WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
November 7, 2017
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:
by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)
I am a person who seeks both/and connections. Years ago as a Bethel College student, besides music, my extra-curriculars included both Peace Club and the Praise and Worship group, desiring both action and contemplation as part of my faith in Jesus. I claim a dual vocation, believing God has called me to be a minister and mediator. Now, as I’ve been part of a planning team for the upcoming Year of Evangelism, I’m pleased that this both/and vision continues.
At our January 19-20, 2018 Year of Evangelism kick-off event, “Anabaptist Witness,” we will have both urban and rural perspectives on evangelism. We will offer workshops on testimony, discipleship and church planting (though probably not one that focuses on all of those themes at once). We will have both male and female perspectives with keynote speakers, Heidi Roland Unruh and Marvin Lorenzana, leading our reflection. We will celebrate worship with elements of ancient church practice wed with bluegrass music—both old and new ways to praise God. We look forward to practicing how to proclaim our faith in word and deed together. After all, this is Anabaptist witness we’re talking about.
The other unique element of this kick-off weekend is what we’re calling “Creative Strategizing Jam!” It’s a chance for your Outreach team to meet with a coach and another congregation’s team together. I hope you will encourage your church’s Outreach or Mission or Peace group or whatever you call it to participate (and all other interested people). The missional coach will give suggestions as your team talks about its struggles and vision and things you’ve already tried regarding evangelism. The other team listening in will get to hear your ideas, as well as offer their own suggestions. It’s a both/and bonus for each team being in both a listening and a presenting role, with a coach strengthening the whole process.
Many of us are both tentative and eager as we imagine what it might mean to share with others what God has done in our lives, and that’s okay, too. I trust that God will meet us where we are at and strengthen us in our Anabaptist witness to the living Lord.
- Our next Leadership Lunch(bring your own sack lunch) will be on Thursday, November 16 from 12-1:30 pm at the WDC offices. Each month, we are discussing a different Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) competency and how it relates to scripture, Anabaptist theology and practice, and our own areas of ministry. This month, we will focus on “Engage Unusual Voices.” All pastors and ministry leaders from both WDC and SCC are welcome even if you haven’t attended a KLC training or one of the previous Leadership Lunches. We hope these lunches will encourage and empower each of us to exercise more leadership for the common good in our churches and communities. If you want to join by Zoom video conference, email Nancy Funk (firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 14. If you have questions, contact Kathy Neufeld Dunn (email@example.com), Rachel Siemens (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Phil Schmidt (email@example.com).
- On November 19 at 7 pm, Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, KS, in partnership with Western District Conference, MCC Central States, and Bethel College, is sponsoring the Kansas premier production of “DISCOVERY: A COMIC LAMENT” produced by Ted & Co. TheaterWorks. The production will take place in Krehbiel Auditorium on Bethel College Campus. Tickets are $10, available from the Bethel College Bookstore, 316-283-2500. See attached press release and poster. (Churches, please post the poster and press release together, thanks!)
- Anabaptist Witness, the Year of Evangelism kick-off event, sponsored by the WDC Resource Commission, will be January 19-20, 2018 at the Alexanderwohl Church in Goessel, KS. We’ll gather for this two-day event starting Friday evening for vibrant worship, inspiring teaching from Marvin Lorenzana and Heidi Roland Unruh, and practical workshops meant to equip your congregation for outreach. On Saturday, congregational leaders will have a chance to brainstorm outreach ideas with a coach so that they can return to their mission fields with a practical plan for sharing the good news. All of this great resourcing is only $30/person ($25/person for groups of 4 or more from the same congregation). To register, go to: https://mennowdc.org/year-of-evangelism/. Consider sending a group of leaders from your church or even making this event your annual leadership retreat. Join us as we’re equipped to spread God’s healing and hope in the world!
- James Krabill, long-time missionary and missiologist with Mennonite Board of Missions and Mennonite Mission Network, will be a resource at the Year of Evangelism Kick-off event on January 19-20 (see previous announcement), and is available to speak in an area church on Sunday, January 21. Contact Joe Sawatzky (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set this up!
- Mennonite Church of the Servant, (www.mcswichita.net) 2401 N Woodland Ave, Wichita KS invites you to help inaugurate the Nationwide Poor People’s Campaign on November 17 at 7 pm. This is a national movement that renews Martin Luther King’s campaign against racism, poverty, and militarism, and adds environmental degradation. Rev. Dr. James Barber will speak to us through a brief video about the new Poor People’s Campaign, originally started in 1968. Rev. Titus James, Sr. Pastor of North Heights Christian Church, and Durell Gilmore, Justice Organizer for Sunflower Community Action, will offer short responses followed by audience feedback. Laura Dungan, the Executive Director of The Seed House, will moderate. Tom James will provide music. Mennonites and Quakers will serve delicious refreshments. More information at: https://poorpeoplescampaign.org, Facebook – Search for “Poor People’s Campaign”.
- First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS will have a mission supper (German sausage, sauerkraut, chicken borscht, fried potatoes, green beans, zwieback, pie, cake) on Saturday, November 11 from 5-7 pm. Donations will benefit Halstead Neighbors Store, and Mennonite Mission Network missionaries Dan & Kathryn Smith-Derksen and Juanita & Francisco Machado.
Camp Mennoscah announcements
Self-care before the holidays! Camp Mennoscah invites you to join the Scrapbook and Crafts retreat, Nov. 17-19, for a delightfully creative and relaxing time. This long weekend offers you hours of time to take a breath and work on your projects. We will have devotions, fun people, and make-n-takes! It’s a blast whether you relax with friends or work industriously. Register online at campmennoscah.orgor call 620-297-3290! Be part of the fun!
Christmas Gathering at Camp Mennoscah! All Camp Mennoscah volunteers from any and all years are invited to celebrate another year of sharing God’s love with others through service. We’ll gather at the Retreat Center on December 16 at 2:30pm-ish for conversation, games (indoor or outdoor), and cookies! Questions? Call us at 620-297-3290 or email email@example.com! Bring your families!
We need your help! Camp Mennoscah is seeking volunteers to help prepare the kitchen for renovations beginning Saturday, December 2, and continuing Monday-Saturday, December 4-9 until the kitchen is completely gutted. Both women and men are welcome to come out and help, and we will have a variety of tasks to complete. All work will be inside, so don’t worry about cold temperatures! If you wish to volunteer multiple days, that’s great! We can arrange lodging and meals for you. Carpooling to camp may be available on some or all of the days. If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Jim Yoder at 316-284-3890 (call or text), firstname.lastname@example.org, or Camp Mennoscah at (620)297-3290, email@example.com. Bring a friend, or bring multiple friends! Thank you for considering this opportunity!
Mennonite church announcements
In 2016, the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee began developing a new collection designed to succeed Hymnal: A Worship Book (1992), and supplements Sing the Journey (2005), and Sing the Story (2007). The Committee calls on authors (of worship resources and hymn texts), songwriters (who compose words and music as a unit), and composers (of hymn tunes) to submit original work intended to enhance congregational worship in Anabaptist-Mennonite faith communities. We welcome submissions for consideration in this new collection. We expect the submissions portal at www.MennoniteWorshipAndSongCollection.org to be active throughout 2017. More information at: http://mennoniteworshipandsongcollection.org/. Contact Resonate@MennoMedia.org with questions.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620