August 7, 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)


*Rich Resources in our Conference!


Rich Resources in our Conference!

     by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)

It occurred to me at our recent Western District Conference Annual Assembly that we have many, many resources in our conference.

Let me start with the obvious one:  We have a resource library and a knowledgeable librarian, too!  If you are hunting late at night for ideas for children’s stories, there are online lists of books or DVDs to consider.  Go to the Western District Conference website:  mennowdc.org, then click on the Resource Library/Online Catalog, then at the homepage, click on “List.”  You will be astounded how many topical lists are available.  There is also a music loan library at the WDC Office.  Can’t get to the library?  Jennie is happy to mail resources to you.

In addition to the resources in our library, more resources are being created by Western District people for Anabaptists online.  There are two Resource Commission sponsored faith formation curricula available:  The Upside-Down King (about Jesus and his ministry) and Detectives of Divinity, a 13-session Bible curriculum for grades 1-5 that has been field-tested in WDC churches. The title “Detectives of Divinity” comes from Bryan Moyer Suderman’s song of the same name.  Detectives will be available on the WDC website at the end of this month.  A group of committed Western District teachers, artists, and business people have created a non-profit called Springs Forth! which will focus on creating Vacation Bible School options since MennoMedia will discontinue producing these resources soon.

We have many human resources in WDC.  I thank God for the many “retired” pastors who still willingly do interim ministry, as well as fill pulpits on occasional Sundays.  We have a list of folks who are willing to do pulpit supply on our website.  Consider inviting a Bible scholar from Bethel or Hesston College to your congregation.

Because of your generosity, WDC also has a number of grants available to individuals and congregations. Here are just a few – contact the WDC office for more information:

Mustard Seed grants – Resource Commission is excited to have more money thanks to offerings at Annual Assembly, to offer grants to congregations who submit applications describing creative ways to share the good news of Jesus in their communities.

Sabbatical grants for pastors.

Congregational development grants – This fund helps to pay for a consultant to come to your congregation to assist with a pastor/congregational review, visioning process, or to help untangle conflictual situations.

Continuing Education grants for pastors, so leaders stay attuned to 21st century ministry challenges and joys.

Seminary Scholarships – If you are considering attending seminary on-campus or online at an Anabaptist-Mennonite seminary, we have scholarship money for you.

Always and forever, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us.  Spiritual resources of prayer, Bible study, spiritual retreats, sharing the good news, and disciplining are also a vibrant part of the churches of Western District Conference.

Please share this article with a new person or two in your congregation.  Let’s share the rich resources that God has blessed us with in WDC!

WDC announcements

  1. WDC Annual Assembly attenders!  The Assembly Planning Team takes your feedback seriously as we imagine next year’s gathering of WDC delegates and friends.  Please give your feedback by August 15 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6JB8V3T.  Thank you.
  1. Sunday school teachers, pastors, and others who work with children–We now have digital access to Children’s Ministry Magazine(as well as a print copy in the library).  Please contact the library if you’d like to access the digital issue.  crlib@mennowdc.org
  1. Church office, please pass this announcement along to library committees/caretakers.  Thanks!  Looking for ways to stretch your library budget?  Planning to attend “Church Librarian’s Day” at Faith & Life Bookstore in Newton KS on August 25?  Before you order, check with the Conference Resource Library to see what we already have or are ordering.  Spend your budget dollars on resources not available via the library!  Questions or to see what we’re ordering crlib@mennowdc.orgor 316-283-6300 
  1. Be Brave, Be Bold, Be You!  Women & Girls Retreat 2018– September 7-9 at Camp Mennoscah – There’s still time to register!  Registration information is available online at:  https://mennowdc.org/women-girls-retreat/ and  (insert where they are available at your church).  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.  (See attached flyer.)
  1. Bob Atchison, a member of the WDC Israel-Palestine Task Force wrote a book review on Chosen, Reading the Bible in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflictby Walter Brueggemann.  Find it on WDC’s Facebook page!

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Camp Sing is August 12th!  We’re celebrating 70 years of camp and an amazing summer of over 600 campers at our annual Camp Sing at Hesston Mennonite Church on August 12 at 6:30pm.  A freewill offering will be taken to sponsor our 2019 summer youth campers as part of our extravaganza of singing, popcorn, generic pop, and fun times with friends.  We’ll see you there!
  1. 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.
  1. An extra huge thanks to the many generous and amazing people who came out to Camp Mennoscah this summer!  We had a stunning group of volunteers who greatly contributed to the amount of fun and faith shared this summer with our incredible number of campers.  Thank you so much–and we’ll see you soon!
  1. This is our 70th anniversary!   The Camp Mennoscah Annual Meeting is Sunday, September 23, at Camp Mennoscah, again part of our Work & Play camp (Sept. 21-25).  Add it to your calendar, folks, and join in the celebration of 70 years of camping ministry on the Ninnescah River!

Mennonite church announcements
1.  Take an AMBS course this fall!  Online courses include Christian Attitudes Toward War, Peace and Revolution; Christian Theology 1; and Spiritual Practices:  Prayer and Scripture.  Campus courses include Biblical Spirituality; Preaching; Human Sexuality and Christian Ethics; Spiritual Practices:  Money; and more!  Courses start Sept 4; sign up by Aug 28.  ambs.edu/onecourse

  1. Exploring Anabaptist History and Theology (noncredit):  Sept. 12-Oct. 23. This online AMBS short course taught by Jamie Pitts, Ph.D., covers the birth and development of 16th-century Anabaptist movements and looks at various interpretations of the meaning of “Anabaptism” today.  Cost:  $200 before August 22; $250 after.  CEUs available.  ambs.edu/shortcourses

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