December 3, 2019

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)

To support WDC ministries, contributions may be made HERE.


*Experiments in Adaptive Faith Formation


Experiments in Adaptive Faith Formation

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

I recently attended a symposium called “Lifelong Faith Formation.”  If I had been expecting a ten-step recipe for how to revitalize congregational faith formation, perhaps I would have been disappointed.  When we recognize that a certain aspect of church ministry could be improved, it is a temptation to look for a quick fix. There was no “one size fits all” program for lifelong faith formation offered at this gathering.

I experienced something far more useful (and perhaps fruitful!) for our congregations.  We were invited to list cultural challenges that affect our ability to do faith formation the same way we have done it in the past.  We then discussed positive lifelong faith formation trends that we have heard about or experienced in our own church contexts.  We learned a lot from each other and grew more hopeful.  We reviewed some cutting-edge research on faith formation.  Then we drew up a model for lifelong faith formation in our own context.  It was useful and inspiring work.

Instead of a particular faith formation program or curriculum, we learned how to create our own process that addresses both cultural challenges and life-giving trends when it comes to faith formation for all generations and also for intergenerational learning and growing.  Some of us recognized language similar to that of the Kansas Leadership Center.  It was an example of creating steps toward adaptive change.

In the new year, I would be happy to walk your congregation or your faith formation volunteers through a similar process.  Contact me and we’ll address this question together:  How will you create, sustain, and grow lifelong faith formation within your congregation?  May God bless our efforts!

WDC announcements

  1. First Mennonite Church, 429 E 1st, Newton KS, will present Handel’s Messiah on Sunday, December 15 at 7 pm with a community chorus, orchestra and soloists as follows: Holly Swartzendruber, Monica Schmidt Spicer, Matthew Schloneger, and Christopher Kliewer. The director is Matthew Graber.
  1. WDC Resource Commission request:  Pastors/Secretaries/Christian Ed Directors–please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey to help us better serve the congregations of WDC.  https://forms.gle/vQsUxCortDF8UuJt9
  1. As Christmas approaches, you’re invited to explore what’s happening today in Bethlehem.  Resources selected by the Israel-Palestine Relations Task Force are now on display at the WDC Resource Library.  The list can also be viewed here.
  1. Night in the Barn: Everyone is invited to come to Night in the Barn at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch (372 70th, Newton KS 67114) on December 21 and 22 from 5-7pm(come/go). Interact with the characters, sounds, lights, and animals of this timeless tale and enjoy this walking tour with family and friends.  A suggested donation of $5 per person includes a hot drink and a snack.  Presented by Tabor Mennonite Church Youth, with part of the proceeds going to the Tabor Mennonite Youth Fellowship. Call 620-367-2721 with questions.
  1. Western District Women in Mission in cooperation with Everence Financial will host a two-day conference “Let’s Talk…Women, Money & Faith” on January 24 and 25 at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS. Featured speakers, Teresa Boshart Yoder and Rhoda Blough, from Everence Financial will address money and faith topics for women of all ages and stages of life. More information and registration coming soon on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WesternDistrictWomen/?modal=admin_todo_touror at our web page https://communicationswdwm.wixsite.com/wdwm(Church offices, please run this announcement in your bulletins, pass this information along to women’s groups, print the attached registration forms to distribute, and post the flyer as appropriate in your church to promote the event.  Many thanks!)

Camp Mennoscah announcements

Christmas for Volunteers!  Camp Mennoscah loves to celebrate our volunteers and Christmas.  We’re throwing a party for everyone who has ever volunteered at Camp Mennoscah in any capacity on December 14 at 2:30pm.  Help with a maintenance project?  Play piano for a retreat?  Host a weekend?  Counsel at summer camp?  This party’s for you!  Spouses and families welcome.  We’ll provide some snacky items and simple drinks.  Come play games and talk with fellow volunteers!


Mennonite church announcements

  1. The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our February 2020 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on The dignity of bodies.  More information at:  https://themennonite.org/february-2020-call-submissions/
  1. Thinking of pastoral ministry? Be a Service Adventure leader! Live in a unit house with a small group of youth and offer support as they serve and live in Christian community. Age: 24+; term: 2 years. For more info, contact LaurenEH@MennoniteMission.net.
  2. Experience the town of Jesus, meet its people, learn their language, join and experience local churches, and explore the rich and varied culture of Israel. Apply to join the Nazareth Village Youth Venture team at www.MennoniteMission.net/Serve. Age 18+; term: 2–3 weeks.

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