WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
December 22, 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:
*Reflections of my 2020
Reflections of my 2020
by Sandra Montes-Martinez, WDC Associate Conference Minister, Texas-Based
We are about to end the Advent season and celebrate Christmas, but we are also living in a time like never before, full of challenges and things to learn with a new normal that changes frequently. We miss the things that we thought were “normal”, and perhaps unconsciously we wish that by changing the year on the calendar, our lives will also change.
We grieved for the many losses in different aspects of life, reinvented ourselves, sought new alternatives to be together from a distance, and what perhaps should be a traditional message of “peace to men of good will” has been transformed in a reflection of life.
Without pretending to be an expert, I would simply like to share some of the most relevant teachings that 2020 leaves me, and how they influenced my work and service to others.
We all have a story to tell by knowing each other, creating relationships which embody God’s love.
We learned that everyday life is valuable and learned to enjoy living each day without attachments to what we possess.
Things without material value end up being our most precious treasures, such as hugs, being together and living with others.
Although it sounds trite, taking care of others’ well-being in turn helps my well-being.
We depend on each other and we need each other, so let us walk together.
Challenges can be great opportunities.
Thanking is not only giving thanks, but also an attitude towards others.
My theological convictions are not effective if the practices do not reflect the teachings of Jesus.
We are not a church because we have a building. We are church because we are witnesses of Christ here and now.
From these personal teachings we could make great theological dissertations, supported by biblical passages and even books have been written, but in the simplicity of a corner in my house, I wish with all my heart that every life experience that you have lived can be a reason to open our hearts and let Jesus continue to reign in our lives collectively.
Reflexiones de mi 2020
by Sandra Montes-Martinez, WDC Associate Conference Minister, Texas-Based
Estamos a punto de finalizar el tiempo de adviento, y celebrar la navidad; pero también estamos viviendo un tiempo como nunca, llenos de retos y de cosas que aprender en una nueva normalidad que cambia frecuentemente. Extrañamos las cosas que creímos “normales” y tal vez inconscientemente deseamos que al cambiar el año en el calendario también cambiaran las condiciones de vida.
Hemos tenido que hacer muchos duelos por perdidas en diferentes aspectos de la vida, reinventarnos, buscar nuevas alternativas para estar juntos a la distancia, y lo que tal vez tendría que ser un mensaje tradicional de “paz a los hombres de buena voluntad” se transforma en una reflexión de vida.
Sin pretender ser experta simplemente me gustaría compartir algunos de las enseñanzas mas relevantes que me deja el 2020, y como estas influyen en el trabajo y servicio a otros.
Todos tenemos una historia que contar, solo conociendo al otro, creando relaciones podemos encarnar el amor de Dios.
Aprendimos que la cotidianidad es tan valiosa como aprender a disfrutar lo que hoy vivimos sin apego a lo que poseemos.
Que las cosas sin valor material terminan siendo nuestros tesoros más preciados, como los abrazos, el estar juntos y la convivencia con otros.
Aunque suene trillado, el cuidar que otros estén bien, ayuda a mi bienestar.
Dependemos los unos de los otros y nos necesitamos, por eso caminemos juntos.
Los desafíos pueden ser grandes oportunidades.
Agradecer no es solo dar gracias, también es una actitud para con los demás.
Mis convicciones teológicas no son efectivas si las prácticas no reflejan las enseñanzas de Jesús.
No somos iglesia porque tenemos un edificio, somos iglesia al ser testigos de Cristo aquí y ahora.
De estas enseñanzas personales podríamos hacer grandes disertaciones teológicas, respaldadas por pasajes bíblicos y hasta se han escrito libros, pero en la sencillez de un rincón en mi casa deseo de todo corazón que cada experiencia de vida por la que usted haya pasado pueda encontrar un motivo para abrir el corazón y dejar que Jesús siga reinando en nuestras vidas colectivamente.
