September 22, 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)


*You’re not likely to read this.


You’re not likely to read this.

     by Olivia Bartel, Camp Mennoscah Director

Dear youth and young adults.  You’re probably not reading this, but if you are…well, great.  I’m writing as someone who works at Camp Mennoscah and as a person of faith.

As an adult, I sometimes ignore the fact that you are a wealth of energy and ideas.  I forget that you have immensely valuable thoughts and solutions for problems that adults like me can’t see around.  I don’t know how I can think you are the coolest and miss these things.

This is a story about how I miss stuff.  I recently had a young adult brainstorm an idea about how to get youth involved in volunteering at camp.  What I should have done was say, “Absolutely.  Yes.  Of course.  That sounds like a great opportunity to get youth and young adults involved with camp.”  I didn’t.

I scoffed and threw every obstacle possible in his path.  This won’t work because of this and definitely not because of that and did you think about this problem?  Because it’s not going to work.  I mean, really.

Let me tell you something.  It would probably work.  I just saw all the problems and not the possibilities.  Sigh.  I’m such a nitwit.

Okay, so not every youth is ready to hold a position of responsibility and not every idea is going to be great or even good.  But if we don’t invite you as youth and young adults to do things and walk with you until you are ready, then eventually there won’t be anyone to do these things we tell you that you can’t do.  No camp volunteers.  No church leaders.

To walk with someone and lead someone through a process or a project takes a lot of energy.  Like tons of it.  You start with the idea and walk through each point and help straighten out the kinks and recognize each potential pitfall.  It takes a lot of time.  But it can be so rewarding.  Just ask any camp counselor.  Ask a youth pastor.  Ask a teacher or a parent.  You are so worth it.

I think about this as I wonder who I will be able to find to volunteer for this next project.  It’s on my mind as I struggle to find a way to schedule retreats and camps for folks with busy lives.  I’m pretty sure that you, my inventive and unconstrained youth friends, will have the answer.

Don’t give up on me.  Keep throwing your ideas at me and telling me what you’re thinking.  And maybe you should bop me with a pool noodle every once in a while.  It might just knock me far enough off-center that I can see what you’re talking about.

WDC Announcements

  1. The Western District Conference Annual Assembly planners invite you to be involved with this year’s meeting through intentional prayer.  The church offices have received a sheet of “prayer prompts” for each half hour of the Assembly, October 30-31.  There is no more important way to support WDC and be involved with the Annual Assembly than through prayer.  Ask your pastor for a copy of the list, (or find it online at:  www.mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/) and agree to pray for at least one of the items/prayer times listed there.
  1. Addition to last week’s list of pastoral openings:  Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, KS – Pastor (Search Committee appointed)
  1. Pastor’s Day (Afternoon) Apart will be on October 30 from 1:00-4:30 pm at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas.  Hear presentations about church unity (theology, practice, practicality) by Tom Yoder Neufeld and Chuck Neufeld.  Register by October 16 at:  https://mennowdc.org/pastors-afternoon-apart-october-30-2015/
  1. The Western District Conference Music and Worship Task Force is hosting a church choir directors round table discussion on Saturday, September 26 from 9:00-11:00 AM. The event will take place on the Bethel College campus at “The Meeting Place” which is located in the northeast corner of the ground floor of the Administration Building.  Choir directors are asked to bring 3-5 favorite anthems and some issues they are struggling with in their role as a church choir director.  Free choir music will be available and Mojo’s coffee and scones will be served.  Reserve your spot by emailing wdmusicworship@gmail.com.
  1. The email publication – WDC SEEDS – will be suspended for the time being.  Stories about what’s new and good in Western District Conference will now be shared more widely in the WDC GARDEN, which is distributed in all congregations six times a year.  WDC welcomes story submissions from churches!
  1. There are only so many cute-sy ways to say that we’re taking out the dam at Camp Mennoscah.  We may have run out.  We’ll be taking out the dam on Sunday, Oct. 4, at approx. 2pm.  People are welcome to join us to watch or to help.  Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 with any questions.
  1. It’s Harvest Time!  We have two “crops” this fall at Camp Mennoscah, one on October 30-Nov. 1 and the other Nov. 6-8.  These crops offer bountiful time for you to work on scrapbooks (digital or traditional), as well as enjoy the company of fun folks!  Bring your photos or laptop, your friend or foe.  Register online at www.campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290.

Mennonite Church Announcements

(This announcement is for church bulletins and/or newsletters September 27 and October 4.)  The Bethel College Women’s Association Market on the Green Committee is asking for donations of ethnic foods, poppy seed rolls, zwiebach, homemade noodles, pies, and other baked good and home grown produce for the Bethel College Fall Festival on Saturday, October 10. Please bring your items to the large Market on the Green tent on the north side of the Green anytime Saturday morning after 7:30 am.  In addition to baked goods and home grown produce, we will be selling other items including a Large Canvas Tote Bag with the Bethel logo embroidered on it, a Threshing Stone charm and chain, the limerick book of Bethel life and lore, A BC ABC Book, Stadium Seats, Cookbooks, and the CD “Nights of Wonder,” which features music selections from previous BC Christmas Fests. Come check out the delicious food items and start your Christmas shopping early with the many gift items!


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