WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
October 6, 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:
*Singing for Joy
Singing for Joy
by Jennie Wintermote, WDC Resource Library Director
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you. –Psalm 5:11
Do you feel like singing for joy today? It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like spontaneously singing for joy. Life is heavy–the pandemic, political tensions, social injustice, racism, and brokenness in bodies, minds, and relationships all wear away at us.
Perhaps it’s time for a little redirection. When my 3-year old is making some questionable choices in terms of play…”no, you cannot throw the rocks at the tree even though there’s no one else around, they still might bounce off and hit you”..a little redirection to a safer activity (and item to throw) is exactly what I need to do as a good mother. How is God, as the best parent, trying to redirect my thoughts (and my heart) away from the fear and stress (and loss) swirling around me?
Recently I read Signs of Life: Resurrection Hope out of Ordinary Losses by Stephanie Lobdell. Stephanie writes about the loss (or death) of zeal, future, plans, expectations, hope, revival, beauty, invincibility, and image. I think we can all relate to these types of losses. With humor and raw honesty, Stephanie shares her struggles and the ways that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ shapes these losses into signs of new life–and for that we CAN rejoice! The resurrection was not just for our eternal life, but for our lives today. When we take refuge in that truth, we are redirected towards our loving God of protection who calms the storm and invites us to joy in the midst of life
Note: We have multiple copies of Signs of Life available for checkout from the WDC Resource Library. This book is the current MC USA/MC Canada “Common Read.” Check out a “Common Read Conversation” with the author here.
Cantando de Alegría
de Jennie Wintermote, directora de la Biblioteca de Recursos de la WDC
Pero que se alegren todos los que en ti buscan refugio;
¡que canten siempre jubilosos!
Extiéndeles tu protección, y que en ti se regocijen
todos los que aman tu nombre. Salmo 5:11 (NVI)
¿Tienes ganas de cantar de alegría hoy? Se siente como si hubiera pasado mucho tiempo desde que tuve ganas de cantar espontáneamente de alegría. La vida es pesada: la pandemia, las tensiones políticas, la injusticia social, el racismo y la ruptura de cuerpos, mentes y relaciones nos desgastan.
Quizás es la hora de una reorientación pequeña. Cuando mi hija de 3 años toma decisiones cuestionables en cuanto al juego … “no, no puedes tirar las piedras al árbol, aunque no haya nadie más alrededor, es posible que reboten y te golpeen” … un poco de reorientación a una actividad más segura (y un artículo para tirar) es exactamente lo que necesito hacer como buena madre. ¿Cómo está Dios, como el mejor padre, tratando de redirigir mis pensamientos (y mi corazón) lejos del miedo y el estrés (y la pérdida) que me rodean?
Recientemente leí Signs of Life: Resurrection Hope out of Ordinary Losses (Signos de vida: esperanza de resurrección a partir de pérdidas ordinarias) de Stephanie Lobdell. Stephanie escribe sobre la pérdida (o la muerte) del entusiasmo, el futuro, los planes, las expectativas, la esperanza, el avivamiento, la belleza, la invencibilidad y su imagen. Creo que todos podemos relacionarnos con este tipo de pérdidas. Con humor y intensa honestidad, Stephanie comparte sus luchas y las formas en que la vida, la muerte y la resurrección de Cristo transforma estas pérdidas en signos de una nueva vida, ¡y por eso PODEMOS regocijarnos! La resurrección no fue solo para nuestra vida eterna, sino para nuestras vidas de hoy. Cuando nos refugiamos en esa verdad, somos reorientados hacia nuestro Dios amoroso de protección que calma la tormenta y nos invita a la alegría en medio de la vida.
Nota: Tenemos varias copias de Signos de vida disponibles para su compra en la Biblioteca de recursos de WDC. Este libro es la “Lectura común” actual de MC USA / MC Canada. Vea una “Conversación de lectura común” con el autor aquí.
- October is Pastor Appreciation Month! To all WDC ministers: Thank you for your dedicated leadership during these challenging times. May God grant you courage, strength and wisdom in your daily ministry, and also times of renewal to sustain you for the days ahead. Grace and peace be with you – Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister / ¡Octubre es el Mes de Apreciación al Pastor! A todos los ministros de WDC: Gracias por su liderazgo dedicado durante estos tiempos desafiantes. Que Dios le conceda valor, fuerza y sabiduría en su ministerio diario, y también tiempos de renovación para sustentarle en los días venideros. La gracia y la paz sean con usted – Heidi Regier Kreider, Ministra de la Conferencia de WDC
- Dealing with Stress and Depression: Did Heidi’s September 15 Sprouts column on stress and self-care connect with you? If so, please review the resources from Prairie View Mennonite Health center here: https://bit.ly/36k4xqT Please share these mental health resources with your congregation.
