WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
November 15, 2016
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:
*News and Transitions
Post-election letter from conference ministers to pastors and congregations of Western District Conference:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We write with a heavy heart following last week’s presidential election. Our concern is not about which political party won or lost. Rather, we lament the division, anger, and pain reflected in the election and present in our nation.
Within Western District Conference, we recognize the frustration of those who feel unheard and disadvantaged, or sense that their values are threatened in today’s society. We hear the voices of those for whom the outcome of the election raises fear of deportation, discrimination, racial profiling, or sexual harassment.
It is time to ask again, in the words of WDC’s theme for 2016: What does it mean that we are “held together in mission”?
As people of God’s kingdom, we believe this is a time to proclaim our trust in God, our allegiance to the reign of Christ, and our belonging in the body of Christ that transcends political, ethnic and national boundaries.
This is a time to demonstrate God’s love for all people, and to recognize Christ in both the neighbor and the stranger. It is a time to stand with those in our congregations and communities who are most vulnerable. This is a time to offer words of encouragement in the face of fear, and prayers for hope in the face of despair. It is a time to speak and act for justice and peace.
How is your congregation called to bear witness to the reign of Christ in this time? Perhaps it is to offer encouragement to your sister church in WDC or work toward fair immigration policies. Perhaps it is to host refugees, to reach out to a neighbor, or to renew a commitment to prayer.
However the Spirit leads us, let us join our hearts and hands as sons and daughters of peace, as people of hope and reconciliation.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” – Jeremiah 29:7
In the peace of Christ,
Heidi Regier Kreider, Conference Minister
Kathy Neufeld Dunn, Associate Conference Minister
Byron Pellecer, Associate Conference Minister
Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS – Associate Pastor
First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS – Pastor
First Mennonite Church, McPherson, KS – Pastor (Search Committee appointed)
Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS – Pastor
Iglesia Menonita Aposento Alto, Wichita, KS – Church Planter-Pastor
Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, KS – Associate Pastor
News and Transitions
- Congratulations to Byron Pellecer upon the birth of a granddaughter on October 20!
- Dianne Schmidt began October 23 as Associate Pastor at Eden Mennonite Church, in Moundridge, KS.
- Congratulations to Linda Shelly, who received the AMBS Alumni Ministry and Service Recognition award for 2016. She works with Mennonite Mission Network as the Latin America Director, is a part of First Mennonite Church and Iglesia Menonita Casa Betania, both in Newton, KS. More information can be found at: www.ambs.edu/news/Longtime-mission-worker-to-receive-AMBS-alumni-award.cfm.
- Caleb Yoder will become the Pastor at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel, KS, in January 2017.
- Leadership Lunches! Save the date for Leadership Lunches coming in 2017! Pastors will meet from 12-1:30pm at the WDC offices the Third Thursday of each month beginning in January to discuss leadership competencies and how to put them into practice in our local congregations. Plan to join us for this leadership experiment! More information to come. If you have questions, please contact Kathy Neufeld Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rachel Siemens (email@example.com) or Phil Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Now on display in the Resource Library: Worship resources for Advent and Christmas, Advent devotionals for families and adults, Christmas fiction for children and adults, and more. Stop by today and start preparing your heart and mind for the Advent/Christmas season!
- Celebrate Advent with your kids! Stop by the Conference Resource Library Makerspace to explore Advent with an Advent coloring poster and make a scratch-off paper ornament.
- Summer Youth Camp Volunteer Christmas! Everyone who has every been involved in a summer youth camp (program director, cook, nurse, counselor, summer staffer, etc.) is invited to bring their family to Camp Mennoscah on Dec. 17 at 2:30pm-ish. We will provide cookies and drinks in the dining hall. Bring a white elephant gift (if you choose) and your favorite tasty treat to share (if you choose). We’ll see you there!
- First Mennonite Church in McPherson has 25 copies of the Mennonite Hymnary to donate. Please contact the church office if you are interested: 620-241-4040.
- Resources for pastors and congregational leaders: Check out Congregational Consulting Group at http://www.congregationalconsulting.org/perspectives/ for weekly newsletters and more resources on a variety of practical and provocative topics related to congregational ministry, mission and leadership. If you are interested, subscribe to have these newsletters e-mailed directly to you.
Mennonite Church Announcements
- Families with children: Next week is the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of “Come, Walk in the Light of Day,” a free, downloadable guide for family worship from November 27 to January 6. Pick and choose the activities that work best for your family. Find it at www.anabaptistfaithformation.org
- Erica Stoltzfus and James Goerzen of Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, invite people to join them in their trip to North Dakota to participate in the ongoing protests led by the people from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the building of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). They will leave the Newton area and drive to North Dakota on Thursday, November 24, spend Friday and Saturday participating in the protests, and then return to the Newton area on Sunday, November 27. If you are interested in joining Erica and James, please contact Erica at email@example.com and/or James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mennonite Church USA Convention 2017 is coming up July 4-8 in Orlando, with the theme “Love is a Verb”. A new flier provides more details on speakers and other events. Also consider donating to the Convention Scholarship Fund or partnering with a congregation that can’t afford to send people on its own, and think about ways you can show love to your family, friends and community. Learn more at: http://convention.mennoniteusa.org or find the convention on Facebook or Twitter.
- We offer congratulations and prayers to Joy Sutter of Harleysville, PA, who was recently called as the nominee for moderator-elect of Mennonite Church USA. Sutter, a hospital administrator in Philadelphia, will become moderator-elect if affirmed by delegates at the 2017 Convention in Orlando. Read more on the News page at www.mennoniteusa.org.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620