February 4, 2020

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.


*”Active Church?”


“Active Church?”

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

The pastor got up during worship wearing many different-colored scarves.  She passed around a couple of brightly colored scarves, too.  She told the biblical story of Joseph, his multicolored coat, and his brothers in simple terms.  She asked the participants if they had ever had a hard time getting along with their brothers or sisters.

“You bet!” one said.

“Every family’s like that,” another responded.

“I had a red coat,” said yet another.

The pastor talked with the group a bit longer.  She talked about how much God cared for Joseph, each of his brothers, and everyone in the group that day, then she prayed a simple prayer.  She ended this time by inviting everyone to sing a song together that they knew well.

Can you guess about how old those in the group were with whom the pastor was connecting?  These were not young children.  In fact, they were on the other end of the age spectrum.  These were folks who struggle with dementia.

The word in faith formation these days is “multigenerational” and “intergenerational.”  I’ve been wondering if Children’s Church could be renamed “Active Church” and if children and elders with dementia could worship God together.  Both groups have similar needs.  They have briefer attention spans, so they need shorter activities.  Both groups love using their five senses—touching, seeing, listening to, smelling, and tasting (as appropriate) beautiful, interesting things.   Simpler words help them to understand.  Importantly, most older adults enjoy spending time with little ones and little children need the love that these elders are willing to share.  There are specific needs for safety in church for both children and vulnerable adults, so having trained, compassionate people leading and caring for the group would be vital.

Are you thinking of creative ways that your congregation can do more intergenerational and/or multigenerational faith formation?  How can all God’s people be assured that God cares for them in ways that they can understand?

Resource:  http://www.startribune.com/giving-people-with-dementia-a-new-way-to-worship/240151151/.

Get more ideas for creative, active worship in our own WDC Resource Library:

Messy Church:  Fresh Ideas for Building Christ-centered Community, Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 2017.

Messy Easter:  Three Complete Sessions and a Treasure Trove of Ideas for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter, InterVarsity Press, Downs Grove, IL, 2017.

No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted:  A Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia, Jane Marie Thiebault and Richard L Morgan, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2009.

The Special Needs Ministry Handbook, Amy Rapada, CGR Publishing, 2007.

WDC announcements

  1. Heidi Regier Kreider has been reappointed to a second term as Western District Conference Minister:  During the fall of 2019 the WDC Executive Board conducted a term review of Heidi’s service over the past four and a half years. The feedback gathered from many segments of the Conference and partner institutions was broadly affirmative of Heidi’s leadership. Consequently, the WDC Executive Board took action at its November 16, 2019, meeting, voting unanimously to reappoint Heidi to a second five-year term of service as WDC Conference Minister, commencing August 17, 2020. Heidi has accepted the call to a second term. The Executive Board thanks Heidi for her diligent and caring service, and looks forward to her ongoing leadership.    – Ray Reimer, Moderator, for the WDC Executive Board
  1. February’s Worship Planning Resources on Display:  Lent/Easter Worship Resources.  Check out the list here.   We also have on display Lent/Easter devotionals and resources for all ages.  Stop by or contact the library to have resources sent to you!  crlib@mennowdc.org
  1. SAVE THE DATE!  — Mark your calendars for the Western District Women in Mission Spring Supper at 6 pm on Thursday, March 12 at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS.  Our Special Guest Speaker will be Patty Shelly, Professor of Bible and Religion at Bethel College.  Additional information coming soon! (Churches, please publicize this announcement in your bulletin and or group emails.)
  1. Leadership Launch: Celebrating and Looking AheadA free dessert reception recognizing 5 years of joint partnership of Western District Conference and South Central Conference with Kansas Leadership Center (KLC)  Monday, March 30, 6:30-8:00 pm at KLC, 325 E Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS.  Refreshments and drinks, then a brief program at 7 pm featuring greetings and stories from KLC, WDC and SCC about how adaptive leadership strengthens the church and its ministry.  WDC and SCC alumni of KLC training are especially invited, along with anyone curious to learn more about KLC and our Leadership Transformation Grant from KLC.   (The grant covers full registration cost for a selected number of WDC/SCC participants to attend one of KLC’s three primary leadership training programs. For more information, see:  https://mennowdc.org/grants/or the attached information and application form.)  Members of the Core Team for implementing WDC/SCC’s grant are Heidi Regier Kreider, Kathy Neufeld Dunn, Phil Schmidt, Howard Keim and Isaac Landis.
  1. WDC RESOLUTIONS POLICY:  Resolutions must be submitted a minimum of 120 days prior to Annual Assembly (in 2020, that date is April 3).  Send to:  WDC Executive Board, PO Box 306, North Newton KS  67117

