February 2, 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.     


*Wondering in the Wilderness


*WDC Ministerial and Credential Announcements

Wondering in the Wilderness

by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister

Anybody else sound like an Israelite during the Exodus right about now?  Sometimes I really do sound like the people Moses led in the wilderness.  They fearfully complained, “What have you done to bring us out of Egypt?”  Egypt—the only home they had ever known.  Egypt—where they were treated unjustly.  They were so scared and confused by the unknown that they were ready to run right back to the only way of life they knew, even if it needed to be left behind.

Lately I’ve heard myself saying, “I wonder when we’ll be worshipping together again in-person?  When will we get to sing our old songs (and try some new ones, too) together?  When will we be able to share the stories of Jesus with little ones and elders in our church buildings again?!  When can I quit wearing this mask?  Why can’t we just get back to NORMAL?!”

Then I catch myself.  Even when we go back, it will not be the same.  We will have to be patient and gentle with each other as we create a “new normal” together post-pandemic.  Like God’s people in the wilderness, what will we carry with us into our new normal as a faith community?  What have we learned that surprises us that we don’t want to forget?  What will we lay aside because it is no longer needed?  What parts of church life will we pick up again immediately because we treasure them so much?  Who and how is God calling us to be in this time and place?

These are questions of spiritual discernment.   I hope you will pray about them and discuss them with brothers and sisters in your congregation.  If you want to have a broader conversation, Jennie Wintermote and I invite you to join our Zoom dialogue, “What’s Next?  Post-Pandemic Faith Formation” on Saturday, February 27, 9 am CST.  Join the conversation.  Let’s listen and learn from each other. And we pray it will be more than just complaining together.


Deambulando y haciéndome preguntas en el desierto

–Kathy Neufeld Dunn, ministra asociada de la conferencia (WDC)

¿Alguien más suena ahora mismo como un israelita durante el Éxodo? A veces realmente actúo como el pueblo que Moisés condujo en el desierto. Ellos se quejaron con temor: “¿Qué has hecho para sacarnos de Egipto?” Egipto, el único hogar que habían conocido. Egipto, donde fueron tratados injustamente. Estaban tan asustado/as y confundido/as por lo desconocido que estaban listo/as para regresar a la única forma de vida que conocían, incluso si era necesario dejarla atrás.

Últimamente me he escuchado decir: “Me pregunto cuándo estaremos adorando juntos de nuevo en persona. ¿Cuándo podremos cantar nuestras canciones viejas (y probar algunas nuevas también) junto/as? ¿Cuándo podremos volver a compartir las historias de Jesús con lo/as pequeño/as y lo/as ancianos/a en los edificios de nuestra iglesia? ¡¿Cuándo puedo dejar de usar esta mascarilla?! ¡¿Por qué no podemos simplemente volver a lo NORMAL ?! ”

Entonces me detengo. Aun cuando volvamos, no será lo mismo. Tendremos que ser pacientes y amables uno/as con otro/as mientras creamos junto/as una “nueva normalidad” después de la pandemia. Como el pueblo de Dios en el desierto, ¿qué llevaremos con nosotros a nuestra nueva normalidad como comunidad de fe? ¿Qué hemos aprendido que nos sorprende y que no queremos olvidar? ¿Qué dejaremos al lado porque ya no es necesario? ¿Qué aspectos de la vida de la iglesia seguiremos a hacer de inmediato porque los apreciamos tanto? ¿Quién y cómo nos llama Dios a ser en este tiempo y lugar?

Estas son cuestiones de discernimiento espiritual. Espero que oren por estas y las discutan con los hermanos y hermanas de su congregación. Si desea tener una conversación más amplia, Jennie Wintermote y yo lo invitamos a unirse a nuestro diálogo de Zoom, “¿Qué sigue? Formación en la fe pospandémica ,” el sábado 27 de febrero a las 9 am CST. Únanse a la conversación. Escuchemos y aprendamos uno/as de otro/as. Y oremos para que el evento sea más que quejarnos junto/as.

