WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
May 24, 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)
IN THIS ISSUE:
*Clarence’s Clarion Call
Clarence’s Clarion Call – God creates redemptive communities
by Clarence Rempel, WDC Conference Minister
I read the Bible now as the story of God’s loving patience and unrelenting persistence in redeeming, reconciling, and restoring humanity. God called Abraham in order that all peoples on earth would be blessed with the salvation mercies of God (Genesis 12:3). Though God’s chosen people messed up again and again and chased after their own salvations in their own ways, God never gave up.
In fact, God was so intent on the success of this redeeming mission that God came in person to reveal to us the fullness of God’s saving grace and the expansiveness of God’s shalom restoration (John 1:14). We experience the love of God in Jesus’ healing, transformative ministry. We experience God’s great love in that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Some of us were churched, religious, self-righteous sinners like the Apostle Paul. Some of us were unrighteous, arrogant sinners, consumers of money, sex, and power. But God’s love pursued us and didn’t give up. And now we are, I am, inside the story of God’s redeeming, reconciling, restoring action.
God’s heart for distressed humanity is shaping my heart. In Luke 14 God is like a man who prepared a great banquet and the town folk were invited, but they all had last minute excuses for not coming – I got land; I got a new truck; I got a wife. The man says, “Go, invite the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Go to the broken. Invite the suffering.” There was still room. The man says, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full” (Luke 14:23). God’s deep down heart desire is that the lost be found; the disconnected embraced; the broken restored. Compel them to come in.
Furthermore, when people are invited to the salvation banquet of God, they are called to be together, to share fellowship, to share food, to share life. Jesus came to build a church (Matthew 16:18) – the family of God, the body of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit.
God’s redemptive mission is not only the replication of disciples; it is also the replication of churches. God’s redemptive mission is deeply personal and profoundly sociological – new churches for new believers and new churches for new shalom restoration opportunities. This is God’s heart for the redemption of the world, and it has shaped my heart for church multiplication.
Western District Conference has joined in God’s mission in being one of the more active conferences in planting new churches. One of our three core tasks is networking Anabaptist church planting partnerships. To support and sustain this ministry, the Executive Board is proposing a Church Planting Commission to the delegate Assembly in Waxahachie, TX, July 4-6. See the proposal on our website at https://mennowdc.org/conference-life/annual-assembly/
June 1 – Pray for Camp Mennoscah staff and campers as they begin a new summer season with the theme – Get Real: Finding Your True Self in Jesus.
June 8 – Pray for Pastor Karen Mascho and Minister of Outreach Steve Mascho as they guide Grace Mennonite Fellowship, Gladewater, TX in the formation of Christian community and outreach to families of prisoners.
June 15 – Pray for Iglesia Camino de Santidad and Pastor Moises Romero as they continue to reach out in Liberal, KS. Pray for members who have moved to Omaha, NE and now want to start a new church there.
June 22 – Pray for Byron Pellecer as he leads home Bible study groups and seeks out “persons of peace” towards the formation of Aposento Alto Iglesia Menonita in Wichita, KS.
June 29 – Pray for a fullness of God’s Word and Spirit for the gathering of the Western District Conference Assembly 2014 in Waxahachie, Texas, July 4-6. Delegates will act on the formation of a Church Planting Commission and receive a resolution from Rainbow Mennonite Church for discernment in the coming year.
June 22, 3 pm – SHINE! Curriculum Launch, Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS
July 4-6 – WDC Annual Assembly, Waxahachie, TX
August 16 – Day on the Farm, rural Hillsboro, KS
The June issue of Parish Paper, entitled “Caring for the Caregivers” can be viewed at: https://mennowdc.org/conference-life/parish-paper/.
1. Celebrate the Year of the Bible initiative by attending the 2014 Western District Conference Assembly July 4-6 in Waxahachie, TX. The theme, God with Us – Patient and Persistent will be preached on by Gilberto Flores, associate conference minister on Sunday morning as we gather at Luz del Evangelio in Dallas. English translation will be provided! Register online today: mennowdc.org
2. Shine Launch! Mark your calendars for June 22 at 3 pm for a rousing introduction to the new faith formation curriculum from MennoMedia. Singing, worship, hands-on activities will help teachers and parents get acquainted with this tool for pre-school through grade 8. Location: Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita. Call 316-283-6300 to sign up!
3. Library Camp! Kara Schmidt, teacher and library gal will lead kids grades K – 4 (completed) in one hour of fun with books and art. Read, wonder, create at the WDC Resource Library from 2 – 3 pm on June 18, 20, 25 and 27. $10 per child for four sessions! Call 316-283-6300 to sign up today!
4. Nurse needed! Camp Mennoscah needs a nurse for July 13-19. Please contact us at 620-297-3290 if you are able to work the full week or even the first or second half of the week. Kitchen helpers are needed for the week of July 27-Aug. 1 (full week).
5. Summer Youth Camps at Camp Mennoscah–Our summer camps begin June 8! Find a registration form online at www.campmennoscah.org and contact us at 620-297-3290 with any questions. The theme is Get Real: Finding Your True Self in Jesus. It’s a summer of adventures!
Mennonite Church USA Announcements
1. Multi-Staff Congregation Leader’s Summit: Nov. 10-12 at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, Mt. Pleasant, PA. Large congregations with multiple pastoral staff represent both opportunities and challenges in our Anabaptist understanding of church life. Join us to learn together how to navigate this journey. Learnings will come from John Stahl-Wert, Executive Board staff and peers. Fee: $149 (includes room/board). E-mail Beth to RSVP for your team: email@example.com
2. Attached are the prayer requests from the member schools of Mennonite Schools Council, and the colleges, universities, seminaries and educational programs of Mennonite Church USA for June 2014. MEA also posts these prayer requests on its website. The prayer request of the day is displayed on our home page and the document is available at www.MennoniteEducation.org/PRAYERS
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620