WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
October 13, 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:
*Pastoral news & transitions
Turpin Mennonite Church, OK – Pastor
News and Transitions
Kurt Horst began as Interim Lead Pastor at First Mennonite Church in Newton, KS on October 7.
Lynn Schlosser will end as Pastor at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS, on December 31, 2020.
- Join the conversation at WDC’s Leadership Lunch on October 22 at 12:00 noon. Each month a Kansas Leadership Center leadership competency is presented. Anyone is welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom link to join the conversation.
- The WDC Immigration Task Force offers its next installment in a series of thought pieces, mindful of immigrants among us without a voice this election season. They seek to make visible what is too often invisible with regard to immigrant lives and immigration issues.
An Immigration Detention Center Attorney Speaks Out, by Anali Looper
The months since the COVID-19 outbreak began have been trying for all of us. But for the thousands of people locked in immigration detention centers, trying doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. As a nonprofit immigration attorney in central Texas, I work inside detention centers helping people apply for asylum and other immigration benefits, and I can tell you that even before COVID-19 health care inside these facilities was suspect at best. Early this year one of my colleagues told me she spoke with a detained man who explained how he’d had to use a shoelace as a makeshift catheter because he was unable to get adequate healthcare. Even inhalers or widely available medications are sometimes withheld from those detained. (To read the full length article, go to: https://mennoniteswithoutborders.org/blog/an-immigration-attorney-speaks-out/)
- Responding to theCry for Hope from Palestinian Christians, WDC Israel Palestine Task Force invites our congregations to commit to “Preach Palestine” on November 29. November 29 is the first Sunday in Advent, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Friends of Sabeel of North America (FOSNA) have gathered resources for worship planners from a diversity of traditions and voices that lift up liberation from Turtle Island to Palestine. Can you commit your congregation to be a part of our goal of 100 churches to “Preach Palestine” on November 29? We also invite you to use our webinar: Racial Justice from US to Palestine as part of your faith formation or worship resources https://youtu.be/FDhQEV0VfGw (Note attached graphic.)
- What seeds are growing in WDC? Each issue of the WDC Garden (quarterly newsletter) in 2020 will feature some “seeds” – brief highlights from congregations about new initiatives, creative ideas, missional practices and connections within WDC. If you have some “seeds” to suggest for consideration in the Garden, please send a note to WDC at email@example.com!
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Camp Mennoscah volunteers will be removing the Camp Mennoscah dam on October 18 beginning at 3pm (after a morning baptism). You are welcome to come watch the process (please bring a mask and expect to stay at least 6 ft. away from others). If you would like to help in the removal process, please contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290. Physical distancing and mask wearing may not be feasible for those in the water.
- Camp Mennoscah’s Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat on October 30-Nov. 1 has only a few spaces available. Participants will stay in the Retreat Center with their own bathroom and scrapbook/crafts tables will be set up in the dining hall to provide more space and better ventilation. Mask and distancing guidelines followed. Register at campmennoscah.org! Call 620-297-3290 for more information.
- 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
- November is mission month and Mennonite Mission Network is calling Mennonite congregations across the U.S. to give witness to God’s plan for peace and justice. As we have seen in recent months, racism harms the body of Christ and God’s reconciling mission. But we know that God has made a way to receive forgiveness – the repentance that leads to life! Join in worshiping our God who has a plan for reconciliation. Please …
- Invite a speaker to join your congregation virtually
- Use November Mission Month materials, with scripture and sermon prompts.
- In his blog, “Sharing our stories at Mennonite conventions,”Curt Weaver, pastor of children and youth at Portland (Oregon) Mennonite Church, compares the Mennonite convention to a family reunion, where deeper, intergenerational and faith formative conversations happen. Read more at https://www.mennoniteusa.org/mennocon-stories
3. What does radical hospitality mean? Pastor Ulises Arenas of Iglesia Buenas Nuevas in San Juan, Texas, demonstrates the challenges immigrants face through three stories from his own South Texas community and asks us to dig deeper (más allá) to find understanding and answers. Read his blog, “Think ‘más allá’ about the immigrants in your midst,” here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/mas-alla
4. Richard R. Aguirre, an administrator at Goshen College, talks about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Latinos and challenges Mennonites to do more to help immigrants and refugees stay healthy and safe. Read his blog, “Like Good Samaritans, we must help immigrants through COVID-19,” here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/immigrants-covid-19
5. Please pray for the congregations in the Atlantic Coast Mennonite Conference, who will be gathering via video conference for their annual assembly on Oct. 24-25.
- Tune into Mission Network’s Facebookon Mondays at 1 p.m. (EST) for the Hope Series and let us help you dwell in the hope that is the love of Christ. Be sure to tune in on Thursdays at the same time for Hope Around the World, a check-in time with our international partners.
- 2020 Menno Simons Lectures at Bethel College– For the first time in 68 years, this annual series will be delivered virtually. The speaker is César Garcia, general secretary of Mennonite World Conference, Kitchener, Ontario. The series title is “Towards an Anabaptist Catholicity.” Lectures are Sunday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m. (live online with Q&A to follow); Monday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m. (pre-recorded); and Monday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m. (live online with Q&A to follow). To register, go to https://forms.gle/t55EqQjrttWn4md8A All registered participants will receive the Zoom link a day or so before the series begins.
Lecture 1: “Anabaptist Catholicity: A Definition”
Lecture 2: “Anabaptist Catholicity as Centripetal Force.” This lecture will be pre-recorded as part of the college Convocation series, and will be available at
Lecture 3: “Anabaptist Catholicity as Centrifugal Force”
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.