WDC Sprouts, February 16, 2021

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

February 16, 2021

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:

*Love… my neighbors?

*Announcements

*WDC Ministerial and Credential Announcements

Love… my neighbors?

by Sandra Montes-Martinez, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

In our Anabaptist theology it is difficult to argue the “love” for others as we do ministry, since some of the most relevant emphases are the practices of peace and justice. We have a firm conviction to align ourselves with the weakest and to advocate for just causes, even when we do not comprehend the actual conflict. In our desire to understand and sympathize with the most marginalized, we read and educate ourselves about problems to responsibly advocate for the cause.

From my point of view, we often forget the basic principle of the teachings of Jesus “to love others like ourselves.”

How can we express sympathy or understand the suffering of others, if we really do not know the experiences of suffering injustice? Only when we relate to those who suffer do we understand what they are really experiencing.

Many of us may even feel “sympathy fatigue” for not being able to help or make the changes that we long for. In our outreach, I suggest that we put effort into our relationships. In my experience, it really makes us understand the circumstances of those who we want to advocate for or love as ourselves.

Jesus not only sympathized with people but also acted on their needs. He walked with the sick, the needy, and the helpless.

Most of the time, we sympathize with a cause or need, but do not relate to those in need. This gives way to racial, ideological, and social disproportions.

When we really want to make a difference, we do not only analyze and study the problem, but we also act to make changes.

I imagine what it would be like if our neighborhoods were more multi-ethnic, where I can understand how others think and act. Not because I have only read about it, but because I have the experienced relationships, not to take advantage or for marketing, but for an intentional experience.

This is important when we talk about diversity in any aspect of life. Only when we know who we love can we honestly understand the ravages of our neighbor.

When Jesus said, “love one another” and “love your neighbor as yourself,” he also gave us the mandate to really know each other and to embrace the lives of others as we seek their wellbeing.

One of my fears in this time of social distancing that we are living is the habit of avoiding the inconvenience of supporting each other, of being able to be present, while putting on the best cover photo and continuing in our world.

In my life as a generational immigrant, one of the important tasks we have had to learn is adapting to the new place where we live, to their meals and customs of life, and even the language spoken in the region. It is not easy to feel part of the people around us, but it is important to know and relate with the people impacted by our ministry or local congregations.

Jesus set out to meet the people he wanted to reach, ate with them, mourned for their dead, and healed their sick. All of this to show them the kingdom of God. Jesus was so close to his friends that some of them recognized him because he broke bread and ate with them, not because of his great speeches, but because of the ordinary, daily way of living. Luke 24: 30-31

Jesus did not limit himself to giving the sermon on the mount but also lived the sermon on the mount, walking with the people, living where those he loved lived, embodying the love of God in his daily life.

I pray today that we can open our hearts to walk with others that may be different from us and love them and treat them with meaningful love as we follow Jesus.

—————-

¿Amar… a mi prójimo?

by Sandra Montes-Martinez, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

En nuestra teología anabautista es difícil argumentar el “amor” por los demás mientras hacemos el ministerio, ya que algunos de los énfasis más relevantes son las prácticas de paz y justicia. Tenemos una firme convicción de alinearnos con los más débiles y abogar por causas justas, incluso cuando no comprendemos el conflicto real. En nuestro deseo de comprender y simpatizar con los más marginados, leemos y nos educamos sobre el problema para defender responsablemente la causa.

Desde mi punto de vista, a menudo olvidamos el principio básico de las enseñanzas de Jesús “amar a los demás como a nosotros mismos”.

¿Cómo podemos expresar simpatía o comprender el sufrimiento de los demás, si realmente no conocemos las experiencias del sufrimiento de la injusticia? Solo cuando nos relacionamos con los que sufren comprendemos lo que realmente están experimentando.

Muchos de nosotros incluso podemos sentir “fatiga por simpatía” por no poder ayudar o hacer los cambios que anhelamos. En nuestro alcance, sugiero que hagamos un esfuerzo en nuestras relaciones. En mi experiencia, realmente nos hace comprender las circunstancias de aquellos a quienes queremos defender o amar como a nosotros mismos.

Jesús no solo simpatizaba con la gente, sino que también actuó según sus necesidades. Caminó con los enfermos, los necesitados y los desamparados.
La mayoría de las veces, simpatizamos con una causa o necesidad, pero no nos relacionamos con los necesitados. Esto da paso a desproporciones raciales, ideológicas y sociales.

Cuando realmente queremos marcar la diferencia, no solo analizamos y estudiamos el problema, sino que también actuamos para realizar cambios.

Me imagino cómo sería si nuestros vecindarios fueran más multiétnicos, donde pudiera entender cómo piensan y actúan los demás. No porque solo haya leído sobre eso, sino porque tengo las relaciones experimentadas, no para aprovecharme de la vulnerabilidad de otros o para marketing, sino para una experiencia intencional.

Esto es importante cuando hablamos de diversidad en cualquier aspecto de la vida. Solo cuando sabemos a quién amamos podemos comprender honestamente los estragos de nuestro prójimo.

