WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
September 23, 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:
*Why is Camp Mennoscah so spiritually meaningful?
Why is Camp Mennoscah so spiritually meaningful?
by John Stoesz, Camp Mennoscah Executive Director
I was visiting with a Camp Mennoscah supporter in his living room when he asked, “Why is it that so many young people – before they are baptized – speak of Camp Mennoscah? Why is it that so many ask to be baptized at Camp?” Although I did not have a good response at that time, I’ve continued to reflect on his questions and I’ve come up with a three-part answer.
The first part of my answer is that its about right relationships with God and nature, self and others. Camp Mennoscah is the place where these relationships intersect.
Second, and more importantly. its experiential. That is, its not really about studying right relationships, its about experiencing them. Campers experience relationship with God through song and at campfire. They experience relationship with nature through river play and nature walks. Campers experience relationship with their true selves – the image of God within – as they get away from the distractions of cell phones and video games. Finally, they experience right relationships with others as they play “gaga ball,” swim in the pool and do crafts together.
Third, its long-lasting. That is, the faith commitment that develops at camp is not a fly-by-night kind of thing. Most campers return year after year. Many go on to become counselors and some go on to become summer staff. As they get older many volunteer as kitchen help and construction workers. Some serve on the board. Many continue to come to Camp for church and family and other retreats.
Does this answer make sense to you?
(John Stoesz is Executive Director of Camp Mennoscah. This is a relatively new position that he started on June 24. Olivia Bartel continues in her role as Camp Director.)
1. Register now for the Fall Scrapbooking Retreats! Camp Mennoscah has two scrapbooking retreats this fall, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and Nov. 14-16. Traditional and digital scrapbookers of all skill levels are welcome. Join us for a weekend of cropping, talking, snacking, sessions, and fun! Registration forms can be found at www.campmennoscah.org in Retreats or by calling 620-297-3290.
2. Fall Cleaning! It’s time to clean up the river at Camp Mennoscah. We’ll be taking out the dam on October 5th at approx. 2pm to help clear out all that silt and mud that has built up behind the dam. Come dabble in the not-so-precise art of dam removal or enjoy watching!
3. Thank you to our Work & Play attendees! Many tasks at Camp Mennoscah were completed, including making enough applesauce for nearly all of our summer youth camps, and great fun was had. Thank you also to our cooks Kathleen and Mary, and to Tonya, Gardell, and Peggy for leading our devotionals and music. What a treat to have you all at Camp Mennoscah!
4. Mustard Yellow and Gaudy Flowers Are Okay–Camp Mennoscah is in need of good condition sofas, loveseats, and comfy chairs or recliners, whatever color or design they may be. Our Buffalo Room furniture is falling apart and grimy after any number of staff meetings and naps. We have picture proof that some of the furniture has been at Camp Mennoscah for over 13 years. If you would like a reason to replace your living room furniture, contact us and we’ll take your beautiful-to-us couch off your hands. Contact us at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
MC 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 email@example.com
2. Urban Anabaptist Ministry Symposium: Mennonite Church USA and MCC East Coast are excited to announce plans to co-sponsor this event, aiming to connect Anabaptist leaders and workers from Philadelphia, New York City, D.C. and surrounding urban areas. There will be opportunities to discuss challenges of ministry in our contexts, share best practices, form partnerships and inspire each other to continue to further the Kingdom work in our cities. Even if you are not from one of these urban centes, we invite you to come and network and participate with real people, doing real ministry and engaging real needs in diverse contexts. The event will take place from October 2-4 in Philadelphia. For more information, visit: http://www.mennoniteusa.org/what-we-do/transformative-peacemaking/urban-anabaptist-ministry-symposium/
McPherson College announces “Ventures in Christian Discipleship”, an educational program to equip lay people of all ages and education levels with skills and understandings for faithful and dynamic Christian living, action, and leadership, with special emphasis on small congregations. Courses offered in November 2014, January, February and March 2015. See attached brochure. www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620