WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
September 4, 2018
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)
IN THIS ISSUE:
* Sisters Talk about Sharing the Good News
Sisters Talk about Sharing the Good News
by Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based)
My sister visited me recently. She lives far away in a city without a Mennonite Church anywhere nearby, so we talk quite a bit about Mennonite Church USA and the churches of Western District when we get together. This time we talked about the Year of Evangelism. She looked at me blankly. We grew up in a small town that was greatly influenced by fundamentalist Christianity. She wanted nothing to do with the high-pressure evangelistic tactics of some around us she remembered from our younger years, and she told me so. “It’s not Anabaptist, you know,” she said.
I agreed. There are certain evangelism tactics that feel like their sole purpose is to help people “Go directly to heaven. Do not pass go.” If that is our only reason to share the good news with others, that is neither very Anabaptist nor biblical. When Jesus shared the good news of God’s love and forgiveness with others, it impacted their lives here on earth. He offered freedom from the bondage of sin, illness, evil, and broken relationships, as well as hope for renewal for the rest of God’s beloved creation. We are called to follow Jesus and share God’s love with others like he did, so others can receive the new life that’s possible in Christ and that affects all of life. That’s good news for the here and now. It’s not just a promise of membership in the great cloud of witnesses someday.
After my sister and I had talked for a while, I told her about WDC’s upcoming event, “Telling the Jesus Story” (Oct 26-27 in Dallas, TX). I thoroughly expected to get another blank look, but she’s a radio host by trade. Her response surprised me.
“That makes sense. Of course, if we’re going to have an opening to talk about God’s love to someone else, we have to have thought through what we might say, otherwise we just look and sound uncomfortable and lose the opportunity.”
That’s one reason I’m looking forward to going to Dallas and meeting with other WDC brothers and sisters October 26-27. I’m looking forward to practicing my telling of the good news, so when the Holy Spirit prompts someone to ask me about the hope that’s in me, or about God’s love, or what it means to follow Jesus, I’ll have a thoughtful answer.
- As part of WDC’s Year of Evangelism, join brothers and sisters in Christ for: Telling the Jesus Story,a seminar focused on testimony, to be held October 26-27 at Iglesia Luz del Evangelio in Dallas TX. Keynote speaker: John Garland, pastor of San Antonio Mennonite Church. A van from the Newton, KS area is an option. More information and registration at: mennowdc.org/year-of-evangelism/
- Apply for a Mustard Seed Grant! These grants, offered by the WDC Resource Commission, help congregations as they share the good news of Jesus in creative ways. For more information and application form, go to: mennowdc.org/mustard-seed-grants/
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Help us finish the playground at Camp Mennoscah! The new slides and cable climber for the Whale playground have arrived and we need your help! Upcoming work days are Sept. 7, 14, and 15, 9am-4pm. Volunteer for a day or half a day! Contact camp at 620-297-3290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring friends!
2. Fun times at Work & Play Camp, Sept. 21-25! This is our service-oriented retreat with tasks for all skill levels and ability. All ages are invited to come for a full or partial retreat. No fees but donations are welcome. Register online at campmennoscah.org or call 620-297-3290!
3. Come to camp on Sunday, September 23, as we dedicate The Whale playground and celebrate Camp Mennoscah’s 70th Anniversary at the Annual Meeting! All are welcome to attend. Events are part of Work & Play Camp starting Sept. 21. Annual Meeting events begin with worship at 10am on Sunday with The Whale dedication at 5pm and annual meeting following. Register online at campmennoscah.org to let us know you’re coming to celebrate with us!
4. Camp Mennoscah will have a booth at Bethel College’s Fall Festival on October 6. The booth will feature monstrous monster cookies, water, and camp souvenirs for sale. Stop to say howdy, buy a cookie (or tee shirt) and head off to your next Fall Fest adventure!
5. Fall Scrapbook and Crafts Retreats are October 26-28 and November 2-4. Register online at campmennoscah.org! Further questions? Call 620-297-3290.
Mennonite church announcements
- MC USA encourages you to “Learn, Pray, Join” for immigration justice now. Watch a recording of our recent immigration justice webinar at mennoniteusa.org/ijwebinarfulland find ways to support immigration justice at http://mennoniteusa.org/ij.
- La encuesta de devolución sobre Journey Forward está ahora disponible en español en internet. Luego de usar “Pathways” en su grupo de estudio o iglesia, complete la encuesta hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2018 usando el siguiente enlace: mennoniteusa.org/la-iglesia-menonita-de-ee-uu-esta-de-viaje. / The Journey Forward Feedback Survey is now available online in Spanish. Use “Pathways” with your small group or congregation and complete the survey by December 31, 2018 at mennoniteusa.org/la-iglesia-menonita-de-ee-uu-esta-de-viaje.
- The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College in North Newton, KS will show 2 short files on immigration as part of our long-running film series. The films will be screened Sunday, September 9 at 3 pm in the Luyken Fine Arts Center at Bethel College. There is no fee for admission. The two films were produced by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance branch of the Presbyterian Church USA. One is titled, “To Breathe Free” and focuses on a Syrian family fleeing the war. The other film is titled, “Locked in a Box” and concerns immigration detention facilities. After all of their films, they have expert(s) lead a post-film audience discussion and Q&A session.
Exploring Anabaptist History and Theology (noncredit): Sept. 12 – Oct. 23.This online AMBS short course taught by Jamie Pitts, Ph.D., covers the birth and development of 16th-century Anabaptist movements and looks at various interpretations of the meaning of “Anabaptism” today. Cost: $250. CEUs available. ambs.edu/shortcourses
5. Want to learn more about Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary but can’t make it to our Elkhart, Indiana, campus? Connect with us at the Seminary and Theological Graduate School Virtual Fair on Thursday, Sept. 13 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT) — a free online event where you can get answers to your questions about AMBS from faculty, students and Admissions staff. Register today! ambs.edu/visit
- The Kansas City Mennonite Voluntary Service has three amazing volunteers headed to Rainbow Mennonite Church! This means our Mennonite Voluntary Support Board is in search for another car. If you have a vehicle to donate or sell at a reduced rate, please contact Jesse Graber at 316-283-0818 or email@example.com
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