Jan 3 – Pray for God’s strength and peace for pastors in WDC, as they look ahead to ministry in the coming year.
Jan 10 – Pray that WDC will receive generous contributions to help meet goals for the fiscal year ending in January, and give thanks for the many ways congregations and donors support the ministry of the conference.
Jan 17 – Pray for God’s wisdom for WDC church leaders, as they continue to discern how best to guide congregational life during the pandemic.
Jan 24 – Pray for the WDC Gifts Discernment Committee, as they listen for the Spirit’s leading in nominating persons to serve on the WDC Executive Board and Commissions.
Jan 31 –Give thanks for God’s creation, and pray for WDC congregations as they seek ways to practice faithful stewardship of the natural environment.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, all meetings are being held via Zoom video conference until further notice.
Dec 24-Jan 3, 2021 – WDC office/Resource Library staff on for holiday break
Jan 11 – WDC Common Read Book Discussion
Jan 11 – WDC Immigration Task Force meeting
Jan 12 – WDC Executive Committee meeting
Jan 12 – WDC Staff Relations Committee meeting
Jan 12 – WDC/SCC Chaplain meeting
Jan 21 – WDC Executive Board meeting
Jan 22 – WDC Israel/Palestine Task Force meeting
Jan 28 – WDC Resource Commission meeting
Jan 28 – WDC Common Read Book Discussion
July 30-Aug 1 – WDC Assembly
- The WDC Staff sends greetings for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This is the last issue of WDC Sprouts for 2020. The next issue will be on January 5.
- We invite you to 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. Your generous gifts are appreciated as we look toward our fiscal year end on January 31 and meeting our budget goal! You may make an online contribution HEREor send a check to Western District Conference, PO Box 306, North Newton KS 67117. Thank you for your generosity!
- Leadership Training in 2021: WDC and South Central Conference are once again joint recipients of a Leadership Transformation Grant from Kansas Leadership Center for next year. See KLC’s announcement here – https://kansasleadershipcenter.org/announcing-recipients-of-2021-leadership-transformation-grants/. This will cover the cost for a limited number of WDC and SCC members to attend KLC’s primary adaptive leadership training programs in 2021. If you are interested in taking training, contact Heidi Regier Kreider at firstname.lastname@example.org, or watch for more information in the new year.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- A Christmas full of light and love to all of you! The Camp Mennoscah staff and Board of Directors prays for you to find Christ’s love and joy during this not-as-usual Christmas season. May you find hope, joy, and peace in your celebrations!
- Camp Mennoscah is a wonderful space for families and groups needing space to spread out! Facilities for differently sized groups are available with a variety of gathering areas. Trails and fields are waiting to be hiked and used for fun activities, too! Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or email@example.com reserve. You are invited to enjoy this sacred space!
- A few extra Camp Mennoscah hoodies are available! (Adult sizes only.) Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org Grab yours before they’re gone!
- Thank you, Allen and Janet! After 40 years of dedicated service as program directors at Camp Mennoscah, Allen Jantz and Janet McGillivary are retiring. We know them in part for their wonderfully caring and carefully planned camp week and for Allen’s lunchtime skits and Janet’s lanyard-making. We celebrate these years shared with Camp Mennoscah and wish them the best in new adventures! See you at Camp Mennoscah again soon, Allen and Janet!
- Applications for Camp Mennoscah Summer Staff positions are now being accepted! Although there is a chance positions will change to meet the needs of pandemic-impacted summer youth camps, the current summer staff leadership positions are naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard, grounds/maintenance, music leader, office, and all-round/media. For those 21 years old or older, there is also a Director of Support opening. Find the application and information online at www.campmennoscah.orgunder Summer Youth Camps!
Mennonite church announcements
SOOP (Service Opportunities with our Partners) is accepting applications! Use your gifts and skills to work alongside others in a network of ministries across the church. This program is flexibly designed for retirees, families and adults over 25. Visit MennoniteMission.net/SOOP to learn more!
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