October 7, 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)


*Pick My Brain

Pick My Brain – A Brush With Life

     by Marlene Bogard, Minister of Christian Formation

All of us carry within us the essence of an artist.  Agreed?  So what is holding you back?  Art is not your thing?  Hold on there, partners, we are all created in the image of God, who is a creator, so the creative seeds are planted in all of us, although perhaps they have been squelched.

Lately I have an increased hunger to participate in hands-on creative activities.  Yes, I will claim that my head and heart are daily filled with ideas and adaptations.  Thanks be to God!  But these days I am drawn to color, to patterns, to brushes and paint.  I am free to doodle as prayer, paint as thanksgiving and trim shrubs with an eye for design.  I acknowledge that the inspiration and the drive for the daily grind is from God.  But so too are the moments of imagination, and the snippets of play that I find as necessary companions on my journey.

I have just “created” a new display in the library that features books on engaging the creative process.  It’s colorful and a bit wacky.  Some resources are actually about art and others are about being creative in other areas of life, such as creative prayer. (Search creative prayer on our on-line catalog and be amazed:  mennowdc.org).

“We all need to create, to be a part of a process that brings to the world something beautiful, good, and true, in order to allow our souls to come to life. It’s not only the quality of the ingredients we use to build our lives that matter, but the care we bring to the process itself. Just like baking artisan bread, it’s a process that’s crafted over time. And God has something to say about how we craft our lives, because, all of us carry within us the essence of an artist. ”  from The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus.

Join in the journey and have a brush with life by spending time with one of these inspiring books:

The artisan soul : crafting your life into a work of art

by McManus, Erwin Raphael. 2014.

Founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, McManus pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. He not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence, but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. With poignant, inspirational stories and insights from art, life, history, and scripture interspersed throughout, he walks readers through the process of crafting a life of beauty and wonder. Put this on your list today! 

The artist’s rule : nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom

by Paintner, Christine Valters. 2011.

A twelve-week journey that connects spirituality, creativity, art and personal expression. This one will take a bit of commitment and would work well in a group.

Redesigning worship : creating powerful God experiences

by Miller, Kim. 2009.

Provides practical and imaginative help for building and leading worship teams, empowering creative ideas and handling the inevitable conflict.

Saying yes : accepting God’s amazing invitation to artists and the church

by West, Cindy. 2008.

West draws on her experience as an innovator in connecting artistry with ministry to offer insights on discovering and nurturing your own unique talents; finding your role in creative ministry; developing a worship-arts program in your church.

Drawn in : a creative process for artists, activists, and Jesus followers

by Bronsink, Troy. 2012.

Shows how we can connect the creative life and the life of faith through design thinking and creative processes. Exercises invite participation in God’s life and redemptive rhythms.

A million little ways : uncover the art you were made to live.

by Freeman, Emily P. 2013.

Uncovers the personal creative imprint God has placed upon every individual, and encourages readers to reexamine their lives by approaching it the way an artist approaches a canvas–with wonder, bravery, and hope.

Life after art : what you forgot about life and faith since you left the art room.

by Appling, Matt. 2013.

Art teacher Matt Appling reminds us of lessons we’ve forgotten, the joy of creating and the freedom we have to succeed or fail.

The artist’s way : a spiritual path to higher creativity

by Cameron, Julia. 2003.

A guidebook for adults to use in discovering and recovering your creative self.

WDC Announcements

1.  Pastors – It’s time to register for Pastors’ Day Apart – October 30, 9 am-3 pm – Shalom Mennonite Church.  For information and online registration (by October 22 please): https://mennowdc.org/pastors-day-apart-october-30-2014/

2.  Youth pastors / sponsors ​ are invited to join in a video conference call with MC USA ​Youth Convention Planning to hear about the latest details that are developing, as well an opportunity to get all your questions answered!  Thursday, October 16, 10 AM to 11 AM CST.  There are two options for you to connect to this:  1. Come to WDC Offices at 2517 N. Main St. North Newton, where the hook-up will be ready for you.  2.  Or Please RSVP to  Rachel Gerber:  rachelg@mennoniteusa.org by October 10, and sh​e​ will send you the call information to you.

3.  Everyone is welcome to come – Nathan Koontz will be ordained on Sunday morning, October 19, at First Mennonite Church in Hutchinson, KS.  Worship is at 9:25 am, Sunday School at 11:00 am, and there will be a potluck at noon in celebration.  (Guests do not need to bring food.)

