WDC Sprouts, August 25, 2020

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

August 25, 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:

*Rethinking the Migration Narrative

*Prayer requests

*Coming Events

*Announcements

Rethinking the Migration Narrative

by Raylene Hinz Penner, WDC Immigration Task Force Member

The WDC Immigration Task Force introduces its first piece in a series of thought pieces, mindful of immigrants among us without a voice this election season.  They seek to make visible what is too often invisible with regard to immigrant lives and immigration issues.  “Rethinking the Migration Narrative,” will be followed by “Biblical Stories of Migration,” referencing Danny Carroll’s recent presentations to the WDC Assembly;  “Positions on Immigration Issues of the 2020 Presidential Candidates;” and “Voices of Our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters.”   Future thought pieces will be introduced in Sprouts and offered in full length on the immigration issues website:  mennoniteswithoutborders.org/resources

Rethinking the Migration Narrative:  Science journalist Sonia Shah’s 2020 book titled The Next Great Migration dives into deep time to remind us that migration is not a crime.  Migration is the way of existence, completely natural and intuitive, indeed, healthy and necessary among all plants, animals and humans. Migration is encoded in human bodies, just as it is in any wild species, according to Shah’s research.  When did we begin to demonize the human act of moving? When did we begin believing the impossible to explain by any single cause movement of peoples exceptional or problematic?

Shah demonstrates that the more relevant question for humankind today is what are we going to do about the global movement of peoples?  We need a creative alternative to the building of walls to blockade the movements of over 4 billion people around the world.  Walls never work.  The very forces of nature tear them down. Creative and desperate people, animals, and insects fly over them, scale them, dig beneath them, or slip between the rungs.

Anyone who looks through the massive and expensive construction of a 30-foot “fence” between Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieto, Mexico can see that the arroyos gather debris to float during the next gully washing rain and tear down the barrier if it were not for the constant care and maintenance necessary to clean out beneath the metal fence and quickly open the gates for the water and debris to sweep through.  “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” says the natural world (and Robert Frost).  And, in the U.S. and around the world, fences only deflect and redirect the movement of people, plants and animals; such humanmade constructions do not stop that movement!

Environmentalists work hard to offer safe passage to endangered species by building green corridors as assistance for migrating animals.  Shah imagines that nations and communities might have the compassion to offer the same for people:  “It is possible to envision a world in which people, too, safely move across the landscape. . . . so that migration can become more regular and orderly . . . safe, dignified, humane.”

Shah’s argument is that humanity must refuse to criminalize a natural act and instead, think creatively about how to assist the movement of peoples the earth over, as environmentalists assist endangered species.  “If we were to accept migration as integral to life on a dynamic planet with shifting and unevenly distributed resources, there are any number of ways we could proceed. . . . We can continue to think of this as a catastrophe.  Or we can reclaim our history of migration and our place in nature as migrants like the butterflies and the birds.  We can turn migration from a crisis into its opposite:  the solution.”
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DEL CUERPO ESPECIAL DE INMIGRACIÓN DE LA WDC:
     by Raylene Hinz Penner, WDC Immigration Task Force Member

El Grupo de Trabajo de Inmigración de WDC presenta su primera pieza de una serie de piezas de pensamiento, teniendo en cuenta a los inmigrantes entre nosotros sin voz en esta temporada de elecciones. Buscamos hacer visible lo que a menudo es invisible con respecto a la vida de los inmigrantes y los problemas de inmigración. “Repensar la narrativa de la migración”, será seguido por “Historias bíblicas de la migración”, haciendo referencia a las presentaciones recientes de Danny Carroll en la Asamblea de la WDC; “Perspectivas sobre cuestiones de inmigración de los candidatos presidenciales de 2020”; y “Voces de nuestros hermanos y hermanas inmigrantes”. Los artículos de reflexión futuros se presentarán en Sprouts y se ofrecerán en su totalidad en el sitio web sobre cuestiones de inmigración: mennoniteswithoutborders.org/resources

