WDC Sprouts, April 21, 2020

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

April 21, 2020

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)

We invite your continuing support for WDC! Contributions may be made HERE.

IN THIS ISSUE:

*Becoming Something New /  Convirtirse en algo nuevo

*Announcements

Becoming Something New

by Tim Amor, WDC Church Planting Commission, Pastor at what was once called Beatrice Mennonite Church, Beatrice NE

As a new member of the WDC Church Planting Commission, it has been exciting to participate in the conversations that consider how we might see new churches start up, grow, and try new things. But what about our churches who have been around for a while and have been experiencing decline? How can we use the tools and resources of church planting to bring that same excitement, newness, and creative esprit to our churches who are looking to continue faithfully following the mission of Jesus, but for one reason or another feel stuck?

This is an especially important question for me and my church community. We have been a church in decline, and we have felt stuck for a long time. What if we tried something new? What if we prayerfully considered all the things that make us a church, and asked “what are we willing to give up and change for the sake of sharing the love of Jesus with our neighbors?”

This has led us to embark on a series of fairly big changes that included us ending our time as Beatrice Mennonite Church, and relaunching ourselves as a new church. That means a new name, a renewed mission, new ways of worshiping and growing in our faith together, and a renewed building. We have been working on this and preparing for our big relaunch on Easter Sunday, April 12th!

As you might guess, that did not happen. We have not relaunched. We have not finished the work to prepare ourselves for the relaunch. We still have our old church name and sign up. On Easter Sunday we had a total in-person gathering of zero. This isn’t what we had planned!

We, like pretty much every other church, are stuck in this in-between place of waiting. And while we’re waiting, we’re all trying to adapt to the new realities presented to us during this time of COVID-19. Looking around, I have been very encouraged by the good work that our WDC churches have been doing in response to these strange times. We’ve had to be creative, imaginative, prayerful, and technically savvy, all while learning and trying new things.

One of my friends who’s helping to consult with our church relaunch told me that a church relaunch or new plant requires its leaders to be flexible and able to change on the fly. You never know exactly what you’re going to get each week, and that’s ok. So in some ways, as we experience this time of uncertainty, we are all acting like church plants. We’re all learning to be something new.

It is my prayer and my hope that we will be changed for the better by this time. I hope that we do not just go back to the status-quo of what was before, but instead see our churches continue to lean in to our creativity and imagination as we seek to grow as we follow Jesus in our communities, while inviting others to follow alongside us.

What will we be willing to give up and change for the sake of sharing the love of Jesus with our neighbors? Friends, how is God calling you to change?

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Convirtirse en algo nuevo
De Tim Amor, Comisión de Plantación de Iglesias de la WDC, Pastor de la iglesia una vez llamada Beatrice Mennonite Church, Beatrice NE

Como miembro nuevo de la Comisión de Plantación de Iglesias de la WDC, ha sido emocionante participar en las conversaciones que consideran cómo podríamos ver iglesias nuevas comenzar, crecer e intentar cosas nuevas. Pero ¿qué pasa con nuestras iglesias que han estado presentes por un tiempo y han experimentado una disminución? ¿Cómo podemos usar las herramientas y los recursos de la plantación de iglesias para traer esa misma emoción, novedad y espíritu creativo a nuestras iglesias que buscan continuar fielmente siguiendo la misión de Jesús, pero por una razón u otra se sienten estancados?

Esta es una pregunta especialmente importante para mí y para la comunidad de mi iglesia. Hemos sido una iglesia en declinación y nos hemos sentido estancados por mucho tiempo. ¿Qué pasa si probamos algo nuevo? ¿Qué pasa si en oración consideramos todas las cosas que nos hacen una iglesia y nos preguntamos “qué estamos dispuestos a ceder y cambiar por compartir el amor de Jesús con nuestros vecinos?”

Esto nos ha llevado a iniciar una serie de cambios bastante grandes que incluyó terminar con nuestro tiempo como Iglesia Menonita de Beatriz y relanzarnos como una iglesia nueva. Eso significa un nombre nuevo, una misión renovada, formas nuevas de adorar y crecer en nuestra fe juntos, y un edificio renovado. ¡Hemos estado trabajando en esto y preparándonos para nuestro gran relanzamiento el domingo de Pascua, el 12 de abril!

Como se puede imaginar, eso no sucedió. No hemos relanzado. No hemos terminado el trabajo para prepararnos para el relanzamiento. Todavía tenemos el nombre y el letrero de nuestra iglesia anterior. El domingo de Pascua tuvimos una reunión total en persona de cero. ¡Esto no es lo que habíamos planeado!

Nosotros, como casi todas las demás iglesias, estamos atascados en este lugar intermedio de espera. Y mientras esperamos, todos intentamos adaptarnos a las realidades nuevas que se nos presentaron durante este tiempo de COVID-19. Contemplando lo que veo a mi alrededor, me ha animado mucho el buen trabajo que nuestras iglesias de la WDC han estado haciendo en respuesta a estos tiempos tan extraños. Hemos tenido que ser creativos, imaginativos y técnicamente inteligentes en oración, todo mientras aprendemos y probamos cosas nuevas.

