December 1, 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.     


*Sharing gifts with the church

*Prayer requests

*Coming Events


Sharing gifts with the church!

by Rachel Voth Schrag, member of WDC Gifts Discernment Committee

As we anticipate a new year, in what ways might you be led to serve the church and Western District Conference?  WDC is supported by commissions and boards that do the work of Christ across the wider church, all of which are tended by members of WDC churches.  Over the next six months, the WDC Gifts Discernment Committee will be working together to identify and match leaders in the church with important work that needs to be done.  We would love to hear from you if you know of someone (including yourself!) who might have gifts to share with the conference.  We asked a few current commission and board members what the experience has been like, and why they serve the church.  Here is some of what they had to say:

“I like serving on the Resource Commission because it combines my interests in education, worship, justice, and books,” said Christina Litwiller. “Much of our work involves supporting the WDC Reference Library.  We also get to undergird the work of committees and task forces in their work addressing history, health, immigration, and Israel-Palestine relations.  The Resource Commission needs people to assist with developing a variety of ways to connect individuals and congregations with the resources they need to do the tasks God is calling them to do.”

Rachel Epp Miller said, “I find the work of Ministerial Leadership Commission to be meaningful as we resource pastors and, through the processes of credentialing, hear their stories and vision for the church in their various contexts. So much amazing ministry is happening in all corners of WDC and it’s a gift to be able to hear from pastors about the challenges and opportunities they face.”

Karen Mascho chose to serve on the Church Planting Commission for several reasons: To share insights from her personal experience in church planting, to encourage non-traditional models of church such as house churches in response to the pandemic and social isolation, and because peace churches are needed in our torn and violent world.  She summed it up this way, “I have a great desire to help the hurt and broken world know the life changing goodness of our Lord. God is working already to plant churches. Our job is to listen and see where people are seeking to know God and join with them in the pursuit. God has prepared the way. We just follow.”

If you or someone you know has interests, gifts and insights to share in the work and ministry of WDC, please send your suggestion via e-mail to wdc@mennowdc.org or call 316-283-6300 and leave a message.  Thanks!


¡Compartiendo dones con la iglesia!

     de Rachel Voth Schrag, miembra del Comité de Discernimiento de Dones de la WDC

A medida que anticipamos un nuevo año, ¿de qué manera podría ser dirigido/a a servir a la iglesia y a la Conferencia del Distrito del Oeste? La WDC cuenta con el apoyo de comisiones y juntas que hacen el trabajo de Cristo en toda la iglesia en general, todas las cuales son atendidas por miembro/as de las iglesias de la WDC. Durante los próximos seis meses, el Comité de Discernimiento de Dones de la WDC trabajará en conjunto para identificar y emparejar a lo/as líderes de la iglesia con un trabajo importante que debe realizarse. Nos encantaría saber de usted si conoce a alguien (¡incluido usted mismo/a!) que pueda tener dones para compartir con la conferencia. Preguntamos a algunos miembro/as actuales de la comisión y la junta cómo ha sido la experiencia y por qué sirven a la iglesia. Esto es algo de lo que dijeron:

“Me gusta servir en la Comisión de Recursos porque combina mis intereses en la educación, la adoración, la justicia y los libros”, dijo Christina Litwiller. “Una gran parte de nuestro trabajo implica el apoyo a la Biblioteca de Referencia de la WDC. También podemos respaldar la labor de los comités y grupos de trabajo en su trabajo sobre la historia, la salud, la inmigración y las relaciones entre Israel y Palestina. La Comisión de Recursos necesita personas que ayuden a desarrollar una variedad de formas de conectar a las personas y las congregaciones con los recursos que necesitan para realizar las tareas que Dios les ha llamado a hacer.”

Rachel Epp Miller dijo: “Encuentro que el trabajo de la Comisión de Liderazgo Ministerial es significativo a medida que proporcionamos recursos a lo/as pastores y, a través de los procesos de acreditación, escuchamos sus historias y visión de la iglesia en sus diversos contextos. Hay tanto ministerio asombroso en todos rincones de la WDC y es un regalo poder escuchar a lo/as pastores sobre los desafíos y oportunidades que enfrentan.”

