Eastern District and Franconia Conferences have contracted a new Peace and Justice Minister to resource congregations in a deeper witness of “shalom,” a holistic understanding of peace rooted in Christ. Samantha Lioi, Whitehall congregation, began work for the conferences in May.
Lioi, a graduate of AMBS with a concentration in peace studies, is passionate about God’s concern for both mercy and justice as expressed in the prophets and the life and teachings of Jesus. “My experiences in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Penn Foundation over the past year with people facing and working to heal from their addictions has highlighted the need for these complementary movements of mercy and justice,” said Lioi. Read more. . . .
Bally Mennonite Church has always been a place where creativity has blossomed, but like many small churches, we have been facing declining numbers of children. Our community preschool, which meets daily in our building ten months out of the year, has continued to flourish, but this growth hasn’t been reflected in our Sunday school program.
We had what looked like two main problems: first, our Sunday school preschool class, which sometimes had just a couple preschoolers, was, for a while, combined with an older class and this wide age range seemed to be daunting for the children as well as the teacher; and second, despite many opportunities, we seemed unable to get our preschool families to come to our church. Read more. . . .
I grew up as a Catholic and I became a disciple of Jesus in a Mennonite Church in Colombia, South America.I define myself as a disciple of Jesus who is part of the Mennonite family and uses the Anabaptist theological glasses by which I read the Scriptures in a particular way: using the historical Jesus as the paradigm for personal and social ethics for Christian living; participating with God and my community of faith in the formation and transformation of individuals and societies; discerning in community our mission or reason for existence here and now in our particular context; making disciples in order to keep expanding the kingdom of God. Read more. . . .
Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)
The Listening Project: Higher Ground Leaders Forum*
My church recently completed the conversion of our old second floor sound booth overlooking the sanctuary into a brand new recording studio, a Listening Room, where people of different generations will be encouraged to share stories with one another. Lead pastor, Joe Hackman envisioned the project in response to our current congregational theme of “Learning to Listen Across the Generations.” Recordings from the sessions will be used during worship services, posted on our church website, and available as podcasts through iTunes. Read more . . . .
Mark Your Calendars
For a complete listing of upcoming events, check out the Franconia Conference Calendar. The Conference office keeps a Google calendar of congregational and Conference Related Ministries events to help avoid scheduling conflicts—so please help us keep it up to date! Add your event to the calendar by sending an event invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Pastors & Conference Related Ministry Leaders’ Breakfasts 8-10 a.m. at the Mennonite Conference Center (unless noted). $6 donation requested.
Pastors’ Day Apart
|United Conference Assembly
Notes to Pastors (3 items)
Upcoming Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast
“You visited me in prison … now I want to visit you!”
How do YOU welcome someone who was incarcerated into your congregation? Can you minister to them indifferently and without prejudice? Are there potential risks to your congregation or the local community that you should be aware of?
Ministry today brings us even closer to individuals who have been bruised, broken and incarcerated. Our congregations need to serve as hospitals for returning citizens (i.e. the previously incarcerated, ex-offenders, etc.) and provide the care that is needed to help them continue on the path of discipleship.
How, then, shall we welcome, integrate and support returning citizens? I’m glad you asked…
- When: Wednesday, July 18, 8-10 a.m.
- Where: Mennonite Conference Center, Harleysville, PA
- Resource Persons: Staff and board members of Liberty Ministries
- Who: Pastors, Conference Related Ministry leaders, and others in your congregation or staff who have a heart for ministering to those who have been in prison and are seeking further equipping
- Breakfast cost: By donation
- To RSVP your attendance: Click here
Values-based Leadership Program
Learn how to lead from within and empower those around you at the Values-based Leadership Program (September 18-20, 2012 and February 26-28, 2013 at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center). Rooted in an Anabaptist perspective on leadership, this two-session training spans six days and will provide you with excellent resources and interaction as well as opportunities to reflect on your own leadership journey. To register, visit www.vblp.org or call 724-423-2056.
Contents (download email)
¬ Editor’s Note by Jason Boone
¬ Unshackled by Berry Friesen
¬ Otterville by Merrill R. Miller
¬ A vision for justice in Haiti by Theo Sitther
¬ What do we feed? by Max Ediger
¬ The craving by Brother James Dowd
¬ Burning coals or rocky ground? by Tom Beutel
¬ i-society by Keith Lyndaker Schlabach