July 22, 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)



*3 Pairs of Shorts


3 Pairs of Shorts

by Olivia Bartel, Camp Mennoscah Director

This summer I ripped three pairs of shorts.  Not because I was doing wild and crazy things that caused them to be hooked on tree branches or nails, but rather because the fabric was so worn that even everyday things–like sitting down—put too much strain on the fabric.

I don’t think I’ve ever worn through a pair of shorts before coming to Camp Mennoscah.  Torn or discarded, yes.  But to actually wear out a pair of shorts has not been a common occurrence.  It’s a bit of a surprise to have a pair of shorts disintegrate on you.  One minute you’re walking around fully covered and the next there’s an odd breeze on your hindquarters.

So I had to buy new shorts.  They are essentially the same style as my old shorts, but I feel fancy and very bright.  I feel like I’m walking around in a haze of new shorts smell.  I feel new.

Camp can be like that.  The experience of being at camp can be one of discarding the old and becoming new.  You shuck off the constraints of who everyone expects you to be at home and start learning about who you want to be.  You learn how one walks in faith or at least start that journey.

Our summer youth camps are almost over and every camper who has visited us has had the chance to experience the “new.”  There’s no way that we reached every camper, or that all who have visited Camp Mennoscah went home with a renewed outlook on life.  We’ll keep working on reaching out and sharing this sacred space we call camp as fall and winter groups continue to visit us.  We’ll keep asking you to support us in prayers, as volunteers, and in so many other ways.

Thank you for all the prayers and support you have given Camp Mennoscah this summer.  You are what make us great.

WDC Announcements

1.  Western District Conference asks for your participation in a 20-question online survey as the first step in a conference-wide conversation responding to the Rainbow Mennonite Church resolution asking for greater latitude for churches and pastors to determine their pastoral response to persons in same sex relationships.  Your participation is vital.  Go to the survey at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WDCopinion for the English and Spanish versions.

2.  Camp Sing is coming in two weeks!  Join your friends for a rousing good time singing one more round of camp songs before school starts!  Michael Unruh, Greg Shelly, summer staffers, and all year staff, will be present and hope to see YOU at Shalom Mennonite Church at 6 pm August 10.  We invite you to chip in some cash as we gear up for bathhouse construction this fall!  We’ll also have some souvenirs available.  We’ll end our evening with generic pop and popcorn!  Don’t miss it!

3.  Mental Health Spiritual Retreat–This year’s retreat for those affected by mental illness, including family and friends, is August 31-Sept. 1 at Camp Mennoscah.  The theme is Finding Your True Self.  Laurie Oswald Robinson, freelance writer and inspirational speaker, will be our presenter.  There will also be a hayrack ride, swimming, craft activities, and free time.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 with questions.  Bring a friend!

4.  Open Weekends–Camp Mennoscah has a few open weekends this fall for almost any size group.  Think of the cooler weather and the wonderful creation you can enjoy!  Contact us at 620-297-3290 for more information.  Reservations are on a first request basis.  We’ll see you this fall!

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