Karen Mascho eligió servir en la Comisión de Plantación de Iglesias por varias razones: Para compartir ideas de su experiencia personal en la plantación de iglesias, para alentar modelos de iglesia no tradicionales como iglesias en casas en respuesta a la pandemia y el aislamiento social, y porque las iglesias de paz son necesarias en nuestro mundo dividido y violento. Ella lo resumió de esta manera: “Tengo un gran deseo de ayudar al mundo herido y quebrantado a reconocer la bondad de nuestro Señor que cambia la vida. Dios ya está trabajando para plantar iglesias. Nuestro trabajo es escuchar y ver dónde la gente busca conocer a Dios y unirnos a ellos en la búsqueda. Dios ha preparado el camino. Simplemente lo seguimos.” 

Si usted o alguien que conoce tiene intereses, dones y conocimientos para compartir en el trabajo y el ministerio de la WDC, envíe su sugerencia por correo electrónico a wdc@mennowdc.org o llame al 316-283-6300 y deje un mensaje. ¡Gracias!

Prayer Requests

Dec. 6 – Pray for health and safety for healthcare providers and other essential workers, and for all WDC members working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our local communities.

Dec 13 – Pray for God’s guidance for WDC congregations in pastoral transition, as they navigate endings and discern new beginnings in the midst of the pandemic.

Dec 20 – As we celebrate Christmas, give thanks for the gift of multicultural diversity within WDC, and the many different ways congregations embody the presence of Christ.

Dec 27 – Give thanks for God’s faithfulness to WDC and its congregations over this past year, and pray for vision, courage and hope as we enter a new year.

WDC announcements

  1. Save the date: WDC Annual Assembly will be July 30-Aug 1, 2021, in a hybrid model with the possibility of both virtual and in-person activities. More information to come!
  1. Giving Tuesdayis December 1 – Western District Conference invites you to join this global giving initiative! Share a gift with WDC during this season, to help our congregations Witness & invite others to faith in Jesus Christ, Dwell in just & loving relationships, and Connect to God’s mission in the world. You may make an online contribution HERE or send a check to Western District Conference, PO Box 306, North Newton KS  67117. Thank you for your generosity!
  1. The WDC Garden December 2020/January/February 2021 issueis now available for viewing at: https://mennowdc.org/wdc-garden-december-2020-january-february-2021/.  Learn about how WDC is engaging with racial justice and cultural diversity, the impact of Covid-19 on Hispanic churches, an announcement about Sandra Montes-Martinez as the new WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based), and more!

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. You are invited to a socially distanced Christmas Gathering at Camp Mennoscah on Saturday, December 12, at 2:30pm. Camp will provide s’mores and a beautiful outdoor space. Registration required. Email office@campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290. Bring a mask for indoor spaces and those times when you cannot be 6 feet apart. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Dress for the weather and don’t forget to register!
  2. Camp Mennoscah is a wonderful place for family gatherings of whatever size!  A variety of facilities fit any number of family groupings.  Maybe you only need a space during the day for walking the trails or playing disc golf.  There is plenty of outdoor space!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or office@campmennoscah.orgto reserve!  You are welcome here!
  3. If you missed ordering your Camp Mennoscah hoodie online, contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.  There will be a limited number of extras available.

Mennonite Church announcements

Bethel College alumni and friends are invited to take part in the annual Lighting of the Green on Sunday, Dec. 13, from wherever you are. Lighting of the Green is a long-standing Bethel Advent tradition celebrating the Light that shines in the darkness, the life and light of Christ who came into the world giving light to all humankind – normally held on the Green in the center of campus. This year, the gathering will take place virtually, live on Zoom and YouTube (see links below) with some parts pre-recorded. Please join the Bethel community at 8 p.m. on Dec. 13: YouTube: https://youtu.be/LZeLxduHoVk or Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/98444357235?pwd=N1MzQlpiQ29HQWZIWUs2NGpNWWtIZz09

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