February 19, 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)


*What’s Our Message?


What’s Our Message?

    by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

In a recent conversation with some friends, we reflected on our preaching – the nature and content of the message. In addition, we asked, how are we living it out?

The conversation centered around church growth, faith formation, leadership development, revitalization and the Missio Dei (mission of God). Our reflection included some eschatological nuances.  “And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NRSV).

Reaching out into the community through service, evangelism, discipleship, mission, commissioning and mobilizing, and not just the other way around, could be a good road map or GPS to address the above concerns.

Simple preaching and teaching and simple living were some of the most common characteristics of the early Jesus movement. It was a theological message and not just an anthropological approach. They were clear, God was and still is, at the center of their lives.

They believed they were entrusted with the mission of the proclamation of the kingdom of God. Taking it seriously and living it out was not that easy, but little by little they saw opportunities to witness in their neighborhood about Jesus Christ. Eventually, they learned and seriously committed to it. They were not just “an outpost” of it, they began their journey by living as kingdom people, inviting, equipping and commissioning others. It was not another “church program”, it was their lives.

Consequently, they lived the gospel of Christ, they had a lasting missional impact in the lives and hearts of people; this made their message theologically sound.

They relied on Jesus’ words and lifestyle to experience eternity and newness of life as they walked among their communities, in their ‘barrios’.
They practiced a local missionary approach as much as they were committed to a more enhanced geographical and demographical model (Acts 1:8). They really believed the gospel could transform the lives and hearts of all people. As they seriously committed to the Missio Dei, they challenged the status quo of their time, including the religious system, classist and societal disparities, economic inequalities, and systems and lives were changed.

The early movement wanted to be the community of faith that Jesus intended them to be. How is our preaching?  What is our core message? How are we living it out?


¿Cuál es nuestro mensaje?
By Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

En una conversación reciente y mientras compartía con algunos amigos, reflexionamos sobre nuestra predicación, la naturaleza y el contenido del mensaje. Además, no pudimos escapar el preguntarnos; ¿Cómo lo estamos viviendo?

La centralidad de nuestra conversación fue sobre el crecimiento de la iglesia, la formación en la fe, el desarrollo del liderazgo, la revitalización y la Misión Dei. Nuestra reflexión incluyó algunos matices escatológicos. “Y estas buenas nuevas del reino serán proclamadas en todo el mundo, como un testimonio a todas las naciones; y entonces vendrá el fin” (Mateo 24:14).

Inculcar el énfasis y las prácticas de alcance y el servicio, el evangelismo y el discipulado, la misión y la comisión y la movilización de la iglesia en la comunidad y no solo al revés, podría ser un buen mapa para trazar una ruta-GPS para abordar las preocupaciones antes mencionadas.

La predicación y la enseñanza sencillas y la vida simple fueron algunas de las características más comunes en los inicios del movimiento de Jesús. Era un mensaje teológico y no solo un enfoque antropológico. Eran y estaban claros, Dios estaba y todavía está, en el centro de sus vidas.

Ellos creían que se les había confiado la proclamación del reino de Dios; esa era su misión. Tomarse en serio y vivirlo no fue tan fácil, pero poco a poco se les presentaron oportunidades para involucrarse con su vecindario para ser testigos de Jesucristo. Con el tiempo, aprendieron y se comprometieron seriamente a eso. No eran “solo un puesto de avanzada”, sino que comenzaron su viaje viviendo como personas del reino, invitando, equipando y comisionando a otros. No fue ‘otro’ programa de la iglesia, era su estilo de vida.

Ellos vivieron consecuentes al evangelio de Cristo, tuvieron un impacto misional duradero en las vidas y los corazones de las personas; esto hizo que su mensaje fuera teológicamente sólido.

Confiaron en las palabras y el estilo de vida de Jesús para experimentar la eternidad y la novedad de la vida mientras caminaban entre sus comunidades, en sus “barrios”.

