WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
June 18, 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:
*Be the good news
Be the good news
by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
“To me the key is to go out and make disciples and not just stay inside of the four walls of a church building.” In order to be faithful to this instruction, the Holy Spirit’s power and presence is needed. Part of the good news is that the Holy Spirit is already among us.
It is about building friendly and meaningful relationships with our community. To accomplish it, first we need to establish connections which means to go out of our comfortable routines to meet and spend time with our neighbors.
“Next weekend I will go out to greet and meet our neighbors and to proclaim that the kingdom of God is near. I hope and pray for you to join me, come and let us be the good news.”
This is part of a sermon preached by pastor Natividad Hernandez from Casa de Dios Mennonite Church in Garland, Texas at their Friday prayer meeting.
In preparation for Pentecost, I decided to reflect on Acts 1-2 and the Gospel of John, chapters 14-17. Then, pastor Natividad’s words challenged me as well. I connected his sermon with my reflections.
As I read John 14, I can only imagine the kinds of thoughts that Jesus’ followers entertained when they heard the news about Jesus leaving them. It seemed like life for the disciples was going to fall apart. The world as they knew it was about to collapse in total chaos.
However, even in the darkest hour in life, there is a glimmer of light. Amid their new reality, Jesus tells his disciples “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” (John 14:15-14 NLT).
Both John’s and pastor Natividad’s comments are a good reminder, Jesus’ disciples will not be left adrift. He is right, “Part of the good news is that the Holy Spirit is already among us.”
Seamos las Buenas Nuevas
by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
“Para mí, la clave es salir y hacer discípulos y no solo permanecer dentro de las cuatro paredes del edificio de la iglesia”. Para ser fieles a esta instrucción, se necesita el poder y la presencia del Espíritu Santo. Parte de la buena noticia es que el Espíritu Santo ya está entre nosotros.
Se trata de construir relaciones amigables y significativas con nuestra comunidad. Para lograrlo, primero debemos establecer conexiones, lo que significa salir de nuestras rutinas cómodas para conocer y pasar tiempo con nuestros vecinos.
“El próximo fin de semana saldré a saludar y conocer a nuestros vecinos y a proclamar que el reino de Dios está cerca. Espero y le oro al Señor para que me acompañes, ven y seamos las buenas nuevas”.
Esto es parte de un sermón predicado por el pastor Natividad de la Iglesia Menonita Casa de Dios en Garland, Texas, en un culto de oración del viernes.
En preparación para la época de Pentecostés, decidí reflexionar sobre Hechos 1-2 y el Evangelio de Juan, capítulos 14-17. Luego al escuchar las palabras del pastor Natividad también me desafiaron. Conecté su sermón con mis reflexiones.
Al leer Juan 14, solo me puedo imaginar los pensamientos que los discípulos de Jesús tuvieron cuando escucharon la noticia de que Jesús los dejaría. Parecía ser que la vida de los discípulos iba a desmoronarse. El mundo estaba a punto de colapsar en un caos total.
Sin embargo, e incluso en la hora más oscura de la vida, hay un destello de luz. En medio de su nueva realidad, Jesús les dice a sus discípulos: “Si me aman, obedezcan mis mandamientos. Y yo le pediré al Padre, y él les dará otro Abogado Defensor, quien estará con ustedes para siempre. Me refiero al Espíritu Santo, quien guía a toda la verdad (Juan 14:15-17 NTV).
Los comentarios de Juan y del pastor Natividad son un buen recordatorio, los discípulos de Jesús no se quedarán a la deriva. Él tiene razón: “Parte de la buena noticia es que el Espíritu Santo ya está entre nosotros”.
- Ministers are invited for WDC Ministers’ Afternoon Aparton Friday, July 26, 1-5 pm (prior to WDC Annual Assembly) in the Cafeteria of Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS. The theme of this resourcing event sponsored by the WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission will be Life-Giving Missional Church Leadership with facilitators Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, director of the new Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning ministry program at Hesston College, and Michele Hershberger, Bible and Youth Ministry Professor at Hesston. Join Michele and Jessica on the journey of being and becoming a missional church, as they use personal stories of success and failure, and open discussions in a safe place to explore these questions: In light of all of the other responsibilities pastors are expected to carry out, how do we have time to be missional leaders? What is the difference between “Missional” and another program? What if it doesn’t fit into our church schedule? What are the hidden barriers, and hidden rewards? What are some strategies and practices that can help in the process of becoming more missional? Registration of $25 per person payable to WDC includes mid-afternoon snack and drinks. To register, go to https://mennowdc.org/wdc-ministers-afternoon-apart/
- There will be many workshops to choose from Saturday morning and afternoon at Western District Conference Annual Assembly, July 26-27 on Bethel College campus in North Newton, KS. Here is a small sample: Mennonite Women’s Vocies: 1972-2006; artists’ perspectives and personal stories on the Arizona and Texas/Mexico borders; faith formation workshops by Shana Peachey Boshart (MC USA) and Springs Forth!; conversation about creation care, and much moer. Join us! For more information, go to: https://mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/#2019annualAssembly
- Check out Nancy Funk’s favorite reads from the Conference Resource Library at this link: Nancy Funk (Administrative Assistant) All of these titles (and more) are available via US Mail or in person at 2517 N. Main in North Newton.
- A huge “thank you” to everyone who visited the Conference Resource Library last week for the Book Sale. We’re glad so many items found new homes and thankful for your generosity; we raised $275 for new resources!
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- We are having great fun! Summer Youth Camps at Camp Mennoscah are going swimmingly and we are thrilled we still have 6 weeks of camp left. Campers are welcome to register for a week of faith, fun, and fellowship on the theme of Peace Works: Empowering Peacemakers. It’s an awesome time with worship, swimming, crafts, nature, and lots of friends! Register at campmennoscah.org!
- Family Weekend is (almost) now! Join us June 29-30 at Camp Mennoscah for a time with family and friends in God’s great creation. The weekend is lightly scheduled to allow you to spend time with your family and friends doing all sorts of camp-themed activities–swimming, crafts, canoeing (river conditions permitting), smores, worship and campfire. Register online at campmennoscah.orgor call us at 620-297-3290!
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