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.org for the Zoom link.
  1. WDC Fourth Thursday Book Discussion Continues:  Join us on Thursday, February 25 from 7:00-8:00pmto discuss Invited : The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness by Leslie Verner.  Contact Jennie at the WDC Resource Library to borrow a copy of the book or to register for the Zoom discussion.   crlib@mennowdc.org
  1. Leadership Training in 2021: WDC and South Central Mennonite Conference (SCC) are once again joint recipients of a Leadership Transformation Grant from Kansas Leadership Center in 2021.  The grant covers the cost for 29 persons (19 from WDC and 10 from SCC) to attend KLC’s core adaptive leadership training programs online in 2021.  See WDC’s Information and Application Formand read more about the Kansas Leadership Center at https://kansasleadershipcenter.org/.  To apply for a training grant through WDC, complete and return the printed application form, or fill out the Online Application Form.  This is a great way to nurture personal growth, develop creative leadership skills, and join a learning community seeking to address complex challenges in the church and world today!
  1. Let your stimulus check do justice! If you need the $600 you recently received, we ask God to bless you.  If your stimulus check went into savings, the WDC Immigration Task Force encourages you to consider sharing part or all of it.  $600 is the approximate cost of one DACA application.  Here are two nonprofits assisting young people with their applications: United We Dream (unitedwedream.org) in Texas and Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance (www.ksmoda.org).  If you have questions, please contact Task Force Convener, Raylene Hinz-Penner at rhpenner@sbcglobal.net.
  1. First Mennonite Church, 427 W. 4th, Halstead, KS will have a drive-through verenike supper on February 20 from 4-7 pm.   This year they will offer a reduced menu of verenike, ham gravy and sausage.  The cost is by donation and proceeds will go to local Covid-19 relief.  (Poster attached.)

WDC Ministerial and Credential announcements

Harold Dyck’s credentials were transferred from Western District Conference to Mennonite Church Manitoba on January 28, 2021.

Sandra Montes-Martinez ended as pastor at Iglesia Menonita Monte Horeb, Dallas, TX, on January 31, and her role as Associate Conference Minister (Texas-based) for WDC became fulltime on February 1.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. There are volunteer opportunities for you! Camp Mennoscah continually has year-round work to support the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities. We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Check out these ways to Get Involved! Email office@campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.
  1. Registration is open for the Spring Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats at Camp Mennoscah on March 5-7 and March 19-21!  Once the retreats are full, sign up on the waitlist.  Register at www.campmennoscah.org!
  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. AMBS Pastors and Leaders 2021 – Thriving Together – March 1-4 – Online this year!   How can congregations and their leaders thrive in this time of unprecedented disruption:  Speakers Cynthia L. Hale, D.Min.; James Nelson Gingerich, M.D.; Marvin Lorenzana, D.Min.; and Drew Strait, Ph.D. will offer their best insights into how to lead well in today’s world, drawing from deep wells of Christian faith and leadership practice as they share personal stories and observations.  We’ll worsip with resources from the new Voices Togetherhymnal, led by Katie Graber, Ph.D., and Anneli Loepp Thiessen, M.M.   Mini-grants available!  Special to Pastors and Leaders 2021!  Thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, we’re offering mini-grants of $50 to $300 to help you spend time with us online – away from your normal responsibilities.  The grants are for non-registration expenses that will help remove barriers to your full participation, such as additional childcare or access to a quieter space away from home.  To apply for a mini-grant, email churchleadership@ambs.edu, detailing how you will “get away”, what you need to make it happen, and an estimated budget.  Final deadline for mini-grant proposals is Feb. 22.  More details here.  REGISTER HERE:  https://www.ambs.edu/lifelong-learning/pastors-and-leaders
  1. Mennonite World Conference is seeking a newChief Operations Officer, starting in April 2021.  The COO must have competencies in accounting and financial reporting, maintaining corporate status in Canada and the USA, developing administrative policies for the North American offices, managing human resources and information technology for staff and participating in senior leadership. The COO participates in the senior leadership team, develops budgets in collaboration with other staff, and makes presentations to the Executive committee and General Council.   The position is based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.  The application closing date is 26 February 2021 with a 19 April 2021 start date.  Send resume and cover letter to jobs@mwc-cmm.org.  For more information about MWC, visit mwc-cmm.org.  See longer job description at mwc-cmm.org/coo.
  1. Youth Venture is accepting applications for summer 2021! Discover and experience the work that God is doing in the world with a team of other young people, as you serve, learn, worship, and build relationships. Visit MennoniteMission.net/YouthVenture to learn more!
  1. Looking for a non-traditional pastoral role? Become a unit leader for Service Adventure, a gap-year program for ages 17-20 from Mennonite Mission Network. Unit leaders, who are at least 24 years of age, serve as mentors to the young adults in the Service Adventure household. Leaders are needed in Johnstown, PA and Colorado Springs, CO. Learn more by contacting SusanN@MennoniteMission.net.

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