WDC Sprouts, April 6, 2021

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

April 6, 2021

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:

*Easter Forgiveness

*Announcements

*WDC Ministerial and Credential Announcements

Easter Forgiveness

by Jennie Wintermote, WDC Resource Library Director

In March, the WDC Resource Library’s Final Thursday Book Discussion was on Michele Hershberger’s book, Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does It Make?  The central question Michele addresses in this slim volume is “What does the death of Jesus mean, and how does that death affect individuals, communities, and the whole cosmos?”  She writes, “We long to become one with God, and we struggle to understand how Jesus being executed by Roman authorities more than two thousand years ago helps us do that.” (p. 10)

Perhaps more than any other day of the year, we celebrate this great mystery of atonement (the reality of being one with God) on Easter.  We joyfully celebrate the mystery of Jesus’ victory over death and the certainty that we can be one with God–forever.

On Easter, I also celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin.  While a student at Hesston College, I was exposed to the idea that one way to view sin as the brokenness (or broken relationships) that exist between us and God, us and others, within ourselves, and with the entirety of creation.  We certainly live in a broken world!

This Easter I was able to celebrate in new ways as I found the joy of forgiving another–not for their benefit, but for my own.  When, as a part of a healing journey, the time comes when we can courageously release brokenness and our own need for justice to our God of justice–we can experience the healing that is possible through the mystery of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  God can and does offer the healing of our brokenness, the healing of the sin in and around us–and that is Good News.

To explore for yourself what the death of Jesus means, and how that death affects individuals, communities, and the whole cosmos, contact the library to borrow a copy of the book–or the Book Bundle for Group Study and explore the text with others.  You’re also invited to join our Final Thursday Book Discussions.  On April 29, we will discuss Raising Disciples: How to Make Faith Matter for Our Kids by Natalie Frisk.  To sign up or borrow a copy of the book email: crlib@mennowdc.org

Perdón en Tiempo de Pascua  

En marzo, la Ultima Discusión de Libros del Jueves de la Biblioteca de Recursos de WDC se centró en el libro de Michele Hershberger, ¿Por qué murió Jesús y qué diferencia hace? La pregunta central que Michele aborda en este pequeño volumen es “¿Qué significa la muerte de Jesús y cómo afecta esa muerte a los individuos, las comunidades y todo el cosmos?” Ella escribe: “Anhelamos ser uno con Dios, y luchamos por entender cómo Jesús fue ejecutado por las autoridades romanas hace más de dos mil años nos ayuda a hacer eso”. (pág.10)

Quizás más que cualquier otro día del año, celebramos este gran misterio de expiación (la realidad de ser uno con Dios) en Pascua. Celebramos con alegría el misterio de la victoria de Jesús sobre la muerte y la certeza de que podemos ser uno con Dios, para siempre.

En Pascua, también celebro la victoria de Jesús sobre el pecado. Mientras estudiaba en Hesston College, me expusieron a la idea de que una forma de ver el pecado como el quebrantamiento (o relaciones rotas) que existen entre nosotros y Dios, entre nosotros y los demás, dentro de nosotros mismos y con la totalidad de la creación. ¡Ciertamente vivimos en un mundo roto!

Esta Pascua pude celebrar de nuevas maneras al encontrar la alegría de perdonar a otros, no para su beneficio, sino para el mío. Cuando, como parte de un viaje de sanidad, llegue el momento en que podamos liberar valientemente el quebrantamiento y nuestra propia necesidad de justicia a nuestro Dios de justicia, podamos experimentar la sanidad que es posible a través del misterio de la vida, la muerte de Jesús, y resurrección. Dios puede ofrecer y ofrece la sanidad de nuestro quebrantamiento, la sanidad del pecado dentro y alrededor de nosotros, y esa es una buena noticia.