Practicaron un enfoque misionero local al igual que se comprometieron con un modelo geográfico y demográfico más amplio (Hechos 1: 8). Pareció ser que realmente creía que el evangelio era capaz de transformar las vidas y los corazones de la humanidad. Parece ser que estaban “seriamente” comprometidos con la Missio Dei y mientras desafiaban el statu quo de su tiempo, incluyendo el sistema religioso, las disparidades clasistas y sociales, las desigualdades económicas, entre otros asuntos.

El movimiento de Jesús en sus primeras etapas quería ser la comunidad de fe que Jesús querían que fueran. Consecuentemente, ¿Cómo es nuestra predicación y nuestro mensaje central? ¿Cómo lo estamos viviendo?

WDC announcements

  1. All women are invited to the Western District Women in Mission (WDWM) Spring Supper on Thursday, March 21 at First Mennonite Church in McPherson. Speaker: Sheryl Wilson, Executive Director of KIPCOR. See flyer for more information including how to RSVP.   (Church offices, please forward this information to the women’s group(s) in your congregation as well as printing and posting the attached poster, and sharing via bulletin etc as appropriate in your congregation.)
  1. Attention all VBS leaders and planners! We have MennoMedia’s “Are You My Neighbor?” and SpringsForth’s “Detectives of Divinity” VBS curriculum available for preview at the Conference Resource Library.  Stop by to view the curriculum and see the great pictures books we have available to supplement your week of VBS!  All churches are welcome to contact the library to reserve these books for their week of VBS.  Contact Jennie at 316-283-6300 or crlib@mennowdc.org.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Come to the March 15-17 Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat at Camp Mennoscah!  It will be a great weekend to dive into your favorite craft or scrapbook project.  The weekend is overflowing with time for you.  You can relax, walk around camp grounds, talk to other creative folks, join in devotions, or go nose-first into your current project.  Go to www.campmennoscah.orgto register or call us at 620-297-3290!
  1. Hey, youth!  The time to revive your faith is now!  The Youth Volunteer Weekend at Camp Mennoscah is March 15-16 and youth in grades 7-12 are heartily welcomed. There will be singing, worship, s’mores, service projects, and likely some silliness. Parents and sponsors do not need to attend.  Register online at campmennoscah.orgin Summer Youth Camps or call 620-297-3290 for assistance.  Full scholarships are available.  (See attached poster.)
  1. It’s time for DESSERT!  Camp Mennoscah will be holding the annual Hymn Sing and Dessert Auction at Bethel College Mennonite Church on February 24 from 4-6pm.  We’ll be celebrating and raising funds for our summer staff who provide mentoring relationships and faith formation, which is what camp is all about!  One set of hymns will be “bluegrass” and led by (former) summer staff!  (See attached poster.)
  1. Our Best Registration Discount ends March 1!  Register online now for Summer Youth Camps at Camp Mennoscah at campmennoscah.org!  This discount is $20 off camp fees when you register and pay in full by March 1.  Call us at 620-297-3290 with questions.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Transitional ministry has a unique place in the mission of the church. While “interim pastors” have provided preaching and pastoral care for many years, “transitional ministry” involves training to lead congregations through a process of preparation for entering a new chapter of leadership.  April 1-4, Amigo Centre will host a Transitional Ministry Training retreat for individuals interested in pursuing this type of ministry.  See attached brochure; note the registration deadline of March 1.  Visit http://tmt.amigocentre.org/for additional information, or contact Amigo Centre at 269.651.2811 and ask for Mandy (mandy@amigocentre.org).
  1. What can unwelcomed immigrants teach the Church about love? Join the immersion experience with immigrants, LOVE CROSSES BORDERS to find out. July 28-August 3, Mennonite Men will journey to Georgia and connect with Casa Alterna, a hospitality house for first-wave immigrant neighbors, mostly from Guatemala. You will hear testimonies, visit the national Memorial for Peace and Justice, hike Pine Mountain Trail and much more.  For more information, see attached flyer and info/registration sheet.

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