August 28, 2018 

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)


*Groaning Evangelists

*Prayer Requests

*Coming Events


Groaning Evangelists

     by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister

As I listen to pastors and congregation members in WDC speaking about the daily challenges they face, I find myself thinking, “These are difficult times in which we live….”  Whether we are dealing with personal crises, dysfunctional relationships, congregational conflicts, or systemic forms of violence, abuse and oppression in our communities and world, we daily face the brokenness of human life.

In Romans 8, the Apostle Paul writes that “the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies…”

So, in this Year of Evangelism in WDC, we might consider ourselves to be “groaning evangelists.”  As we proclaim the good news of Jesus, we must also be honest about the not-so-good news of our human faults and failures.   As people of God’s promises, we confess that we are still a work in progress.   We lament the obstacles that stand in the way of God’s will, and we long for God’s wholeness in our lives and in the world.  God’s kingdom is already present among us, yet not fully realized.

Paul goes on, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.  And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

As we face the struggles and messiness of our own lives, families, congregations, wider community and world, let us remember this divine intercession that continuously holds all within God’s love and grace.

As people redeemed by God’s grace and called into continuing transformation, may we know that “in all things, God works together for good for those who love God, who are called according to God’s purpose.”  … neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Now that is good news!

Prayer Requests
Sept 2 – Pray for participants and leaders who will gather next weekend at Camp Mennoscah for the Mennonite Women and Girls’ Retreat.
Sept 9 – Pray for WDC congregations and groups participating in the Mennonite Church USA Journey Forward process, as they engage the Renewed Commitments document through study, worship and feedback.
Sept 16 – Pray for church planters in WDC, as they seek to nurture the seeds of new communities of faith.
Sept 23 – Pray for WDC’s Immigration Task Force, as they network congregations and provide resources for faithful responses to immigration concerns.
Sept 30 –  Give thanks for the WDC Resource Library, and pray that it would be a source of inspiration, growth and learning throughout the conference.

Coming Events
Sept 3 – Labor Day- WDC office closed

Sept 7-9 – Women & Girls Retreat, Camp Mennoscah

Sept 8 – WDC Executive Board meeting

Sept 28 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission meeting

Oct 11-13 – MC USA Constituency Leaders Council, Chicago, IL

Oct 20 – WDC Reference Council

Oct 25 – WDC Resource Commission meeting

Oct 26-27 – “Telling the Jesus Story” (Year of Evangelism testimony seminar), Dallas TX

Feb 9-10, 2019 – Know Jesus (Jr. High event), Hesston College

WDC announcements

Be Brave, Be Bold, Be You!  Women & Girls Retreat, September 7-9 at Camp Mennoscah – There’s still time to register.  There’s something for everyone.  Yoga, swimming, art, spiritual direction and much more!  Don’t miss it!  Open to all women and girls grade 3 and older.  Registration information at:  https://mennowdc.org/women-girls-retreat/

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Help us finish the playground at Camp Mennoscah!  The new slides and cable climber for the Whale playground have arrived and we need your help!  We will install them Thursday and Friday, August 30-31, and Friday, September 7, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day until finished. Please help us by volunteering for a day or half a day! Contact camp at 620-297-3290 or office@campmennoscah.org. Bring a friend!

    2. Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah, Sept. 2-3!  This retreat is for individuals affected by mental illness, including family members and friends.  Come support each other, have fun and enjoy being at camp.  Register online at campmennoscah.orgor call us at 620-297-3290 for a brochure.

    3.  Come one and all to Work & Play Camp!  From Sept. 21-25, we will be working and playing and having a grand time working on projects.  This is our service-oriented retreat with tasks for all skill levels and ability.  All ages are invited to come for a full or partial retreat.  No fees but donations are welcome.  Register online at campmennoscah.org or call us at 620-297-3290!

    4.  Camp Mennoscah is 70 years old–and thriving!  Come to camp on Sunday, September 23, as we dedicate The Whale playground and celebrate Camp Mennoscah’s 70th Anniversary at the Annual Meeting!  All are welcome to attend.  Events are part of the Work & Play Camp starting on Sept. 21.  Annual Meeting events begin with worship at 10amon Sunday with the Whale playground dedication at 5pm and annual meeting following.  Register online at campmennoscah.org to let us know you’re coming to celebrate with us!

    5.  Camp Mennoscah Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats will soon be here!  The Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are October 26-28 and November 2-4.  More information and register online at campmennoscah.org!  Further questions?  Call 620-297-3290.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. The Kansas City Mennonite Voluntary Service has three amazing volunteers headed to Rainbow Mennonite Church! This means our Mennonite Voluntary Support Board is in search for another car. If you have a vehicle to donate or sell at a reduced rate, please contact Jesse Graber at 316-283-0818 or mvskansascity@gmail.com
  1. Fall Festival at Bethel College in North Newton, KS will be on October 6!

