December 13, 2016

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)


*Pastoral Openings

*News and Transitions


Pastoral Openings

Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS – Associate Pastor

First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS – Pastor

First Mennonite Church, McPherson, KS – Pastor (Search Committee appointed)

Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS – Pastor

Iglesia Menonita Aposento Alto, Wichita, KS – Church Planter-Pastor

Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, KS – Associate Pastor

News and Transitions

  1. Peter Emery will conclude his position as Interim Pastor at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS on January 15, 2017.
  1. Retired pastor John Gaeddert and his wife, Mary, were honored on October 2 for their lifetime of ministry. John was presented with a ceramic oil lamp and a framed certificate of appreciation for his role in encouraging people to pursue studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.  Read more at:  https://www.ambs.edu/news/Gaeddert-honored-for-tapping-shoulders.cfm?grp_id=10070
  1. Pastor Ryan Koch (Peace Mennonite Church, Dallas, TX) and his wife, Stephanie, welcomed baby Olivia Brynne Nance Koch to their family on December 11. Congratulations!

WDC Announcements

  1. Reminder – Pastors, come TODAY at 12 to the WDC office for a Brown Bag Lunch. Join your colleagues to discuss two articles on Anabaptists and our struggles with evangelism, “Tongue Screws and Testimony” and “Keeping Good News and Good Works Together”.  Bring your lunch, drinks provided.
  1. Leadership Lunches! Save the date for Leadership Lunches coming in 2017!  Pastors from Western District Conference and South Central Conference are invited to bring a “brown-bag lunch” to the WDC offices from 12-1:30 pm on the third Thursday of each month beginning on January 19.  After eating and fellowship together, we will explore Kansas Leadership Center competencies (https://www.emporia.edu/dotAsset/631d8f1f-ff9c-47e1-9d05-4179779c1414.pdf) in relation to scripture, Anabaptist Theology and practice, and our own areas of ministry.  We hope that this will provide a helpful opportunity to reflect on leadership in an engaging and biblical way.  We also hope that this will help us exercise more leadership for the common good in our churches and communities!  Come join us for this leadership experiment!  If you have questions, please contact Kathy Neufeld Dunn (kathynd@mennowdc.org), Rachel Siemens (rsiemens@sbcglobal.net) or Phil Schmidt (pschmidt@tabormennonite.org).
  1. Know someone who’s hard to shop for? Celebrate Christmas by donating a book in their honor to the Resource Library.  A registry list of Resource Library wishes can be found on Amazon at http://a.co/jasaOal (or call the library).  Order straight from Amazon and have it shipped to the library, or buy local and mark the book on the Amazon site as “buying this gift elsewhere.”   Also welcome are any Spanish language or bi-lingual resources.  We would love new, or like new/excellent condition books.  All Christmas gifts will be acknowledged with a special bookplate inside the book, just let us know who to honor.
  1. The Conference Resource Library is open Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. As of January 4, Resource Librarian Jennie Wintermote will be in the library Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00-Noon.  (Other WDC Staff can assist you when Jennie is not here.)
  1. The Tabor Mennonite Youth Fellowship, Newton, KS will share their annual living nativity, Night in the Barn, on December 17 and 18 from 6-8 pm The friendly goat, the large cow with her little calf, the peaceful sheep, and the baby and big donkeys that share their love of people—these are a few of the critters who will assemble in the barn of Maynard Knepp and Carol Duerksen between Goessel and Hillsboro. The story this year will be from the perspective of a sheep that  witnessed the first Christmas, and is from a new book by Kim Funk called “Christmas at the Stable.”  The come-and-go event includes Christmas carols around a bonfire, hot drinks and snacks.  Admission is free and donations to the youth group will be accepted.  Directions to Night in the Barn:  From Goessel: 3 miles north on Hwy 15, 4 miles east on 150th, ¾ north on Falcon. From Hillsboro, 4 miles south on Indigo, 3 west on 150th, ¾ north on Falcon. From McPherson, Hwy 56 to Hwy 15 south, 5 miles on Hwy 15 to 150th, 4 miles east on 150th and ¾ north on Falcon. (Follow these directions and not GPS) For more information, call 620-386-0709.
  1. The Newton First Mennonite Church and area community members will present selections from Handel’s Messiah on Sunday, December 18, at 7 pm (429 East 1st Street). Soloists are Soyoun Lim Chun, Bethany Amstutz Schrag, Matthew Schloneger, Chris Kliewer. Karen Schlabaugh is harpsichordist; Amanda Rempel, organist; Nancy Johnson, concertmaster; Kay Schroeder, conductor. An offering will be taken for the Harvey County Homeless Shelter and to cover expenses. All are invited to come celebrate the Christ Child, the Savior of the world and the Redeemer through this worshipful presentation. (A poster is attached.)
  1. Western District Conference is on Facebook. LIKE us!
  1. Summer Youth Camp Volunteer Christmas! All Camp Mennoscah summer youth camp volunteers and their families from any and all years are invited to join us in the dining hall for an afternoon of fun on December 17 at 2:30pm-ish.  We’ll have cookies and drinks to share, as well as a white elephant gift exchange for all ages (optional).  Bring yourself (mandatory), your gift (optional), and a snacky item to share (optional)!
  1. Demolition scheduled! Camp Mennoscah will be taking down the old boys bath house and the whale on Dec. 20th.  Never fear, friends!  The bath house has already been replaced and plans are in the works for a new play structure.  Contact us at office@campmennoscah.org or 620-297-3290 to help.

