June 18, 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)


*It Never Rains

It Never Rains

by Olivia Bartel, Camp Mennoscah Director

For the past two years, that has pretty much been true—it never rains.  This year, however, has been somewhat different.  In fact, I’m sitting here with a flashlight nearby, the weather radio on, and wearing a new set of clothes from the skin on out.  Even though everything from the weather forecast to what I saw outside was telling me to go close the windows and do it NOW, my mind was stuck in these last two years of drought.  I don’t know that I’d want to be soaked on a regular basis, but this certainly reminded me to pay attention to what was happening around me.

We’ve had a bit of a downpour with campers this summer, too.  I hadn’t really been paying attention, but then I noticed that there were continually more registrations in the mail.  Our camps were fuller than I last remembered, and a couple even had campers on a wait list, which usually happens only for our senior high camp.  I don’t think that there’s any reason for me to be surprised. We’ve had incredible summer staffers for the past several years and there is a really good energy around camp being newly incorporated and our master plan.  People call regularly for information about reservations for family reunions or church retreats.

Our theme for the summer is All Things New:  Look What God is Doing!  I’ve seen signs of the amazing things that God has been doing.  I’ve seen strong leadership among our summer staff and watched new friendships grow among the campers.  Laughter has erupted in the kitchen and scraped knees have been carefully tended.  There have been a lot of listening to stories and heartfelt sharing among campers and staff.

I tell you these things every chance I get because I don’t want you to miss seeing what is going on at Camp Mennoscah and I want you to know what is going on.  I want you to have the opportunity to be part of something important whether as a camper, guest, or financial supporter of our mission.  Our program is bigger than just one camper or one week of camp or a weekend retreat.  It’s part of a larger faith community and part of the new things that God is doing.  You are part of these great things, too.

See more things that are happening at Camp Mennoscah at www.campmennoscah.org and on our Facebook page.  It may not all be new, but it sure is exciting!

WDC Announcements1.  Year of the Bible Grants:  The WDC Resource Commission is offering ten $200 scholarships for the year August 1, 2013 through July 30, 2014.  These grants, from our Vision 2012 funds, are for anyone wishing to enroll (credit or audit) in a Bible course through AMBS or AMBS-Great Plains.  Priority will be given to WDC members and regular attendees.  Email or call wdc@mennowdc.org 316-283-6300 to request the scholarship; include a letter of recommendation from your pastor.  Note:  If a pastor wants to receive the scholarship, a letter from Conference Minister Clarence Rempel will suffice.

2.  Remember the good ole days when people memorized scripture?  Well how about some new-fangled ways to do it?  Go to yearofthebiblenetwork.org, follow the STUDY IT and MEMORIZE IT links, and find out how you can select the Bible verses you want to memorize, print scripture memory cards, and download Apps.  And plan to attend the Western District Conference’s Year of the Bible Launch on August 1-2 at Bethel College in North Newton.
3.  Calling all Church Planting Dreamers!  One of the many ways you can connect with your community and other congregations is to discover the joys and challenges of church planting.  Sign up for the Church Planting Dreamer luncheon to “Imagine Your Community, Ready for Harvest,” part of the Western District Conference Annual Assembly on Aug. 2-3 at www.mennowdc.org.

4.  For Pastors attending the WDC Annual Assembly, Aug. 2-3:  The WDC Leadership Commission invites you, your spouse and family to a free appreciation dinner on Friday, Aug 2, at 5:00-6:30 pm at Shalom Mennonite Church, 800 E 1st, Newton.  This is also for single folks and those attending without their spouses.  The dinner is always a good time of fellowship – and this year there will be DOORPRIZES!  Register by July 19 on the WDC Annual Assembly registration form (www.mennowdc.org, Annual Assembly 2013).  Childcare will be provided after children have eaten with their parents.  Register for childcare by emailing Renee Kanagy at ncfcnewton@gmail.com, indicating ages of children.