4.  Mennonite Women of South Central and Western District Conference invite you to purchase gifts or gift cards for Camp Mennoscah.  Camp Mennoscah has opened registries at several stores, or gift cards can be purchased.  See attached flyer with details.

5.  Thank you to the numerous people who both waded through mud and muck to take out the dam and to those who cheered them on!  Camp Mennoscah sends you many thanks and showers you with (invisible) flowers in gratitude.  We’ll put the dam back in spring, just in time for fishing and canoeing at Men & Boys Retreat.

6.  The Fall Scrapbooking Retreats at Camp Mennoscah on Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and Nov. 14-16 are very nearly full.  If you would like to join us for this amazing weekend of cropping and fellowship, grab that registration form and start scribbling quickly!  The form can be found online at www.campmennoscah.org or by calling 620-297-3290.  We’ll see you soon!

7.  Has anything changed?  The reservation forms for 2015 Camp Mennoscah retreats, reunions, and gatherings will be sent out in the next month or so.  Please contact us at office@campmennoscah.org to alert us of changes and to let us know of who should be sent the information for your church or family group.  Thanks for helping us keep the process as easy as possible!

8.  Got it changed in your contacts?  Camp Mennoscah has a new email address.  Please remove the old address (campmno@mennowdc.org) and use the new email address of office@campmennoscah.org beginning immediately.  We want to stay in touch!

9.  The West Zion Mennonite Church Concert Series continues with a concert on Sunday evening, October 19 at 7 pm at the church, 101 S. Washington Avenue in Moundridge, KS.  Featured performers include Janie Brokenicky, Soprano; Ken Rodgers, Organ; the McPherson Community Brass Choir under the direction of Jerry Toews; and Donna Stucky, Piano.  There is no admission charged for the concert, but during the concert, a free-will offering will be received.  After the concert there will be a time of fellowship, with refreshments served.

Mennonite Church USA Announcements

1.  Advent Planning Webinar:  WDC and AMBS-Kansas Center will host an Advent Planning Webinar on Thursday, October 16, from 6:30-7:45 pm.  This webinar is presented by Rachel Miller Jacobs, AMBS Assistant Professor of Congregational Formation.  This webinar will explore creative ideas for scripture, visuals, sermons, children’s worship and music for resources published in the Leader magazine with the theme, “Oh, that you would reveal your mystery.”  A brief discussion will follow to provide space for participants to share ideas on how they plan to use the Advent material in their own congregations.  This webinar will be hosted in the WDC offices.  Cost is $10 per participant.  Apple Cider and Peppernuts will be provided.  Please register by October 15 by emailing Katherine Goerzen at kccoordinator@ambs.edu.

2.  The Mennonite Church USA convention planning team, along with Bethel College and Hesston College, want you to come out and join us for a fun-filled Saturday full of worship, food (a pizza party!), service and more. Get a taste of what the Kansas City convention will be like at the On the Way youth rally, featuring Glen Guyton, speaker, and Jeremy Kempf, worship leader. Join us on November 1, from 1-7:30 p.m. on the campus of Hesston College. This event is free, but you do need to register ahead of time. Visit us online to register and for more info: http://convention.mennoniteusa.org/get-connected/on-the-way-youth-rallies/.

3.  Employment Opportunity. Mennonite Church USA’s Executive Board staff is seeking a part-time communications association and coordinator for the Women in Leadership Project. To read more about this job opening and to apply, visit www.mennoniteusa.org/about-us/jobs-with-mennonite-church-usa/.

4.  Heritage Sunday, a Sunday set aside to honor and celebrate Mennonite Church USA’s history and roots, is October 26. This year, Mennonite Church USA invites congregations to remember the gifts that young adults have offered to our church. You can download the free resources, including dramatic readings, sermon prompts, scripture ideas and more online: http://bit.ly/HeritageSunday.

5.  Celebrate Missions in November!  Come with us and celebrate God’s transforming love—in our own lives and the lives of Christians around the world! Choose a Sunday in November that fits your worship schedule and join MMN in celebrating God’s mission.  Feel free to download these worship materials to plan your own mission Sunday. The sermon starter, children’s story, prayer, song and reading suggestions, Scripture passages, and bulletin inserts will make planning easy and hassle free. You can download these materials here:  http://bit.ly/10msBnE If you have any questions, contact Brady Peters, WDC’s Church Relations Associate for Mennonite Mission Network: bradyp@mennonitemission.net

6.  Be intentional. Be transformed! Serve for year with DOOR: Dwell in urban areas like Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, L.A., Miami, or San Antonio. Join other young adults (ages 19-30) from many Christian backgrounds! MennoniteMission.net/Serve

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