March 1, 2016

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)


*Summer Day in Winter

*Prayer Requests

*Coming Events


Summer Day in Winter

     by Olivia Bartel, Director–Camp Mennoscah

It was a summer-y 79 degrees the other day when I called my sister. “Snow day,” she told me. “The kids are home….” She turned her head away from the phone. “Hey—don’t torture the cat.” There was a combination of high energy and squabbling in the background. It’s not like they live in Alaska, but the 300 some miles apart was enough. I was thinking about planting trees and mowing. They were thinking about chipping ice off the driveway.

It’s that crazy time of year when maybe you start thinking about summer plans but you’ve still got that winter jacket where you can grab it. You’re looking for signs of spring and the creeping of little green things sprouting, but still wondering if there will be a spring snowstorm or frost. There’s the longing for renewal and the hope of shaking off the winter blah-di-blahs.

We’re looking for renewal here at Camp Mennoscah, too. There’s tangible and physical renewal in the new bath houses that are so close to finally being finished, but we’re also looking ahead to the groups coming to camp this spring and to everyone who will sing, play, and worship their way through our summer youth camps and retreats. That’s renewal of the spirit.

Camp Mennoscah is a ministry—a ministry for you. All that singing, playing, and worshiping is meant to renew your spirit, to strengthen your faith, and for you to make connections with others and God. It’s meant to be fun, too, for one of the best ways to find that holy connection is through fun. We want to see you laughing while at one of the retreats at Camp Mennoscah, with your church or family group, or as one of our summer youth camp volunteers. These are all ways to renew yourself and be away from routine, which we all need at some point, whether after a winter season or long school year or just plain life.

Come visit us. Plan a family or friends gathering. Send campers to our youth camps. Let us share this sacred space with you and let Camp Mennoscah renew you.

Prayer Requests

March 6 – Pray for God’s strength and peace for families, congregations, pastors and community leaders in the Hesston/Newton, KS area as they continue to respond to the recent shootings.

March 13 – Give thanks for the gifts and leadership of women in WDC congregations, and for all who gather at the Women’s Spring Supper this Thursday.

March 20 – Give thanks for God’s work through church plants in WDC (Iglesia Cristiana Menonita Camino Nuevo in Dallas, TX; Iglesia Camino de Santidad in Liberal, KS; and Iglesia Menonita Aposento Alto in Wichita, KS) and the support of their sister churches.

March 27 – Pray for WDC participants Anita Kehr, Heidi Regier Kreider and Jonathan Wenger and others joining in a “Come and See” learning tour to Israel/Palestine April 1-13 sponsored by Mennonite Church USA.

Coming Events

Mar 12 – Kansas Leadership Center training follow-up (8:30 am-12 pm), Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston KS

Mar 15 – WDC Executive Board Meeting (6:30 pm)

Mar 17 – Women’s Spring Supper, Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston KS

Mar 22 – WDC Church Planting Commission meeting

Mar 25 – WDC Office closed for Good Friday

Apr 1 – Resolution deadline for Annual Assembly 2016 (120 days prior to Annual Assembly on July 29-30)

Apr 15 – WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission Meeting

Apr 23 –Spring Reference Council: “Held Together in Mission: Being Church in the Rural Context” (9 am-3 pm), First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, Nebraska

May 7 – WDC Executive Board Meeting

Jul 29-30 – WDC Annual Assembly 2016, Bethel College, North Newton KS

Oct 22 – Fall Reference Council: “Held Together in Mission: Being Church in the Urban Context”, Dallas, TX (Location to be announced)

