October 22, 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)


*Flawed and All the Better for it


Flawed and All the Better for it

by Olivia Bartel, Camp Mennoscah Director

When I was growing up, we would visit Grandma Schmidt for holidays, during the summer, and whenever else we could manage it.  I loved visiting Grandma.  I loved Grandma and Grandpa, I loved the farm, I loved the quilt in my room, and I loved the fact that if Grandma had baked there would often be a small bowl or reused whipped topping container on the kitchen table filled with culls.

Culls are those baked goodies that are flawed.  They are peppernuts that are a bit too dark or cookies that smooshed into each other or zwieback whose heads fell off.  They taste perfectly fine but don’t meet 4-H or even “company” standards, whatever that means to you.

Culls are the unplanned, yet tasty, surprises, though I suppose that from a baking point of view, culls are the failures.  I never go into my baking forays thinking, “okay, this will be my pan of culls.”  Rather, my goal has always been to have everything go perfectly.  I know better than to think this.  I can’t remember a time when something went the way I originally planned it.

We’re working on new bathhouses at Camp Mennoscah—a completely new one to the north of the girls’ cabins and a replacement bathhouse for the boys’ cabins.  Plans and time lines and goals are constantly changing as committees talk about these great additions to our camp grounds.

It’s very clear to me that the end results will not exactly match the original bathhouse plans, though they may be quite similar.  I’m mostly okay with this.  I’m guessing there will be some “well, I liked the other way better” or “hmm…not exactly what we were looking for.”  But we’ll also get “look at this great aspect that we wouldn’t have had” and “whoa—that would have been a disaster to have it done it the way it was originally planned.”

It’s not the best analogy, but these changes are a bit like culls, perhaps.  Few people I know start baking wishing for culls and fewer still look for building or renovation plans to change.  There will often be some regret that it didn’t go the way it was planned and possibly some things that won’t be the way we wanted.  Someone, however, like maybe a grandchild, will find those culls or new plans much better than the originals.  Maybe it won’t be what we planned, but maybe we’ll be all the better for it.
WDC Announcements

1.  Don’t miss this event! Tell your friends! Bring a carload!  Tickets are still available for Friday (Oct. 25) evening’s 7:00 pm premier performance of “A Peek into the Church’s Journey with Sexuality” at Bethel College.  On stage will be Humorist and Philosopher Ted Swartz of Ted and Co. Theaterworks, joined by Keith Graber Miller, professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy at Goshen College. Call Bethel College at 316-283-2500 for $10 tickets.  All seats reserved.

2.  For those who have registered, WDC’s Reference Council, “The Church and Homosexuality:  A Conversation That Can Hold Us Together” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at Faith Mennonite Church.  Full information:  www.mennowdc.org or call 316-283-6300.

3.  Pastors – Register for the “Prevention of Clergy Misconduct” workshop by Friday, October 25.  This important workshop is designed to assist pastors and church leaders establish and maintain healthy personal boundaries while in ministry.  www.mennowdc.org (Events)

4.  Pastors’ Day Apart – November 21 – Grace Hill Mennonite Church, Whitewater, KS.  “Journeys with Scripture”. Register online at www.mennowdc.org (Events) by November 15.  $25 registration fee includes lunch.

5.  Western District, South Central, and Mountain States Mennonite Conferences invite you to attend the annual Snow Camp at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. Be inspired by singing and worshiping with other youth, slide down the tube run (hopefully!), play a competitive game of broom hockey, explore beautiful scenery around camp, and more! For more information, visit www.rmmc.org or your church information area. Hope to have you join us! 2014 Snow Camp Dates: Junior High – January 26-26, Senior High 1 – February 14-16, Senior High 2 – March 14-16.

6.  Still accepting registrations!  Camp Mennoscah’s Fall Scrapbooking Retreats will accept registrations until full, so there’s still time (and space) for you and your cropping friends to join us for a weekend of amazing fellowship, incredible productiveness, or a combination of the two.  How much you get done and how much time you spend visitng is up to you!  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or find the brochure online at www.campmennoscah.org under Retreats!  We’ll see you soon!

7.  Weekly Chores at Camp Mennoscah–Okay, folks.  No one has claimed any of the chores that have been described as fun and delightful, so we’re trying a new tact.  This week’s horribly boring and tedious task is to clean the maintenance apartment.  It’s gross, disgusting, and you’ll hate every minute–which will make your free time at camp all the better!  Give us a call at 620-297-3290 if you’d like to take part in the cleaning shenanigans.  It’s a terrible task.

