April 5, 2016

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)


*”Come & Read” Learning Tour


Join us on a “Come & Read” Learning Tour

     by Jennie Wintermote, WDC Library Director

As four representatives from Western District participate in the Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Central Committee sponsored “Come and See” learning tour to Israel/Palestine, I invite you to come visit the WDC Resource Library to do some learning of your own about Israel/Palestine.  From April 1-13, Anita Kehr, (moderator-elect), Heidi Regier Kreider (conference minister), Jonathan Wenger (member of First Mennonite Church,  Hutchinson) and Bill Zuercher (office volunteer) are traveling throughout the region and learning more about the current realities.

Come to the library and read one of the books learning tour participants read in preparation for this trip, or another book about the area.  We also have several DVDs on the conflict in the area and historical background.  You can find a list of resources on display at http://mennowdc.booksys.net/opac/crl/index.html?mode=main#search:ExpertSearch?BookbagID=362

Let’s all take some time to learn together about the pain in this part of the world. As the MC USA website says, “We long for right relationships and a peace that serves the well-being and flourishing of all, whether Israeli, Palestinian, Jew, Muslim or Christian”.  May we be an active part of seeking healing and hope for Israel/Palestine.

P.S.  Also currently on display: Resources to celebrate Pentecost (May 15), new fiction (50+ titles), new nonfiction/Christian living (100+ titles), new children’s items, and children’s spring favorites.

WDC Announcements

  1. Associate Conference Minister (KS-based): Western District Conference is pleased to announce that Kathy Neufeld Dunn has accepted an invitation to serve as Associate Conference Minister (KS-based) beginning July 1, 2016. In this 3/4 time position she will serve as staff liaison to WDC Resource Commission and work with the Resource Library Director to equip congregations in ministries such as faith formation, worship, witness, peace & justice, healthy community and prevention of sexual abuse. She will also assist the Conference Minister in relating to pastors and congregations in NE, KS and OK; and coordinate planning of annual assembly when it takes place in the north section of WDC. Kathy will serve as Interim 2016 Assembly Planning Director beginning in April, until she begins her new position in July.  Kathy has been pastor at First Mennonite Church in McPherson since 2006, and is concluding a term as chair of the WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission.  She was previously intentional interim pastor at Peace Mennonite Church (Lawrence, KS), and pastor at Shalom Community Church (Ann Arbor, MI), has served as as a pastor-review consultant in WDC, and done training in mediation and conflict transformation.  Please pray for Kathy as she prepares for this transition to new ministry.
  1. RSVP by April 14 for the WDC Reference Council on April 23 at First Mennonite Church in Beatrice, NE.  See more information at:  https://mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/#2016fallReference.
  1. Men and Boys retreat at Camp Mennoscah is April 15-17. All ages are welcome at camp on Friday with registration beginning at 9am on Saturday.  Come out and stay in a cabin, staff house, tent, RV, or sleep under the stars.  You can bring your own food, and/or meals (Saturday supper through Sunday lunch) are available for purchase.  John Tyson will be our speaker for the weekend.  No preregistration needed.  If you have questions you can contact Kevin Neufeld at 316-322-5515 or kevinneufeld2@gmail.com. This guys-only retreat is a hootin’ good time!
  1. Hi, retirees of all ages! Our rollicking good-time Retirees Relaxation Retreat at Camp Mennoscah is April 25-27 (note this is the correct date, last week’s Sprouts incorrectly said March 25-27). and is on the theme of Mennonites in Early Kansas.  There will be times for Bible Study, music, presentations, and most definitely coffee breaks throughout the day.  It’s a chance to join with others and to relax and revel in creation.  Invite a friend to share in the fun!  Call 620-297-3290 for a brochure or register online at www.campmennoscah.org.
  1. It’s so AWESOME! We think Camp Mennoscah’s summer youth camps are awesome and can’t be missed.  Our summer theme is Fearless Faith: Courage in Community.  Know someone who would benefit from a camp experience?  Bring a Friend for a free tee shirt!  Scholarships for summer youth camps are also available.  Early Registration discount ends May 1!  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or register online at www.campmennoscah.org.  Awesomeness is just around the corner!
  1. The Camp Mennoscah Board of Directors invites you to a fundraising meal for the Kitchen/Dining Hall Renovation on April 23 at 5:30pm in the Camp Mennoscah dining hall. There will be music by Book of JEBB and a meal of favorite camp foods served by the Board.  Renovation plans will be available to preview and you can meet Jerry Kroeker, the new executive director.  Please RSVP by April 15 to 620-297-9014 or office@campmennoscah.org.

