September 1, 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.


*Faith Formation in Challenging Times


Faith Formation in Challenging Times

by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister

How can we teach children about Jesus safely and effectively?  How can older adults with underlying health concerns get together to pray?  How can we try to grow relationships about faith with our neighbors while trying to stay six feet apart?  And what about preparation for baptism?  Are we just putting faith formation on hold?  How can we use social media and other resources to engage the Jesus story?

Jennie Wintermote, our Resource Librarian, has a list of book titles of which she has bought several copies.  She is happy to mail these “Book Bundles” out to any study group meeting virtually or in-person.  Go to the Resource Library catalog for the list of the Book Bundle titles or email Jennie at crlib@mennowdc.org for more information.

Shine curriculum has online resources to accompany their rich in-person ones.  It’s called “Shine at Home.”  As of August 1 you can preorder them at https://shinecurriculum.com/shine-digital/.

If you have not visited the Anabaptist Faith Formation website in a while, please do so at anabaptistfaithformation.org/.  There are many age-specific resources and ideas for these times.  Several WDC congregations are using the flexible curriculum, “God’s Story, God’s Song” that can help your church families move between at home and in-person faith formation as needed.

Springs Forth! blog at  springsforth.com/blog/ has some great at home faith formation activities that are age-appropriate including games, music, snacks, and, of course, digging into scripture.

Lastly, our congregational faith formation planning does not have to be crisis-driven.  I will offer a virtual resourcing event called “Faith Formation in Challenging Times” on Saturday, October 24, 9-11 am via Zoom.  Watch for more information about this opportunity coming soon.

We don’t have to put faith formation on hold during these challenging times. We do have to do things creatively and probably a little differently.


La formación en la fe en tiempos desafiantes

     –Kathy Neufeld Dunn, Ministra Asociada de la Conferencia

¿Cómo podemos enseñar a los niños acerca de Jesús de manera segura y eficaz? ¿Cómo pueden los adultos mayores con problemas de salud subyacentes reunirse para orar? ¿Cómo podemos tratar de desarrollar relaciones de fe con nuestros vecinos mientras tratamos de mantenernos separados por seis pies? ¿Y la preparación para el bautismo? ¿Estamos simplemente suspendiendo la formación en la fe? ¿Cómo podemos usar las redes sociales y otros recursos para involucrarnos en la historia de Jesús?

Jennie Wintermote, nuestra bibliotecaria de recursos, tiene una lista de títulos de libros de los que ha comprado varias copias. Ella se complace en enviar estos “Paquetes de libros” a cualquier reunión de grupo de estudio de manera virtual o en persona. Vayan al catálogo de la Biblioteca de Recursos para obtener la lista de títulos del paquete de libros o envíen un correo electrónico a Jennie a crlib@mennowdc.org para obtener más información.

El plan de estudios Shine tiene recursos en línea para acompañar a los abundantes en persona. Se llama “Shine at Home”. A partir del 1º de agosto, pueden reservarlos en https://shinecurriculum.com/shine-digital/.

Si no han visitado el sitio web Anabautist Faith Formation (formación en la fe anabautista) por un tiempo, háganlo en anabaptistfaithformation.org/. Hay muchos recursos e ideas específicos para cada edad para estos tiempos. Varias congregaciones de la WDC están utilizando el plan de estudios flexible, “God’s Story, God’s Song” (La historia de Dios, la canción de Dios) que puede ayudar a las familias de su iglesia a moverse entre la formación en la fe en casa y en persona según sea necesario.

Springs Forth! El blog en springsforth.com/blog/ tiene actividades excelentes de formación en la fe en el hogar que son apropiadas para la edad, incluidos juegos, música, refrigerios y, por supuesto, el profundizar en las Escrituras.

Por último, nuestra planificación de la formación en la fe congregacional no tiene que estar impulsada por crisis. Ofreceré un evento virtual de recursos llamado “Faith Formation in Challenging Times” (Formación de fe en tiempos desafiantes) el sábado 24 de octubre de 9 a 11 am por Zoom. Estén atentos a más información sobre esta oportunidad próximamente.

No tenemos que suspender la formación en la fe durante estos tiempos desafiantes. Tenemos que hacer las cosas de forma creativa y probablemente un poco diferente.

