January 5, 2021

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)

We invite your continuing support for WDC! Contributions may be made HERE.     


*Joy to the World


Joy to the World

     by Jennie Wintermote, Resource Library Director

Yesterday our 3-year-old danced across the kitchen floor in her sock feet singing, “Joy to the world, the Ward has come.”  What a delight.  I know the “L” sound is one of the last to develop, and I know she’s singing “lord” but it sounds as though she’s saying a combination of “Lord” and “Word.”  It makes me stop and reflect on who Jesus is–and He is so much more than the infant in the manger.

In the final pages of the children’s picture book, “The First Christmas Night” by Keith Christopher* we read that now we “can say with delight” that Jesus is born.   As Jesus was born into our world that first Christmas night, so too has Jesus entered into our dark world of political divisions, pandemic fears and restrictions, and our personal wounds great and small.

Another line in “The First Christmas Night” reminds us that “redemption is nigh.”  And now, on the other side of that first Christmas, redemption is here!  What joyful news–God through Christ has redeemed us!  And one day God will redeem all that is broken in our lives and world.

That is good news indeed!  What does it mean to share this good news with delight in 2021?  With the abandon of a preschooler dancing across the house, singing at the top of her voice?  May we live in joy this year as messengers of Christ’s presence in our world.

*If you missed the video Christmas greetings from the WDC Resource Library and would like to view the video, click here.


Alegría para el mundo

de Jennie Wintermote, Directora de la Biblioteca de Recursos

Ayer, nuestra hija de 3 años bailó por el piso de la cocina en calcetines cantando: “Alegría para el mundo, ha llegado el Señol. Qué placer. Sé que el sonido de la “R” es uno de los últimos en desarrollarse, y  que ella está cantando “Señor,” pero suena como si estuviera diciendo una combinación de “Señor” y “Señal.” Me hace detenerme y reflexionar sobre quién es Jesús, y es mucho más que el bebé en el pesebre.

En las páginas finales del libro de cuentos ilustrados para niños, “The First Christmas Night” (La primera noche de Navidad) de Keith Christopher * leemos que ahora “podemos decir con deleite” que Jesús ha nacido. Así como Jesús nació en nuestro mundo esa primera noche de Navidad, Jesús también ha entrado en nuestro mundo oscuro de divisiones políticas, temores y restricciones pandémicas, y nuestras heridas personales grandes y pequeñas.

Otra línea de “The First Christmas Night” (La primera noche de Navidad) nos recuerda que “la redención está cerca.” Y ahora, al otro lado de esa primera Navidad, ¡la redención está aquí! ¡Qué noticia más feliz: Dios nos redimió por medio de Cristo! Y algún día Dios redimirá todo lo que está roto en nuestras vidas y en el mundo.

¡Esas sí son buenas nuevas! ¿Qué significa compartir con deleite estas buenas nuevas en 2021? ¿Con el desinhibido de una niña en edad preescolar bailando por la casa, cantando a todo pulmón? ¡Que vivamos con alegría este año como mensajeros de la presencia de Cristo en nuestro mundo!

*Si se te perdió el video de saludos navideños de la Biblioteca de recursos de la WDC y te gustaría verlo, haga clic aquí.

WDC announcements

  1. WDC Annual AssemblyResolutions – The Assembly will be held July 30-Aug 1, in a hybrid model with the possibility of both virtual and in-person activities. WDC encourages the development of resolutions that facilitate discernment, educate, build unity, and provide an area conference understanding while acknowledging dissenting voices.  Any proposed church statement should be discerned through congregations or WDC commissions and task forces and submitted for consideration to the WDC Resolutions Committee a minimum of 120 days prior to annual conference sessions (April 2, 2021).   
  1. Common Read:  Join others across WDC to discuss I Am Not Your Enemy: Stories to Transform a Divided Worldby Michael T. McRay.  This Common Read is a partnership between Herald Press, MC Canada, and MC USA.  WDC-based Zoom discussions will take place on Jan. 11, 11:30am-12:30pm and Jan. 28, 7-8pm.  Join for one or both discussions. To borrow a copy of the book (limited number) or to register for the discussion, email crlib@mennowd.org.
  1. Attn church offices:  Please send updated church directories to the WDC office.  These may be emailed to:  wdc@mennowdc.org, or mailed to:  WDC, PO Box 306, North Newton KS 67117.  Thank you!