8.  Featured Resource from your Conference Resource Library:  Bible, gender, sexuality: reframing the church’s debate on same-sex relationships by James V. Brownson, Eerdmans, 2013.  Reveals an implicit moral logic beneath scriptural teachings about sexuality and same-sex relationships. His insights–which are both prophetic and pastoral – build a much needed bridge across the sexual divide that separates people of shared biblical faith. Find 25 more books and DVD’s when you search “homosexuality” on our on-line catalog at www.mennowdc.org

9.  Please note this CORRECTION to the prayer request for October 27 (originally posted in the October 1 WDC Sprouts) – Pray for Moises Romero, pastor of Iglesia Camino de Santidad, Liberal, KS, who was licensed towards ordination last Sunday. Pray for Mennonite Church of the Servant, Wichita, KS, as they dedicate their new meetinghouse this afternoon.

MC USA Announcements

1.  (Please use this announcement in your Nov. 3 and10 bulletins.)  THE DEADLINE for early registration for Interterm classes at AMBS-Great Plains is November 15.  “Spiritual Practices:  Scripture” is a one-hour class meeting Jan 10 evening and then Jan 11 and 18 during the day. Other “hybrid” courses are online with one week in Elkhart in January:  “Isaiah” and “Cultural Hermeneutics”. Information at www.ambs.edu/greatplains or dnfriesen@ambs.edu, 316-283-7098.

2.  Critical MDS Need:  Mennonite Disaster Service has been working in Minot, ND, for 28 months now, and many families are living in the homes we mucked out and/or rehabbed. We are planning to wind down our work here in Minot before the end of this calendar year. However, in order to complete our work, we need additional long-term volunteers to serve as construction crew leaders. We also need additional short-term volunteers to respond to the needs of our final two or three families. Please read the following and consider responding and challenging others to respond as well:

An employed single mother who cares for her autistic adult son is currently staying in a motel because the FEMA trailer was removed and she has nowhere else to live. The cost of the motel is a real hardship. MDS has committed to completing her home as soon as possible.

A husband and wife, the parents of seven children, have each been working two jobs while they also work at rehabbing a house for their family to live in. The mother has been postponing surgery in order to rehab the house so they can comply with the past due deadline to get out of their FEMA trailer. MDS has committed to completing this house soon.

In addition to the above, we have been strongly encouraged to assist two other families with at least part of their rehab tasks so the families can complete the remaining work and get back home.

It has been a long 28 months for each of the families referred to above. Please consider helping them to complete their journey home. To volunteer, call Chantel at 1-800-241-8111.

3.  Perhaps you’ve already heard about the new Let’s Talk Peace speakers bureau, but in case you haven’t please follow this link to find out more! http://www.mcc.org/fearnot/speakers   Let’s Talk Peace is available all across the United States, you can click on the words Central States and see who is available in our region!  Follow the guidelines along the right side of the webpage and you’ll be on your way to Talking Peace!  Contact Tina Schrag tschrag@mcc.orgor Karin Kaufman Wall (kkw@mcc.org) with questions.

4.  PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTER/ED FUND STAFF POSITION:   The Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas, and its sister organization, the Peace and Social Justice Education fund, are seeking a half-time Staff Person to coordinate their efforts to seek justice and peace globally and locally. Responsibilities include financial operations, fund raising and office management.  Must have good written and verbal skills and familiarity with Microsoft-based programs.  This position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Send letter of interest and resume to the Peace and Social Justice Center, 1407 N. Topeka, Wichita, KS 67214, or e-mail to director@wichitapeace.org

5.  On October 4, the Bethel College Women’s Association introduced its latest publication — “A BC ABC Book: Bethel College of Kansas in Art and Rhyme.” The book comprises 26 limericks and accompanying illustrations, all by Bethel-related persons. At 6pm on October 4, 450 copies went on sale. Twenty-four hours later, only 37 were left!  The book has been hailed as “a wonderful and varied portrait of Bethel College” and as “a gem of a book”!  It is currently on sale at Bethel’s Thresher Bookstore for $20 plus tax, and shipping and handling costs if ordered by mail. Call 316-284-5205 or email Margo Schrag at mschrag@bethelks.edu for information.  Has your church librarian ordered a copy!

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