Leaders from Franconia, Franklin, Lancaster, New York, and Virginia Conferences of Mennonite Church USA provided a letter of counsel and concern to the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board in light of recent decisions by Eastern Mennonite University and Mountain States Mennonite Conference regarding employment and pastoral credentialing of persons in same sex relationships. Franconia Conference is providing access to this letter to delegates as a follow up of full disclosure. The letter was sent with intent to be processed at the most recent meeting of the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board in Harrisonburg, VA on February 13-15. The letter can be downloaded here. Outcomes from the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board meeting are linked here. March 3, 2014 edit: The … read more
Ervin Stutzman, Mennonite Church USA Executive Director, will be the featured guest for two town-hall meetings in April. These meetings will be a time for members of Franconia Conference congregations to engage with Stutzman around recent developments in Mennonite Church USA and to ask questions about the denomination’s future. read more
For years Keshia Kay Littlebear of Billings, Mont., was certain where her path would take her when she was older and the summers rolled around. She was going to be an MCC U.S. Summer Service worker.
From 2002 to 2005 she was just that – spending 10 weeks of her summers serving at White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church in Busby, Mont. She worked with recreational activities and as youth ministry coordinator. read more
Greensburg Worship Center has closed its doors as of December 2013. Greensburg, which joined the conference in 2010, was a predominantly Indonesian congregation located in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.
“Greensburg closed for similar reasons that it opened—the economic migration of Indonesian immigrants due to employment opportunities elsewhere,” explained Steve Kriss, Greensburg’s LEADership Minister. “The congregation grew at the height of the economic downturn, when there were more employment opportunities in Pittsburgh than in other areas. As the economy recovered, individuals moved back to larger Indonesian communities on the east coast.” read more
Franconia Conference delegates gathered February 8 at Franconia Mennonite Church, Telford, Pa., to brainstorm ways of building relationships and collaboration in ministry and mission as part of a two-year direction toward growth and discernment as a community.
After a time of worship and reflection, delegates prayed for their congregations, the conference and denomination, and institutions of the church that are in difficult processes of discernment recognizing the tensions across the denomination related to human sexuality. Conversation then turned to identifying areas for mutual support and engagement; sharing ways that the conference community can strengthen relationships to open possibilities for healthy conversation and collaboration. read more
Can you tell they’re excited?
“We have a builder!!! We have a builder!!! Yahooooo,” Chestnut Street Playground Community Cares Facebooked Jan. 7. “Groundbreaking info coming ASAP!!!” read more
On the day that their meetinghouse and office building, New Life Plaza, was scheduled to be sold at sheriff’s sale, members and friends of Nueva Vida Norristown New Life gathered for a celebration. Instead of an impending foreclosure, the congregation experienced God’s miraculous intervention and, on the evening of December 18th, they met to worship, pray, testify, and burn the sheriff sale signs. read more
Harleysville, PA — Franconia Conference delegates are invited to gather on Saturday, February 8, 2014 for a time of continued conversation and discernment around the vision and future direction of the conference and to recommit to healthy relational engagement with one another in the midst of difference. The gathering, which is open to all delegates, will include a time of corporate worship, review of table feedback from November’s Conference Assembly, and discerning next steps as a conference that has and will continue to grow increasingly diverse. read more
The passing of Paul Mensch Lederach (1925-2014) on Monday morning, January 6, brings to an earthly close one of the most admirable, valuable and lengthy life-stories in the three-century history of the Franconia Mennonite Conference. Not only Paul’s wife Mary (Slagell) and their children and grandchildren, but the Dock retirement community, the conference, and the Mennonite Church USA are now saying farewell to a far-reaching presence and influence. read more
For Noah Kolb, the journey has moved in unexpected places, bringing challenges and blessings alike. Reflecting on a 45 year ministerial career—the most recent 14 of which he spent in Franconia Conference leadership—Noah says, “I could not have dreamed this path and in many ways it has felt like God has nudged and moved me along step by step.” As Noah anticipates his retirement years, he continues to experience those divine nudgings, offering words of wisdom from his ministerial work. read more