Cuando Jesús dijo, “amaos unos a otros” y “ama a tu prójimo como a ti mismo”, también nos dio el mandato de conocernos realmente y abrazar la vida de los demás mientras buscamos su bienestar.

Uno de mis miedos en este momento de distanciamiento social que estamos viviendo es el hábito de evitar las molestias de apoyarnos, de poder estar presentes, mientras pongo la mejor foto de portada y continuamos en nuestro mundo.

En mi vida como inmigrante generacional, una de las tareas importantes que hemos tenido que aprender a adaptarnos al nuevo lugar donde vivimos, a sus comidas y costumbres de vida, e incluso al idioma que se habla en la región. No es fácil sentirse parte de las personas que nos rodean, pero es importante conocer y relacionarse con las personas impactadas por nuestro ministerio o congregaciones locales.

Jesús se dispuso a encontrarse con la gente a la que quería llegar, comió con ellos, se lamentó por sus muertos y curó a sus enfermos. Todo esto para mostrarles el reino de Dios. Jesús estaba tan cerca de sus amigos que algunos de ellos lo reconocieron porque partía el pan y comía con ellos, no por sus grandes discursos, sino por la forma de vida cotidiana y ordinaria. Lucas 24: 30-31.

Jesús no se limitó a dar el sermón del monte, sino que también vivió el sermón del monte, caminando con la gente, viviendo donde vivían los que amaba, personificando el amor de Dios en su vida diaria.

Oro hoy para que podamos abrir nuestros corazones para caminar con otros que pueden ser diferentes a nosotros y amarlos y tratarlos con amor significativo mientras seguimos a Jesús.

WDC announcements

  1. Now What?!  Post Pandemic Faith Formation: Do you want to talk with other people who care about faith formation?  What have we learned about new ways of sharing the Jesus story in the past year?  What will we lay aside?  What questions remain unanswered?  Join Kathy Neufeld Dunn and Resource Library Director Jennie Wintermote for a virtual dialogue Saturday, February 27, 9 am CST.  To register, please email wdc@mennowdc.orgfor the Zoom link.
  1. Join individuals from across Western District Conference via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:00pm to talk about “Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness” by Leslie Verner. Email Jennie at the Resource Library to register for the discussion or to borrow a book at crlib@mennowdc.org
  1. KLC Leadership Lunch: In these complex times, good leadership is vital. Please join us to practice the leadership competency, “Exploring Multiple Interpretations,” February 25, 12-1 pm.  You’re welcome if you’re a Kansas Leadership Center alumni or if you want to learn more.  Please email wdc@mennowdc.org for the Zoom link.
  1. Online Book Study for Parents: The WDC Resource Library is hosting an online discussion (via FaceBook) of Upside Down Living: Parentingby Katherine & Peter Goerzen.  Weekly videos and questions for reflection will be posted fromFeb. 17-April 7–go at your own pace.  Email the library for information on joining the FaceBook group at crlib@mennowdc.org.

WDC Ministerial and Credential announcements

In accordance with the WDC Policy for Communication of Ministerial Credential Status (https://mennowdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Policy-for-Communication-of-Ministerial-Credential-Status.docx), the WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission announces that it has determined a final judgment regarding a misconduct charge against Asia Frye (which was announced in the January 19 Sprouts). After conducting a Hearing according to the process outlined in the misconduct policy and procedure of Mennonite Church USA (https://www.mennoniteusa.org/ministerialsexualmisconductpolicy_final2018/), and following further discernment, the MLC finds Asia Frye acquitted of the charges made. Along with this judgment the MLC believes that errors by Asia did occur, and the MLC’s decision was not unanimous. A statement will be placed in the ministerial record describing the MLC’s discernment process.

Phil Schmidt ended as Pastor at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS and his credential status changed from Active to Active without Charge on February 14.

Blanca Vargas ended as Pastor at Iglesia Menonita Comunidad de Vida, San Antonio, TX and her credential status changed from Active to Active without Charge on February 14.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Registration is open for Summer Youth Camps at Camp Mennoscah!  Spaces are limited; we will make more spaces available as possible on a first-registered basis.  The waitlist is your friend!  Register online here.
  1. Nothing’s better than a summer at camp!  Watch this videocreated by Mennonite Camping Association about why you should work at camp.  Applications for Camp Mennoscah Summer Staff positions are now being accepted!
  1. Camp Mennoscah is an amazing space for families and groups to connect!  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 office@campmennoscah.orgto reserve.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Join Mennonite Mission Network on February 23 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time to hear about Mennonite Mission Network’s service programs! Drop in and learn about Service Adventure, Youth Venture, Mennonite Voluntary Service, SOOP, and international service opportunities. Find the program that works for you! Contact EricFM@MMNWorld.netto register!
  1. Use your gifts and skills in teaching, music, drama, sports, and art will be well utilized and welcomed, as will your ability to simply play and be present to the children on the Youth Venture trip to La Casa Grande in Benin this summer! Visit MennoniteMission.net/YouthVenturefor more information.
  1. 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
Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org
Website:  www.mennowdc.org

Subscribe to News via RSS

Comments are closed.