WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
May 1, 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 Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister
Last weekend, my family traveled to Goshen (IN) College to attend our youngest son’s graduation. It was a full weekend of celebration and ceremony, story-telling and community building, and commencement of a new chapter of life for the graduates. Perhaps your congregation or family is also celebrating with students as they mark the endings and new beginnings that come with graduation.
At this time of year I am keenly aware of many other transitions also taking place:
Recently WDC recognized the retirement of Business Manager Phyllis Regier, who had served for 22 years with WDC, and welcomed Beth Yoder as the new Business Manager. We are grateful for the gifts and skills of both of these staff persons!
Currently a number of WDC congregations are experiencing pastoral transition as pastors have announced plans to retire, resign or accept a call to a new pastoral position. WDC conference ministers are working with congregational leaders to discern next steps such as planning for farewell programs and exit interviews, appointing an interim or transitional pastor to guide the congregation in the process of transition, anticipating a pastoral search process in the future, or planning for the installation of a new pastor.
And, several staff transitions are underway in our denomination. Today is Glen Guyton’s first day as Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA, and other new denominational staff have also been appointed. For more information, see news articles at http://mennoniteusa.org/news/staff-transitions-for-mennonite-church-usa/ and http://mennoniteusa.org/news/executive-board-staff-transitions-sue-park-hur-begins-as-denominational-minister/
In times of transitions, we are called to both look back and to look forward: We look back to give thanks for God’s faithfulness in the past, to share stories of where we have come from, to grieve losses, and to celebrate accomplishments. We look forward to anticipate and plan for the future, to commission and bless people for new stages of the journey, and to pray for God’s guidance as we move forward.
In the midst of transitions, we are also called to trust God’s presence with us, right here and right now. As you face transitions in your congregation, community, family or personal life, may the God of the past, present and future be with you.
May 6 – Pray for youth ministers from WDC congregations attending The Gathering Live this weekend in Kansas City, joining others from across Mennonite Church USA for fellowship, worship and practical resourcing for faith formation.
May 13 – Pray for WDC member Glen Guyton from San Antonio, TX, as he begins in his new role as Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA.
May 20 – As WDC’s Year of Evangelism continues, pray that WDC congregations and members will find practical ways to share the gospel in their everyday lives and communities.
May 27 – Pray for God’s wisdom for WDC’s Gifts Discernment Committee as they seek nominees for leadership positions in WDC.
May 15 – WDC Stewardship Commission meeting
May 18 – WDC Ministerial Commission meeting
June 7 – WDC Executive Board meeting
June 19 – WDC Church Planting Commission meeting
July 12 – WDC Resource Commission meeting
July 27 – WDC Annual Assembly – Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton KS
July 28 – WDC Annual Assembly – Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge KS
July 29 – WDC Annual Assembly worship option – Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel KS
You’re invited to join Manhattan (KS) Mennonite Church in celebrating their 40th anniversary on June 2-3. The celebration begins on Saturday, June 2 with an ice cream social at 7 pm. It continues with special events starting at 9:30 am on Sunday, June 3 – including worship at 10:45 followed by a meal and time for sharing. Anyone interested in attending is invited to let us know by May 18 at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-539-4079. More information will be posted soon at: manhattanmennonitechurch.org.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
1. Be a part of the fun! Camp Mennoscah’s new kitchen is open and ready for our summer youth camps. We’re looking for people who want to bask in the luxury of the new kitchen for the weeks of June 24-30 and July 15-21. No special skills are needed, just willing hands and the ability to follow directions. Call us at 620-297-3290 or email email@example.com! Parent discounts are available.
2. Bring a friend to Camp Mennoscah! We love having new campers at Camp Mennoscah and you can help us share camp by bringing a friend. Bring a first-time friend to camp and each of you will get a free tee shirt. (And a week of fun activities at camp with delicious food and happy people.) Call us at 620-297-3290 with questions.
3. New Look, Same Address! The Camp Mennoscah website (campmennoscah.org) is looking brand new. It has the same address and information, but a different format and image. Take a look and let us know what you can’t find or what doesn’t work well. Tell us, too, all the great things about the website! The switch was made possible by a generous donation by Dan K. and the Foundation for Educational Services/SOCS. Amy W. did all the hard work of designing the website and entering all the information. Thank you, Amy and Dan!
4. Soon and very soon! Camp Mennoscah plans to start construction of the new playground, “The Whale,” soon and we’ll be looking for volunteers to come out and help! Stay tuned to your church bulletins, e-mail, and social media for the types of work we’ll be doing, dates, and times. With your help, we’ll have it ready to go for summer youth camps!
