WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
March 17, 2020
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)
To support WDC ministries, contributions may be made HERE.
IN THIS ISSUE:
*Being Church in a time of coronavirus – resources compiled by Heidi Regier Kreider and Kathy Neufeld Dunn
Being Church in a time of coronavirus
– resources compiled by Heidi Regier Kreider and Kathy Neufeld Dunn
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
As we move into a sustained period of responding to coronavirus in our congregations and communities, this is a time to pray, prepare and plan, protect the vulnerable, and nurture peace – not panic. WDC affirms that congregations follow the recommendations of our national and local authorities to practice “social distancing” and to suspend group gatherings such as worship services and other in-person meetings. (Consult your state and local health departments for specific guidance in your region). In light of this, we are collecting resources to assist congregations for ongoing ministry as you creatively address the new challenges and learning opportunities during this time.
First, here is a manual for congregations that provides practical guidelines for overall planning and coordination: Preparing your Church for Coronavirus (COVID-19): A Step-by-Step, Research-Informed and Faith-Based Planning Manual. To find English and Spanish versions of this manual, as well as related webinars, go to this website: https://www.wheaton.
edu/academics/academic- centers/humanitarian-disaster- institute/covid-19/
Ideas and online resources for worship:
– Record and post sermons and music on social media or your church website.
– If you are posting music performances, use a song license: OneLicense is offering use all of their songs and hymns at no cost through April 15. See website – https://www.onelicense.net Register any of their music you plan to use on a given Sunday, which will provide legal copyright use.
– Post or send out a worship bulletin, scripture readings, and prayer guides for members to use at home.
– Use the Anabaptist Prayer Book. The Institute of Mennonite Studies has a free download at https://www.ambs.edu/
– Do regular posts of scripture, poetry, prayer and art projects.
– Visit other congregations’ live-streamed services, or contact them for samples and suggestions. For example, Hesston Mennonite Church has decided to retain many of the important pieces of their worship: Call to Worship, Worship in Song, Prayer of the Church, Children’s Time, and a Sermon. Their live stream can be accessed via the web at https://hesstonmc.org/
livestream or on a streaming device (Apple TV, Roku, Firestick, Smart TV, etc) via the YouTube app via their YouTube Channel. The live stream begins Sunday around 10:15 am and the Worship Service at 10:30 am. For more information contact Clayton Gladish, email@example.com(620) 217-0137.
Online resources for faith formation for various ages:
– Anabaptist Faith Formation – Lent at Home – https://www.commonword.ca/
– The Gathering Place – http://mennoniteusa.org/what-
– CommonWord – https://www.commonword.ca/Home
– Vibrant Faith: ● “Moving Faith Formation Online” pdf from John Roberto at https://media1- production.mightynetworks.com/
asset/9128853/Moving_Faith_ Formation_Online.pdf ● Week-long conversation on“Faith Formation Online” at https://vibrant- faithcatalyst.mn.co/posts/ moving-faith-formation-online- during-the-time-ofcoronavirus- theme-of-the-week
– Bible Project – https://bibleproject.com
Ideas for pastoral care
– 10 guidelines for pastoral care during the coronavirus outbreak – https://www.christiancentury.
org/blog-post/guest-post/10- guidelines-pastoralcare- during-coronavirus-outbreak
– Stay connected through mid-week posts on social media. Ask for prayer requests publicly, but respond to prayer requests privately, e.g. by Messenger or by phone. Remind congregation members of appropriate confidentiality and social media guidelines.
Resources for financial giving and support
– Encourage continued gifts from your congregation, even when you are not meeting for corporate worship. Introduce or promote online giving – see attached handout from Everence on “Congregational Online Giving.” Keep telling your congregation’s story – and tell it well! Intentionally share how your congregation is being the hands and feet of Jesus, and invite generous contributions to support that.
– 10 ideas for financial leaders – https://www.umcdiscipleship.
org/articles/10-ideasfor- church-financial-leaders-amid- the-covid-19-crisis
Self-care for leaders and members: – “Meeting Psych Needs During a Pandemic” by ServantsByDesign. https://mailchi.mp/
servantsbydesign/meeting- psych-needs-during-apandemic? e=fddb612737
Other general resources:
– From Mennonite Church USA: http://mennoniteusa.org/
– MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton’s Facebook Live comments on March 17 stressed four points: 1) The Church needs to be a reliable source of information, and put out correct information. 2) This is the time to assess our faith practices, communication plans, and how we care for the vulnerable. 3) We need to over-communicate to help our congregations deal with the repercussions of not meeting for a period of weeks. 4) Don’t panic. Bring the peace! Encourage one another, help each other, Be generous and help neighbors. Church needs to rise and shine! How will we impact our communities during this time?