WDC Announcements

  1. WDC Spring Reference Council: “Held Together in Mission: Being Church in the Rural Context” – Saturday, April 23, 9 am – 3 pm at First Mennonite Church, Beatrice, NE. WDC congregation members, pastors, and board/commission/committee members are all invited to come for worship, fellowship and learning together, as we nurture relationships through deeper understanding of our diverse church contexts. (Fall Reference Council on October 22 in Dallas will feature urban ministry.) Sessions on April 23 will include a panel discussion of WDC pastors working on a book-writing project on rural ministry, story-telling and table conversation about the unique experiences, gifts and challenges of being church in rural communities. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to WDC at 316-283-6300 or wdc@mennowdc.org.   If you have interest in carpooling, let us know and we will help to make those connections.
  1. Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, KS, will celebrate their 50th anniversary on Sunday, May 29, and would love to have you celebrate with them! Highlights will include a worship service, a catered noon meal, a presentation of pictures, sharing of stories, and tours of the original church sites as well as their cemeteries. RSVP to trinit67063@embarqmail.com or call 620-947-3824.
  1. We have space for you! Camp Mennoscah has room for many summer youth campers and openings for group reservations. There are summer weekends and weekdays openings at all of our facilities. We want to share the fun times and wonderful creation with you! Summer youth campers can register online at www.campmennoscah.org or using the paper form in the camp catalog. Scholarships are available. Contact us for more information at 620-297-3290.
  1. Youth Volunteer Weekend! March 11-12 is going to be a hootin’ good time of worship, service, friends, and maybe even a little river play! (The dam will be put in on Saturday afternoon and you can help!) We’ll accept registrations until full. Scholarships available. Register online or contact us at 620-297-3290 for more information.
  1. Camp Mennoscah tee shirt design–Hey, artists and idea-makers! Pull together your best design for a Camp Mennoscah tee shirt and send it to us by March 15. We’ve got some options for this year’s tee, but maybe there’s something better out there. Show us your humdingers and fancy pants designs! Contact us at olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.org or 620-297-3290.
  2. Retirees Relaxation Retreat at Camp Mennoscah on April 25-27! This year’s theme is Mennonites in Early Kansas. Tuesday evening’s entertainment will be by Karen Andres and Marcene Entz. There will be Bible Study with Amanda and Clarence Rempel, singing with Vern Zielke and Linda Buller, time for coffee breaks, and lots of community and creation. The brochure is available online at www.campmennoscah.org or by calling 620-297-3290. We’ll see you there!
  1. The Ecumenical Witness against Violence of Salina, KS, is hosting a Symposium on Preventing Gun Violence in the Perspective of Faith this weekend at Kansas Wesleyan University. A prayer service and the showing of the film Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4. Remarks by featured speaker James Atwood (author of American and Its Guns: A Theological Exposé), a panel discussion, and break-out sessions occur from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.   Location of these events is Fitzpatrick Auditorium in the Hall of Fine Arts, KWU, 100 E. Claflin, Salina, KS. Contact Christina Litwiller, Salina Mennonite Church, for more information: salinamennonite@hotmail.com or 785-825-2663. A flyer is attached.

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. Prayer and Scripture Continuing Ed. Opportunity Available from AMBS-Kansas Center: AMBS-Kansas Center will host a short course on prayer and Scripture entitled “Being Formed by God through Scripture.” This course is open to anyone interested in learning how Scripture shapes our prayer practices. This course will be led by Kathryn Damiano, a spiritual director of 33 years and adjunct professor for AMBS-Great Plains. The course will meet on April 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 9:30-11:30am at Mennonite Church of the Servant in Wichita, KS (2401 N. Woodland, Wichita, KS 67204). If interested in taking this course for masters-level credit or if you have any questions, please contact Katherine Goerzen (kgoerzen@ambs.edu) for more information. The cost of this continuing education course is only $50 for WDC participants who register before March 19. Registration is now available at: https://www.ambs.edu/academics/kansas-center-non-credit.cfm
  1. Mennonite Central Committee Central States is hiring for an Office Manager/Bookkeeper. This position is available starting on April 1 at the MCC office in North Newton, Kansas. The Office Manager provides public relations, completes bill paying, bookkeeping and other financial tasks, assists volunteers and other departments as needed, maintains CS information in MCC databases and completes general office management tasks. The work schedule is 32 hours per week. The full job description is available at mcc.org/cs-office-manager. Please contact Heidi Huber at heidihuber@mcc.org for more information.
  1. Register now for Sent 2016: a gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus-centered communities, March 31-April 2 in New Orleans. This church planting summit is open to people who are testing a call to church planting as well as church planters, pastors, missiologists and conference leaders. Participants will explore concrete ways to work together more strategically across the church and will launch a national church planting network for ongoing learning and collaboration. Spanish translation will be provided. Hosts: Pastor Karl Bernhard and Iglesia Amor Viviente. Sponsors: Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Church USA. The registration fee is $60 (includes meals); a shared hotel room costs $80/person per night (must book by March 10). Lodging and travel scholarships are available. Learn more and register at mennoniteusa.org/sent.
  1. Anabaptist healthcare professionals! Come to the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) 2016 Annual Gathering, the weekend of June 17-19 at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado. The theme is “Wholeness and Holiness: Views from the Mountaintop”. Featured speaker is noted Denver psychiatrist, professor, and author, Abraham Nussbaum, speaking on “The Renewal of Medicine and Christian Spirituality”. Anyone interested is invited, especially persons from medical, mental health, therapy, and chaplaincy professions, including students and retirees. Bring the family to a beautiful mountain setting; a Children and Youth Program is provided! Registration deadline is April 15; details at www.mennohealth.org/gathering or call 1-888-406-3643.


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