January 24, 2017

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)


*Tax Time Comes Around Again


Tax Time Comes Around Again

–by Phyllis Regier, WDC Business Manager

It’s January and once again we are working with taxes and year-end issues. Keeping up with new regulations can be challenging. In early December 2016, Everence sponsored a workshop on clergy tax issues for pastors facilitated by Chris Stauffer of Knudsen, Monroe and Co. There was a lot of helpful information at this workshop not only for pastors but also for church treasurers and leaders. I am attaching the worksheet that was passed out at the workshop. Also included at the end of the worksheet is an update on health insurance reimbursements. Legislation has now been passed that will once again allow eligible employers to reimburse employees for the cost of individual health insurance.

Other resources can be found at the Everence website: http://www.everence.com/resources-for-church-leaders/  At this site you can download free manuals provided by Everence, through a Lilly Endowment grant. They address Clergy Taxes and Church Finances. The booklet on church finances includes a lot of helpful information on charitable giving and legal updates about gifting from IRAs and appreciated stocks. This is important information for conference finance officers to know about as well.

WDC Announcements

  1. Congregational Resourcing Event: Congregational Implications and Response to Sexual Abuse Outside the Church” Saturday, April 29, First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, KS is an educational event in response to situations similar to the one recently faced by Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) and recently addressed in Mennonite Church USA’s recommendations to VMC and Lindale Mennonite Church and denominational commitments to prevent such abuse and to encourage healing when it does. What are best practices and proactive responses when a church member sexually abuses someone in a context outside of the congregation? No matter where the abuse happens, there are always congregational implications.  Kathy Goering Reid, Executive Director of the Family Abuse Center, Austin, TX will lead us in considering theological, biblical, legal, and social implications of sexual abuse when the perpetrator is part of our congregation and how we may respond in healthy ways. All church leaders—church chairs, deacons, Christian educators, youth leaders and pastors are invited.  The cost will be $30 per person or $100 per congregation.  We encourage your congregational representatives to register as a group.  More information will be coming soon.
  1. Pastors and youth workers, don’t miss the January gatherings and Anabaptist resources at TheGatheringPlace.us The topic for the month is a Christian response to racism.  Resources include Jan. 24 webinar with Drew Hart, “Racialized Society and the Way or Jesus,” video podcasts on the importance of intercultural understanding in our church, working for peace and racial reconciliation and more.
  1. Camp Mennoscah on the Road! We will be scouring the colleges and universities for summer staff at the beginning of February.  On February 3, we’ll be at Goshen College in the Connector.  February 6, 7, and 8 will be at Hesston, Tabor, and Bethel Colleges respectively.  Stop by and say hello!  These events usually run from the morning to mid-afternoon.
  1. Fundraiser for the Whale Playground Structure! Camp Mennoscah will be holding a Hymn Sing & Dessert Auction on February 26 at Eden Mennonite Church from 4-6pm.  Funds raised from the auction and offering will go towards the new playground structure.  Come for some heartfelt singing, high-sugar bidding, and lots of great fellowship!
  1. It’s the second annual Youth Volunteer Weekend at Camp Mennoscah! Youth in grades 7-12 are invited to join us on March 10-11 for a time of worship, service, fun! We’ll begin with worship and singing on Friday evening and end with the same on Saturday evening.  Camp will provide counselors.  Register online at campmennoscah.org!  If youth sponsors are interested in attending, please contact us at 620-297-3290.
  1. Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are almost here! Camp Mennoscah is ready to crop and craft on March 3-5 and March 17-19.  Register online at campmennoscah.org or call us at 620-297-3290 for a brochure.

Mennonite Church Announcements

Goshen College seeks candidates for President.  Nominations and/or letters of application with CV or resume may be submitted to Goshen College Presidential Search Committee at:  GCSearch@mennoniteeducation.org or mail to:  Goshen College Presidential Search Committee, Mennonite Education Agency, 3145 Benham Ave, Suite #2, Elkhart, IN  46517.  Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Goshen College is an equal opportunity employer.  More information at:  https://www.goshen.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2016/10/presidential_search_online.pdf

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