WDC Sprouts, October 27, 2020

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

SPROUTS

October 27, 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:

*Election Reflections

*Announcements

Election Reflections

by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister 

As election day approaches, I’ll be honest: I feel weary of politics and polarization, tired of COVID-19, angry at systemic injustice and misinformation in the media, and concerned about potential violence around the election. So much fear and anxiety permeates our nation these days.  We are all being battered in the fight for the “soul of our nation.”  Even within the church, we are tempted to weaponize the issues that divide us, the hurts that wound us, the fears that motivate us to build defenses and barriers.

Yet, in his letters to the early church, the apostle Paul reminds us that we are ambassadors for Christ, entrusted by God with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).   “Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20).

Therefore, my primary loyalty is not to a political candidate or nation but to Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection embodies God’s love for all people and all of creation.  My primary identity is not as a citizen of the United States or member of a political party, but rather as a follower of Jesus, a member of a global community of faith and a human family that transcends national borders.

When I vote, I do not place ultimate faith in human leaders, or equate God’s reign with a particular political party, program or policy.   Rather, I vote because I care about the common good, and want to advocate for a government and leadership that uses power and resources for the benefit of all.  I see voting as one way to advocate for “least of these” – those who lack voice, power, and resources in our society.

Of course, voting is only one way to impact the world around us.  Election day should also prompt me to ask: “How am I advocating for the common good every other day of the year?  How am I daily serving as an ambassador for Christ in the midst of today’s realities?  How am I a minister of reconciliation in a hurting and broken world?

In this election season, may we claim our holy citizenship and embrace our shared struggle to follow Jesus together in the world. May God give us wisdom and grace to receive the call of Romans 12:2:  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  

—————–

Reflexiones sobre las elecciones

de Heidi Regier Kreider

A medida que se acerca el día de las elecciones, seré honesto: me siento cansada de la política y la polarización, agotada del COVID-19, enojada por la injusticia sistémica y la desinformación en los medios, y preocupada por la posible violencia en torno a las elecciones. Tanto miedo y ansiedad impregna nuestra nación en estos días. Todos estamos golpeados en la lucha por el “alma de nuestra nación.” Incluso dentro de la iglesia, nos sentimos tentados a usar los problemas que nos dividen como armas, las heridas que nos hieren, los miedos que nos motivan a construir defensas y barreras.

En sus cartas a la iglesia primitiva, el apóstol Pablo nos recuerda que somos embajadores de Cristo, a quienes Dios nos ha confiado el ministerio de la reconciliación (2 Corintios 5: 18-20). “Pero nuestra ciudadanía está en los cielos, de donde también esperamos al Salvador, al Señor Jesucristo.” (Filipenses 3:20).

Por lo tanto, mi lealtad principal no es hacia un candidato político o nación, sino hacia Jesús, cuya vida, muerte y resurrección encarna el amor de Dios por todas las personas y toda la creación. Mi identidad principal no es como ciudadana de los Estados Unidos o miembro de un partido político, sino como seguidora de Jesús, miembro de una comunidad global de fe y una familia humana que trasciende las fronteras nacionales.

Cuando voto, no pongo la fe definitiva en los líderes humanos, ni comparo el reino de Dios con un partido político, programa o política en particular. Más bien, voto porque me preocupo por el bien común y quiero abogar por un gobierno y un liderazgo que use el poder y los recursos para el beneficio de todos. Veo el voto como una forma de abogar por “los más pequeños”: aquellos que carecen de voz, poder y recursos en nuestra sociedad.

Por supuesto, votar es solo una forma de impactar el mundo que nos rodea. El día de las elecciones también debería provocarme a preguntar: “¿Cómo estoy abogando por el bien común en todos los días del año? ¿Cómo sirvo a diario como embajadora de Cristo en medio de las realidades de hoy? ¿Cómo soy una ministra de reconciliación en un mundo herido y quebrantado?