–Donations needed for baked goods for the Market in the Round for at Bethel College Fall Festival:  1 dozen Zwieback, Peppernuts (2 cups in ziplock bag), cinnamon rolls, cookies, bars, brownies etc).  Baked goods can be dropped off at Luyken Fine Arts Center on Friday evening (10/5) or Saturday morning (10/6).
–The Bethel College Women’s Association Council  is seeking donations of pies for the Pie by the Slice Booth.  We are hoping to reach our goal of 70 pies!  Pies can be brought to the Student Center on Friday (10/5) between 4-7 pm, or by 9 am to the Pie Booth Saturday morning (10/6).  9″ disposable tins are suggested,  and please, no cream pies!

–Support Bethel College with your winning bid! The Bethel College Women’s Association will again feature a Silent Auction at Fall Fest.  Stop by the Fine Arts Center lobby from 9 am-1 pm to bid on artwork by Susan Bartel and Bob Regier, jewelry by Gail Lutsch, a table runner by Carol Peters, and vintage Mary Lou Goertzen plates.  Or, bid on a unique experience such as Dinner for 8 with President Jon Gering and Deborah Gering in Goerz House; season tickets to a BC sport of choice, plus a meet and greet with coaches; an “insider chat” with Wichita Symphony conductor Dan Hege, a Bethel grad; or a stay at Jerry and Leann Toews’ B&B including tours of amazing mechanical and furniture collections.  Bids close promptly at 1 pm. Come see us in the Fine Arts Center lobby to bid on these great items!

  1. Bethel College, North Newton KS, seeks an Alumni and Church Relations Coordinator.  The primary responsibilities of the Coordinator are to plan, coordinate, and execute three main events for Bethel College: Fall Festival, Alumni Heritage Weekend, and Choir Tour.  The Coordinator will play a supporting role in other advancement, development, alumni and church relations activities and assist in keeping alumni records up to date. Please complete an online applicationand submit a cover letter, resume, and minimum of three reference contacts to humanresources@bethelks.edu.  Applications will be reviewed beginning August 30 until filled.  EOE/AA
  1. The 28th annual Thresher Classic Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, at the award-winning Sand Creek Station course in Newton. This event is expected to draw more than 100 Bethel College alumni, supporters and businesses, with participants coming from as far away as Washington. Brad Kohlman, Bethel alumni development director, invites Bethel’s wider church community to participate in the tournament – by playing, volunteering or donating an item or service as a door a prize or for a silent auction. Contact Brad at bkohlman@bethelks.eduor 316-284-5357 if you have any questions, would like a registration form, or would like to volunteer on Sept. 15 or donate an item or service.
  1. Mennonite Disaster Service is seeking weekly volunteers for October, November and December 2018! Join us as individuals or groups to help those affected by disasters. We are working in the following locations: Lake County, CA; Pine Ridge, SD; Victoria County, TX; La Grange, TX; Fort Myers, FL; West Virginia; Williams Lake, BC; and Puerto Rico. Serve with a positive and Christ-like heart using your trade skills or learning new skills on the job. To serve with us, contact Deanna Frey by calling 1-800-241-8111 or emailing dfrey@mds.mennonite.net. For more information about our current projects, visit mds.mennonite.net.

    6.  The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our November 2018 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Health Care: A Biblical and Cultural Concern.  For information:  https://themennonite.org/november-2018-call-submissions-health-care-biblical-cultural-concern/

  1. Bethel College and Tabor College welcome WDC members to go on the study tour to Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, Jan. 2-22, 2019. Peter Goerzen (Bethel) and Doug Miller (Tabor), both WDC members, will lead the group. Please contact Peter (pgoerzen@bethelks.edu) or Doug (dougm@tabor.edu) this week if interested in participating.
  2. See the highlights, video and photos of the recent service celebrating the historic installation of Glen Guyton, the first African American executive director of MC USA at mennoniteusa.org/gleninstalled.
  1. The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College in North Newton, KS will show 2 short files on immigration as part of our long-running film series.  The films will be screened Sunday, September 9 at 3 pm in the Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College.  There is no fee for admission.  The two films were produced by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance branch of the Presbyterian Church USA.  One is titled, “To Breathe Free” and focuses on a Syrian family fleeing the war.  The other film is titled, “Locked in a Box” and concerns immigration detention facilities.  After all of their films, they have expert(s) lead a post-film audience discussion and Q&A session.

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