May 22, 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)


*Be Alert to God’s Activity


Be Alert to God’s Activity

     by Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

“The one thing that I am sure is that I want to experience a radical change in my life and to understand God’s love. I need to know how one commits one’s life to Christ?” Those where the words that Adrian used while we were having coffee at a local fast food restaurant.

Sometimes I find myself tempted to want to make sense of the world around me and to articulate in an intelligent way the changes in the religious, political, social, and cultural landscapes of my community. Wanting to have internal and external understandings of how everything works, especially in church, challenges us to respond accordingly. However, the challenge is also attempting to respond with old blueprints, plans and maps that are outdated or no longer work.

Roxburgh in Missional Map-Making argues that “Just being a good preacher, teacher, or a caregiver in a church no longer connects with the people in our communities.” I have found out and experienced that visiting public spaces provides a real scenery of my surroundings and consequently, provides the information necessary to connect and build relationships specifically with the community in which I am attempting to witness. Furthermore, it provides me with an opportunity to experience the so-much-needed human touch and human reality.

It was under these circumstances that I met with Adrian, over coffee and apple pie. It was in that open and public setting that the Kingdom of God descended on him. His burning bush experience prompted the questions that led him to want to follow in the way of Jesus.

As I reflected on this experience, I could say that it felt like a mighty blow descending in that place. It also made me realize that the “Upper Room” experience and the events that followed can happen to anyone and anywhere.

“37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:37-39 NIV).

Therefore, I believe that the challenge in front of us, individually and as church, is to be alert to God’s activity in the community. Unless the church is mobilized and deployed into the community, it is almost impossible to see God at work in our neighborhoods. In other words, we as church need to consider not only the attractional but missional and incarnational ecclesiological approaches as well; “Come and see, Go and tell and Go and Be.”


Estén Alertas al Mover de Dios
By Byron Pellecer, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Texas-Based)

“Lo único que estoy seguro es que quiero experimentar un cambio radical en mi vida y comprender el amor de Dios. ¿Necesito saber cómo uno puede comprometerse con Cristo?” Esas fueron las palabras que usó Adrián mientras tomábamos café en un restaurante local de comida rápida.

A veces me he sentido tentado a querer encontrarle sentido al mundo que me rodea y articular de manera inteligible los cambios en los campos religiosos, políticos, sociales y culturales de mi comunidad. Querer tener una comprensión interna y externa de cómo funciona todo, especialmente en la iglesia, nos desafía a responder en consecuencia. Sin embargo, el desafío también es intentar responder con planos viejos, estrategias y mapas que están desactualizados o que ya no funcionan.

Roxburgh en su libro Missional Map-Making argumenta que “El simple hecho de ser un buen predicador, maestro o alguien quien procura el cuidado en una iglesia ya no se conecta con las personas en nuestras comunidades”. He descubierto y experimentado que visitar lugares  públicos brinda un escenario real de mi entorno y, en consecuencia, proporcionará la información necesaria para conectar y construir relaciones específicamente con la comunidad a la que estoy tratando de testificar. Además, esta práctica me brinda la oportunidad de experimentar el tan necesario toque humano y la realidad humana.

Fue bajo estas circunstancias que me encontré con Adrián, tomando café y disfrutando de un pastel de manzana. Fue en ese escenario abierto y público que el Reino de Dios descendió sobre él. Su experiencia de la “zarza ardiente” provocó que hiciera las preguntas que lo llevaron a querer seguir a Jesús.

Al reflexionar sobre esta experiencia, podría decirse que se sintió como un poderoso golpe descendiendo en ese lugar. También me hizo darme cuenta de que la experiencia de “Aposento Alto” y los eventos que siguieron pueden sucederle a cualquier persona y en cualquier lugar.

” 37 Cuando oyeron esto, todos se sintieron profundamente conmovidos y les dijeron a Pedro y a los otros apóstoles: Hermanos, ¿qué debemos hacer? 38 Arrepiéntase y bautícese cada uno de ustedes en el nombre de Jesucristo para perdón de sus pecados les contestó Pedro, y recibirán el don del Espíritu Santo. 39 En efecto, la promesa es para ustedes, para sus hijos y para todos los extranjeros, es decir, para todos aquellos a quienes el Señor nuestro Dios quiera llamar.” (Hechos 2: 37-38 NVI).

