WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
November 3, 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.
IN THIS ISSUE:
*Psalms: Real Prayers for Real Life
Psalms: Real Prayers for Real Life
by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)
Are you excited for the election results? Are you anxious? Do you wonder who will represent “the least of these” in your state and in our nation? Are you bored with the whole thing? I encourage you to reorient yourself toward the One who is Lord of all.
The psalms have been the prayer book for two Abrahamic religions for thousands of years. Today is a day to begin a new prayer practice or to focus more keenly on these ancient prayers as real words for real life. They are intimate, leading us toward God who knows us at our best and at our most desperate, enraged or grief-stricken. They are also the prayers of a people. They are both personal and political. Allow them to be your prayer today.
No matter which politicians win and lose, I challenge you to pray today a psalm of praise, a psalm of lament, and a psalm recognizing God’s love and justice for those most in need. Maybe we can begin to recognize how others are feeling. Perhaps this is a way to take one step toward God and toward those who did not vote the same as we did. It’s time to move toward each other in love. It’s time to seek ways to work together for the sake of the most vulnerable as God calls us to do.
Pray the psalms. Allow God to speak to your heart and mind on this day and every day. After all, when we pray to the “Lord,” we are proclaiming that God has our allegiance, not one party or another.
Los Salmos: Oraciones reales para la vida real
¿Estás emocionado por los resultados de las elecciones? ¿Estás ansioso? ¿Se pregunta quién representará a “los más pequeños” en su estado y en nuestra nación? ¿Estás aburrido de todo esto? Te animo a que te reorientes hacia Aquel que es el Señor de todo.
Los salmos han sido el libro de oraciones de dos religiones abrahámicas durante miles de años. Hoy es un día para comenzar una nueva práctica de oración o para enfocarte más en estas antiguas oraciones como palabras reales para la vida real. Son íntimas y nos conducen hacia Dios, que nos conoce en nuestro mejor momento y en nuestro momento más desesperado, enfurecido o afligido. También son las oraciones de un pueblo. Son tanto personales como políticos. Permíteles ser tu oración hoy.
No importa qué políticos ganen y pierdan, te desafío a orar hoy un salmo de alabanza, un salmo de lamento y un salmo que reconozca el amor y la justicia de Dios para los más necesitados. Quizás podamos empezar a reconocer cómo se sienten los demás. Quizás esta es una manera de dar un paso hacia Dios y hacia aquellos que no votaron igual que nosotros. Es hora de acercarnos en el amor. Es hora de buscar formas de trabajar juntos por el bien de los más vulnerables, como Dios nos pide que hagamos.
Ora los salmos. Permite que Dios hable a tu corazón y mente en este día y todos los días. Después de todo, cuando oramos al “Señor,” estamos proclamando que Dios tiene nuestra lealtad, ni un partido ni otro.
- Giving Tuesday is December 1 – Western District Conference invites you to join this global giving initiative! Share a gift with WDC during this season, to help our congregations Witness & invite others to faith in Jesus Christ, Dwell in just & loving relationships, and Connect to God’s mission in the world. You may make an online contribution HEREor send a check to Western District Conference, PO Box 306, North Newton KS 67117. Thank you for your generosity!
- Did you miss the WDC webinar “Connect: Faith Formation in Challenging Times”? You can watch a recording of the web and/or read through a list of the faith formation in the digital age resources that were referred to during the webinar at: https://mennowdc.org/christian-nurture/.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
Camp Mennoscah is a year-round campground! Ask about winterized facilities or conquer the prairie wilds in a tent. It’s a whole new world in the winter–and available for you! Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation.
Mennonite church announcements
- Mennonite Church USA offers these resources for election time: A statement on what it means to be a peacemaker at such a time: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/news/bold-peacemaking/. And the latest article on how different congregations across the country are preparing for potential violence in their cities: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/news/congregations-prepare-for-bold-peacemaking/
- MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton will be sharing a message on peacemaking during his upcoming Facebook Live event on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT / 10:30 a.m. MT / 9:30 a.m. PT. View it here: https://www.facebook.com/MennoniteChurchUSA
- Giving Tuesday is coming up on December 1. Your contribution to Mission Network will help us Be the Gospel through our valued partnerships, ministries, and resources. Visit MennoniteMission.net/Donateto give on or before December 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. Learn more by contacting SusanN@MennoniteMission.net.
- Baked goods sign up: A call-out for local (Newton KS area) bakers to support Bethel College. For years Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) has been a location for 5 Places of Christmas selling crafts and baked goods. BCWA is asking for support in making baked items for the event which is December 5. Please follow the link below for sign-up options. Thanks for your continued support of Bethel College! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D4BABAF2EA4FDCF8-baked
- The KIPCOR Film Series at Bethel College continues with Cooked: Survival by ZIP Code, a multiple-award-winning documentary that focuses on the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave to illustrate how minorities and low-income citizens suffer the most negative impact from natural disasters. The film is an indictment of our nation’s disaster preparedness, and forges a link between extreme weather, extreme disparity (income and other) and extreme racism. Note that watching the film and participating in the talk-back are two distinct, separate events. You must view the film between Nov. 8 and Nov. 14, using this link and password: https://vimeo.com/bullfrogfilms/kipcor-cooked; password: KC30p0 (KC3-zero-p-zero). Then on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m., KIPCOR will host a virtual discussion of the film with Christy Miller Hesed, Hesston, a postdoctoral associate in environmental anthropology at the University of Maryland (Christy and her family attend Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton). To register for the talk-back, go to kipcor.org, click on the event, and scroll down to the registration link. The Zoom link will be sent Nov. 13; advance registration is required for the talk-back.
- On behalf of Mennonite Education AgencyHispanic Ministries IBA program, I want to say thank you to all who ordered burritos for the Annual IBA Fundraising. And thank you to all of you who didn’t order but sent their generous contributions. The event was a success, and we were blessed with your many orders and generous gifts. We sold over one thousand burritos and raised over ten thousand dollars. Thank you to First Mennonite Church, Newton, for letting us use their kitchen and the church for this event. Thank you to people from Casa Betania Mennonite Church who helped Carlos Lujano assemble the burritos and to Carlos to take the challenge to make these many burritos. Your generous contributions help ensure the continuation of this vital Spanish program and to continue training new leaders for the Hispanic Mennonite Church in the USA. We hope that by next year we will be able to see you in our annual IBA fundraising meal. We ask for your prayers as the tutors and students continue classes in this challenging pandemic time. –Violeta Ajquejay Suastegui
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.