– MennoHealth Cast podcast – https://mennohealthcast.
fireside.fm/6 – Special episode on COVID-19 – Host Joann Hunsberger discusses COVID-19 with Dr. Dan Nafziger of Goshen, Indiana. They discuss common terminology used to discuss the pandemic and how it might affect church community culture.
– The church’s role in a pandemic – https://sojo.net/articles/
1. WDC will host several video conversations via Zoom this week, for church leaders to share ideas, questions and conversation together on being the church in a time of coronavirus. Conference Minister Heidi Regier Kreider will host the conversations, together with other WDC staff, at these times on Thursday, March 19:
9:00-10:00 a.m. in English – Link to join: https://zoom.us/j/
859334749?pwd= TWQ3Y2V2V2dUamYya3lZYmgzQ2xFUT 09 – Meeting ID: 859 334 749
3:30-4:30 p.m. in English – Link to join: https://zoom.us/j/
143937208?pwd= UURJRk9aUWVQWUtVQld6RVFPcGZyUT 09 – Meeting ID: 143 937 208
7:00-8:00 p.m. in Spanish – Link to join: https://zoom.us/j/
167334975?pwd= K20wY1dYQTZXNUpNYW1XRHpBQ1pwUT 09 – Meeting ID: 167 334 975
7:00-8:00 p.m. in Spanish – Link to join: https://zoom.us/j/
2. As a preventative measure, the WDC Resource Library will be closed to the public March 16-31. You WILL still be able to check out materials by emailing Library Director, Jennie Wintermote at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 316/283-6300. You can also visit the online catalog at mennowdc.org/library and log on to request materials. These materials will be available for pickup 24 hours after a request is made, on the teal cart directly inside the WDC office front door. We will also continue to serve individuals and congregations via US mail. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
3. These events which were previously announced have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus precautions:
– Mar 19 WDC Youth Pastor Lunch
– Mar 22 Loss of Turtle Island – at First Church of the Brethren, Wichita
– Mar 29 Ordination service for Roseann Penner Kaufman at Rainbow Mennoite Church
– Mar 30 Leadership Launch – WDC/SCC 5 year Kansas Leadership Center celebration
– Apr 19 “We Own This Now” drama performance in Wichita
4. KLC Leadership Lunch: Thursday, March 26 from 12-1:15 pm. To connect by Zoom video conference, let us know at: email@example.com. Each month a leadership competency will be presented and we will practice teaching it to the group. You are welcome if you have attended a Kansas Leadership Center training or if you are curious to learn more.
5. What seeds are growing in WDC? Each issue of the WDC Garden (quarterly newsletter) in 2020 will feature some “seeds” – brief highlights from congregations about new initiatives, creative ideas, missional practices and connections within WDC. If you have some “seeds” to suggest for consideration in the Garden, please send a note to WDC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 316-283-6300!
6. Policies and Practice: If your congregation is updating your child, youth, and adult safety (“Safe Sanctuaries”) policy and/or wants an updated safety training or Circle of Grace orientation, contact WDC Associate Conference Minister Kathy Neufeld Dunn (email@example.com or 316-283-6300). She keeps current on sexual abuse prevention and response and is happy to help congregations do so too, on paper or in person.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
In light of concerns about community spread of the coronavirus, the invitation to help put in the dam or watch the process has been cancelled. Staff will work with key volunteers to complete this task. Stay home, be healthy, and thank you for your prayers!
The 2020 Camp Mennoscah tee shirt is up to you! We’re looking for three two word phrases that represent the important parts of Camp Mennoscah to you! The best combination of phrases will become our camp tee! One (generic) example would be River play, Campfire songs, Love all. Be creative! Send all your stunning ideas to olivia.bartel@
campmennoscah.org! (Or send a message to the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page.)
Mennonite church announcements
Calling all 17-20 year olds: Not sure what to do after high school? Don’t miss your chance to sign up for Service Adventure! Spend 10 1/2 months growing in faith, learning “out in the field”, and living in community. Learn more at www.MennoniteMission.net/
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.