December 8, 2015

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)


*New Beginnings


New Beginnings

     by Jennie Wintermote, WDC Resource Library Director

It is with great joy that I sit down to write my first article as the Resource Library Director.  Since I was in middle school I hoped to someday “grow up to be Marlene” (former WDC Resource Librarian and Minister of Christian Nurture).  I am humbled to have this opportunity to continue her good work of connecting individuals and churches with resources to challenge and help people grow in their faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ.  I am also excited to dream about the future of the library, discerning what form the collection will take in the future, and what resources will meet your needs.  I would love to meet you and hear what you appreciate about the library, and what your hopes and dreams are for the future of the library.  Please email (crlib@mennowdc.org), call (316-283-6300), or stop by.  I am in the library Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-11:30 am.  (However, the library is always open when the WDC offices are.)

This is not only a new beginning for me, but also for the library, and it seems fitting that these new beginnings are happening during Advent.  Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year.  It is also a time of waiting and longing for the light of Christ to enter our dark world.  It is a time when we pause to consider the longings of our hearts, a time when we begin to think of New Year’s resolutions and making changes.  I invite you to consider what ways you might explore your own longings this Advent season.  Do you long to experience God in new ways this year?  Might you long for deeper, faith-filled relationships, or a different way to interact with this broken world?  Or do you long for strength and encouragement to get through the day?  Visiting the Resource Library is one way to explore these longings.   As you read and consider the ideas shared by others walking this journey, you have the opportunity to explore and encounter in new ways.  Let us be a part of your journey of faith.

May you experience joyful longing and anticipation this Advent season.

WDC Announcements

  1. All Through the Years Summer Staff Gathering!  All summer staffers from all years (1948-today) are invited to Camp Mennoscah on December 19 at 2:30pm-ish.  Bring your family or significant other for a time of cookies and hot drinks (or cold drinks, depending on the weather).  Feel free to bring a snack to share.  You can spend time outside (new disc golf course!) or inside or do a bit of both while you catch up with others and share stories.
  1. Just a short bath house break–We’re taking this opportunity to let you know that work on the bath houses at Camp Mennoscah continues.  This warm weather has been great for keeping the work going.  The plan/hope/expectation is that the bath houses will be finished before the next camping season.  Thank you to all the many people who have supported this project with prayers, gifts, and hard work!

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. World Fellowship Sunday (January 24, 2016) is a reminder that “we belong to each other as sisters and brothers in God’s household. We support each other, uphold those who are suffering and being persecuted, and learn from one another.  Walking with God finds its total meaning in fellowship – in the breaking of bread, serving, and meeting the needs of others,” says César García, General Secretary of Mennonite World Conference.  “It does not mean the absence of challenges, but recognizing we are assured of victory with and through God.”  Information about World Fellowship Sunday, as well as worship resources for January 24, 2016, can be found at:  https://www.mwc-cmm.org/wfs
  1. Rural Ministry Discussion Group – AMBS-Kansas Center will host two options for a Rural Ministry Discussion Group (both in-person and online). This discussion group allows for pastors and church leaders to come together and discuss issues pertinent to their own rural setting, such as rural spirituality, decline in attendance, and systemic issues facing rural congregations. Discussion and case studies will seek to explore practical ways for rural congregations to engage in the unique mission opportunities within a rural context. Registration is limited, so please register as soon as possible to ensure participation.  The in-person option begins January 12, 2016 and is facilitated by Dorothy Nickel Friesen. The online option begins January 14, 2016 and is facilitated by S. Roy Kaufman.  For registration and more information, please see:  https://www.ambs.edu/academics/rural-ministry-discussion-group.cfm
  1. Syrian Refugee Crisis:  Over 4 million refugees have fled Syria over the course of the nation’s civil war.  Mennonite Church USA encourages three ways to help extend the love of Jesus to these sisters and brothers: 1. Pray for an end to the violence that creates refugees. Until that time, pray for refugees to be welcomed into places of safety, where they can live in peace. 2. Urge Congress and state officials to support and welcome Syrian refugees.  MCC Washington has compiled contact information for national and state officials.  See http://mcc.org/get-involved/advocacy/alert/support-syrian-iraqi-refugees and http://washingtonmemo.org/portfolio/support-syrian-and-iraqi-refugees/ for more information.   3. Support organizations that assist with refugee resettlement, and consider how your congregation or community can participate. Church World Service (http://cwsglobal.org/get-involved/welcome-a-refugee/) and World Relief (http://refugeecrisis.worldrelief.org/usa) are two such organizations.

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