May 12, 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)

We invite your continuing support for WDC! Contributions may be made HERE.     


*Ministry openings

*Pastoral news & transitions


Ministry Openings

WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

Turpin Mennonite Church, Turpin, OK – Pastor

Southern Hills Mennonite Church, Topeka, KS – Pastor

News and Transitions

Anita Yoder Kehr will end as Pastor at First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, on September 30.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Raid, retired WDC pastor, on her marriage to Gary Franz on March 29.

Richard Ratzlaff, retired pastor, passed away on April 19, 2020, in Hutchinson, KS.  He and his wife also spent four years as co-directors at Camp Mennoscah.

WDC announcements

  1. If your congregation is open to publicizing your on-line services and worship resources, we invite you to send links for these to WDC, so that we can post these resources to share with others in the conference.
  1. Good news from the Resource Library!
  • We now have a subscription to the Paraclete Video Streaming service. While not explicitly Anabaptist, many of these videos are great faith-building options (preview before you view as a group). Email Jennie at crlib@mennowdc.org for login information. (You can see what’s available with the subscription at http://paracletevideostreaming.com/.)
  • We also have a subscription (through August 31, 2020) to Tumble Books (animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, National Geographic vidoes, non-fiction books, playlists, as well as books in Spanish and French) for children.  Check it out here (or on the WDC Resource Library website).
  1. 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 wdc@mennowdc.org!
  1. 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 (kathynd@mennowdc.orgor 316-283-6300).  She keeps current on sexual abuse prevention and response and is happy to help congregations do so too.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Camp Mennoscah will open for a limited number of individuals and groups beginning May 18.  Reservations must be made in advance at 620-297-3290.  We continue to think of you and to work at making it possible for you to visit Camp Mennoscah!
  1. Camp in a Box!  Camp Mennoscah is creating a box of activities, crafts, devotionals, nature fun and who knows what else.  These boxes will soon be available for purchase.  Summer staff and program staff will also create multitudes of camp videos to share with everyone.  Stay tuned!
  1. The Work & Play Day at Camp Mennoscah on May 23 has been canceled.  Don’t worry, trusty and valued volunteers!  We’ll have you out at camp as soon as possible.
  1. MennoDash (a Camp Mennoscah-themed fun run) has been postponed to a date yet to be determined.  The world premier of this event was to be held on May 30.  Keep your eyes peeled for news!

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Looking for a non-traditional pastoral role? Become a unit leader in Service Adventure, a gap-year program for ages 17–20 from Mennonite Mission Network. Unit leaders, at least 24 years of age, serve as mentors to the young adults in the household. An opening is available at the Service Adventure unit in Jackson, MS. This is a two-year term beginning in July 2020. Learn more by contacting SusanN@MennoniteMission.net.
  1. From Shana Peachey Boshart, MC USA Denominational Minister for Faith Formation:  Ready to think about Vacation Bible School? I’ve been hearing folks are wondering what to do: you’ve bought God’s Great Big Beautiful World, but how will you use it? Rest easy—the Shine editors called an emergency meeting to come to your aid for both VBS and Sunday school. Read on…

Shine curriculum: Two new digital options coming soon!

Shine will offer a digital Parent Guide for Fall 2020 that has a simple, weekly plan for families to share the Bible story, pray, sing and do an easy activity together. This guide can be used with Shine’s leaflets, student magazines and the new Bible storybook, All of Us: God’s Story for You & Me. This new Parent Guide is designed for congregations that will be meeting digitally this fall.

Shine’s VBS will release a new digital upgrade! Shine is developing strategies, adaptations, and digital products to help churches and families explore God’s Great Big Beautiful World VBS in new ways amid social distancing. Visit ShineCurriculum.com and follow Shine on social media sites to keep tabs on all the creative new ideas and products for making Great Big Beautiful World your most memorable VBS yet!

  1. Preaching to the Screen:  Sharing the Good News Online in the Age of COVID-19:  Bruxy Cavey, Meghan Larissa Good, Lesley Francisco McClendon, Osheta Moore, Brian Quan, Josh Meyer, and Allan Rudy-Froese.  Many pastors and church leaders are delivering sermons remotely for the first time, as in-person worship has become impossible due to COVID-19. How best can preachers foster meaningful encounters with the good news of Jesus, even as congregation and preacher are physically dispersed? MennoMedia’s Leader magazine is hosting a discussion with a panel of Anabaptist pastors and church leaders to unpack practical advice as well as theological considerations for effective online preaching. Join us next Thursday, May 14th, at 1:00 pm Central / 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Register now at bit.ly/AdaptiveChurch

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:  wdc@mennowdc.org
Website:  www.mennowdc.org