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. Hello Western District Pastors! I want to extend an invitation to all of you to register for a Prayer and Scripture Continuing Education short course from AMBS-Kansas Center. This focuses on how Scripture shapes our prayer practices.  It will be 2 hours (9:30-11:30) on Saturday April 9, 16, 23, and 30 and will meet in Wichita, KS. The registration fee is ONLY $50 (a savings of $150) as WDC Resource Commission has generously agreed to help sponsor this short course.  Registration and more information is available at:  https://www.ambs.edu/academics/kansas-center-non-credit.cfm
  1. Participation, Power and Process; Why Polity Matters, taught by Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv and Willard Metzger, PhD, April 13-May 24, 2016. This course will provide students with an overview of the structure, organization, governance, foundational documents, vision and goals, decision-making processes, leadership and identity markers of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. In this course students will come to understand what polity is and why it matters. We will consider strengths and challenges that arise in a Mennonite polity as the church makes decision and tends relationships among all the parts of the church. Students will also engage the question of how polity is shaped to support the church in mission. The overall goal of this course is to increase our awareness and understanding of the workings of the Mennonite Church, so that we may be more effective in our participation in and interactions with the church.   Janeen Bertsche Johnson is AMBS Campus Pastor and Administrative Faculty, and Willard Metzger is Mennonite Church Canada Executive Director.  Cost: $250. Participants can earn 2.4 CEUs. (Limit: 20 students) Register at  https://www.ambs.edu/churchleadershipcenter/Anabaptist-short-courses.cfm.
  1. Attention all MCC Alumni! While enjoying the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale in Hutchinson on April 8 and 9, make sure to drop by the MCC booth (near the General Auction) for an MCC Alumni sticker and some MCC Bucks! The sticker is intended to help folks recognize you for your work with Mennonite Central Committee done in the U.S. or overseas! The MCC Bucks are our gift to you, spend them at the sale to purchase anything you’d like! They’re just a small token of our appreciation for your service in the name of Christ. See you this weekend!
  1. Webinar: Greg Boyd on Anabaptism:  Engaging Mauricio Chenlo on Mennonite Church Planting:  Thursday, April 14, 2-3:30 pm EDT. Boyd, senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Chenlo, denominational minister of church planting for Mennonite Church USA, will discuss Neo-Anabaptist church planting efforts and innovative church planting in the Mennonite world.  Learn more and register online by noon on April 13 at www.ambs.edu/churchleadershipcenter/webinars.cfm.  Your first webinar is free if you register at least five days in advance.  Successive webinars cost is $20 (at least five days in advance) or $30 (if less than five days in advance).
  1. Anabaptist healthcare professionals! Deadline extended!  Come to the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) 2016 Annual Gathering, the weekend of June 17-19 at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado.  The theme is “Wholeness and Holiness:  Views from the Mountaintop”.  Featured speaker is noted Denver psychiatrist, professor, and author, Abraham Nussbaum, speaking on “The Renewal of Medicine and Christian Spirituality”.  Anyone interested is invited, especially persons from medical, mental health, therapy, and chaplaincy professions, including students and retirees.  Bring the family to a beautiful mountain setting; a Children and Youth Program is provided!  Registration deadline is extended to April 30; details at www.mennohealth.org/gathering or call 1-888-406-3643.

 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