Por lo tanto, creo que el desafío frente a nosotros, individualmente y como iglesia, es estar alertas al mover de Dios en nuestras comunidades. A menos que la iglesia se movilice y se despliegue en la comunidad, es casi imposible ver a Dios obrando en nuestros vecindarios.

En otras palabras, nosotros como iglesia necesitamos considerar no solo el enfoque eclesiológico atrayente sino también el misional y el encarnado; “Ven y mira, Ve y cuenta, Ve y sé”.

WDC announcements

  1. ONE GRANT LEFT!   “Mustard Seed” Grants!  Want to have a community concert and invite your neighbors?  Want to send neighborhood kids to Camp Mennoscah, then invite them to Wednesday night Kids Club to learn more about Jesus?  Maybe you have other ideas about how to connect with neighbors and friends, but the church budget is tight.  An offering was received at the WDC Year of Evangelism Kick Off in January 2018.  Resource Commission matched these funds and now has some grant money to offer to Western District congregations who have great ideas for how to share the good news of Jesus in new and creative ways, but no seed money.  Several grants of $250 each will be awarded.  Check out the Mustard Seed grant application at https://mennowdc.org/mustard-seed-grants/.  It’s quick. It’s simple, but there are a few criteria.  Resource Commission would love to see and support your ideas for creative evangelism in your area!  Like a mustard seed, maybe a tiny idea will sprout into something bigger than we can imagine with the Holy Spirit’s tending. So, pray, plan, and apply!
  2. Remember the Leadership Lunch on Thursday (May 24) from 12-1:30 pm at the WDC office.  The topic is:  “Test multiple interpretations, points-of-view (Diagnose Situation)”.  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.  (To join this meting by Zoom video conference: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/954211554, Or iPhone one-tap:  US: +14086380986, 954211554# or +16465588665, 954211554# Or Telephone: +1 408 638 0986  or +1 646 558 8665  or +1 646 876 9923  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 408 638 0968, Meeting ID: 954 211 554

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Come volunteer to help rebuild The Whale! Construction is continuing, and we need your help! May 25-26 will be cutting and staining the wood in Newton. June 1-2 will be platform and decking installation at camp, and the week of June 3 will be installing the railings and spreading mulch. If you’d like to be a part of the action, contact camp at office@campmennoscah.orgor 620-297-3290, let us know which days you can be there, and we’ll get back to you with more details. We’re really excited to have this up by the time summer youth camps begin on June 10 and hope you are, too!
  1. Party in the kitchen!  Kitchen staff at Camp Mennoscah this summer will enjoy the delightful new kitchen with shiny stainless steel, temperate temperatures (courtesy of A and C), and fun folks.  Camp Mennoscah needs kitchen helpers for June 24-30 and July 15-21.  Parent discounts are available up to full camp fees.  Bring a friend, your swimsuit (for the pool), and make tasty meals for amazing campers and staff!  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.orgto get your piece of the fun!
  1. Bring a Friend!  We love sharing Camp Mennoscah with others!  It’s a time of fun, making friends, and growing in your relationship with Jesus.  Surely those things are well worth sharing with others.  Returning campers and their first time friend each get a free camp tee shirt and a week of great and amazing activities!  Register online at campmennoscah.org!
  1. Want to spend a little extra time at Camp Mennoscah?  We’re always looking for volunteers and weekend hosts to help our staff.  There will be a staff person around to lead in tasks or direct a visiting group and all levels of skill are welcome.  Contact us at 620-297-3290 or olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.org!

Mennonite church announcements
1.  MCC has recently reviewed feedback from our partners around the world and some changes have been made to the guidelines for new comforters that we’re sharing with you:  https://mcc.org/sites/mcc.org/files/media/common/documents/2017-10-04_comforter_making_guideline_us.pdf.   If you have questions or concerns please contact Kate Mast in the MCC Central States Material Resources Center in North Newton, KS: katemast@mcc.org 316.283.2720.

  1. Dove’s Nest and Mennonite Women USA are joyfully partnering to sponsor a unique summer event: Empowering Women: Claiming Healthy Personal Boundaries July 26-27 in Omaha, Nebraska. We are excited about this opportunity to resource both women and girls (age 13-18) and are grateful for supporting funds from the Schowalter Foundation.  For more information and registration: https://dovesnest.net/Claiming-Healthy-Personal-Boundaries

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