January 14, 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.


*Pastoral openings

*Pastoral news & transitions


Pastoral Openings

Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS – Associate Pastor

Southern Hills Mennonite Church, Topeka, KS – Pastor

Turpin Mennonite Church, Turpin, OK – Pastor

News and Transitions

Marshall Anderson, Associate Pastor at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, will become the Lead Pastor there on February 16.

Anne Neufeld Rupp, retired pastor, passed away on December 23.  Her memorial service will be on January 19 at 3 pm at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton, KS.

WDC announcements

  1. WDC staff transition update: 

All are invited to a farewell reception for WDC Associate Conference Minister Byron Pellecer on Wednesday, January 22, at 10-11 am (come-and-go, with remarks at 10:30 am) at the WDC conference room, 2517 North Main Street, North Newton, KS.  Come and enjoy some refreshments, and join in as we offer our prayers and best wishes for Byron as he concludes his ministry with WDC at the end of January.

WDC is reviewing conference ministry staff roles and responsibilities in preparation for a search process for Associate Conference Minister (Texas). During the interim beginning in February, Lee Lever (pastor at Austin Mennonite Church) will serve as Interim Conference Ministry Liaison for ministers and congregations in Texas, on a limited basis of several days per month.  Also during the interim, Kathy Neufeld Dunn will shift from ¾-time to fulltime in her role as Associate Conference Minister (Kansas), to coordinate planning for the WDC Annual Assembly (July 31-Aug 2 in Texas) and assist with other ministries as needed. Further conversations with Church Planting Commission will take place to discern ongoing support for church plants in the interim.  WDC values your ongoing prayers, encouragement, and support during this time as we listen together for God’s leading and vision for the future.

  1. Leadership Lunch: All are welcome to come for lunch and conversation on Thursday, January 30 from 12-1:30pm at the WDC offices. This will be our first Leadership Lunch of 2020 and it will be an opportunity for us to brainstorm what we would like Leadership Lunches to look like for this year. Bring your own lunch and bring ideas of how this monthly gathering can help inspire us to make progress on the adaptive challenges we face. Any questions, please contact Phil Schmidt (pschmidt@tabormennonite.org) or Kathy Neufeld Dunn (kathynd@mennowdc.org).
  1. Are you making plans to attend the AMBS Shaping Faith in a Digital Culture and Deep Faith joint conference in March in Elkhart, IN (see announcement below)?  Let WDC know if you are interested in traveling together with others. We’ll try to help make those connections.  316-283-6300 or wdc@mennowdc.org
  1. WDC will offer Healthy Boundaries 101 training on April 17 in the Newton, KS area, location TBD.  WDC credentialed persons who are due for this training (required every three years) will receive information in February.  Another option for this training is available on March 2, just prior to the AMBS Pastors and Leaders week / Deep Faith conference in Elkhart, IN (see announcement below).
  1. Policies and Practice:  If your congregation is updating your child, youth, and adult safety (“Safe Sanctuaries”) policy and/or wants an updated safety training or Circle of Grace orientation, contact WDC Associate Conference Minister Kathy Neufeld Dunn (kathynd@mennowdc.org) or 316-283-6300).  She keeps current on sexual abuse prevention and response and is happy to help congregations do so, too, on paper or in-person.

-One resource WDC recommends is Dove’s Nest, an organization whose mission is to empower and equip faith communities to keep children and youth safe in their homes, churches and communities. Dove’s Nest serves a variety of church groups, including Mennonite congregations.  Find out more at https://dovesnest.net/about.

– Also, note that Everence’s Safe Church Grant has been extended into 2020, so your congregation can be reimbursed up to $350 for the costs you incur to develop policies, train people or implement programs to keep children, teens and other vulnerable individuals safe from abuse. See https://www.everence.com/living-the-values/grants-and-scholarships-and-awards

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Summer staff needed!  Camp Mennoscah is looking for college-aged people to fill summer staff positions (lifeguard, nature, music, crafts, office) and someone 21 or older to fill the new position of “director of support.”  The director of support is a summer-long position to assist the camp director, summer staff, program and support staff through management, coordination, and communication.  Complete your application for any of these positions at campmennoscahstaff.campbrainstaff.com!  Questions can be directed to olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.orgor 620-297-3290.
  1. Retreat registration is open!  Registration for all 2020 Camp Mennoscah retreats is now available at www.campmennoscah.org.  Look for the Register Online link at the top of the page.  Summer youth camp registration will open at the beginning of February.  The fun has begun!

Mennonite church announcements

  1. The Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum annual meeting will be held on Sunday Jan. 19 at the Goessel Mennonite Church. Following a business meeting, the featured program will be “The Mennonite Experience in Poland History Tour 2018” given by D.J. & Marilyn Unruh Flaming and Myron & Ruth Goertzen. This event is free and open to the public. Visiting and faspa will happen after the program.
  1. Registration is now open for Hesston College’s Anabaptist Vision and Discipleship Series (AVDS) on February 21-23.  This year’s conference, in partnership with Everence Financial, is Living More with More:  Redefining the Good Life,and will focus on stewardship of finances, resources and hospitality.  The weekend’s content will have interest points for all life stages from high school-age youth to retirement, as well as group-focused content relatable to congregations and other organizations.  All clergy will receive a grant from Everence and the Lilly Foundation for attending at no cost!  Go to hesston.edu/avds for more information and registration.
  1. Leadership Clinics at AMBS: Monday, March 2. Open to any leader forming faith in the community,these daylong workshops take place before the joint Pastors and Leaders 2020 and Deep Faith conference on Shaping Faith in a Digital Culture begins. Sessions include Shine Curriculum’s Vision for Faith Formation; Forming Faith in Digital Spaces (a collaborative research project); and Healthy Boundaries 101 and 201. Group discounts are available! ambs.edu/leadershipclinics
  1. Register now forShaping Faith in a Digital Culture: March 2–5. Join fellow faith leaders at a joint conference of Pastors and Leaders 2020 and Deep Faith on the AMBS campus in Elkhart, Indiana. You’ll think and reflect theologically together about living, worshiping and playing in digital spaces. First-time attenders get 25% off! Save money if you sign up by Jan. 20. ambs.edu/pastorsandleaders
  1. Become an AMBS Church Leadership Center member! Strengthen your skills and learn with the AMBS community. A Church Leadership Center membership includes registration for Pastors and Leaders 2020, a Leadership Clinic, an online short course, and more. Level 1 membership is $400. ambs.edu/lifelong-learning/become-a-member
  1. Looking for adventure? Serve, learn and grow with Youth Venture! Locations: Spain, Colombia, Arizona, Peru, Nazareth Village, Benin. Age: 15–22; term: 2–3 weeks.  The application deadline is April 1. Learn more at www.MennoniteMission.net/Serveor email LaurenEH@MennoniteMission.net.
  2. Join a community. Serve others. Put your faith into action. Apply to serve with Mennonite Voluntary Service in places like Chicago; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; and Alamosa. Age: 20+; term: 1–2 years. For more info, contact 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