a month away:  Saturday, August 16, from 10 am to 3 pm.  There will be lots of fun activities and food for all ages.  Watch for more details to come.  We need eight pastors to help serve the noon meal.  Call 316-283-6300 or email wdc@mennowdc.org to volunteer.

7.  All people and all families invited!  Camp Mennoscah’s Family Camp is July 26-27 and everyone of every age is invited to join in the fun.  There will be contra dancing, an amazing treasure hunt, swimming, free time for river play, and campfire!  It’s going to be gobs of fun.  Registrations will be accepted until full.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 for more information.

8.  Mental Health Spiritual Retreat–The Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah is August 31-Sept. 1.  This retreat is for those affected by mental illness and all friends and family.  Swimming, a hayrack ride, free time, and music will all be part of this time of fellowship.  The theme this year is Finding Your True Self.  Laurie Oswald Robinson, freelance author and inspirational speaker, will join us for sessions.  Find the brochure at www.campmennoscah.org under Retreats or call us at 620-297-3290.

Mennonite Church USA Announcements

1.  The Great Plains extension of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, located in North Newton, KS, terminated its operation as an extension site on June 30, after years of declining enrollment and the increasing availability of online classes.  It continues as a site for seminary-level education, offering one course per term.  In this new configuration, it has been renamed AMBS-Kansas Center, with an office in the WDC building.

2.  AMBS-Kansas Center will be offering Anabaptist History and Theology this fall semester. This course explores the settings, ideas, and personalities that have shaped Anabaptism in early sixteenth-century church and society, and will assess the relevance of this heritage for contemporary church and personal life. This course is taught by Professor Lois Barrett, and will meet on four weekends (Sept. 5-6, Oct. 10-11, Nov. 7-8, Dec. 5-6, with Fridays 6:30-9:30pm and Saturdays 8:30am – 4:00pm) in the classroom at the WDC offices in North Newton. For more information, please see www.ambs.edu/academics/fall-courses.cfm or contact the registrar at registrar@ambs.edu

3.  The biennial convention of Mennonite Church USA will be June 30-July 5, 2015, in Kansas City, Missouri.  Western District and South Central Conferences will serve as the host area conferences, with multiple opportunities for volunteering – full-time (40 hours of work during the convention week) or part-time.  There are different types of “perks” depending on how many hours you put in.  For guidelines for volunteer work, see:  http://convention.mennoniteusa.org/registration/volunteer/.


4.  An online digital library containing nearly 250 unpublished, informally published and popular works by theologian John Howard Yoder is now available for scholars and students around the world.  Here is the link to the Goshen College press release: http://www.goshen.edu/news/2014/07/08/works-john-howard-yoder-now-available-online/ .   The text of the release is also attached.

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