September 1, 2015

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)



*From the Conference Minister’s Heart

*Prayer Requests

*Coming Events

*Parish Paper


From the Conference Minister’s Heart

     by Heidi Regier Kreider, Conference Minister

“Leadership is heart and soul work. You won’t exercise leadership unless you care for the common good.… The risks of leadership are too great.  Only when your heart and soul pull you toward the greater – common – good do the risks of leadership seem worth it.”  

– from For The Common Good: Participant Handbook, published by the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) in Wichita, KS.

I first read these sobering words while preparing for a KLC seminar I attended in August as a recipient of a Leadership Transformation scholarship through Western District Conference.  WDC is partnering with South Central Conference (SCC) in a grant from KLC, to provide training for pastors and congregational teams.

KLC invites participants to identify a leadership challenge that addresses the gap between the vision to which they aspire and current reality.  To exercise leadership is to mobilize others to work together to make progress toward the vision.  This requires adaptive work, not just technical solutions.  A technical challenge can be solved relatively quickly with the right expertise, appropriate tools and sufficient authority.   An adaptive challenge, on the other hand, cannot be “fixed” that efficiently.  It requires learning new ways of thinking and acting, shifting responsibility from “experts” to the people, distinguishing between what is expendable and what is essential, experimenting, clarifying values, and patiently taking the time necessary for this process.

With adaptive challenges in mind, the KLC teaches the following leadership principles:  Leadership is an activity – not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime.  It starts with you and must engage others.  Your purpose must be clear.  And it’s risky.

Indeed!  As I begin my new role as WDC Conference Minister, our congregations, conference and denomination face many adaptive challenges for which there is no “quick fix.” I am aware of the risks of exercising church leadership in the midst of change, complexity and conflict.  For that reason I am deeply grateful for all the encouragement that has come my way through prayers, e-mails, cards, facebook messages, and visits.  And I am even more grateful that people’s responses to the Conference Minister appointment are not just about me, but also reveal a deep love for the church and a common commitment to be part of God’s work in the world.   This makes the risk of leadership worthwhile!

In future Sprouts, I plan to reflect on each of four leadership competencies in which the KLC offers training:  Diagnosing the Situation, Managing Self, Intervening Skillfully, and Energizing Others.  How might these core aspects of leadership resonate with Biblical models and theological concepts at the heart of our common call to be a community of Jesus-followers?

I am also working with representatives from KLC, WDC and SCC to plan ongoing ways for pastors and congregational teams to connect with each other as we apply leadership principles and competencies relevant to our own ministry contexts and Anabaptist theology.   If you are interested in participating in an upcoming seminar, please contact me for more information.

Let us join together on the risky and transforming journey of faith!

Now to the One who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Prayer Requests

September 6 – Give thanks for June Thomsen, chair, and other members of the Annual Assembly Planning Committee. Pray for God’s guidance for them as they prepare for WDC’s gathering October 30-31 at Bethel College.

September 13 – Pray for God’s joy and grace for Peter Emery as he is licensed for interim pastoral ministry at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church today.

September 20 – Pray for God’s blessing on Rachel Ringenberg Miller at her installation as pastor at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton, KS, today.

September 27- Pray for God’s blessing on Tim Amor at his installation as pastor at Beatrice Mennonite Church (Nebrasksa) today.

Coming Events

September 7 – WDC Office closed – Labor Day holiday

October 30 (afternoon) – Pastor’s Day Apart, Faith Mennonite Church

October 30-31 – WDC Annual Assembly, Bethel College, North Newton, KS

Parish Paper

The September issue of Parish Paper, entitled “Can Congregations Reach Young Adults?” can now be viewed at:  https://mennowdc.org/conference-life/parish-paper/.

WDC Announcements

  1. A packet of information about the WDC Annual Assembly on October 30-31 has been sent to all churches.  Start thinking now about how you would like to be involved – as a delegate, attender, volunteer, or host home.  There’s a place for every Western District congregation and every Western District person at the Annual Assembly!
  2. The WDC Resource Commission is interested in hearing what congregations are doing in regard to faith formation. What excites you? Also, what resources would be helpful to you?  Please email your responses soon to wdc@mennowdc.org.
  1. Pastors Afternoon Apart – The WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission invites all pastors to attend “In Chains of Peace:  Ephesians and the Unity of the Church” on October 30 from 1-4:30 pm, at Faith Mennonite Church (Newton, KS), where Tom Yoder Neufeld and Chuck Neufeld will give presentations about church unity (theology, practice and practicality).  Invitations to this event were emailed to all pastors, and information is also available at:  https://mennowdc.org/pastors-afternoon-apart-october-30-2015/.  Register by October 16.
  1. Don’t miss out – LIKE Western District Conference on Facebook – to stay informed about WDC events, resources and people!
  1. Join us at West Zion for a discipleship workshop with Marvin Lorenzana of Mennonite Mission Network on September 12, 9 am – noon.  Marvin will focus on how we grow as disciples of Jesus in the context of Missional Discipleship Groups, a form of small group.  Lunch will be provided.  Please register online at:  http://goo.gl/forms/rcF3DMOedv (or on the West Zion Church website).  Marvin will also lead Sunday school and bring the message on September 13 at West Zion.  West Zion Mennonite Church is located at 101 S. Washington, Moundridge, KS; 620-345-8143.
  1. It’s Scrapbooking Season!  Camp Mennoscah is looking at another full fall season of cropping, chatting, and creating with Scrapbooking Retreats on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 and Nov. 6-8.  We’re tapping toes and dancing in our seats waiting for you to sign up (online at www.campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290 for a brochure)!  Grab a box of pictures from your closet (or laptop) and a scrapbooking friend–we’ve got room for both the fun-seeking and the productive!
  1. Work & Play Starts with a Whizz-Bang!  Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting on September 20 will start our Work & Play camp!  The whizz-banging will start at 3:30pm with disc golf (new baskets & course!), bath house tours, and scavenger hunt with a simple business meeting and meal following.  All the lucky Work & Play folks will stick around a few more days (until Sept. 23) for some work projects, coffee breaks, and fellowship.  Be one of the fortunate fun-sters!  Register for the camp online or by calling 620-297-3290 (no fees, suggested meal donation).  Everyone of all ages invited to the Annual Meeting and to Work & Play Camp!
  1. Faith Mennonite Church is searching for a new Administrative Assistant to begin as soon as possible.  This is a 30 hours per week position.  Duties include serving as receptionist in the church office, coordinating facility use, general secretarial services, record-keeping, and accounting duties.  A minimum of two years secretarial experience, proficiency in Microsoft Office products and training in basic accounting is required, with knowledge of PowerChurch accounting software helpful.  The successful candidate will possess a pleasant, courteous attitude, as well as the ability to work independently, prioritize their work and maintain confidentiality.  Benefits include paid sick leave and vacation days.  Email your résumé to David Harder, Board of Administration chair, ddharder4@yahoo.com.

Mennonite Church Announcements

A PDF version of Pornography: Lies, Truth, and Hope written by Linda Gehman Peachey and published by MCC is available for download at MCC Canada . This resource is designed to help congregations and individuals needing guidance in understanding this addiction.  http://mcccanada.ca/sites/mcccanada.ca/files/media/common/documents/pornographybooklet13web.pdf



Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org