WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
March 20, 2018
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)
IN THIS ISSUE:
by Byron Pellecer, Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)
I believe church planting has to be done for the right reasons and with the right person or group. This might be obvious and yet, as a Church we should not dismiss this principle, if we want to respond to the call for church planting.
While reading Matthew 28 and Ezekiel 33, I was challenged and compelled to reflect about the many right reasons for church planting. It is important to be reminded that we are stewards and sentinels of the Gospel.
We are in God’s kingdom proclaiming business. We are called and commissioned to proclaim the “great narrative of redemption in Jesus Christ” as Scott Benhase calls it in “Done and Left Undone, grace in the meantime of ministry”. He also asserts that it is important who are we kneeling before and what is the word to ourselves and to our world.
In a WDC church planters’ conversation via video conference, we talked about these things too. We concluded that it is imperative to understand and to be clear that we are planting churches in Western District Conference simply because we believe God called us to it. Church planting must be grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the content of our proclamation must be Jesus, the Gospel for humankind.
We also recognized our community’s brokenness and joys, just the same as ours. Church planters cannot approach their neighborhoods as ‘super heroes’.
People will have a better understanding of the message/gospel we are inviting them to if they are also able to see our own need for God amid our struggles and flaws.
This principle is not restricted to clergy, it is intended for every follower of Christ that observes the Great Commission and takes the redemption business seriously.
The church planters’ conversation continued, and several other themes were addressed, but we all concluded by recognizing that we need to be as transparent, honest, and genuine as possible as we join God at work in our communities.
The world next to us is not asking for recipes with a given numbers of steps to be followed. I think people want to see the God story through our own story as we walk in the way of Jesus. It is by demystifying the “faith super hero” complex that our friends and neighbors might find their own way into ‘via Christi’ as well.
Colaborando en la Redención
Creo que plantar nuevas iglesias tiene que hacerse por las razones correctas y con la persona o grupo correcto. Esto puede ser obvio a simple vista y, sin embargo, como Iglesia seguimos descartando el principio; si es que acaso queremos responder al llamado de plantar iglesias.
Mientras leía los capítulos de Mateo 5 y 28 y Ezequiel 33, fui desafiado y obligado a reflexionar sobre algunas de las tantas razones correctas para plantar iglesias. Es importante recordar que somos mayordomos y centinelas del Evangelio.
Hemos sido invitados a colaborar en la proclamación del reino de Dios. Somos llamados y comisionados para proclamar la “gran narrativa de la redención en Jesucristo” como lo llama Scott Benhase en su libro en inglés “Done and Left Undone, grace in the meantime of ministry”. También afirma que es importante saber ante quién estamos arrodillados y cuál es el mensaje para uno mismo y para nuestro mundo.
En la primera conversación a través de ‘zoom’, los plantadores de nuevas iglesias en WDC, hablamos sobre estas cosas también. Concluimos que es imperativo entender y dejar en claro que estamos plantando iglesias dentro de la Conferencia de Western District simplemente porque creemos que Dios nos llamó a hacerlo. La formación de nuevas obras debe estar basado en el evangelio de Jesucristo y el contenido de nuestra proclamación debe ser Jesús, las buenas nuevas para la humanidad.
También reconocimos el quebrantamiento y las alegrías que hay en nuestra comunidad y de la misma manera reconocimos el nuestro. Los plantadores de iglesias no pueden acercarse a sus barrios como ‘superhéroes’.
La gente comprenderá mejor el mensaje, el Evangelio, al cual les estamos invitando, cuando puedan llegar a ver nuestra propia necesidad de Dios en medio de nuestras luchas y también de nuestros defectos.
Este principio no se aplica, o está restringido al clero, está destinado para cualquier persona que sigue a Jesús y que practica la Gran Comisión y que además toma en serio la invitación del llamado a la colaboración en la redención.
La conversación de los plantadores de iglesias continuó abordando otros temas, pero todos concluimos reconociendo que debemos ser lo más transparentes, honestos y genuinos como nos sea posible en la medida que nos unimos a Dios en el trabajo misionero en medio nuestras comunidades.
