March 15, 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)


*Pastoral Openings

*News and Transitions


Pastoral Openings

Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS – Pastor

Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, KS – Pastor

Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, KS – Pastor

Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS – Associate Pastor

Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS – Pastor

New Creation Fellowship Church, Newton, KS – Pastor

San Antonio (TX) Mennonite Church – Pastor

News and Transitions

Dorothy Nickel Friesen will end as Interim Supply Pastor at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton on May 31.

Pastor Laura Goerzen, First Mennonite Church of Christian in Moundridge, KS, will be on sabbatical from May 1 through July 31. Harold Thieszen will be the sabbatical replacement pastor during this time.

Brian Harmon has resigned as Pastor at First Mennonite Church in Halstead, KS, effective at the end of June.

Susan Jantzen, Pastor at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, KS, will be on sabbatical from April 11 through June 28. Marv Zehr will be the sabbatical replacement pastor during this time.

Lee Suderman will end as Interim Pastor at Eden Mennonite Church in Moundridge, KS on June 30.

Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston, KS, a South Central Conference congregation, no longer has Associate Member status with Western District Conference.

Israel/Palestine tour: WDC participants Anita Kehr, (moderator-elect), Heidi Regier Kreider (conference minister), Jonathan Wenger (member of First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson) and Bill Zuercher (office volunteer) plan to join others to travel April 1-13 on a “Come and See” learning tour to Israel/Palestine sponsored by Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Central Committee. Upon their return, they will be available to offer presentations sharing their reflections and experiences.

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. Please RSVP by April 14 – 316-283-6300 or wdc@mennowdc.org.   Let us know if you want to carpool and we will help to make those connections. See lodging information at: https://mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/#2016springReference
  1. Report from Constituency Leaders Council of Mennonite Church USA: WDC representatives Richard Gehring (moderator), Heidi Regier Kreider (conference minister) and Byron Pellecer attended CLC meetings in Goshen, IN, March 7-9.   Heidi’s report from CLC to WDC Executive Board is attached. For additional reports from Mennonite Church USA and The Mennonite, see http://mennoniteusa.org/news/clc-meets-looks-toward-the-future/ and https://themennonite.org/daily-news/clc-talks-trust/
  1. There is still space for the April 1-2 Story Matters memoir writing workshop at First Mennonite Church in Newton (6:30-8:30 pm on April 1 and 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on April 2). The cost is $60. The workshop will be led by Laurie Oswald Robinson and is partially funded by a Loaves & Fishes Grant from Western District Conference. To register, e-mail Wendy Funk Schrag at pwschrag@cox.net.
  1. Camp Mennoscah sends a huge THANK YOU to all you youth volunteers! You sealed our wooden structures, did some painting, cleared all that stuff off the concrete at Bluestem, defrosted freezers, put in the dam, and really livened up a mostly gray weather weekend. Thanks for sharing in service with us! We think you’re the best.
  1. This should be on your calendar! Camp Mennoscah’s Retirees Relaxation Retreat for retirees of all ages and everyone interested is April 25-27. We’ll be enjoying time with singing and Bible study, hearing about Mennonites in Early Kansas, gallivanting through creation (weather permitting) and having the world’s best coffee breaks (biased opinion). Register online or find forms at www.campmennoscah.org under Retreats or by calling 620-297-3290.
  1. Fearless Faith! We’re going to be fearless in our faith and having courage in community this summer at Camp Mennoscah. Summer youth camps will be exploring how living as God’s people requires great courage. Grab a friend, your swimsuit, and your sleeping bag–come join us! Scholarships are available. We want everyone to be able to come to camp! Contact us at 620-297-3290. Register online at www.campmennoscah.org!

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. Check out The Gathering Place, an interactive website for Anabaptist youth leaders to find connection, resourcing, networking, mentoring, and spiritual formation. Join us for book studies, study circles adn webinars, or watch archived videos and listen to podcasts. Recent topics include a webinar on today’s media and its impact on our youth, a discussion on contemporary Anabaptist peace witness and a podcast on bullying. thegatheringplace.us
  1. The ripple effect of a traumatic event impacts communities in a number of ways. Creating a new normal takes time and can be difficult. As a community we must focus on recovery.   Please join Prairie View, Inc. for a free educational event. Hear from skilled therapists about stress responses and recovery. Discover how the ripple effect may be affecting you, your neighbors and loved ones and what you can do to help.   No registration is required.   Two opportunities to focus on recovery: Tuesday, March 15 7-8 pm and Tuesday, March 22 7-8 pm @ Salem United Methodist Church, 115 Old Main St, Newton, KS.

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