WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
March 16, 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.
IN THIS ISSUE:
*WDC Ministerial and Credential Announcements
by Sandra Montes-Martinez, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
En este momento sin precedentes, miramos a nuestro alrededor y la mayoría de las veces nos encontramos con la necesidad de hacer o decir algo significativo para apoyar causas que son importantes para nosotros o nos afectan.
Luego miras más allá y notas que hay más por hacer, o tal vez las cosas cambian tan rápido que ni siquiera pudimos terminar lo que estábamos trabajando cuando surge otra emergencia.
La compasión, la fatiga y otros problemas relacionados con la salud mental están afectando nuestro trabajo y la decisión que estamos tomando en la congregación, así como en nuestra vida diaria. Solo tenemos que mirar el aumento de los divorcios y las crisis familiares para darnos cuenta de que estas fatigas nos afectan en todos los aspectos de la vida.
Escucho más y más historias de compasión y apoyo que todos podemos celebrar, pero escucho a muchos otros cuestionarse: ¿Estoy haciendo lo suficiente? ¿Necesito hacer más? Esto puede resultar realmente abrumador para muchos.
Bueno, no planeo darte la respuesta para resolver estos dilemas, pero estaría muy interesado en preguntarte, “¿Cómo estás?”
Puedes argumentar que no eres un terapeuta profesional y es válido. No les estoy pidiendo que hagan recomendaciones o resuelvan el problema, pero a veces todo lo que se necesita es escuchar, comprender y apoyarse mutuamente.
Si ayuda, me gustaría ofrecer algunos de los versículos de la Biblia a los que voy cuando me encuentro fatigado: Salmo 23:3, Mateo 11:28, Isaías 40:31, Sofonías 3:17.
How are you doing?
by Sandra Montes-Martinez, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
In this unprecedented time, we look around, and most of the time we find ourselves with the need to do or say something meaningful to support our causes that are important or affect us.
Then you look further and notice there is more to do, or maybe things change so fast that we could not even finish what we were working on when another emergency emerges.
Compassion, fatigue, and other related mental health issues are affecting our work and the decisions we are making in the congregation as well as in our everyday life. We just need to look at the increase in divorces and family crisis to realize these fatigues are affecting us in all aspects of life.
I hear more and more stories of compassion and support that we all can celebrate, but I hear many others questioning themselves: Am I doing enough? Do I need to do more? This can be really overwhelming for many.
Well, I do not plan to give you the answer to solve these dilemmas, but I would be very much interested in asking you, “How are you doing?”
You can argue that you are not a professional therapist and it is valid. I am not asking you to make recommendations or solve the problem, but sometimes all it takes is listening and understanding to support one another.
If it helps, I would like to offer some of the Bible verses I go to when I find myself fatigued: Psalm 23:3, Matthew 11:28, and Isaiah 40:31.
- The Western District Conference, First Mennonite Church (Beatrice, NE), and Beatrice Mennonite Church are hosting a virtual event with featured speaker Pastor Natalie Frisk. Zoom info for March 21st @ 7pm, plus info for all the videos are available via the links below, and there are some PDF handouts attached. If you have any questions or technical difficulties, please email Pastor Tim Amor at email@example.com.
The Raising Disciplesseries includes:
- Sunday evening, March 21, 7:00 p.m. – “Jesus Centered Parenting: Q & A” – a live/interactive zoom gathering with Natalie to conclude our event.
- Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 811 7635 4895
- Zoom Link
- 1st message from Sunday morning, March 14th – “Kids in the Kingdom” (see attached handout)
- Session 1 – Anchors and Waves – see attached handout.
- Session 2 – Journeying on Sacred Pathways – see attached handout.
- Fun interview to get to know Natalie
- Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – a game show where we test Natalie’s knowledge on Nebraska and the Midwest!
- Facebook event info: Raising Disciples – Natalie Frisk
- Full YouTube Playlist: Raising Disciples with Natalie Frisk
Natalie Frisk is the curriculum pastor at The Meeting House Church in Toronto, Canada, where she and an education team create kids’ and youth curricula for ages 0–18 used by churches worldwide. Frisk is a sought-after speaker on topics of youth and children’s ministry, spiritual formation, and discipleship, and is the author of the book Raising Disciples: How to Make Faith Matter for Our Kids, published by Herald Press.
- KLC Leadership Lunch: Good leadership is important anytime. Right now it’s imperative. Please join us to practice the leadership competency, asking “Who’s Not at the Table?” March 25, 12-1 pm. You’re welcome if you’re a Kansas Leadership Center alumni or if you want to learn more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
- RECONNECTING HOPE FOR IMMIGRANTS:Thursday, March 25 7:00 p.m. ZOOM networking meeting hosted by WDC Immigration Task Force. Reconnect with other churches to hear about their advocacy on behalf of immigrants. Hear from MCC’s National Advocacy Director Tammy Alexander. How should our work go forward? What is your church doing or what do they hope to do? Ask a representative from your church to contact email@example.com for the ZOOM invitation.
- A Conversation About Justice & Peace for Palestine & Israel:The Western District Conference Israel – Palestine Task Force is hosting an informal Conversation About Justice & Peace for Palestine & Israel. The one-hour Zoom meeting will occur on April 13 at 7 pm CDT. The purpose of the meeting is to create a safe space where informal dialogue can occur with WDC Mennonite Churches. The agenda will include a welcome & overview, reflections on Gaza Twinning, a report on current conditions in Gaza and the West Bank, followed by breakout groups where discussions will take place. There is no cost to participate. To register for the meeting please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Zoom link will be provided. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Kathy Nuefeld Dunn at email@example.com.