5.  Grab your family and friends!  It’s almost time for Family Camp, July 27-28!  Monty Graber and Hope Grieser Graber will lead us in amazing activities and worship during this weekend retreat.  There’s free time for swimming and river play as well as all sorts of other activities for you to enjoy as a family.  This is an intergenerational camp, so bring your grandkids or bring your friends and create your own family group!  See the brochure at www.campmennoscah.org or call us at 620-297-3290 for more information.

6.  Nurse Needed!  Thank you to all the wonderful people who are our camp nurses and to the generous folks who have offered to give up a week of their summer to care for our campers and staff.  We are so grateful that you are willing to share your time and summer with us.  You’re the BEST!  We are still looking for one more delightful nurse for the week of July 20-27.  Call us up and ask us about discounts available for volunteers!  We can be reached at 620-297-3290.  Join in the fun of bandages and ear drops after river play!

MC USA Announcements
1.  Are you interested in attending the July 1-6 Mennonite Church USA Convention in Phoenix, but can’t stay all week? We have daily registration options. Online registration is now closed, but you can register in person in Phoenix. The daily rate is only $60 per day. Please join us!  http://convention.mennoniteusa.org/

2.  The Everence website, www.everence.com offers college students several links for things such as: 1) Student loans and loan consolidation for undergraduate and graduate students.  Borrow as little as $2,000 or as much as $30,000 each academic year. Click on the Banking tab; Loans; Student loans.  2) Three student debt videos for the prospective student, current student and past student created in collaboration with our partner LSS Financial Counseling and Eastern Mennonite University students.  Click on the Advice and Education tab; For individuals; Life event; College. 3) College scholarships. Click on the Advice and Education tab; College scholarships. Contact Pete Flaming, Church Relations Representative, Everence Financial Advisors, 371 North Old Highway 81, PO Box 909, Hesston, KS  67062; Toll Free – 877-467-7294; Phone – 620-327-4043; Mobile – 316-217-1585;pete.flaming@everence.com

3.  Friends and supporters of AMBS-Great Plains:  See the attached document for upcoming changes and developments to strengthen that program for the future!

4.  The Summer 2013 issue of the Church Relations Update for Bethel College is now (finally!) available on the Bethel web site at the following address: http://www.bethelks.edu/community/church-relations/ .  This will take you to the Church Relations page on the new Bethel web site.  Then you can click on “View the Summer 2013 newsletter.”  It features an essay about teaching Mennonite values, a retrospective on the spring break choir tour, information on the next Worship and the Arts Symposium, and a note about two upcoming meetings on the Bethel campus.  Please print a copy of the Update and post it on a bulletin board in your church.  Dale Schrag, Director of Church Relations and Campus Pastor, Bethel College, North Newton, KS  316-284-5356

5.  Waging Peace:  Muslim and Christian Alternatives documentary produced by MennoMedia on behalf of the Mennonite churches is airing on NBC-TV from June 23 through Novmeber at the discretion of local NBC affiliates.  Check Interfaith Broadcasting http://www.interfaithbroadcasting.com/program.aspx?PID=383 to find local listings with time and date.  The program examines courageous threads of peace quietly being sown around the world and includes Mennonite-related spokespersons David W. Shenk, Leon Kehl, Peggy Gish, and an interfaith peace camp for children held regularly at Eastern Mennonite University.  For more information on the DVD, visit store.mennomedia.org/

6.  Dove’s Nest, an organization informally related to Mennonite Church USA, is making available a copy of the “Circle of Grace” safe environment curriculum, for no cost, to all Mennonite Church USA congregations and schools.  Lessons are self-contained and grade-specific, with 1-4 age-appropriate lessons each year for children and youth in Kindergarten through 12th grade.  Congregations can use the lessons at any time during their Christian education programming.  The curriculum is available in both English and Spanish.  To request your free copy (available on Cd-ROM), visit the Dove’s Next website at www.DovesNest.net and click on the “Circle of Grace” link, or contact John Stanton, Program Coordinator, at jon@dovesnest.net (402-577-0866).  Dove’s Nest is also available to assist with child and youth protection policies, questions about ministry to sex offenders, or other information about child abuse prevention.  For those attending the Convention in Phoenix, Dove’s Nest will have a booth in the exhibit area where your free copy of “Circle of Grace” will be available.

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