January 4, 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)


*New Year, New Opportunities


New Year, New Opportunities

     by Jennie Wintermote, Library Director

It’s a new year, and a wonderful opportunity to start something new.  No matter your age, gender, vocation, or any other category, God desires something new for you this year.  Why not take this opportunity to cultivate a practice that helps you draw closer to God?  A practice that helps you live more faithfully and to spread God’s love to your family and community?

What kinds of practices do I have in mind?  A new rhythm of devotions or Bible study, challenging yourself with new ideas relating to community, simple living, or following Christ.  Grab a friend or a group and start a Bible or book study, go through a DVD study together, or try meeting regularly for a meal, prayer, and sharing.

At the Resource Library we have books (for all ages), DVDs and studies for individuals, families, and groups.  I’m also full of ideas and would love to help you find just the right resource to help you grow.

Where is often the easiest place to start something new?  At home.  Try reading a book and discussing it with another member of your family or start a devotional with a spouse or child.

In his book Think Orange: Imagine the impact when church and family collide, author Reggie Joiner shares that the average church has only 40 hours in a given year to impact a child.  On average a parent has 3,000 hours to impact that same child.  Think of all the opportunities parents, grandparents, and other family members have to impact children and youth.  Posted on the library website is a list of some of the great resources we have for parents and other caregivers to start exploring small (and big ways) to have conversations about faith at home.  The list can be found at https://mennowdc.org/library/  (Faith Formation at Home Booklist).  This is only a small sampling of the 391 resources we have on “parenting.”

As parents wait for a child to be born, the world feels full of new opportunities, and they see new beginnings everywhere they look.  As we remember the celebrations of our newborn King in the manger, may we all feel the same optimism and think about the ways we might grow in faith this year.

