October 23, 2018

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)


*A Season of Giving


A Season of Giving

     by Beth Yoder, WDC Business Manager

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is two months away and a new year is just around the corner. Western District Conference recently sent out the 2019 Narrative Budget information to congregations, we are starting to think about our year-end letter, and just beyond that will be Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas and then a new year. This time of year can mean different things to different people. It may be a time of joy or sadness, it may mean busyness with family or loneliness.

It can be very easy to get caught up in the busyness and commercialism of this season. I would challenge us as we enter this season to continue to focus on thanksgiving for the gift of Jesus on the first Christmas. Jesus came near to show people how much God loved them. Matthew 5:14 (NLT) says, “You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.” I like this reminder as I think about heading into this season. We are to be a light of God’s love and joy; giving out of joy whether a gift, a donation, or time spent with someone.

I recently read The Story of Saint Nicholas by Mildred Luckhardt. This book is based on legend, but I would like to think there is some truth to the character that is portrayed. In this telling, Father Nicholas’ example made the children excited to help give gifts, rather than simply excited to receive. I am saddened by the ways we too easily are caught-up in materialism in our time, but find hope in all the stories I hear of joyful giving. May we be excited to give out of the joy and happiness that comes from God!

We are thankful for the many ways WDC congregations both give and participate in the ministries that bring light to congregations and communities. May God be with you in the upcoming season as you give and receive!

WDC announcements

  1. EVENT RECONFIGURED – “Telling the Jesus Story” testimony event that was planned for this weekend, October 26-27 at Iglesia Luz del Evangelio, Dallas, TX will not take place(due to low registration numbers). Stay tuned, though!  Telling the Jesus Story is being reconfigured!  Watch for videos, hand-outs, and other resources coming soon to the WDC website.  We’re excited that having resources online may reach more people.
  1. The next Leadership Lunch will be on Thursday, October 25 from 12-1:30 pm at the WDC office.  The topic is:  “Speak from the Heart (Intervene Skillfully)”.  All are welcome to attend this conversation on Kansas Leadership Center concepts, even if you haven’t attended a KLC training.  Bring your own lunch.  (To join this meeting by Zoom video conference: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/278585015, Or iPhone one-tap:  US: +16699006833, 278585015#  or +16468769923, 278585015#, Or Telephone:  Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 876 9923, Meeting ID: 278 585 015)
  1. Safwat Marzouk, PhD, Associate Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, will present Bible Lectures at Bethel College, North Newton, KS, November 4-5.  On Sun., Nov 4, at 7:30 pm he will speak on“Migration in the Joseph Narrative: integration, separation and transnationality.”   On Monday, Nov. 5, at 11 am he will present a Convocation lecture on “Ethnic Boundary Crossing as a way of Resisting Tyranny and Oppression in Exodus 1-2.”  Both lectures are in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Luyken Fine Arts Center.   Following the convocation lecture on Mon., Nov 5, Western District Conference and Bethel College will co-host a lunch gathering for pastors to meet Dr. Marzouk, at 12:00 noon at KIPCOR (Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution) on the Bethel campus. At the pastors’ gathering Dr. Marzouk will speak on “Church in an age of migration,” drawing on his experience as an Egyptian scholar and ordained minister who has focused on issues of migration and cross-cultural dynamics in his Biblical study.  A light lunch will be provided. Pastors interested in attending the lunch, please RSVP to WDC by Friday, Nov 2, at 316-283-6300 or wdc@mennowdc.org.  For more information about Safwat Marzouk see https://www.ambs.edu/academics/people/749240/safwat-marzouk 

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. We want you on our Summer Staff!  Camp Mennoscah will soon be recruiting at Mennonite colleges for staff for the 2019 summer.  We’ll be at Goshen College on Nov. 9 (pizza meal on the 8th), followed by the Kansas colleges on November 12-15 (Hesston, Tabor, Bethel, and McPherson).  A pizza meal for Kansas area folks interested in being summer staff will be in Newton on Nov. 14 (details soon).  If you’re at EMU or Bluffton, we won’t be on your campus, but we SO want to talk to you. The summer staff application will be available online at campmennoscah.orgon November 7.
  1. Want to be a Camp Mennoscah host?  Now’s your chance!  We’re looking for people to help host weekends.  This could mean helping with dishes, starting the campfire, making popcorn, or any number of other delightful things we do when groups are at camp.  Contact olivia.bartel@campmennoscah.orgor call 620-297-3290.  We’d love to help you attain your dream of hosting!

Mennonite church announcements
1.  MennoCon19 (Mennonite Church USA convention) is coming up July 2-6, 2019 in Kansas City! The Delegate Assembly planning team is seeking nominations of congregations or ministries within conferences to share stories about our collective Journey Forward during delegate sessions in Kansas City. See the attached nomination form for more information, and to nominate your congregation or another congregation/ministry that reflects MC USA’s Renewed Commitments: Follow Jesus, Witness to God’s Peace, and Experience Transformation.

  1. Service Assignment Openings at MCC’s Washington Office (contact heidihuber@mcc.orgwith questions or for more information):
    *Legislative and Communications Assistant (2 year assignment, starting Jan 2, 2019):  This position will involve working on public policy advocacy (focusing primarily on mass incarceration and needed reforms to the U.S. criminal justice system, with a secondary focus on gun violence) and the MCC Washington office’s public communications.  Here’s the link to the full assignment description:  https://mcc.org/get-involved/serve/openings/legislative-communications-assistant  Deadline for receiving letters and resumes is November 9, 2018.
    *Internships (3-4 months, starting Jan 14, 2019)
    *The MCC Washington Office is also offering 2 unpaid, half time (.5FTE) internships a Domestic Affairs Intern and an International Affairs Intern. To read more about internships in general, click on this link: http://washington.mcc.org/advocate/internships  These Winter/Spring internships would run from January to April.
  1. AMBS course:  Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations:  Jan. 8 – May 3, 2019:  This three-credit-hour course examines foundational Islamic narratives and texts and how Muslims have interpreted these in law, doctrine and spirituality through the centuries.  Gender issues, Muslim-Christian relations, and contemporary Muslim movements also will be discussed.  Instructor:  Jacqueline Hoover, M.A., Teaching Affiliate in Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations at the University of Nottingham (U.K.)
  1. Visit AMBS!  Schedule a personal visit to learn about how Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s on-campus and distance programs can prepare you to lead effectively and live faithfully – wherever God calls you.  Meet students and professors, join us for classes and worship, and learn about financial aid.  ambs.edu/visit
  2. ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — The Board of Directors of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Indiana, is announcing the retirement of Sara Wenger Shenk, Ed.D., AMBS president, effective June 30, 2019. Wenger Shenk has served in this role since the fall of 2010.  Read the full news release at:  https://www.ambs.edu/news-events/news/1647149/ambs-board-announces-wenger-shenk-retirement

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.  

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