November 5, 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)


*Pick My Brain

Pick My Brain – Eating the Burning Bush

     by Marlene Bogard, Minister of Christian Formation and Resource Library Director

I can’t get this image out of my mind: Broccoli with French Dressing on top representing the Burning Bush.  What fun, what creativity, what inspiration, what a way to make a memory!

This healthy, edible, colorful burning bush is one of many snacks that are provided after worship at Tabor Mennonite Church in rural Newton, KS, as the congregation marches through their Year of the Bible experience.  Each week Lois Voth provides snacks that match up with the preaching themes.  Old and young stop by on their way to Sunday School and Formation Stations and munch.

Here’s the menu so far:

  • Overview / Kickoff:  Crackers and Grapes (body and blood)
  • A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey: Teddy Grahams
  • Creation:  Animal crackers and Foil-wrapped chocolate balls that look like the earth
  • The Fall / the Garden:  Apple slices
  • Patriarchs / Matriarchs / Sacrifices:  Pretzels
  • Exodus / Burning Bush:  Broccoli with Dorothy Lynch dressing (or french dressing)
  • Covenant at Mt Sinai / 10 Commandments : Trail Mix for the journey
  • Covenant Worship/ Being “Holy”:  Swiss Cheese with tortilla chips
  • Sweet Manna: Oyster crackers with honey glaze and water out of a rock (a cooler with spigot, disguised as a rock).
  • Spies to Canaan:  Pomegranates, grapes and figs brought back from the promised land

This list, along with pictures will be posted on the yearofthebiblenetwork.org site under the New tab later this week.

It’s pure delight for me to hear of congregations using a variety of senses to explore the Bible. God gave us our ability to taste, touch, move, hear, see and smell. Engage them fully in worship and learning!

Here are some books available from the Conference Resource Library that will aid you in Tasting the Scriptures:

Delicious Bible Stories: no-cook recipes that teach by Daphna Flegal / Abingdon, 2009.

Tasty Bible stories : a menu of tales & matching recipes by Tami Lehman-Wilzig / Kar-Ben, 2003.

Food at the time of the Bible : from Adam’s apple to the Last Supper by  Miriam Feinberg Vamosh / Abingdon, 2004.
WDC Announcements

1.  Now is the time for pastors to register for Pastors Day Apart –  “Journey with Scripture” – with James Krabill from Mennonite Mission Network on November 21. Pastors are encouraged to write a one page summary of their own journey in preparation for the gathering. A description of journey content, two examples, and online registration are available at https://mennowdc.org/pastors-day-apart-november-21-2013/.

2.  Resource Library open on First-Saturday-of-the-Month mornings!  Beginning Saturday, Dec. 7, we will be open from 10-12 am.  Find Advent and Christmas resources, bring the children for a brief storytime at 10:30. Jennie Wintermote and Marlene Bogard will be on hand to help you with any questions and provide lots of inspiration.  See you then!

3.  Special Offer until Nov. 30:  The boxed kit:  Body and Soul: Healthy Sexuality and the People of God (MennoMedia, 2010), is available for a discount price of $35.  This offer is in conjunction with the Reference Council Sexuality Symposium that was sponsored on Oct. 25-26 by the WDC Human Sexuality Discernment Task Force.  If the Bible can celebrate the body, sex, and sexuality, God’s people can too. That’s the premise behind this kit of materials. Through a four-part series, these themes are discussed: Our bodies and how we see them; Our human need for intimacy in relationships; The place of sexual expression; the ‘holy desire’ that is foundational to our relationships with God and with others. Each topic is addressed in parallel guides for Sunday worship, adult study, youth study and parental conversations with children. It can serve as a comprehensive curriculum for your whole church (all ages) and includes worship planning materials.  Call 316-283-6300 soon to order.

4.  Search Advent or Christmas on our on-line library catalog and you will get almost 300 results.  Call or email NOW to get the best selection of materials for your congregational planning or household reading.  Perhaps…you may want to order a Resource Bundle from the library for December reading.  I am happy to select 15 of our finest seasonal resources and mail them to you! Let me know – Marlene Bogard.
5.  Note the spelling correction to the name in the prayer request for November 17 in last week’s Sprouts: Pray for Pastor Byron Pellecer who will be leading the Hispanic church plant in Wichita, KS. Pray that God will open a door for the gospel message. Pray that he might proclaim the good news clearly, be wise in new contacts, and make the most of every opportunity (Colossians 4:4-5).
6.  Thank you from the basement of our Bluestem house!  Camp Mennoscah staff send out a mega-huge thank you to everyone who volunteered at the Bluestem house–from Bethel College students to Conway Springs High School students to our trusty, long-time friends.  The Bluestem house is now OPEN TO EVERYONE!!!  How exciting is that?  Call us at 620-297-3290 for information and to make reservations.  Tours available–just call to set up a time!

7.  Gratitude in Leaps and Bounds!  Bethel College sent out a crew of folks to volunteer at Camp Mennoscah on October  23 and this small but mighty group was an enormous help to us.  Not only did they work on the Bluestem house, but they also made our day brighter with all their camaraderie and conversation.  Thank you, Bethel College, for Service Day and thank you, student friends, for helping us out!

8.  Chore of the Week is Back!  We gave you a break this past week–no chores for you.  Here’s this week’s chore for all you camp volunteers:  cleaning those ridiculous face and finger prints off our doors and mirrors.  Spend an hour or so with a bottle of window cleaner in your hand and then spend the rest of the day lounging around camp!  We’ve still got some good fall weather, so give us a call at 620-297-3290!

Mennonite ChurchUSA Announcements

1.  “All You Need is Love: Honoring Diversity in Women’s Voices”, is a conference meant to bring women across the church together to “do theology.” This project grows out of the Women in Leadership Project, sponsored by Mennonite Church USA’s Executive Board staff, which seeks to celebrate and amplify women’s voices within Mennonite Church USA. You can read more about the project on our website.   This conference will take place February 20-22, 2014 at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia. Attached to this e-mail you will find the promotional poster for the event, as well as a call for papers and proposals. We are defining the process of “doing theology” broadly, and hope that we will receive proposals from pastors, spiritual directors, academic leaders, activists, physical therapists, and beyond. We think that conversations about God are relevant to women in all professions. We hope that you will encourage women within your conference to attend and to submit a proposal to present a workshop or paper.

2.  THERE IS STILL TIME for early registration for the one-hour course “Spiritual Practice:  Scripture” for January 10, 6:30 – 9:15 p.m. and then Jan. 11 and Jan. 18, 8:30 – 3:45 each day at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary – Great Plains Extension, taught by Dr. Kathryn Damiano.   If you register by Nov. 15, a $50 discount applies.  Register online at www.ambs.edu/Great Plains.  Contact dnfriesen@ambs.edu or 316-283-7098 for information.

3.  SEE GREECE & ROME – “FOOTSTEPS OF PAUL” IN 2014:  Join pastor and tour guide Weldon Martens on a trip to Greece and Rome, May 4-16, 2014.  The “Footsteps of Paul” tour is a great way to experience locations from the Apostle Paul’s travels recorded in Acts 17-18. The thirteen day all-inclusive trip includes visits to Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Phillippi, Veria and Ephesus. New on this tour is a stop in Istanbul. The tour concludes with three days in Rome!  Detailed trip information and brochure is available at: www.travelwithweldon.com or call 402-202-9276.

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