March 12, 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)


*Pastoral Openings
*News and Transitions

Pastoral Openings

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

Beatrice Mennonite Church, NE – Pastor

First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS – Pastor

First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS – Associate Pastor (1/2 time)

Grace Mennonite Church, Enid, OK – Pastor

Kingman Mennonite Church, KS – Youth Pastor (1/2 time)

Rainbow Mennonite Church, Kansas City, KS – Pastor

Trinity Mennonite Church, Hillsboro, KS – Youth Pastor

News and Transitions

Jesse Blasdel will end his position of WDC/SCC Youth Ministry Network Event Leader on March 15.

Brett Dewey, pastor at Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS, will leave that congregation on June 30.

Elmer Friesen, former pastor and Conference (“District”) Minister died in Portland, OR on February 20 of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Among his WDC pastorates were: Pretty Prairie, Beatrice, and Houston.

Our sympathy to Joanna Harader, pastor at Peace Mennonite Church, Lawrence, KS, on the death of her father, Dr. David Harader, after a brief illness on March 8.  He was a pastor in the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region and was currently serving

Our sympathy to Jack Norris, pastor at First Mennonite Church, Clinton, OK, on the death of his father on February 9 in Ashland, Kentucky.  A family memorial service was held on February 12.

WDC Announcements

1.  When it comes to the Bible, what is your passion?  Do you ever wish you knew the Bible better?  Does the Bible make a difference in your life?  YEAR OF THE BIBLE is happening in the Western District Conference.  Find out more at yearofthebiblenetwork.org and plan to attend the Year of the Bible Launch on August 1-2 at Bethel College in North Newton, KS.

2. Plans are progressing for Bergthal Mennonite’s (Pawnee Rock, KS) final celebration on Sunday, May 26.  Come for worship at 10:00.  Bring a dish to share for our potluck lunch and a story to share in the afternoon program.  You may go home with an old hymnal or a sentimental item selected from our silent auction.  Come join the celebration as together we honor Bergthal’s long and good life.

3.  Help us identify three extraordinary Mennonite young adults interested in peacemaking.  Mennonite Central Committee Central States is offering up to three scholarships (within their region) for Mennonite young adults of African American, Latin American, Asian American or Native American decent to attend Global Anabaptist Peacebuilders (GAP) Institute in Fresno, CA, June 13-22.  A one-week peace institute for young people, it will introduce biblical concepts of peacemaking, with focuses on migration, environment, food systems, humanitarian work and restorative justice.  MCC asks that the young people who go share their learning with their home church community.  Please send name suggestions to wdc@mennowdc.org or 316-283-6300 by April 12. (For more information about GAP, go to:  westcoast.mcc.org/gap-institute or call Je T’aime Taylor at 913-484-2546.)

4.  Spring Break in the Congo!  Retirees of all ages are invited to join us at Camp Mennoscah for a short spring break at our Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat, April 22-24, 2013.  We’ll be visiting Kansas and Congo over the past century.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 for a brochure.  Grab a traveling buddy and come join us!

5.  We know you’re out there!  We’re absolutely certain that there are nurses and cooks would are just waiting to sign up for a week at Camp Mennoscah.  Well, don’t keep us in suspense!  Contact us at campmno@mennowdc.org or 620-297-3290 for available weeks.  Fun will abound with you here!

6.  In the Email!  All confirmations for you early registrants (through March 8) for Camp Mennoscah summer camps have been sent.  If you have not received your confirmation email or letter, please contact us at 620-297-3290.

7.  Does your church have a website?  Consider adding a link to Western District Conference’s new and improved website.  Check it out – www.mennowdc.org.  Read what’s on the Conference Minister’s heart.  Check if the Conference Resource Library has a book you are interested in reading.  Read about Faith Formation.  Check out the new church planting blog.  Read three WDC publications (Seeds, Sprouts, Garden).  Get information about the 2013 Annual Assembly (posted when available).  Read names of persons serving on WDC’s Executive Board, commissions, committees and task forces.  Make this your go-to site for all information from Western District Conference.

Kansas Announcements

On April 17 at 7:00 pm Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking”, will be speaking at Wichita State University’s Hughes Metro Complex.  She’ll discuss issues relating to life, death and social justice.  See the attached attached biography and flier. Call (316) 209.9697 for more info.
Mennonite Church USA Announcements

1.  Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary – New Master of Divinity readies for fall launch:   A new Master of Divinity program will begin at AMBS in August. The good news is that students have the option to study from a distance as well as on campus!   The new program has received accreditation approval from the Association of Theological Schools. Approval from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association is pending.

MDiv Connect, the distance option, includes online learning and brief visits to campus.

MDiv Campus, for residential students, adds more intentional community living practices to the long-standing strengths of AMBS’s program.

We are eager to bring the resources of AMBS to new students who previously would not have been able to participate. Also, former students who discontinued their studies may find the new distance option an opportunity to complete their studies.    An overview of the two study options is available on the AMBS website.   Please contact AMBS Admissions if you are interested or if you have a potential student for us to contact.
2.  At the MC USA Phoenix convention this summer, one of the many significant learning tracks will be one focusing on leadership development for high school students.   This learning track is modeled from the Values Based Leadership Program (VBLP.   Students who are nominated by their pastor or sponsor, will be taught principles of excellent leadership through an Anabaptist faith lens.   Please send the name of the person(s) you have talked to, the name of your congregation as well as an email contact for them to:  BethH@MennoniteUSA.org

3.  MC USA Denominational Ministry would like to hear from you! Actually we would like to see and hear from you! But for not more than 59 seconds!! We invite you to find someone or a group from your church to make a YouTube video to show at convention Phoenix 2013! Organizers of the Call Wall would like to show short YouTube videos from youth or small groups and congregations answering these two questions:

·         What qualities do you believe are important for a pastor to have?

·         What are the essential elements of a “calling congregation?”

Capture the video in the church or anywhere that adds to your creative process.   Finished videos can be sent to Chris Rahe atChrisR@MennoniteUSA.org. What can you say in 59 seconds? My guess is… plenty!  Go to: http://mennoniteusa.org/2012/11/20/cultivating-call-in-59-seconds/ if you want to learn more about this opportunity.

4.  AMBS Church Leadership Center – Webinar: Discerning the Powers: Moral Discernment, Theology and Mission

Presenter: Jamie Pitts, Wednesday, May 1, 2:00-3:30 p.m., Get details and register by April 25

Visit our website

For more information contact:  churchleadership@ambs.edu


5.  Attached is the second MC USA Convention Planning newsletter.  This newsletter can be shared with youth sponsors, adults and others in your congregation who may be interested.  The newsletter will also be posted on-line. www.MennoniteUSA.org/convention.

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