November 17, 2015

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)


*Volunteers are Wonderful


Volunteers are Wonderful

     by John Stoesz, Executive Director, Camp Mennoscah

Last week one of Camp Mennoscah’s outstanding volunteers said to me, “I don’t have money to give, but I have time.” What a wonderful gift!

We are blessed with a host of volunteers. They really are the lifeblood of Camp. Volunteers put in and take out the dam, cook and do dishes, nurse sick campers and hand out medications. They construct new buildings and perform maintenance, counsel campers and once in a while comfort the home-sick, clean and wash, paint and mow – and whatever is needed.

I used to say that Camp has three main sources of revenue – camper fees, group rentals and contributions. But I was overlooking the donation that really keeps camp going–volunteers. So I began to add up the dollar value of volunteers so far this year. I estimated $10 an hour (realizing that many of our volunteers are worth far more) and multiplied that times the number of hours the volunteers have contributed in just three areas.

Summer volunteers $ 92,000

Bath House volunteers $ 16,000

Work and Play volunteers $ 5,000

Total $113,000

If I add in the many other hours people have contributed, then it becomes clear that the dollar value of volunteers is Camp Mennoscah’s major source of revenue. I don’t say “thank you” enough. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!

WDC Announcements

1.  Parents Night Out hosted by Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS, on Dec 12, 5:00 – 9:30.  A WDC Loaves and Fishes Grant was obtained to provide an outreach community service.  Let us babysit while you have a date night, outing with friends or just relax at home!  Games, activities, food and more will be provided for your children at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, 43 13th Avenue, Inman.  Pizza will be served at 5:30.  Please call/text/email Barb at 620-543-6863 or bj.reeves@live.com by Dec 5 to register.   We look forward to playing with your kids!

2.  Congratulations to the WDC End Death Penalty Task Force, which was honored as the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP) Champion Group of the Year!  The task force has worked to keep this issue before our congregations and our legislative leaders, advocating for greater justice and more effective responses to crime and violence in our society.  Peter Goerzen accepted the award on behalf of the Task Force at the KCADP Abolition Conference and Champions for Change Dinner in Topeka, KS on November 7.

3.  If you have ever been a summer staffer at Camp Mennoscah (anytime during the past 67 years), you are invited to a near-Christmas gathering on December 19 at 2:30pm.  Meet in the dining hall at Camp Mennoscah to hang out, chat, play games, and tell stories with staffers across the years.  We’ll provide coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and some cookies.  Feel free to bring a snacky thing to share.  Spouses, significant others, and kids are all invited.  Questions?  Call us at 620-297-3290.

4.  This is probably the Camp Mennoscah 2016 summer youth camp schedule.  We use the word “probably” because the last time we said this is it, it wasn’t.  Call us at 620-297-3290 with your questions!  The summer theme is Fearless Faith: Courage in Community

May 29-June 4–Summer Staff Orientation

June 5-11–Junior High I with Greg Shelly & Michael Unruh

June 12-16–PreJunior I with John Regier & Chris Riesen

June 19-25–Junior I with Kevin Neufeld & Adam Robb

June 26-30–PreJunior II–to be determined

July 7-9–First Camp with Stacy Griffin & Lindsey Miller

July 10-16–Junior High II with Farmer Derek & Kara Klingenberg

July 17-23–Junior II with Allen Jantz & Janet McGillivary

July 24-29–Senior High Camp with Kelly Stucky

5.  The WDC Office will be closed November 25, 26, 27 for Thanksgiving.

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. Does sexualized violence concern you? If so, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. invites you to participate in an online survey about this issue. Your answers to the open-ended questions will be used to guide MCC U.S. in its creation of trainings and resources for pastors and leaders in the faith community. Log on to mcc.org/wwso to complete the survey by the end of December.
  1. The Mennonite is the official publication of Mennonite Church USA. Their monthly magazine includes news, feature-length stories and reflections and opinion pieces featuring voices from across the denomination. They also have a website that gets updated several times a day (www.TheMennonite.org) and fairly active Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheMennonite/), Twitter (@TheMennonite) and Instagram (@TheMennoniteInc) feeds.  The Mennonite is a key resource for keeping people informed of what’s happening across the denomination, and also for providing inspirational, Christ-centered Anabaptist content.
  • The Mennonite offers gift subscriptions. Spread the word about this opportunity, especially as people are considering Christmas gifts! This would be a great alternative for those who don’t want to give more “stuff” at Christmas. https://www.cambeywest.com/subscribe2/?p=MEN&f=gift
  • The Mennonite offers congregation group subscriptions – deep discounts are available for groups of five or more and subscribing as a congregation is a great way to show support and commitment to the denomination. https://themennonite.org/subscribe/group-subscription/
  • Hannah Heinzeker Executive Director of The Mennonite, Inc., hopes to meet with groups of subscribers and supporters of The Mennonite to hear what they appreciate, what they wish were different and what dreams/ideas they might have for the magazine in the future. If your congregation has interest in a gathering like this, please contact her at:  HannahH@themennonite.org, 316-281-4399.
  1. Five Places of Christmas will be held Saturday, December 5, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel College campus. The Bethel College Women’s Association will present a variety of Nativities from local exhibitors. Come and enjoy a wide variety of Nativity Sets of different sizes and from different countries. A candy and bake sale as well as a gift shop of BCWA memorabilia will be available. No admission is charged and the event is handicapped accessible.

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