Uno de mis amigos que está ayudando a consultar con el relanzamiento de nuestra iglesia me dijo que un relanzamiento de una iglesia o una nueva plantación requiere que sus líderes sean flexibles y capaces de cambiar en el camino. Nunca se sabe exactamente qué va a obtener cada semana, y eso está bien. Así que, de alguna manera, mientras experimentamos este momento de incertidumbre, todos tenemos que actuar como plantación nueva de iglesia. Todos estamos aprendiendo a ser algo nuevo.

Es mi oración y mi esperanza de que este tiempo de incertidumbre nos ayude a cambiar para mejor. Espero que no solo regresemos al estatus quo de lo que era antes, sino que veamos que nuestras iglesias continúan apoyándose en nuestra creatividad e imaginación mientras buscamos crecer a medida que seguimos a Jesús en nuestras comunidades, mientras invitamos que otros sigan a nuestro lado.

¿Qué estaremos dispuestos a renunciar y cambiar para compartir el amor de Jesús con nuestros vecinos? Amigos, ¿cómo los está llamando Dios a cambiar?

WDC announcements

  1. Western District Conference invites contributions to the new WDC Hope Fundwhich has been established to receive contributions and offer grants to WDC congregations most impacted by the coronavirus.   In some congregations, bi-vocational pastors and church members have lost jobs due to the pandemic, and are facing difficulty meeting daily expenses.  Gifts to the WDC Hope Fund will allow WDC to provide grants to congregations  to distribute where most needed – whether to meet church expenses, continue pastoral support, or help with rent and groceries for church members.  Make contributions to WDC designated “Hope Fund.”  You can give online at  https://mennowdc.org (Click on “Donate to WDC”) or send a check to WDC at PO Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117.    For more information and grant application forms for congregations, see https://mennowdc.org/wdc-hope-fund-response-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
  1. KLC Leadership (Virtual) Lunch: Thursday, April 23 from 12-1:15 pm.  To request a Zoom link for this virtual meeting, email: wdc@mennowdc.org.  Each month a leadership competency is presented and we will practice teaching it to the group.  You are welcome if you have attended a Kansas Leadership Center training or if you are curious to learn more.
  1. Do you have “seeds” to share?  What creative idea or experiment that is working for your congregation during this time of coronavirus?  Each issue of the WDC Garden(quarterly newsletter) in 2020 features some “seeds” – brief highlights from congregations about new initiatives, creative ideas, missional practices and connections within WDC.  If you have some “seeds” to suggest for consideration in the Garden, please send a note to WDC at wdc@mennowdc.org!

¿Tienes “semillas” para compartir?  ¿Qué idea creativa o experiencia que está funcionando para su congregación durante este tiempo de Coronavirus? Cada publicación del WDC Garden (boletín trimestral) en 2020 presenta algunas “Semillas”: un breves párrafo destacados nuevas iniciativas de las congregaciones sobre, ideas creativas, prácticas misionales y conexiones dentro de WDC.  Si tiene algunas “semillas” que quisiera sugerir para ser considerada en el “Jardín”, envíe una nota a WDC (wdc@mennowdc.org)!

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. The following are Camp Mennoscah’s 2020 Summer Staff, ready to share community and God’s love with you, whatever the summer looks like!  The summer staffers are Beth Balzer, Sarah Booth, Karina Brandt, Ethan Entz, Kyle Flickinger, Anna Lubbers, Seth Rudeen.  We are not giving summer staffers position titles at this time.
  1. Camp Mennoscah facilities and camp grounds will be closed at least until May 22.  Keep in touch on the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page and YouTube channel!  You can also reach us at 620-297-3290 or olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.org.  We will continue to update information on our website and social media sites, as well as through email.  Stay healthy!
  1. Send words!  Camp Mennoscah will create the 2020 tee shirt from three pairs of words representing important parts of Camp Mennoscah, serious or playful.  An example would be Gaga Ball, Verenike Casserole, Campfire Songs.   Send your ideas to olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.orgor send a message to the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page by April 30.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Covid-19 Resources from church-related agencies:

Mennonite Church USA  –  http://mennoniteusa.org/resource/resources-for-responding-to-covid-19/

Everence – https://www.everence.com/resources/supporting-you-during-the-covid-19-outbreak

Mennonite Central Committee – Resources for a time of uncertainty (COVID-19)

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary – Resources for hope and resilience

Eastern Mennonite Seminary – Navigating COVID-19 online forum series for pastors –https://emu.edu/seminary/forum-series

  1. Bring your child, grandchild or youth group to join in and see what God is doing in the city with DOOR Discover.  Volunteer with a local nonprofit and learn from local youth leaders about their communities and the ways that God’s spirit is at work.  Learn more at www.MennoniteMission.net/Serve/DOOR.
  1. Are you interested in considering transitional ministry?  Transitional Minister Training is scheduled for October 5-7, 2020 at Amigo Centre in MIchigan.  Transitional ministry has a unique place in the mission of the church. While “interim pastors” have provided preaching and pastoral care for many years, “transitional ministry” involves training to lead congregations through a process of preparation for entering a new chapter of leadership. Registration due Sept. 7.  Learn more at http://tmt.amigocentre.org/registration.htmlor contact Mandy at 269-651-2811 or mandy@amigocentre.org 

WDC Sprouts announcement guidelines:  Announcements pertain to Western District Conference (WDC) ministries and churches, institutions with which WDC has formal relationships, and Mennonite Church USA agencies and ministries.  

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

 

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