WDC Announcements

  1. What’s So Funny about Money?, a Ted and Company show, is coming to the McPherson Opera House, 219 S Main St, McPherson, KS on Sunday, February 19 (NOTE THIS CHANGE OF DATE from an earlier announcement.) at 7 pm. This show is open to the public by donation to benefit the WDC Matching Fund, assisting pastors with financial challenges.  Thanks to Everence for their sponsorship.  Invite your friends!  Please use the attached bulletin inserts and poster to help publicize this event. For more information, contact Kathy at 316-283-6300 or kathynd@mennowdc.org or find a show clip at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEw5FLfO4Pw.
  1. The Conference Resource Library is open Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. As of January 4, Resource Librarian Jennie Wintermote will be in the library Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00-Noon.  (Other WDC Staff can assist you when Jennie is not here.)
  1. Chaplains’ Brown Bag Lunch – Thursday, January 12, 12-1 pm, WDC Office, discussion with other WDC chaplains, “What Is an Anabaptist Chaplain?” Come to discuss with and support one another in your unique ministry. Bring your lunch.  Drinks provided. For more information, contact Kathy at 316-283-6300 or kathynd@mennowdc.org.
  1. Invitation for stories: Rooted and Built Up in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7), will be the WDC theme for 2017, selected by the Executive Board to celebrate WDC’s 125th anniversary year.  As a way to kick off the year, the first issue of the WDC newsletter Garden in 2017 will plant some “seeds” by featuring several short stories from WDC congregations.  Does your congregation have a creative idea to share, or have you recently been present for an interesting experience in witness, worship, faith formation or community building in another congregation?  If so, please send in a 100-word story or description to the WDC office at wdc@mennowdc.org, by January 18, for consideration for the Feb/Mar issue of Garden.
  1. Know Jesus 2017, organized by the Western District and South Central Conference Youth Ministry Committee and hosted by Hesston College, is a weekend-long retreat for Jr. High (6th – 8th grade) students to worship together and learn more about their Anabaptist roots. The goal is to help young people learn about their rich heritage and also to promote growth in their lives now.  Our hope is to provide an environment for our 6th-8th graders to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ.  Register by January 11 for the early bird rate; registrations accepted until January 20.  Poster is attached.  See complete information at:  https://mennowdc.org/know-jesus-2017/
  1. The WDC Staff from Newton and Dallas will gather for a Staff Retreat on January 10-11 at Camp Mennoscah. Note that the WDC Office and the Conference Resource Library will be closed those days.
  1. Step Up Program for youth at Orlando 2017 Mennonite Church USA Convention: At this summer’s denominational convention in Orlando (July 4-8), MC USA is offering a fresh way to involve high school youth representatives in delegate sessions, and prepare young people for future involvement as denominational delegates and church leaders. Through two interactive seminar sessions, Step Up representatives will receive preparation in advance, and debriefing after attending delegate sessions at an assigned round table discussion group.  Conferences and constituency groups are invited to name participants in the Step Up program:  Each conference is asked to name three representatives reflecting diversity of gender and race/ethnicity, and each constituency group should name two representatives to participate.  Representatives should be rising sophomores in high school and older.  Western District Conference invites nominations for participants in the Step Up program. The WDC Resource Commission will provide scholarships to help with expenses, based on need and availability of funds.   To nominate a youth representative, please send his/her name, contact information, congregation affiliation, year in school, brief biographical background to wdc@mennowdc.org by February 15.  We especially encourage you to nominate youth of color.  After nominations have been received, WDC will make appointments. (Note: Step Up representatives will not be actual delegates, but will be youth convention participants who participate in several delegate sessions as guests.)  For more information see http://convention.mennoniteusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/StepUp_LettertoConfConstgroups-docx.pdf
  1. Welcome to the New Year! Camp Mennoscah is welcoming 2017 with several projects and a full schedule of camps and retreats.  Work on the kitchen renovation continues, a fifth boys cabin will be added, and the new playground structure will hopefully be in place before the summer youth camps start.  We’ll keep you updated on Facebook and at www.campmennoscah.org!
  1. Song Books and Sweet Teeth! Camp Mennoscah will have a Hymn Sing and Dessert Auction Fundraiser on February 26 from 4-6pm at Eden Mennonite Church in Moundridge, KS.  It’s music for both your mouth and ears!
  1. New cabin! For the past few years, Camp Mennoscah has had summer youth camp weeks that have been overflowing. We’ve stuffed campers in all over the place!  To address this wonderful challenge, Camp Mennoscah is adding a fifth boys cabin.  It will be southeast of the new boys bath house and ready for use this summer.  First Mennonite Church of Newton, KS and Grace Hill Mennonite Church of Whitewater, KS have volunteered to help build the cabin.  Thanks so much!
  1. Best Choice Labels for Camp Mennoscah! For those of you kindly saving your Best Choice grocery labels, all we need is the UPC code from the label. We earn $60 for the first 1000 we send in each year.  Questions?  Call us at 620-297-3290.

Mennonite Church Announcements

Prairie View Chaplaincy program invites you to join us for a “Pastoral Care Luncheon and Education Opportunity.” Dr. Jessica Kerzner, PsyD, author of “The Path To Loving Yourself: You Are A Big Deal (Healing Acts for Life)” and Prairie View clinician will share her thoughts on post-holiday family stress and warning signs church leaders can watch for.   Free lunch will be available for those who RSVP (please email eldermd@pvi.org with any dietary restrictions)   Karen Andres, Prairie View Chaplain will briefly discuss her role at Prairie View and in the community. Misty Elder-Serene will highlight some of the Prairie View services available to the church community.   Tours of Prairie View will be offered following the luncheon.   Where: Prairie View Auditorium, 1901 E. First St. Newton, KS.  When: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 Lunch and networking begin at 12:00, presentations from 12:15-1:15.  Please RSVP to Misty Elder-Serene @ eldermd@pvi.org or 316-284-6385.  Free will donations will be accepted for lunch.

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