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Applications for Camp Mennoscah Summer Staff positions are now being accepted!  Although there is a chance positions will change to meet the needs of pandemic-impacted summer youth camps, the current summer staff leadership positions are naturalist, crafts leader, lifeguard, grounds/maintenance, music leader, office, and all-round/media. For those 21 years old or older, there is also a Director of Support opening.  Find the application and information online at www.campmennoscah.orgunder Summer Youth Camps!
  1. Celebrate the new year by coming to Camp Mennoscah!  Camp Mennoscah is a wonderful space for families and groups needing space to spread out!  Facilities for differently sized groups are available with a variety of gathering areas.  Trails and fields are waiting to be hiked and used for fun activities, too!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or office@campmennoscah.orgto reserve.  You are invited to enjoy this sacred space!
  1. A few extra Camp Mennoscah hoodies are available!  (Adult sizes only.)  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.org Grab yours before they’re gone!
  1. Thank you, Allen and Janet!  After 40 years of dedicated service as program directors at Camp Mennoscah, Allen Jantz and Janet McGillivary are retiring.  We know them in part for their wonderfully caring and carefully planned camp week and for Allen’s lunchtime skits and Janet’s lanyard-making.  We celebrate these years shared with Camp Mennoscah and wish them the best in new adventures!  See you at Camp Mennoscah again soon, Allen and Janet!
  1. The Camp Mennoscah Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Olivia Bartel has accepted the position of Executive Director. Olivia has an undergraduate degree from Bethel College and a Master of Arts from AMBS with a focus in Theological Studies.  She has been with Camp Mennoscah since 2008 and is a familiar face on campgrounds and at camp sponsored events.  Olivia has a tremendous passion for Camp Mennoscah’s mission and building relationships.  She has been instrumental in developing new programming such as the Scrapbooking and Crafts Retreats.  She has also updated and strengthened the staff training program to promote safe boundaries.  Most of what Olivia does, however, has been behind the scenes to ensure everyone feels welcomed and has a good experience.  Olivia will continue to be responsible for camp programming while taking on additional supervisory and executive responsibilities.  Please join us in congratulating Olivia on her promotion and welcoming her to the role of Executive Director.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. 1.  S, Jan. 10, 3 p.m. – Retired pastor Florence Schloneger, North Newton,and Pauline Sharp, Wichita, a Kaw tribal member and board member of the Kanza Heritage Society, will give a virtual presentation, sharing their family stories related to land ownership, economics, education and identity. This is in connection with the special exhibit at Bethel College’s Kauffman Museum, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” Schloneger’s ancestors immigrated to Kansas in the 1800s while Sharp’s relatives, members of the Kanza (Kaw) tribe, lived in central Kansas for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Sign up for the Zoom link at https://kauffmanmuseum.org/event/sunday-afternoon-at-the-museum-with-florence-schloneger-and-pauline-sharp/The event will also be on Facebook Live on the Kauffman Museum Facebook page. 
  1. Mon., Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m. – Bethel College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will feature spoken word artist M’Vyonne Payne and former pro athlete and motivational speaker Chris Singleton. The event will be held in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, with COVID protocols in place, and will also be live-streamed via YouTube at bit.ly/bethelks-mlk2021Sponsors are the Bethel College Diversity Council, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Student Life Office, with support from the Bethel College Women’s Association.
  1. Transitional Ministry Training will be offered by Amigo Center in 2021 on these dates: April 12, 19 and 26 online, and October 18-20 in-person or online TBD.  See the attached flyer for more information.  This training will be helpful for those currently in pastoral or lay leadership as well as those exploring the next phase of their ministry vocation. Learn more about creative responses to the challenges of ministry in times of transition.

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