September 3, 2019

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 Are One


We Are One

by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)

“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one…As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17.11, 18).

It is easy to become discouraged and lonely today.  It is a temptation to believe that we are all alone to follow the way of Christ in justice, love, and mercy.  We may think no one else understands all the awful things that are going on around us and how little we can do.  This is such a temptation, that I consider it a spiritual discipline to rediscover the power of community.  Jesus must have understood this human tendency toward isolation, as he prayed to the Father “that [we] might be one.”

Last Thursday, WDC hosted a gathering for congregational representatives to share with each other what we and our congregations are doing for the sake of immigrant justice. We were encouraged as we noticed with a new certainty that we are all doing much more than we realized.  Some of us agreed that God is calling us to work together to visit immigrants in local detention centers, to write notes to our legislators to tell immigrants’ stories, to collect MCC Immigrant Detainee Kits and money to transport them to South Texas.  We would do the work of Christ as one.  We left with more hope than we came with.  We left with more ideas than we had before.  We left knowing that we are not alone in “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God” (Micah 6.8).

Here are the lyrics to a well-loved camp song from some years ago that clearly reflect a desire for unity in the faith community:

We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the Lord.

We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the Lord,

and we pray that our unity

will one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians

by our love, by our love.

Yes, they’ll know

we are Christians by our love.


We will work with each other.

We will work side-by-side.

We will work with each other.

We will work side-by-side,

and we’ll guard each one’s dignity

and save each one’s pride.

And they’ll know we are Christians

by our love, by our love.

Yes, they’ll know

we are Christians by our love.


All praise to the Father 

from whom all things come.

And all praise to Christ Jesus,

His only Son,

and all praise to the Spirit 

who makes us one.

And they’ll know we are Christians

by our love, by our love.

Yes, they’ll know

we are Christians by our love.

We have been sent into the world and we are not alone, for we are one in Christ!

WDC announcements

  1. The September/October/November 2019 issue of WDC Gardenis posted at: https://mennowdc.org/wdc-garden-september-october-november-2019/.  In this issue, read about loving the stranger, learn how much a jar of strawberry jam sells for at First Mennonite Church in Beatrice, and hear about the Stewardship Commission’s plans for “Giving Tuesday”.  WDC Garden is a quarterly newsletter to help you know what’s going on in WDC!
  1. Call for artwork from WDC congregations! WDC staff invites congregations to loan visual art pieces for temporary display in WDC’s office facility and Resource Library (in North Newton, KS), with these guidelines:  Created by members of your congregation or local community, and representing your congregation or reflecting elements of the WDC Mission Statement (see https://mennowdc.org/identity/), or MC USA Journey Forwardthemes  (see http://mennoniteusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/JF-_-DRAFT-Document-V3.pdf).   Art pieces may be in various media including print, photograph, painting, children’s drawing, textile/fabric, sculpture, etc.  Art pieces will be returned to your congregation after 6 months (or an alternate period of time to be mutually determined).  To suggest an art piece for consideration, a congregational representative should first send a digital photo and written description to WDC at wdc@mennowdc.org.  WDC staff will then coordinate with your congregation to receive and display the art pieces.  We hope these visual gifts will provide ongoing glimpses and reminders of the diversity and beauty of WDC!

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Get Ready to Work & Play!  Camp Mennoscah has a Work & Play Day on Saturday, September 14, from 8:30am to 2pm.  We’ll jump full-steam into tasks, pause for a simple lunch, and then finish up needed details after lunch.  Wear your grimy work clothes!  Depending on weather, we’ll be painting the pool.  Tasks for all skill levels and ages are available.  Register at campmennoscah.orgor call 620-297-3290!  This helps us be prepared for you!
  1. Come Celebrate Another Great Year at Camp Mennoscah! Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 22, for Camp Mennoscah’s Annual Meeting! All are welcome to attend. Self-guided camp activities available beginning at 2:00 p.m., with a BBQ chicken supper beginning at 5:30. After supper, staff will share about the past year, and campers will reflect on their camp experiences. Also, enter your name to win one of several Camp Mennoscah prizes! Please register online at campmennoscah.orgto let us know you’re coming!
  1. Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats at Camp Mennoscah happening soon!  The Fall Retreats are November 1-3 and November 15-17.  Register online at campmennoscah.org!

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