January 21, 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.    
*Battered by the waves
Battered by the waves
     by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

It all happened at the darkest hour of the night! The disciples were on the way to the other side of the sea when they found themselves battered by the waves. To make matters worse, the disciples thought that they had seen a ghost; this is how Matthew 14:22-33 describes the incident. The disciples were all exhausted, they just wanted to make it to the other side.

How you ever found yourself in this type of situation? When everything seems to be gone, lost and with no way out!

For the twelve imperfect but beloved brothers in Christ, this seemed to be the case. About three in the morning, they saw what appeared to be a human shape walking on the sea and they were alarmed. Some Bible versions use the word “ghost,” this helps us understand why they panicked and why fear became the new reality. It was there, amid the storm, that Jesus spoke to them. Courage, he said; it is I, do not be afraid.

Demonstrations of God’s power can come in many ways and forms. For some, it might be an opportunity for a new beginning, for life anew. Possibly for some, a true miracle is the approval of a comprehensive immigration reform. For others, it is just another chance to get their feet off the ground and start afresh.

For others, miracles are the hope for a better tomorrow when human dignity will no longer be the footstool of the powerful, and the list goes on.

In any case, as a follower of Christ, it seems to me that demonstrations of power have the intention to draw people closer to God and help us find ways to connect with our community and with each other in new and faithful ways.

Friends let us be still and courageous through the storm, Jesus wants to take the direction of our lives. Would you let him?


Azotados por las olas
     byByron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

¡Todo sucedió en la hora más oscura de la noche! Los discípulos se dirigían al otro lado del mar cuando se vieron azotados por las olas. Para empeorar las cosas, los discípulos pensaron que habían visto un fantasma; así es como Mateo 14: 22-33 describe el incidente. Todos los discípulos estaban exhaustos, solo querían llegar al otro lado.

¿Te has encontrado en este tipo de situaciones? ¡Cuando todo parece descalabrado, perdido y sin salida!

Para los doce hermanos en Cristo tan imperfectos, pero tan amados, este parece ser el caso. Alrededor de las tres de la mañana, vieron lo que parece ser una forma humana caminando sobre el mar; se asustaron. Algunas versiones de la Biblia usan la palabra “fantasma”, esto nos ayuda a entender por qué entraron en pánico y por qué el miedo se convirtió en la nueva realidad. Fue allí, en medio de la tormenta que Jesús les habló. Tangan ánimo, les dijo; no tengan miedo.

Las demostraciones del poder de Dios también pueden presentarse en muchas formas y maneras. Para algunos, podría ser la esperanza de un nuevo comienzo, de una vida nueva.

Posiblemente para algunos, un verdadero milagro es la aprobación de una reforma migratoria integral. Para otros, significa otra oportunidad para comenzar de nuevo.
Para otros, los milagros son la esperanza de un mañana mejor cuando la dignidad humana ya no sea el estrado de los poderosos, y la lista continúa.

Cualquiera sea el caso, como seguidor de Cristo, me parece que las demostraciones de poder tienen la intención de acercar a las personas a Dios y nos ayudan a encontrar formas de conectarnos con nuestra comunidad y entre nosotros mismos de maneras nuevas y fieles.

Amigos, estemos quietos y seamos valientes; en medio de la tormenta, Jesús quiere tomar el control de nuestra vida. Te gustaría permitírselo?

WDC announcements
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).
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.org or 620-297-3290.
2.  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
There’s still time to sign up to join the Mennonite Mission Network Alumni & Friends Service-Learning Tour. From March 7-14, we will serve alongside our Service Adventure partners in Jackson, and our SOOP partners in Meridian and Mashulaville, MS. We will also be taking in Civil Rights experiences by hearing from an activist and going to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, as well as other sites. Email AlumniTrip@MennoniteMission.net for more information. 
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