Para explorar por sí mismo lo que significa la muerte de Jesús y cómo esa muerte afecta a las personas, las comunidades y todo el cosmos, comuníquese con la biblioteca para pedir prestada una copia del libro o el Paquete de libros para estudio en grupo y explore el texto con otros. También está invitado a unirse a nuestras Discusión Final de Libros del Jueves. El 29 de abril, hablaremos sobre Criar Discípulos: Cómo Hacer que la Fe Sea Importante para Nuestros Hijos por Natalie Frisk. Para registrarse o pedir prestada una copia del libro, envíe un correo electrónico a:  crlib@mennowdc.org

WDC announcements

  1. WDC Hope Fund update:One year ago in April 2020, the WDC Executive Board established the Hope Fund to support WDC congregations and ministers in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  Since then, contributions of over $45,000 have been received, and grants totaling over $31,000 have been distributed to assist with expenses such as rent and repairs, utilities, groceries, pastoral support, medical expenses and mental health care.  Thanks be to God for the mutual support and generosity that has been shared through these funds!  In anticipation of future needs beyond the pandemic, the Executive Board recently approved an expansion of the Hope Fund guidelines, to also include assistance in times of natural disaster or similar emergencies, and to allow WDC commissions (in addition to congregations) to also apply for grants to assist congregations and ministers. The Board also approved a Hope Fund Task Force to continue administering the fund.  For more information, see the attached revised guidelines and application forms.  Gifts to the Hope Fund may be made online at https://mennowdc.org/  (click on “Donate to WDC) or by sending a check to PO Box 306, N. Newton, KS 67117.  Thank you!

Actualización del WDC Hope Fund: hace un año, en abril de 2020, la Junta Ejecutiva de WDC estableció el Hope Fund para apoyar a las congregaciones y ministros de WDC en respuesta al impacto de la pandemia de coronavirus. Desde entonces, se han recibido contribuciones de más de $45,000 y se han distribuido subvenciones por un total de más de $31,000 para ayudar con gastos como alquiler y reparaciones, servicios públicos, comestibles, apoyo pastoral, gastos médicos y atención de salud mental. ¡Gracias a Dios por el apoyo mutuo y la generosidad que se ha compartido a través de estos fondos! En anticipación a las necesidades futuras más allá de la pandemia, la Junta Ejecutiva aprobó recientemente una expansión de las pautas del Hope Fund, para incluir también asistencia en tiempos de desastres naturales o emergencias similares, y para permitir que las comisiones de WDC (además de las congregaciones) también soliciten subvenciones para ayudar a congregaciones y ministros. La Junta también aprobó un Grupo de Trabajo de Hope Fund para continuar administrando el fondo. Para obtener más información, consulte las pautas revisadas adjuntas y formas de solicitud. Las donaciones al Fondo Hope se pueden hacer en línea en https://mennowdc.org/

(haga clic en “Donar a WDC) o enviando un cheque a PO Box 306, N. Newton, KS 67117. ¡Gracias!

  1. All women and girls are invited to the Western District Women in Mission 2021 Spring Soiree Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm.  In lieu of attending our annual Spring Supper, gather with us for a virtual night of worship, music and a reflection on “Faith in Turbulent Times” offered by special guest speaker and freelance minister, Georgia Metz, M. Div. Special music will be provided by Erin Regier Graber and Addie Regier Kauffman. Email WDWM2021SpringSoiree@gmail.com

to register ASAP. A zoom link will be sent to registered participants prior to the event.  (See attached flyer.)

  1. Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS, is pleased to host the Service of Ordination for Lead Pastor Caleb Yoderon Sunday, April 11, at 4:00 pm.  COVID precautions will be followed, including social distancing, required masks, and no congregational singing. A quartet will sing from the stage. Guests are welcome to join by livestream; email alexmenno@mtelco.net for the Zoom link. 
  1. Church Replanting – Discerning God’s Call to Change – Zoom conversation – APRIL 21, 11:00 AM

God is continuing to call God’s church to change so that we can better embody our Jesus-given mission. Perhaps the Spirit is already moving in your heart: Have you been longing to implement changes resulting in deeper discipleship, while inviting and welcoming others into the way of Jesus?  But how can we do that if we have become stuck in what was and what has been?  How can we prayerfully approach healthy changes as a community for the sake of the Gospel?  Join members of the WDC Church Planting Commission for a Zoom conversation and discussion on these topics and more on April 21 at 11:00 am.  Tim Amor, pastor at Beatrice (NE) Mennonite Church, will share his congregation’s ‘replanting’ story and engage our own exploration into how God’s Spirit is moving within us and the congregations we serve, considering guiding questions such as:

  •  What are you willing to change so that you and your church can better embody and share the love of Jesus?
    ·  What are you not willing to change?
    ·  How can we better disciple and invite others to join with us in orienting all of life toward the radical love of Jesus?