En esta temporada de elecciones, reclamemos nuestra ciudadanía santa y abrazar nuestra lucha compartida para seguir a Jesús juntos en el mundo. Que Dios nos dé sabiduría y gracia para recibir el llamado de Romanos 12: 2: No se conformen a este mundo; más bien, transfórmense por la renovación de su entendimiento de modo que comprueben cuál sea la voluntad de Dios, buena, agradable y perfecta. 

WDC announcements

  1. Election Response: How is your congregation bearing witness to Jesus in the week ahead?  What ideas, resources and questions might you share as you anticipate response to the election?  WDC pastors and congregational leaders are invited to join a zoom conversation this week on these topics, hosted by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC conference minister. To RSVP, contact wdc@mennowdc.org or 316-283-6300 to receive the zoom link for one of these meeting times:  Wed, Oct 28 at 4 pm; Thurs, Oct 29 at 2 pm; or Thurs, Oct 29 at 7 pm (with Spanish/English interpretation).
  1. For WDC congregations using Corinthian Plan health insurance: The Corinthian Plan open enrollment begins November 1st through December 31st, 2020. For more information contact Duncan Smith at duncans@mennoniteusa.org or go to the Corinthian Plan website at https://www.mennoniteusa.org/ministry/the-corinthian-plan/. Also, for Corinthian Plan participants a reminder that there is a Premium Assistance fund for congregations suffering the financial impact of COVID-19. To learn more, contact Duncan or go to the website and look for the COVID resources in the grey box.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Gardell Stucky, dedicated Facilities Director for the past 7 and a half years at Camp Mennoscah, is retiring as of October 30, 2020. You are invited to celebrate his time at Camp Mennoscah with a card or email: gardell.stucky@campmennoscah.orgor PO Box 65, Murdock, KS 67111. Belated greetings will be forwarded to Gardell, so send without fear! Camp Mennoscah’s Board of Directors and staff thank Gardell for the many hours of work and the gracious kindness shared with everyone. Happy adventures, Gardell!
  1. With great hope, Camp Mennoscah is planning for the 2021 Summer Youth Camps.  Safety precautions due to the pandemic may require adjustments, but recruiting for summer staff will happen in the coming months.  Put on your best camp outfit and get ready for fun!  (Applications are not yet available.  We’re just making sure you’re excited.)
  1. 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

  1. Open enrollment for The Corinthian Plan (TCP), MC USA sponsored health coverage, is November 1 – December 31, 2020, for a January 1, 2021, start date. Go to https://www.mennoniteusa.org/ministry/the-corinthian-plan/staff/and contact your regional TCP Advocate for more information.
  2. Eastern Mennonite University welcomed students back to campus last month, and we’ve had a strong start to the semester despite the challenges that COVID-19 presents! As we continue to help students discern their calling after graduation, the best way to discover what a university has to offer is to visit. Our official visit programs allow students to hear from administration, faculty, staff, and students. In light of COVID-19, we are offering our 2020-21 visit events in a variety of on-campus and online formats. Our visit event dates for this year are:

Open House: November 13

At-A-Glance Visits: November 5 & 19, December 3 & 17

MLK Day At-a-Glance Visit: January 18

Scholarship Weekend: February 5-6

Presidents’ Day At-a-Glance Visit: February 15

Open House: March 27

Admitted Students Day: April 17

EMU has much to offer this generation’s college students, a nurturing Christian atmosphere, attentive professors, rigorous academic programs, and cross-cultural opportunities. We hope you will partner with us by sharing this information with the youth of your congregation.  To register, visit www.emu.edu/visit.

  1. After having to postpone its Peace Lecture with Sarah Smarsh twice, KIPCOR is now opening the event up to the world. KIPCOR (the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College) presents Sarah Smarsh, Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., speaking via Zoom on “Bridging the Cultural Divide in Difficult Times.” Smarsh is the author of two acclaimed books on poverty and class in America: Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country onEarth and, just released, She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs. To register for the Zoom link, go to kipcor.org, click on the event and scroll down to the “Register Now” button. Also on kipcor.org: look for the link to KIPCOR’s first-ever “KIPCORathon,” taking place on Nov. 5 as well.

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

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