- Sarah Augustine, from the steering committee of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition is preaching at Peace Mennonite Church, Dallas, TX, on Sunday April 11 at 11 am, and staying for a discussion after worship. You can join at the Peace Mennonite Facebook page, or on zoom at https://zoom.us/j/810523212. Sarah is a leader in the Indigenous rights movement, and author of the book “The Land is not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery.” She will speak on how Texas Mennonites can support justice for native people. Everyone is invited to come and learn with us!
WDC Ministerial and Credential announcements
Marshall Anderson, Lead Pastor at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, has announced his resignation effective June 6.
Luke Unruh will become part-time interim supply pastor at Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, beginning April 5.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- A double-decker of thanksto everyone who participated in the Verenike Casserole fundraiser meal for Camp Mennoscah! Over $8500 was raised with the dedicated work of 22 volunteers who made 330 meals for hungry camp people. Extra thanks go to Leslie Schrag for organizing the event and Moundridge High School for allowing us to use their facilities! Your generosity supports the faith formation of the youth in your congregation and community.
- Looking for HUGE tents! Camp Mennoscah is looking for at least 2 more tents that hold approx. 8-10 bunk beds for summer youth camps (18′ X 36′). These would be (similar) to the ones used for Senior High Camp (military tents repurposed for peace). The cost to purchase one is approximately $2600. If you have one stored away and are willing to lend it to Camp Mennoscah for the summer, please contact us at 620-297-3290.
- One Day Event for Grades 7-12! Camp Mennoscah’s Youth Volunteer Day on March 20 is a full day of service projects, worship, lunch & socially distanced fellowship. Register online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-297-3290 by March 18 to take part in the fun! Masks are required.
- We need volunteers for the dam! Camp Mennoscah is currently seeking a team of 5 to 10 volunteers to install the dam in the river. Completing this project will provide the opportunity for much fishing, boating and swimming for the upcoming season. We are excited to get in the water and encourage you to join us on Sunday, March 21, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Dress according to the weather conditions that day, and we’ll have a snack ready to enjoy after we are done. Let us know you are coming or just head on out, see you then! Connect with us at 620-297-3290 or email@example.com
- We are ready to rock! Preparation for the Amphitheater Improvement project was completed in the Summer of 2020 and we are ready to finish this project up. Work days are scheduled for the following days: March 26 to 27, April 2 to 3, April 9 to 10, May 14-15. These opportunities to get involved are on Fridays and Saturday, come on out for one or both days, and part or all day. Ask about lodging if you would like to stay overnight. A team of five volunteers will work from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day installing the new stone benches. There will be stone to cut, move, clean and set along with a whole lot of mortar to mix up. Bring a lunch and water bottle with you when you come, and plan to arrive at the North cabin area to check in around 9:00 am. Email firstname.lastname@example.org call 620-297-3290 to volunteer for this project.
- There are volunteer opportunities for you!Camp Mennoscah continually has year-round work to support the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities. We can accommodate every group size, skill set and length of project you would like to tackle. Check out these ways to Get Involved! Email email@example.com or call 620-297-3290 to volunteer.
- Looking for kitchen staff and nurses! Camp Mennoscah is filling volunteer and stipend positions for kitchen staff and nurses for the upcoming 2021 summer. Contact Camp Mennoscah at firstname.lastname@example.org call 620-297-3290 for available weeks and details. Kitchen staff can receive a scholarship up to full camp fees for their camper.
Mennonite church announcements
- Combine your faith with action and join MVS! Serve with the Center for Restorative Programs in Alamosa, Colorado, where you will assist in empowering and uplifting the community through restorative justice practices. Visit MennoniteMission.net/MVStoday to learn more and sign up!
- Save the date for the Sent Conference 2021! Join us on Thursday, April 22 at 7-8:30 p.m. and Friday, April 23 at 2:30-4 p.m. ET for two webinars from peace church planters. They will share stories of hope and resilience in birthing new communities of faith. Keep your eyes on MennoniteMission.net/Sent for how to register!
- Turn donated firearms into garden tools and art as part of Mennonite Church USA’s new collaboration with RAWtools, Inc. Learn how your congregation can get involved. https://www.mennoniteusa.org/collaboration-with-rawtools
4. Do you have questions about MennoCon21? Mennonite Church USA leaders provide an update and address questions in this recorded webinar: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/mennocon21-da-webinar
5. This month marks five years since Pastor Max Villatoro of Torre Fuerte Mennonite Church, Iowa City, Iowa, was detained and deported to Honduras. He now lives in Mexico, separated from his family. Read his story here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/deportation-knocked En español: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/la-deportacion-toco-la-puerta
6. In his blog, “Let us create communities of resistance to militarism in all its forms,” Titus Peachey recounts his experiences dealing with the aftermath of U.S. military engagements in Vietnam and Laos and calls us to create communities of resistance to militarism. Read it here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/resistance-militarism
- Through the experiences of her own family, Ingrid Friesen Moser reflects on how Mennonite congregations have evolved in the way they support the health of pastors and their families in her blog, “With gratitude for health and pastoral well-being.” She encourages congregations to use The Corinthian Plan’s Pastor Well-being Checklist to support their pastor(s). Read more: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/gratitude-pastoral-wellbeing
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