WDC Sprouts, April 28, 2020

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

April 28, 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:

*On the road with Jesus /  En el camino con Jesús

*Prayer requests

*Coming Events

*Announcements

On the road with Jesus

by Heidi Regier Kreider, Conference Minister

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, I hear people wondering how we will emerge beyond this experience.  We realize we cannot “go back” to what life was like before, and yet – in the midst of loss, disorientation and uncertainty – it is difficult to envision or plan for the future.

During this Easter season, the two disciples’ encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:3-13-35) offers us a lens through which to view our experience.

As the disciples walk along, they are still in shock from the trauma of Jesus’ crucifixion – a tragedy they could not have predicted just months earlier.  And then, as the risen Jesus joins them on the road, they also struggle to realize new possibilities they could never have imagined before: New ways of seeing Jesus, new interpretations of scripture, and new understandings of familiar practices.

At first, their sadness, grief and shock don’t allow them to see who is with them and what that might mean for them.  Then, the gift of Jesus’ presence, words and actions gradually open their eyes to a new future.  As we walk the path of grief and disorientation, Jesus’ presence with us also invites us to open our minds, hearts and eyes to what is emerging before us. Here are some questions to consider:

  • “Jesus himself came near…” – How is Jesus present with us in this experience?  Where do we miss – or recognize – his presence?
  • “He said to them, ‘What are you discussing with with each other while you walk along?’”  – What are we talking about in the midst of our experience with coronavirus? How are we listening to the perspectives of other people during this time?
  • “When he was at table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” – What are we learning about the significance of familiar practices such as worship and Bible study, conversation together, hospitality for strangers, and sharing food with others?
  • “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” – How might this experience help us to understand scripture in new ways?
  • “They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed…!’” – What new life might we discover on the other side of loss and disruption?  How might this current disorientation allow us to see new realities we could not have imagined before?

As we continue this coronavirus journey, may we sense the risen Christ accompanying us on the road, teaching us and sharing daily bread with us, envisioning the future together.

———————————

En el camino con Jesús

    Por: Heidi Regier Kreider, Ministra de Conferencia

A medida que continúa la pandemia del Coronavirus, escucho a la gente preguntarse cómo surgiremos más allá de esta experiencia. Nos damos cuenta de que no podemos “volver” a cómo era la vida antes y, sin embargo, en medio de la pérdida, la confusión y la incertidumbre, es difícil imaginar o planificar para el futuro.

Durante esta temporada de Pascua, el encuentro de los dos discípulos con Jesús resucitado en el camino a Emaús (Lucas 24: 3-13-35) nos ofrece un lente para reflexionar en nuestra propia experiencia.

Mientras los discípulos caminan, todavía están conmocionados por el trauma de la crucifixión de Jesús, una tragedia que no se podrían haber predicho solo unos meses antes. Y luego, cuando Jesús resucitado se une a ellos en el camino, estos también luchan por darse cuenta de nuevas posibilidades que nunca podrían haber imaginado antes: nuevas formas de ver a Jesús, nuevas interpretaciones de las Escrituras y nuevas interpretaciones de las prácticas familiares.

Al principio, su tristeza, pena y conmoción no les permite ver quién está con ellos y lo que esto significa para ellos. Luego, el don de la presencia, palabras y acciones de Jesús gradualmente abren sus ojos a un nuevo futuro. Mientras recorremos el camino del dolor y la confusión, la presencia de Jesús con nosotros también nos invita a abrir nuestras mentes, corazones y ojos a lo que está surgiendo ante nosotros. Aquí hay algunas preguntas para considerar:

  • “Jesús mismo se acercó …” – ¿Cómo está Jesús presente con nosotros en esta experiencia? ¿Dónde extrañamos, o reconocemos, su presencia?
  • “Él les dijo:” ¿De qué están discutiendo entre ustedes mientras caminan? “” – ¿De qué estamos hablando en medio de nuestra experiencia con el Coronavirus? ¿Cómo estamos escuchando las perspectivas de otras personas durante este tiempo?
  • “Cuando estaba en la mesa con ellos, tomó pan, lo bendijo, lo partió y se lo dio. Luego se les abrieron los ojos y lo reconocieron. – ¿Qué estamos aprendiendo sobre la importancia de las prácticas familiares, como la adoración y el estudio de la Biblia, la conversación juntos, la hospitalidad con extraños y el compartir comida con otros?
  • “¿No ardían nuestros corazones dentro de nosotros mientras nos hablaba en el camino, mientras nos abría las Escrituras?” – ¿Cómo podría ayudarnos esta experiencia a entender las Escrituras de nuevas maneras?
  • “Decían:” ¡Ha resucitado el Señor verdaderamente…! “- ¿Qué vida nueva podríamos descubrir al otro lado de la pérdida y la dificultad? ¿Cómo podría este desconcierto actual permitirnos ver nuevas realidades que no podríamos haber imaginado antes?

A medida que continuamos este viaje de Coronavirus, podemos sentir al Cristo resucitado que nos acompaña en el camino, enseñándonos y compartiendo el pan diario con nosotros, imaginando el futuro juntos.

Prayer Requests

May 3 – Pray for generous contributions to be given to the WDC Hope Fund, to enable support for congregations facing financial hardship due to the impact of coronavirus.

May 10 – Pray for children and youth and their leaders and parents in WDC congregations, as they plan for the conclusion of a school year disrupted by coronavirus.

May 17 – Pray for WDC pastors as they lead and care for congregations in the midst of uncertain and stressful times.

May 24 –  Pray for the WDC Gifts Discernment Committee as it continues to select nominees for the WDC Executive Board and Commissions.

May 31 –  Give thanks for collaborative efforts among WDC congregations as they have responded to the impact of coronavirus through sharing resources, planning joint initiatives and supporting each other.

Coming Events

Due to Covid-19 concerns, all meetings of WDC Executive Board, Commissions and Committees are being held via Zoom video conference until further notice.

May 7 – WDC Executive Board meeting

May 13 – WDC Gifts Discernment Committee meeting

May 14 – WDC Immigration Task Force meeting

May 14 – WDC Church Planting Commission meeting

May 19 – WDC Stewardship Commission meeting

May 21 – Youth Pastors meeting

May 21 – WDC Resource Commission meeting

May 25 – Memorial Day Holiday

May 28 – WDC Executive Committee meeting

May 28 – WDC Leadership Lunch

June 1 – WDC Staff Relations Committee

June 9 – WDC Executive Board meeting

June 19 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission meeting

July 31-Aug 2 – WDC Annual Assembly

August 25 – WDC Stewardship Commission meeting

September 26 – WDC Reference Council

WDC announcements

Payroll Protection Program loan update:  As part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, the Payroll Protection Program has opened funding for another round of loans.  Everence has confirmed that the Small Business Administration has now released official guidance that does permit churches to include the portion of pastoral salary designated as housing allowance in their payroll calculation for purposes of the PPP loan amount.  (Note: This is relevant only for congregations that are still preparing a loan application, or already included housing allowance in their earlier loan application. A second loan application is not permitted.)  For more information, see https://www.everence.com/landing-pages/banking/ppp-loans

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Last Chance!  Send in your suggestions for the 2020 Camp Mennoscah tee shirt by April 30.  This year’s tee will have three pairs of words representing meaningful parts of Camp Mennoscah either serious or playful.  One example would be River Play, Friendship Bracelets, Campfire Worship.  Ideas can be sent to olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.orgor send a message to the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page!
  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.

Mennonite church announcements

Are you searching for hope? Let us help. Like @MennoniteMissionNet on Facebook to catch the Hope Series. See our Facebook banner for the streaming schedule.

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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