- Connect! Faith Formation in Challenging Times: Join Kathy Neufeld Dunn (WDC Associate Conference Minister, Kansas Based) Saturday, October 24, 9-11 am CT on Zoom or Facebook Live for ideas of how to connect with the story of Jesus and with God–how to connect your church folk, yourself, and the curious. Before the pandemic, people were already going online for info and interaction. Now faith formation online is one tool we have to have in our faith formation toolbox. How do we do this with integrity? Want to join via Zoom? Request the link at email@example.com.
- Your Vote Matters! This article (https://mennoniteswithoutborders.org/blog/your-vote-matters-to-us/) from the perspective of DREAMERS (young adults who were brought to the U.S. as children) is the next article sponsored by the WDC Immigration Task Force in their series before the election. Please read it!
- Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church (43 13th Ave, Inman KS) annual Mission Supper is just around the corner and not even Covid can keep us from this special time of service and celebration! While we will not have a dine-in experience in our church basement, we will be offering a carry out meal featuring our traditional menu of homemade sausage, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed peas, zwiebach, applesauce and pie. Save the date for Saturday evening, October 24. Orders will be accepted from October 4-October 18; call/text Barb Reeves (620-543-6863) or Teresa Schrag (620-242-2357) to let us know how many meals to have ready and prepared for you. Meal pick-up will be at the church from 5-6:30pm on October 24. This will be a free-will offering benefit with all proceeds going to support the Buhler Omega Project, a Christian addiction recovery program. Checks can be made out to “Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church” and cash donations will also be accepted that evening. We look forward to serving you!!
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Work and Play Day! Camp Mennoscah invites volunteers to sign up for a day of service and fun on October 10. The day begins at 8:30am and ends approximately 2:30pm. Contact staff at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org details. Please bring a mask!
- 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/or 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. (Nov. 6-8 is waitlist only.) 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.
- Last chance for canoeing before the dam comes out! Come to Camp Mennoscah for a day or overnight retreat and spend those hours basking in a canoe. You can also hike the trails in cooler weather, have a campfire cookout, and enjoy the open spaces of the tallgrass prairie! Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation.
Mennonite church announcements
- MennoMedia presents: The Adaptive Church Webinar Series: Raising them up, Children, Faith and the Church – Oct 8, 2:00 PM ET
Church life got upended in March, and since then we’ve thought lots about how to do worship virtually. But what about kids, families, and faith formation? How have the flannel-graphs of the past been retooled for virtual Sunday school? Studies have consistently shown that a primary reason parents commit to a congregation is because of what it offers for their children—from nursery services or Sunday school to midweek programming. Yet many congregations have set those ministries aside in the last months and are struggling to figure out ways to best resource kids and families. Join our next Adaptive Church webinar as we unpack together how to do faith formation for kids and families now and into the future. Join us. Questions? Contact email@example.com. Cost: FREE. Register before 5 pm ET Oct 7 at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIqO0K1vHiJ8LgG07wuPHtTAlJqB2ZVQixRsaIoxPLS8GrxQ/viewform
- Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, reflects on his 27 years as a Mennonite and shares his vision for what’s working, what’s not and what opportunities lie ahead for our denomination in his blog, “The church we’re called to be.”Read it here: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/the-church-were-called-to-be/
3. Subscribe to Mennonite Church USA’s convention newsletter to get the latest news about MennoCon21, scheduled for July 6-10, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. http://eepurl.com/gbyUCj
4. Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church has provided sanctuary to Edith Espinal, a Mexican immigrant, for three years, as she fights to keep her family together. Read her remarkable story at https://www.mennoniteusa.org/news/columbus-mennonite-sanctuary/
- Hillary Watson, a bivocational pastor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reflects on the relationship between our war-tax-resisting Anabaptist roots and our response to current-day violence in her blog, “’Defund the police’ is deeply Anabaptist.” Read more: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/defund
6. Please pray for the delegates and leaders of the Constituency Leaders Councilof Mennonite Church USA as they gather via video conference on Oct. 16 and 17.
- Join Bible teacher Joe Sawatzky on Mission Network’s Facebookon Tuesdays at 1 p.m. (EST) for “Missional Meditations.” A church relations representative, Sawatzky will help you gain insight for your sermons or daily life and inspire a missional imagination in your congregation!
- November is mission month. Racism harms the body of Christ and God’s reconciling mission. But God has made a way to receive forgiveness — repentance that leads to life! Our mission month materialsinvite MC USA and everyone to engage God’s plan for reconciliation.
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.