El mundo alrededor nuestro no está pidiendo recetas con un número de pasos a seguir. Creo que la gente quiere ver la historia y realidad de Dios a través de nuestro propio peregrinaje mientras andamos en el camino de Jesús. Al desmitificar el complejo de “superhéroe de fe”, nuestros amigos y vecinos también podrían encontrar su propio camino en la “vía Christi” es decir, en una vida como discípulos de Jesús.
- Remember the Leadership Lunch on Thursday, March 22 from 12-1:30 pm at the WDC office. The topic is: “Know the Story others Tell About You (manage self)”. All are welcome to attend this conversation on Kansas Leadership Center concepts, even if you haven’t attended a KLC training. Bring your own lunch. (Instructions to connect by Zoom video conference: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/252605295; Or iPhone one-tap: US: +14086380968,,252605295# or +16468769923,,252605295#; Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833; Meeting ID: 252 605 295)
- Iglesia Camino de Santidad, WDC church plant in Liberal, KS, is celebrating its 7th anniversary on Saturday March 24 at 6 pm.
- Buhler (KS) Mennonite Church hosts series: “Hope and Mission in God’s Country”. For many people, “rural” conjures visions of amber waves of grain and picturesque back roads where everybody waves from their pickup truck. Or maybe “rural” refers to places on the decline, decaying communities where trees punch through the roof of the abandoned school. But rural reality is much more complex. Join pastor and author Brad Roth as we explore how the rural church can understand its context and live God’s kingdom mission with hope and vibrancy. Wednesday nights in April (6:45-7:45 PM), Roth will lead us in a series of interactive discussion around the themes of Seeing, Befriending, Evangelizing, and Kneeling. April 4 – Seeing: Understanding Rural and Why It Matters; April 11 – Befriending: Caring for People and Community; April 18 – Evangelizing: Sharing our Hope in Jesus; April 25 – Kneeling: Praying Our Lives up to God.
- Mennonite Church of the Servant, Wichita, KS, will have its next Movie Night on immigration topics on Friday, April 6, at 7 pm, featuring the film, “Hawo’s Dinner Party”. The film shows the experiences of several Somali residents in Shelbyville, including, Hawo, who are making this small town their new, permanent home. Discussion and information about refugees in Wichita will follow.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Refresh and Renew! Camp Mennoscah’s Retirees Retreat invites retirees and interested persons of all ages to join us April 23-25 for several days of renewal. Speakers will share about Vietnam, teen prison ministry, storm chasing and so much more! Coffee breaks will give you a chance to discuss further and enjoy a good chat. Contact Camp Mennoscah for a brochure or find it online at campmennoscah.org! We’ll see you there for an amazingly good time.
- You are more than just a carrot cutter and cookie maker! Camp Mennoscah is looking for those amazing people who can peel potatoes without losing a finger and who love being around youth and other fun people for our summer youth camps. No culinary certificate needed, just the ability to follow directions, a smile, and mental flexibility. Kitchen helpers can receive a camper discount up to full camp fees. Give us a holler at email@example.com 620-297-3290! It’s a new kitchen!
- Bring a Friend! All you long-time summer youth campers, grab a friend who hasn’t been to camp and that needs to love camp like you do–or even someone who just needs camp. We love having new folks at Camp Mennoscah and sharing all the fun we have. BAFs get a free camp tee shirt! Register online at campmennoscah.org!
- Thank you, Youth Volunteers, for the hours of service you did for Camp Mennoscah! We had a blast with you–worship, campfire, s’mores, and so much more. What you did for us was a blessing and absolutely wonderful. hank you, thank you, thank you! (And we’ll see you this summer!)
Mennonite church announcements
- Thank you to the women of Western District Women in Mission and SCC Mennonite Women for their generosity in the offering at their Spring Supper March 15 in Hesston KS. Thanks to your gifts, we were able to send more than $2,000 to the women’s literacy project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- MCC Lunch and Learn – Join us on Thursday, April 5 from noon to 1 pm at MCC in North Newton, KS and hear Joanna Shenk share about her new book, “The Movement Makes Us Human an Interview with Dr. Vincent Harding on Mennonites, Vietnam and MLK.” Lunch will be provided by Mojo’s Coffee Bar. Please RSVP for lunch by April 3.For the first time, we’re offering an opportunity for you to join this event virtually, on any computer or device. Visit mcc.org/lunch-learn for information about Joanna, the book and about how to join the event from your home or office! Questions or to RSVP: 316.283.2720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620