Repensar la narrativa de la migración: el libro de 2020 de la periodista científica Sonia Shah titulado The Next Great Migration (La próxima gran migración) estudia tiempo histórico para recordarnos que la migración no es un delito. La migración es la forma de existencia, completamente natural e intuitiva, de hecho, saludable y necesaria entre todas las plantas, los animales y humanos. La migración está codificada en los cuerpos humanos, al igual que en cualquier especie salvaje, según la investigación de Shah. ¿Cuándo empezamos a demonizar el acto humano de trasladarse? ¿Cuándo empezamos a creer lo imposible para explicar el movimiento de pueblos como excepcional o problemático?

Shah demuestra que la pregunta más relevante para la humanidad de hoy es ¿qué vamos a hacer con el movimiento global de gente? Necesitamos una alternativa creativa a la construcción de muros para bloquear los movimientos de más de 4 mil millones de personas en todo el mundo. Los muros nunca funcionan. Las mismas fuerzas de la naturaleza los derriban. Personas, animales e insectos creativos y desesperados vuelan sobre ellos, los escalan, cavan debajo de ellos o se deslizan entre las grietas.

Cualquiera que mire a través de la enorme y costosa construcción de una “cerca” de 30 pies entre Douglas, Arizona y Agua Prieto, México, puede ver que los arroyos recogen escombros para flotar durante el próximo aguacero y que derriba la barrera si no fuera por el cuidado y mantenimiento constantes necesarios para limpiar debajo de la cerca de metal y para abrir rápidamente las puertas para que el agua y los escombros pasen. “Hay algo que no ama un muro”, dice el mundo natural (y el poeta Robert Frost). En los EE. UU. como en todo el mundo, las cercas solo desvían y redirigen el movimiento de personas, plantas y animales; ¡Tales construcciones hechas por humanos no detienen ese movimiento!

Los ambientalistas trabajan arduamente para ofrecer un paso seguro a las especies en peligro de extinción mediante la construcción de corredores verdes como ayuda para los animales migratorios. Shah imagina que las naciones y las comunidades podrían tener la compasión de ofrecer lo mismo a las personas: “Es posible imaginar un mundo en el que las personas también pueden trasladarse de manera segura por el paisaje. . . . para que la migración sea más regular y ordenada. . . segura, digna, humana”.

El argumento de Shah es que la humanidad debe negarse a criminalizar un acto natural y, en cambio, pensar de manera creativa sobre cómo ayudar al movimiento de las personas en la tierra, como los ambientalistas ayudan a las especies en peligro de extinción. “Si aceptáramos que la migración sea una parte integral de la vida en un planeta dinámico con recursos cambiantes y distribuidos de manera desigual, podríamos proceder de muchas formas. . . . Podemos seguir pensando en esto como una catástrofe. O podríamos recuperar nuestra historia de migración y nuestro lugar en la naturaleza como migrantes igual que las mariposas y los pájaros. Podríamos convertir la migración de una crisis en su opuesto: la solución”.

Prayer Requests

Sept 6 – Pray for Gabriel Pennington as he is installed today as pastor at Southern Hills Mennonite Church, a WDC congregation in Topeka, KS.

Sept 13 – Pray for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, guidance and joy for Lois Barrett, as she begins serving as the new moderator for WDC.

Sept 20 – Pray for the WDC Executive Board, Commissions, Gifts Discernment Committee and staff as they meet online next Saturday for Reference Council, a time for orientation and reflection together on common mission and priorities for the coming year.

Sept 27 – Pray for the WDC Church Planting Commission and church planters as they listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading for church development in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

Coming Events

Due to COVID-19 concerns, all meetings are being held via Zoom video conference until further notice.

