WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
July 30, 2019
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)
IN THIS ISSUE:
*We are witnesses
We are witnesses
by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister
“We are witnesses” (Acts 10:34-43) was the theme of our gathering as members, delegates, friends and neighbors of WDC for our 2019 annual assembly on the Bethel College campus last weekend. I rejoice in the many ways I witnessed God’s good news over the weekend!
– I witnessed God’s truth in the messages offered by Glen Guyton, Mennonite Church USA Executive Director. He shared his testimony of how God used Anabaptist witnesses to transform his life, and challenged us to move beyond the limitations of our rules and regulations, clans and labels to be witnesses for God’s peace in today’s world. I appreciated his call for us to be less anxious, angry and reactive, and instead to be more responsive, resilient, risk-taking, and resourceful – to trust God and move with the Spirit.
– I witnessed God’s call for to us to follow Jesus in today’s world. We were equipped through workshops on adaptive leadership, responses to immigration challenges and the Israel-Palestine conflict, climate change and creation care, land reparations for indigenous peoples, faith formation, financial stewardship, missional and “imperfect peace” witness, the history of women in ministry, and practical service through disaster response and making comforters.
– I witnessed God’s faithfulness as we celebrated over 40 years of women’s ordination in WDC, recognizing courageous and creative women leaders through whom God has enriched the church over the decades.
– I witnessed God’s generosity, as assembly participants contributed to special offerings for church planting in WDC, and also offered creative fundraising ideas to support the full range of WDC ministries.
– I witnessed God’s love as long-time friends, new acquaintances, and people of all ages connected with each other and experienced the presence of Christ in our midst. Retired folks chatted with teen-agers; children and adults mingled as they enjoyed music, fun and refreshments; Spanish-speakers and English-speakers put forth their best efforts to listen and share with one another; participants from all corners of WDC – from Pasadena, TX to Beatrice, NE and from Turpin, OK to Kansas City, KS and many places in-between – welcomed one another, and worshiped, sang and shared the Lord’s Supper together. We were blessed and inspired by the reception of a church plant – Iglesia Camino de Santidad, Liberal, KS – as a new member congregation of WDC.
Back home in our diverse congregations and communities, may we all continue to be witnesses to the good news and presence of Christ among us. Where do we see God’s transforming peace at work? How are we called to participate in and pass on the good news? We are witnesses! Thanks be to God.
Aug 4- Pray for WDC congregations in pastoral transition, as they seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in times of change and uncertainty.
Aug 11 – Pray for the WDC Immigration Task Force and WDC congregations offering support, legal counsel and advocacy for immigrants and refugees.
Aug 18 – As a new school year approaches, give thanks for the WDC Resource Library and the materials it offers for teachers, mentors, youth sponsors and pastors as they nurture faith formation in their congregations.
Aug 25 – Give thanks for the Tabor Mennonite Church congregation as they dedicate a new fellowship hall today, and for pastor Stephen Wilcox at First Mennonite Church in Halstead, KS, as they celebrate his ordination this afternoon.
Aug 27 – WDC Stewardship Commission meeting
Aug 28 – WDC Church Planting Commission meeting
Sept 5 – WDC Resource Commission meeting
Sept 6-8 – Women & Girl’s Retreat, Camp Mennoscah
Sept 13 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission meeting
Sept 14 – WDC Reference Council
Sept 14 – WDC Executive Board meeting
Oct 17-18 – Constituency Leaders Council, Phoenix, AZ
July 31-Aug 2, 2020 – WDC Annual Assembly, Camp Copass, Denton, Texas
- WDC Annual Assembly participants – remember to give your feedback about your experience at the Assembly at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6JB8V3Tby August 16. Thank you!
- On Sunday, August 18, the Western District Conference and South Central Conference Youth Ministry Network will have a catered meal and resourcing for Jr. and Sr. High sponsors and Sunday school teachers at Hesston Mennonite Church from 4:00-7:00 pm. This is to show appreciation to those who share in youth ministry in our congregations. Explore how to deepen adult/youth and youth/youth relationships, with opportunity for interaction with sponsors and teachers from other congregations. Congregations are asked to cover the cost of $10/person as a way of supporting your volunteers. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, August 12. Hope to see you and your adult volunteers on the 18th!
- One of Southern Hills Mennonite Church’s outreach ministries in Topeka is active membership in an interfaith ministry called JUMP, Justice and Unity Ministry Project. 25 faith groups in Topeka work together each year to identify and respond together to a particular issue of injustice affecting low income , marginalized people—school resources for at-risk children, mental health support for county jail inmates, safe and affordable housing, accessible public transportation, etc. A special focus for JUMP this year is predatory, payday lending—loans that end up trapping low income families in a debilitating downward financial spiral. Because this is a statewide problem with significant lobbying resources defending this lucrative business, JUMP and Southern HIlls MC are partnering with several other advocacy organizations to coordinate an effort to reform Payday Loan regulations in state statutes. Friday, August 23, from 8:30-11:30 am these groups will gather in Topeka at Grace Episcopal Church, 701 SW. 8th, Topeka, to discuss and formulate advocacy strategies. Individuals from Mennonite congregations in Kansas with an interest in participating are invited to attend. For details you can communicate with Doug Penner (email@example.com) firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, see two documents attached for more information.
- Get away from BUSY and relax! Sound great? Come join us at the2019 Women & Girls Retreat September 6-8 at Camp Mennoscah. YOU choose what you want to do: Bible study, singing, art, yoga, mental health and spirituality, swimming, refugee reflections, games, or free time! Friday night we will decorate cookies! The schedule and registration forms are available at https://mennowdc.org/women-girls-retreat/ (and also attached). Tammy Duvenal Unruh, debate/forensics coach from Newton, KS will speak on the topic of being Fearless (II Tim. 1:7). This retreat is open to all women and girls grade 3 and older. Register by August 26. (Note to churches: Please print, display and e-mail these forms to women in your congregations. Also, please include this announcement in upcoming bulletins through September 1. Thank you!)
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Sing a song for camp! Camp Mennoscah’s annual celebration of the summer youth camps is Sunday, August 11, at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church in Inman, KS, at 6:30pm. The evening starts with an optional storytime from 5:45 – 6:05pm followed by gobs of singing. After this time of worship and fun, we’ll share in popcorn, pop, and conversation. All are invited, whatever your age or skill!
- Young Adult Retreat Cancelled. Due to low numbers, the Young Adult Retreat at Camp Mennoscah from August 2-4 has regretfully been cancelled. Payments made will be refunded. Please contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 with questions. We’ll see you at another event!
- The Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be September 1-2. The theme for the retreat is Living Peacefully! Come support each other and enjoy fellowship, music, and worship. This retreat is for individuals affected by mental illness, including family and friends. Register online at campmennoscah.org.
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.