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. The Mennonite magazine welcomes your original submissions of feature articles, poems, original artwork and photos for our February 2017 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on the Mennonites, race, identity and faith. You can read the full details online at https://themennonite.org/december-call-submissions-mennonites-race-identity/. Submissions are due to Editor@TheMennonite.org by January 5.
  1. Do you have your summer vacation plans set yet? Why not spend it in Orlando, Florida?  You can attend the Mennonite Church USA convention as well as visit your favorite theme park.  The convention takes place July 4-8 with the theme “Love is a Verb.”  Learn more at:  http://convention.mennoniteusa.org/registration/ or find the convention on Facebook or Twitter.
  1. Registration for “Beyond Buried Treasure: Turning Hidden Resources into Assets” is now open.  This second joint MHS Mennonite Health Assembly and Mennonite Education Agency Education Leaders Gathering takes place March 9-12 in Jacksonville, FL.  For more information or to register, visit mhaelgconference.wordpress.com.
  1. (Note: Contact e-mail addresses were given incorrectly in an earlier announcement.) Each year, the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship, or ICPF, holds its annual conference at one of the Mennonite or affiliated colleges or universities in North America. This year, the conference will be at Bethel College, Feb. 10-12, 2017. Since 1953, ICPF has aimed to “promote the cause of biblical nonresistance by providing various channels for sharing ideas among college peace groups,” according to its constitution. ICPF conference participants will work in small groups and through plenary discussions with several leaders in racial, environmental and LGBT justice to examine how these affect our church institutions. Bethel senior Jacob Miller has the following request: “I am the food planning coordinator for the ICPF conference that will meet at Bethel . Would members of your congregation be willing to donate snacks or breakfast items to supplement our conference’s food needs? Anyone interested should contact me (jacobamiller@bethelks.edu or 785-477-1820), or the conference coordinator, Sharon Kniss (skniss@bethelks.edu), at any time with questions or for more information.”
  1. You are invited to the Christmas Soiree, MCC Central States’s open house and Holiday celebration. Everyone is welcome to join the fun and festivities on Thursday, December 15 from 5-7 pm. Enjoy delicious food.  Hear current MCC International Volunteer Exchange Participants (IVEP) share about the work they’re doing and about Christmas traditions in their home countries. (Sharing will be at 6pm.)  Enjoy live music provided by Megan Siebert and Andrew Voth.  Bring your friends and family, everyone is welcome!   Questions? Please contact Patsy Dirksen at 316.283.2720.

 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