Sept 1 – WDC Executive Committee meeting

Sept 2 – WDC Israel Palestine Task Force meeting

Sept 7 – WDC Office closed for Labor Day holiday

Sept 9 – WDC Church Planting Commission meeting

Sept 10 – WDC Executive Board meeting

Sept 17 – WDC Resource Commission meeting

Sept 26 – WDC Reference Council

Oct 13 – WDC Healthy Boundaries 101 training

Oct 30 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission meeting

WDC announcements

  1. Join the conversation at the WDC Leadership Lunchat 12 noon on Thursday, August 27.  Clayton Gladdish will lead the Kansas Leadership Center leadership concept of “Raising and Lowering the Heat” in a congregation.  Email wdc@mennowdc.org for a Zoom link to join.
  1. Preschool Story Hourat the Conference Resource Library returns this fall with VIRTUAL LIVE story hours full of stories, rhymes, and craft ideas on Tuesdays at 10:00am and Thursdays at 3:30pm. Tuesday and Thursday sessions will be different, join us for one or both sessions each week.  Story Hour will start Tuesday, September 8 and be geared toward ages 3-5.  Story Hour will be led by Library Director Jennie Wintermote and will be shorter than our Summer Story Hour.  Register at https://forms.gle/vpk7DXRwwHAbSo5A7 and contact Jennie with any questions at crlib@mennowdc.org.
  1. WDC Fall Reference Council:   All members of WDC Executive Board, the four Commissions, Gifts Discernment Committee and staff are invited to WDC Reference Council on the morning of Saturday, September 26, 2020 via zoom video-conference.  This will be a time for introductions, orientation and review of WDC’s work, and collaboration to implement WDC’s mission and ministry together.  More details and registration information will be sent to participants closer to the date.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be a one-day event on Monday, September 7.  This retreat is for those affected by mental illness, including friends and family.  Activities will be outside.  We will follow social distancing and mask guidelines.  Please bring a mask with you.  Those interested in attending the retreat should contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.
  1. Limited number of openings! Camp Mennoscah’s Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats will take place on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 and Nov. 6-8.  Masks and physical distancing guidelines will be followed and the facility used has been changed.  More spaces will be opened as determined safe and feasible, so put your name on the waitlist!  Register online at campmennoscah.org!  Call 620-297-3290 for further information.
  1. Camp Mennoscah welcomes guests!  Camping areas and cabins are open to guests/groups for overnight stays and day visits.  Spend time in the river, have a campfire cookout, and enjoy the open spaces of the tallgrass prairie and the Ninnescah River!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation and to inquire about use of additional facilities.  We can’t wait to see you!

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Curious about church planting or re-planting? Join the next Sent Network cohort and learn how to explore, equip, and be sent to spread the word of God! Visit MennoniteMission.net/SentNetwork to learn more and save your spot!
  2. The Mennonite Heritage and Cultural Museum in Goessel, KS, has an ongoing display of Marie and Martha Voth’s Wheat Marquetry Art till the end of September. Over 25 larger works (both paintings and wheat art) and many, many smaller items and greeting cards. Museum Hours are Tues. through Sat. 10 am – 5 pm. Regular admission applies and free admission for museum members.
  1. The 2020 issue of Mennonite Life, Bethel College’s online journal, is live at ml.bethel ks.edu, with articles and reviews by Alain Epp Weaver, Ben Nobbs-Thiessen, Ben Woodward-Breckbill, Cheryl Denise, Christopher Reed, Emma Beachy, Jason Schmidt, Joanne Lehman, Joyce Zuercher, Julia Kasdorf, Keith Sprunger, Lisa Schirch, Marc Gopin, Melanie Zuercher and Raylene Hinz-Penner.
  1. For the health and safety of participants and the wider community, Life Enrichment at Bethel College is canceled for the fall 2020 semester.
  1. Bethel College Women’s Association has worked to raise money for Bethel for many years.  This August we are opening our first online store, www.bca marketonline.com.  We invite you to help us support Bethel by checking this online market for crafts, jewelry, Bethel-themed items and much more. Our inventory will change over time so please check in to find that special gift or item for your home.  If circumstances allow, on September 1 we will begin accepting orders for baked goods to be picked up on Fall Fest weekend, October 1-3.  Please check the website for updated information.

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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