August 20, 2019

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)


*Be Calm


Be Calm

by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

Amid turbulent times, the need to remain calm and take control as much as possible is a must and a challenge. Remaining calm and gaining control will set the stage to think clearly and therefore to respond appropriately. Furthermore, one needs to avoid reacting at all cost but let’s face it, in such times and conditions like the ones in which we live in this is not always easy.

Nowadays, many people are facing discrimination and racism and if this were not enough, some are also experiencing family separation. To make matters worse, the increase of gun violence across the nation adds up to stormy and choppy waters in society.

Due to this cruel reality, I have asked myself: When will it end? Will this storm pass?

I was taught that in leadership, one needs to be ready for the storm, to be calmed and to calm those around us who are experiencing the storm as well.

Being calm does not mean to remain or being pushed to the sidelines. It does not mean ignoring the situation at hand by doing nothing and believing that the situation will go away by itself.

Rather, it seems to me that leadership means, despite fear and despair, facing our current situation and its reality with a head on approach to procure a societal tranformation.  It means challenging and contesting those realities like the Old Testament prophets did: denouncing sin and announcing God’s redemptive and transformative love.

In times of troubled waters, I have found hope in the fact that God and a community of faith had been by my side. This constitutes a support system that comforts my soul, body and mind in times of pain. Also, it became my life-compass to regain my “north” as I attempt to continue my life journey.

More than ever before, I think that there is this urgency to give evidence of being citizens of the kingdom of God. Also, living like sons and daughters of peace, is a must. I believe that true allegiance to Christ over social and political views is a real challenge and a decision to be made.

May the Spirit of Christ grant us the grace, strength and commitment to be instruments of peace, agents of transformation, vessels of reconciliation and beacons for hope for a better today and tomorrow.  “Be still, know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Manteniéndose en Calma
     by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

En tiempos turbulentos, la necesidad de mantener la calma y tomar el control tanto como sea posible es todo un desafío. Mantener la calma y ganar el control preparará el escenario para pensar con claridad y, por lo tanto, para responder adecuadamente. Además, uno debe evitar reaccionar a toda costa, pero seamos sinceros, esto no siempre es tan fácil, especialmente en tiempos y condiciones como en las que vivimos.

Hoy en día, hay personas, que no solo se enfrentan a la discriminación y el racismo, sino que como si esto fuera poco, continuan experimentando separaciones familiares y para acabar de ajustar, el incremento de la violencia armada que se vive en la nación se agrega a las aguas ya agitadas por la tormenta.

Debido a esta realidad cruel e impía, me he hecho varias preguntas, pero estas dos preguntas continúan llegando a lo profundo del corazón: ¿Cuándo terminará? ¿Escampará esta tormenta?

Me enseñaron que, en el liderazgo, uno debe estar preparado para la tormenta, estar tranquilo y calmar a quienes nos rodean pues también ellos están experimentando la tormenta.

Estar calmado no significa permanecer o ser empujado a los lados. No significa ignorar la situación actual, no hacer nada y pensar que la situación desaparecerá por sí sola.

Más bien, me parece que liderazgo significa enfrentar la situación y su realidad a pesar del miedo y la desesperación para procurar la transformación social.  Significa desafiar y cuestionar esas realidades como lo hicieron los profetas del Antiguo Testamento: denunciando el pecado con “toda su gloria” y anunciar el amor redentor y transformador de Dios.

En tiempos de aguas turbulentas, he encontrado esperanza en el hecho de que Dios y una comunidad de fe habían estado a mi lado. Esto constituye un sistema de apoyo que consuela mi alma, cuerpo y mente en momentos de dolor. Además, se convirtió en la brújula de mi vida para recuperar mi “norte” mientras intento continuar mi peregrinaje en la vida.

Creo que más que nunca, la urgencia de dar evidencia de ser ciudadanos del reino de Dios, hijos e hijas de la paz, es lo máximo. Creo que la verdadera lealtad a Cristo sobre los puntos de vista sociales y políticos es un verdadero desafío y una decisión a tomar.

Que el Espíritu de Cristo nos conceda la gracia, la fuerza y el compromiso de ser instrumentos de paz, agentes de transformación, vasos de reconciliación y faros de esperanza para un hoy y mañana mejor. “Estad quietos, conozcan que yo soy Dios” (Salmo 46:10).

WDC announcements

  1. KLC Leadership Lunch is CANCELLEDfor this Thursday. We will meet next on Thursday, September 26, 12-1:30 pm.
  1. Immigration Justice and You:WDC Immigration Task Force invites 1-2 people from every congregation to share in an immigration networking event Thursday, August 29, 7-8:30 pm at 2517 N Main St, North Newton, KS (WDC offices).  Share what your congregation is doing toward immigration justice.  What do you wish you were doing?  What kind of resources does your congregation want and need on this topic?  If you are at a distance, contact Nancy Funk to receive a link to join via Zoom.
  1. Beth Yoder, WDC Business Manager, is on maternity leave, but we still have her favorite books in the library!  Stop by the Conference Resource Library or check out her list at Beth Yoder (Business Manager).

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Spend a peaceful weekend at camp!  The Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be September 1-2.  The theme for the retreat is Living Peacefully!  Come support each other and enjoy fellowship, music, and worship.  This retreat is for individuals affected by mental illness, including family and friends. Register online at campmennoscah.orgor call 620-297-3290.
  1. Work & Play Day!  September 14 is the next Work & Play Day at Camp Mennoscah.  Join us for service, a simple lunch, and some free time in the afternoon (your choice).  Tasks available for all ages and skills.  Please help us be prepared for a great day by registering online at campmennoscah.orgor call us at 620-297-3290!  We love our volunteers!
  1. Come Celebrate Another Great Year at Camp Mennoscah! Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 22, for Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting! All are welcome to attend. Self-guided camp activities available beginning at 2:00 p.m., with a BBQ chicken supper beginning at 5:30. After supper, staff will share about the past year, and campers will reflect on their camp experiences. Also, enter your name to win one of several Camp Mennoscah prizes! Please register online at campmennoscah.orgto let us know you’re coming!

Mennonite church announcements

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, a partner of Mennonite Mission Network, will host an event on Sunday, August 25, 6:30 pm at First Mennonite Church, 429 E. 1st St., Newton, KS.  Come and enjoy pie and ice-cream, and hear reports on ministries in Africa.  Stan Graber of Hope for Congo, Chuck Regier of Congo Transport-to-Market Bicycle Project; and Rod Hollinger-Janzen, Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission Executive Coordinator, will share news about various efforts to accompany churches in Africa, including the vision for training literacy teachers for each of the DR Congo’s 1400 Mennonite congregations.  An offering will be received in support of these ministries. RSVP at 574-612-6091 or rod@aimmintl.org – or just show up!

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