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Camp Mennoscah wants you as part of our summer staff! We are looking for dedicated and faithful college-age students to fill nine summer staff positions: naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard (3), grounds/maintenance, music leader, office, and office/media.  Working at camp is an amazing opportunity to build relationships with Christ, serve others, and have fun with all ages!  Summer staffers are paid a volunteer stipend of $250 per camp week.  Room and board are provided, as are various staff outings and activities.  Further information and the application can be found HERE. (http://www.campmennoscah.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Programs%7CSummer%20Youth%20Camps%3E%3ESummer%20Youth%20Camp%20Staff%20Application)
  1. Youth Volunteer Weekend is March 13-14!  Registration is open and ready for all youth grades 7-12 to join us for a weekend of music, worship, and service.  S’mores included!  Full scholarships are available as part of the online registration process at www.campmennoscah.org.  Call 620-297-3290 with questions.  We’ll see you there!  (See attached poster.)
  1. Youth Camp registration is open!  Go to www.campmennoscah.organd click on Register Online in the upper left corner.  Only 100 spaces left at each camp!  (That’s almost all of them, but they’ll fill up fast!)  Graduating seniors should register now for the best chance to attend Senior High Camp.  Questions?  Call us at 620-297-3290 or email office@campmennoscah.org.
  1. Camp Mennoscah’s Hymn Sing and Dessert Auction is March 1!  Everyone is invited to join us for an afternoon of hymns, fellowship and desserts at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton KS, on March 1 from 4-6pm.  Amazing desserts made by camp supporters will be auctioned off to raise funds to renovate our beloved amphitheater used for evening campfires.  Bring your singing voices and open wallets!
  1. Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats at Camp Mennoscah still have a few open spaces!  We love to have these retreats full of fun and fellowship.  Bring a friend to either retreat on Feb. 28-March 1 or March 6-8 and join in the cropping and crafting.  Register online at www.campmennoscah.org!  Contact us at 620-297-3290 with questions.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Better understand your financial resources and philanthropy in terms of your goals and your faith for both you and the church at the 2020 Anabaptist Vision and Discipleship Series (AVDS) conference, February 21-23 at Hesston College.  In partnership with Everence Financial, weekend presentations will focus on understanding your personal history with money and resources, careers, hospitality, finances, generosity, trauma and economic injustice, healthy and wellness and more.  Multiple registrants from the same congregation or organization receive a registration discount.  All clergy will receive a grant from Everence and the Lilly Foundation for attending at no cost! Register by February 10 at hesston.edu/avds.
  1. !Explore: Know a high school youth who should explore ministry?  !Explore is a great opportunity for 15 to18-year-olds to try out ministry basics like worship planning, preaching, leading music, visiting people, teaching Sunday School, and doing service with their home congregation, as well as a larger group of like-minded youth.  June 30-July 16 these youth will meet at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary for group experiences of experiential learning, asking theological questions, worship, prayer, and service.  Each participant receives a stipend.  See attached flyer.  For more information, contact tsherrill@ambs.edu by the March 15 application deadline.
  1. Service Adventure is a gap year program for young adults ages 17–20 that provides 10 ½ months of learning “on the field.” Take a break from the classroom, test out a vocation, experience self-discovery, all while serving God and living in Christian community. Learn more at www.MennoniteMission.net/Serve.
  1. Calling everyone ages 15–22!Are you looking for a fun and meaningful way to serve this summer? Join a 2020 Youth Venture team! See and join in the work God is doing in Spain, Colombia, Arizona, Peru, Nazareth Village, or Benin. Visit www.MennoniteMission.net/Serve to learn more, or contact Lauren Eash Hershberger at LaurenEH@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