WDC announcements

  1. Preschool Story Hourat the Conference Resource Library returns this fall with VIRTUAL LIVE story hours full of stories, rhymes, and craft ideas on Tuesdays at 10:00am and Thursdays at 3:30pm. Tuesday and Thursday sessions will be different, join us for one or both sessions each week.  Story Hour will start Tuesday, September 8 and be geared toward ages 3-5.  Story Hour will be led by Library Director Jennie Wintermote and will be shorter than our Summer Story Hour.  Register at https://forms.gle/vpk7DXRwwHAbSo5A7 and contact Jennie with any questions at crlib@mennowdc.org.
  1. Women’s Retreat 2020: And now for something completely different!  After much discussion and prayer, the Retreat Committee has decided not to meet in person at Camp Menoscah this year.  We will miss all of you and the energy and joy you bring to camp.  However we WILL gather virtually on Saturday night, September 12 from 7-8:30 pm via Zoom for a worship service.  Our goal is to connect to and encourage each other through Christ and His love for us.  Susan Jantzen (interim pastor of Worship/Visitation at First Mennonite in Newton) will lead us on “Reflections on God as Keeper”.  Bethany Martin from Faith and Life Bookstore will review a few books.  Annelle Claassen (Retreat Committee Chair) will lead singing, and Karen Mascho (Pastor and Retreat Committee) will lead communion together.  No masks required!  For free registration or questions, send your email to Tammy Duvanel Unruh at 2020womensretreat.rsvp@gmail.com by Thursday, September 10.  Save the date and we look forward to seeing your whole face!
  1. Youth Ministry Conversation:  Do you work with youth in your congregation?  Put 4 pm on Sunday, September 20 on your calendar for a Zoom conversation on doing Youth Group/Mennonite Youth Fellowship in the time of Covid.  We’ll have some input from some youth pastors of things that seem to work for them; we’ll give everyone a chance to share their best ideas; and we’ll talk a little about Safe Sanctuaries in these different times.  We even hope to have snacks!   For any questions or for information to join the Zoom meeting, email dwightr@mennowdc.org.   –Dwight Regier, Youth Ministry Network Team Leader
  1. The Israel Palestine Relations Task Force of Western District Conference/Mennonite Church USA is sponsoring a webinar on September 21, UN’s International Day of Peace entitled Racial Justice from US to Palestine.  The Webinar features Jonathan Kuttab, Alex Awad and Sarah Thompson Nahar.  See attached flyer for more details.
  1. For a quick snapshot of what’s happening around WDC or what Keynote Speaker Danny Carroll had to say at the WDC Assembly,  go to “WDC Assembly 2020” on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6aO7e884ZT5d9gHzyrfAucccOFYYd_M5.  There are many creative Assembly videos still available for viewing!
  1. CORRECTION:  In last week’s Sprouts in the list of coming events, it was incorrectly listed that on October 13, there would be a WDC Healthy Boundaries 101 training.  The correct information is that it will be a Healthy Boundaries 201 training.  Credentialed persons who are due for this training have been notified about this training.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be a one-day event on Monday, September 7.  This retreat is for those affected by mental illness, including friends and family.  Activities will be outside.  We will follow social distancing and mask guidelines.  Please bring a mask with you.  Those interested in attending the retreat should contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290.
  1. Limited number of openings! Camp Mennoscah’s Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats will take place on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 and Nov. 6-8.  Masks and physical distancing guidelines will be followed (see the Governor’s Executive Order for exemptions) and the facility used has been changed.  More spaces will be opened as determined safe and feasible, so put your name on the waitlist!  Register online at campmennoscah.org!  Call 620-297-3290 for further information.
  1. The weather is great!  Where are you?  Camp Mennoscah’s facilities are open to guests/groups for overnight stays and day visits.  Spend time in the river, have a campfire cookout, and enjoy the open spaces of the tallgrass prairie and the Ninnescah River!  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation and to inquire about use of facilities.  We can’t wait to see you!

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Bethel College Women’s Association has worked to raise money for Bethel for many years.  In August we opened our first online store, www.bcwamarketonline.com.  We invite you to help us support Bethel by checking this online market for crafts, jewelry, Bethel-themed items and much more. Our inventory will change over time so please check in to find that special gift or item for your home.  If circumstances allow, on September 1 we will begin accepting orders for baked goods to be picked up on Fall Fest weekend, October 1-3.  Please check the website for updated information.
  1. Join Bible teacher Joe Sawatzky on Mission Network’s Facebook on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. (EST) starting Sept. 8. “Missional Meditations” will help you gain insight for your sermons or daily life, and inspire a missional imagination in your congregation!
  1. In an open letter to the denomination, Michael Danner, Mennonite Church USA’s associate executive director of Church Vitality, invites fellow white Christians to “engage in proactive, deliberate efforts to oppose and dismantle racism in all of its forms.” Read more: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/letter-danner

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