New LEADership Ministers join Franconia Conference staff

Experienced Mennonite pastors John Bender and Aldo Siahaan have joined the Franconia Conference team of LEADership Ministers, bringing experience in church planting, intercultural leadership, and congregational pastoral work. Each will serve alongside several congregations yet to be decided and will work from home bases in southeastern Pennsylvania’s largest cities while continuing pastoral ministry assignments. read more

Conference focus groups provide feedback for national meetings

Ten leaders from Franconia Conference congregations voiced wide-ranging perspectives during two conference calls held recently to garner feedback on a controversial action taken by Mountain States Mennonite Conference earlier this year. In addition to those on the conference calls, about a dozen other leaders and delegates submitted written responses to Franconia Conference. read more

Three local teachers honored with National Teacher Awards

by Victoria Wolk, reposted by permission from The Reporter Online

Three local teachers have been honored by the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, a King of Prussia-based nonprofit “dedicated to making America better by improving early care and education,” according to its website. read more

Evangelist Joey Perez at Arise Community Outreach

For three nights in early March, evangelist and author Joey Perez held a teaching seminar at the Encore Center in Harleysville, sponsored by Arise Community Outreach. Joey has been seen on the 700 Club and written two books: I Lived to Tell About It and Mysteries of Angels. He is the driving force behind Worldwide Evangelistic Ministries, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. read more

Leaders from several Atlantic Northeast Conferences send letter of concern

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

MC USA director booked for Conference town hall meetings

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

MCC U.S. Summer Service Program going strong

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

Pittsburgh congregation closes as economy improves

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

Delegates discuss collaboration in time of anxiety

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