March 18, 2014

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)


*Go Tell It on the Mountain


Go Tell It on the Mountain

by Olivia Bartel, Camp Mennoscah Director

Go Tell It on the Mountain is not one of my favorite songs.  I can’t stand it.  There is only one version that I like, and since I don’t expect your average camp or church to have a full orchestra and the expertise of a Robert Shaw trained conductor, I’d rather just not sing it.

I have nothing against the message of the song.  In fact, I like the image of being so excited about something so important to you that you’d race up the mountain, over the river, and through the woods just to tell everyone.  (Yes, I know that’s the wrong song.)  Think of the unnecessary waste—the gas consumed, the tread on your bike tires worn down, the soles on your shoes ruined—all for the joy of the news.

The song is like when you learn a new language or get a new toy or gadget.  You want to share your new knowledge (even when it’s no more than 10 words) or show off every single thing that your trinket does.  Camp Mennoscah is no longer a new toy.  We’re edging toward antique, what with over 60 years on us.  So what is it that keeps you, our trusty camp folks, giving that rallying cry of “Come to Camp Mennoscah!”?  Is it the river, the new bathhouses and other improvements, or that indescribable, undefinable quality of a camp experience?

Or maybe you’re one of the ones who have pitched Camp Mennoscah to the back of the closet.  Maybe it’s not your choice, but because you find your time consumed by other things—sports, work, family, homework.  Maybe you haven’t ever found camp to be the incredible place others have.  So I ask.  What would make you come back to visit, to give Camp Mennoscah a try?  What would make Camp Mennoscah a sacred place for you?

Camp Mennoscah is a place where people of all ages come to renew themselves, their relationships, and their connection with God.  In this most sacred space, we intentionally seek the intersection of God, nature, self, and others.

WDC Announcements

1.  Pastor, Spouse & Family Retreat – April 25-27 – Please register by April 1!  https://mennowdc.org/pastor-spouse-retreat/

2.  WDC March Madness is almost here!  The WDC basketball tournament will be March 24-29 at Bethel College.  Check out the schedule at:  https://mennowdc.org/wdc-basketball-tournament/.

3.   Naked Mattresses–Camp Mennoscah used to have a lot of extra mattress pads.  But now with the Bluestem house open, we find we don’t have any extras.  So we’re looking for more twin mattress pads.  As long as they are in good condition (no spots and clean), they don’t have to be new.  Hunt them out at your local thrift store and then give us a call at 620-297-3290.  We want to cover those naked mattresses!

4.  Men and Boys Retreat at Camp Mennoscah is April 4-6.  Come whenever you want over those three days, but meals will only be provided from Saturday supper through Sunday lunch.  Peter Goerzen will be our speaker for the weekend.  No pre-registration is necessary.  You’ll be able to sleep in the staff houses or cabins, or bring your own tent or RV.  It’s a great weekend to fellowship, go fishing, or just hang out and do nothing.  We’re still looking for church groups or individuals to help with meal preparation.  If you have any questions, or if you want to help with meals, call Kevin Neufeld at 316-284-0450.

5.  Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat–It’s a little announcement for a retreat with big-time relaxation.  Camp Mennoscah’s Retirees’ Relaxation Retreat is April 21-23 on the theme of Little Drops of Water, Little Grains of Sand.  Retirees of all ages and busyness are invited to spend a few days with us both relaxing and learning.  Information is in the Camp Mennoscah catalog or give us a call at 620-297-3290.

6.  Organ opportunity. A small chapel-sized organ (M.P. Moller, Opus 8542 from 1953) is available, perfect for a small congregation or an individual. Contact New Creation Fellowship at 316-727-4590 for more information.

MC USA Announcements
1. An invitation to prayer and presence with Mennonite Church USA:  Mennonite Church USA’s Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) is meeting at Bethel College this week. Here’s a link to the agenda they’ll have before them:  http://www.mennoniteusa.org/2014/03/18/constituency-leaders-council-prepares-to-meet/

Two of the CLC sessions will be open to the public: Thursday March 20, 8:30 am, Bethel College Dining Hall; and Saturday March 22, 10:30-11:45 am, Bethel College Dining Hall. Please send an e-mail to Shelley Buller (ShelleyB@MennoniteUSA.org) if you plan to attend either or both of those open sessions.

You are also invited to join together in prayer on the Bethel campus during the CLC closed meetings. Weather permitting, you are welcome to pray anywhere on campus. If you prefer to pray indoors, the Richert House, across from Bethel College Mennonite Church, will be available on Thursday (10 a.m.-8 p.m.), and the First Bank Conference Room, across the hall from the cafeteria, will serve as a prayer room on Friday (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m.-noon).

2. Register (online) for AMBS-Great Plains courses for summer session. Biblical Spirituality” will be taught by Jerry Truex; meets six sessions on Tuesday evenings beginning May 27-July 1.  Two or three hours credit option and $50 fee reduction if enrolled by April 14. A special audit fee of only $100 for this class is available. Call 316-283-7098 for forms and send check by April 14 to AMBS-GP, Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117. A second summer class is “Conflict, Communication and Conciliation” taught at KIPCOR on June 10-13, 8:30 – 5:00 each day for two credit hours.  No auditors but a “certificate” option is available. Call KIPCOR directly to register for this option at 316-284-5217.

3.  Dr. J. Denny Weaver will be in central Kansas to discuss his latest book, “The Nonviolent God”.  A conversation with pastors will be held on April 3, noon to 1:15 at Shalom Menn. Church, Newton.  Bring your lunch; beverages provided.  The public is invited to a lecture and discussion on Thursday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m. at First Mennonite Church, Newton. Books are for sale at the Great Plains office for $20 (cash or check).  Call 316-283-7098 for information.

4. Planning is underway for the next Mennonite Church USA’s biennial convention, June 30-July 5, 2015 in Kansas City, MO.  In the convention newsletter that is attached you will find information on the theme and scripture that has been chosen for this week, along with other convention details. As more planning is done, we will be posting updates on our website, http://convention.mennoniteusa.org/

5. Are you a youth sponsor?  Youth pastor?  A church member who enjoys working with youth and wants to learn more?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we want you to join us for Youth Ministry Council in Kansas City from May 12-15.  Speakers will include Michelle Hershberger, professor of Bible and Religion from Hesston College; Rachel Springer Gerber, the new Mennonite Church USA denominational minister for youth and young adults; and Curt Weaver, youth pastor from Portland, OR.  For more information and to register for this event, visit http://www.mennoniteusa.org/youth-leaders-2/youth-ministry-council-2014/.
6. Women in Conversation–The Spirited Lives of Women Join the conversation with women across the Mennonite Church at Women in Conversation, a biennial retreat sponsored by Mennonite Women USA and Laurelville Mennonite Church Center. Jennifer Davis Sensenig, pastor at Community Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, VA), will serve as keynote speaker April 25-27 at Cross Wind Conference Center (Hesston, KS). To register or for more information: Laurelville.org/women-in-conversation or 800.839.1021.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org