WDC Ministerial and Credential announcements

Gail Graber, Chaplain at Bethesda Home & Retirement Center in Goessel, KS, has announced a retirement date of May 27.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Camp Mennoscah is seeking a full-time Director of Development, Marketing & Communications to lead our ongoing operational and advancement needs.  More information at www.campmennoscah.org.  Applications accepted until the position is filled; early submission encouraged.  Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to campmennojobs@att.net.
  2. Men and Boys Retreat, April 16-18, at Camp Mennoscah! Come to Camp Mennoscah for time for fishing, canoeing, worshiping, sitting by the fire, or visiting with friends in fellowship.  No pre-registration. Registration and payment will take place upon arrival. For more information contact Kevin Neufeld at 316-322-5515.
  1. It’s time to finish the Campfire Amphitheater at Camp Mennoscah!  Work days are scheduled for the following days: April 9 to 10, April 24, May 15.  Bring a lunch and water bottle with you when you come, and plan to arrive at the North cabin area to check in around 9:00 am. Email office@campmennoscah.orgor call 620-297-3290 to volunteer for this project.  Let us know by the Tuesday before!

4,  Looking for kitchen staff and nurses!  Camp Mennoscah is filling volunteer and stipend positions for kitchen staff and nurses for the upcoming 2021 summer.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at office@campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290 for available weeks and details.  Kitchen staff can receive a scholarship up to full camp fees for their camper.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Bethel College Women’s Association invites donationsto help purchase two earth-friendly water refill stations for the Bethel campus. The stations will accommodate water bottles, and cost $890 each. Donate at bcwamarketonline.com by April 30, 2021. Thank you for your support!
  1. Join the Civil Rights Learning tour with Youth Venture! You will visit places of historical significance, hear stories and learn why our faith calls us to stand against injustice and with the oppressed. Visit MennoniteMission.net/YouthVenture to learn more.  Deadline is May 1! 
  1. Interested in short-term service opportunities? Ask us about SOOP! We’d love to speak with your congregation about the awesome service opportunities that we can provide through SOOP. Contact LaurenEH@MennoniteMission.netfor more information.
  1. Serve with Literacy Connects through MVS in Tucson! Help connect people of all ages to a world of opportunities through literacy and creative expression. Visit MennoniteMission.net/MVS to learn more.
  1. After living in sanctuary at Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church for three years, Edith Espinal was finally able to move back into her own home with her family in February. Celebrate with the Espinal family by reading Edith Espinal’s story here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/news/edith-espinal/

    6.  The Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) recently met and provided feedback on four proposed resolutions, concerning the denomination’s Membership Guidelines, inclusion of LGBTQIA people, accessibility for people with disabilities, and justice in the U.S. criminal legal system. Read more here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/clc-resolutions

    7.  Please pray for the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA, which is gathering for a virtual meeting on April 16-17. The Executive Board meets two or three times per year, setting the vision and guiding the direction of the denomination.

    8.  What is the Voices Together committee doing now? How did the name “Voices Together” originate? What were some of the most difficult decisions the Voices Together committee had to make concerning certain hymns? Katie Graber answers these questions and more in her blog, “Answers to your Voices Together questions.” https://www.mennoniteusa.org/vt-questions

    9.  Read Mennonite Church USA’s convention newsletter to meet the worship team for MennoCon21 and get the latest updates on Mennonite Church USA’s first hybrid convention to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, and online on July 6-10. https://www.mennoniteusa.org/mennocon21-march-letter

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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