March 17, 2015

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)


*Seeking Connection with Nature

Seeking Connection with Nature

by John Stoesz, Executive Director, Camp Mennoscah

As the weather turns nice I once again am relishing the beauty of God’s creation. I am reminded of Job 12:7-9.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?”

One of the great things about Camp Mennoscah is that it provides a wonderful opportunity to get “off the grid” and away from the busyness of everyday life. One can enjoy the Ninnescah River, the lizards scurrying around, and the hawks soaring above. Quite often I see deer, turtles and wild turkeys.

Many of us will be delighting in God’s creation as we participate in two retreats at Camp Mennoscah next month. Men and Boys Retreat will be April 10-12, and Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat will be April 27-29. Information is available at www.campmennoscah.org. These are great chances to renew connections with nature, with each other and with God. I hope to see many of you!

WDC Announcements

  1. WDC is receiving Leadership Transformation scholarship applications for the leadership training seminars at the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) in Wichita, KS.  Our purpose in making these grants available is to enlarge leadership capacity and confidence for the sake of the church and God’s redemptive mission in the world.  Go to:  mennowdc.org/grants/for the application or contact Clarence Rempel, clarencer@mennowdc.org or 316-283-6300 for more information.  Eighteen of 34 potential scholarships have been awarded.  Note these KLC deadlines:  You. Lead. Now. (to take place April 13-15) – deadline is March 23.  Lead for Change (to launch on May 4-7 and followup July 21-23) – deadline is April 10.  Teaching Leadership workshop on Case-in-Point in the Classroom (on April 8) – deadline is April 1.
  1. Registration is open for the WDC Reference Council – register by April 3 at: https://mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/. It will be on Saturday, April 11 from 9 am – 2 pm at Hope Mennonite Church, in Wichita, KS.
  1. Community Good Friday Service and Prayer Vigil:  Shalom Mennonite Church (800 E First St, Newton) is hosting the annual Community Good Friday Service, April 3 at 7:00 pm. A prayer vigil will also be held in the afternoon from 1:00 – 6:00 pm prior to the service, when community members are invited to stop by for quiet prayer any time during those hours. The Good Friday service is organized by the Newton Ministerial Alliance (NMA). An offering will be taken which goes to the NMA Community Assistance Fund account for distribution through the Salvation Army. All are welcome to this service and prayer time.  (The attached poster can be used for publicity.)

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. From AMBS Church Leadership Center – Please join us for two distance-friendly events:

6-Week, Non-Credit, Online Short Course: 

Engaging John Howard Yoder’s Theology Today

Gayle Gerber Koontz

April 8-May 20

Evaluate some of Yoder’s writings on the nature and mission of the church, and on nonviolence. Attention will be given to the intersection of Yoder’s life and thought, including sexuality.

Get details and register by March 18.

Webinar: Funeral Planning: An Anabaptist Approach

Janice Yordy Sutter

Wednesday, April 22, 2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT

Consider the pastor’s role in helping shape a service that enables grief and remembering, while giving voice to the hope of our Christian faith. Get details and register by April 18.

  1. Why does a young postgraduate anesthesiologist on a career path towards being the next department head in a large teaching hospital choose to work in a small mission hospital at the foothills of the Himalayas?  Hear Dr. Ann Thyle’s journey of faith and medicine at the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) Annual Gathering, July 19-21, immediately prior to Mennonite World Conference Global Assembly in Harrisurg, Pennsylvania.  The theme is “Walking Together for Healthy Communities.”  Healthcare workers, past, present, and future, and from all medical, mental, and spiritual health professions, are warmly invited to come and bring their families.  Grants are available for students, volunteers, and those outside the U.S. and Canada.  Children’s program for ages 0-18.  For more information and registration, go to www.mennohealth/gathering, email info@mennohealth.org, or call toll-free 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