5. Looking for Hair Dryers! You really don’t need more than one, but we’re going to use them for a nifty craft this fall with our Mental Health Spiritual Retreat. (We’re going to melt crayons into designs.) If you have a working hair dryer that you no longer want, contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Just in case you’re a hair dryer collector or have connections with the cosmetology community, please note that we do not need more than 10.
Mennonite church announcements
1. The annual Bethel College Masterworks Concert this year will be on Sunday, May 6, at 3 pm in Memorial Hall. The program is the “Magnificat” by J.S. Bach (Adam V. Fontana, conducting) and the Requiem by W.A. Mozart (William Eash, conducting). The concert features the Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra and Bethel College Oratorio Chorus, made up of all campus vocal groups with 30-40 community singers. Soloists are, for the Bach, Soyoun Chun, soprano I, Jill Siebert, soprano II, Monica Schmidt, alto, Ron Garber, tenor, and Christopher Kliewer, bass; and for the Mozart, Soyoun Chun, soprano, Monica Schmidt, alto, Nathan Snyder, tenor, and Christopher Kliewer, bass. Tickets are on sale at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus during regular business hours, Mon.-Fri., 8 am-5 pm, or credit-card orders at 316-284-5205, and they will also be available at the door ($12 adult, $10 senior citizen, $6 non-Bethel student, $5 Bethel student, faculty or staff). All seating is general admission.
2. The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our July 2018 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Aging with Dignity.
Description of the theme: Today, there are more people in the United States who are age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history, and this population is projected to nearly double by 2060. Aging with dignity is a challenge that affects all of us in some way: whether you are the one who is aging, the child of aging parents or a young adult looking to learn from your elders. What it means to age with dignity varies greatly across the country, and among Mennonites, depending on one’s cultural context and socioeconomic position. For example, aging with dignity may mean the choice to move in with children and grandchildren, to move into a continuing-care retirement community or to remain in one’s home with supportive services. For those without means or family to care for them, choices for how and where to age may be more limited, and supportive services may not be high quality, accessible or affordable. U.S. Census data indicate the economic disparities of people age 65 and older, including those living in poverty: 19 percent of African-Americans, 18 percent of Latinos, 16 percent for American Indians and Alaska Natives, 13 percent of Asian-Americans and 8 percent of non-Hispanic whites. Although aging looks different for everyone, aging with dignity is a universal right that the church has a role to uphold.
Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others: How are you struggling with what it means to age with dignity? What is the church’s role? Are you an older individual who continues to use your strengths and skills in service to the community? Are you an older individual dealing with mental or physical health issues? We want to hear your stories. How can the loved ones of older people provide the best support during the aging process? What conversations have you had with your older relatives that provided clarity on their preferences? In what ways is your congregation or community or organization supporting people to age with dignity? How are you addressing the disparities that exist in the quality of and access to services available to older individuals? If you are a young adult, what have you learned from your elders? Why are intergenerational relationships important to you and to the church?
Submissions are due to Editor@TheMennonite.org no later than May 21. We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our anti-oppression guidelines (https://themennonite.org/anti-oppression-writers-guidelines/) as well as our editorial guidelines (https://themennonite.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/EditorialPolicy_ForWeb_June2016.docx).
3. Celebrate Mother’s Day by supporting mothers around the world through MCC Infant Care Kits! Help mothers, who are displaced by war or disaster, give their infants a good start. The kit contents have changed recently, visit mcc.org/mrc/kits for full kit information and from there click through to our Amazon Wish List for easier shopping and shipping. Just bring or ship kit items to MCC Central States 121 E. 30th St. North Newton, KS 67117. Send love around the world this Mother’s Day! Contact email@example.com call 316.283.2720 with questions.
4. Calling all MCC volunteers!! Please save the date for our Volunteer Appreciation event on Wednesday, June 13 5-7 pm at MCC Central States in North Newton!
5. The International Guest House in Washington DC is seeking short term volunteers to do service of hospitality with strangers near and far. For information, see: https://tinyurl.com/igh-flyer2018
6. May is Mental Health Month, and Prairie View is focused on how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from these conditions. Eating healthy foods, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy. Follow Prairie View on Facebook (@PrairieViewInc) to learn more about the connection between physical and mental health. (Flyer attached.)
7. Join the West Coast Mennonite Men’s Chorus (http://www.wcmmc.com) on May 6 at 6 pm at Tabor College, Hillsboro, KS for beautiful music in support of Mennonite Disaster Service’s Midwest fire relief efforts. Free Admission! A free-will offering will be taken and proceeds will go toward efforts to assist those affected by the wildfires in Oklahoma last year.
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; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org