You are invited to God@Work…shops!

by John Stoltzfus, Franconia & Eastern District Youth Minister, for the Conference Assembly 2012 workshop planning team

Where is the life of your congregation intersecting with the life of our broader conference fellowship? In what ways are you seeking to grow into the life of the emerging kingdom of God among us? In the new one day schedule for our upcoming Conference Assembly, we each have the wonderful privilege of participating in a workshop addressing a relevant issue and shared mission in our life together as the body of Christ. Everyone, delegates and non-delegates, is invited to consider attending one of these workshops as a way of helping us catch a greater glimpse and vision of what God is doing among us.   We invite you to spread the word in your congregation and invite others to attend both the workshops and the evening worship service.

We hope one of the four offered workshops will be relevant to the needs of your congregational life. We also desire that they give opportunity to build deeper connections with other congregations who are working on the same issues. The workshops will be offered from 10:00-11:30am on the morning of Conference Assembly.  Be sure to register by October 31. We will hold these workshops based on sufficient registration.

It Takes A Congregation…. Restoration, Connection, and Belonging for People with Disabilities

This workshop will focus on how, by including persons who are marginalized, the whole congregation benefits.  Stories of how congregations are responding to people with disabilities including those with autism and intellectual disabilities and veterans with disabilities will be featured. Materials will be provided to enable congregations to focus on belonging for all people.

Presenters:

  • Joe Landis is the founder and Executive Director of Peaceful Living, established in 2000, a not-for-profit agency located in southeastern PA. Peaceful Living serves 80 families in community-based services and offers a congregational coaching program. Joe has been an avid advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities for 40 years. Joe is a member at Salford Mennonite Church.
  • The coordinator of the Friendship Connection, Loretta Moyer, has been with the program since its start in 2007. Loretta is a member of Rockhill Mennonite Church.
  • Patricia A. Hedrick (B.S. Special Education, M. Ed.), Zion congregation, recently received National Board Teacher Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist.  She is currently on sabbatical from her position as a life skills support teacher in the Souderton Area School District. While on sabbatical, she will be studying toward a certificate in Special Education Supervision and working as a volunteer for Peaceful Living.

Missions and New Church Development

This workshop will focus on five areas of missions and new church development:  establishing a prayer-filled missional vision; sustaining and sustainable models of ministry; succession planning; communication; and project-based vs. committee-based funding.

Presenters:

  • Samuel Claudio Jr. is currently the co-pastor of Christ Fellowship Church, Allentown, Pa., an inner-city Anabaptist body of believers seeking to manifest Christ in their community. He has worked as a church planter over the past five years in both the Eastern District Conference and previous ministry areas.
  • With over thirty years of urban ministry experience, Jeff Wright serves as New Church Development Coach and Consultant for the Eastern District Conference of Mennonite Church USA through an arrangement with Urban Expression North America.  Since it was launched in 2009, Urban Expression North America has worked with over thirty urban church planting projects in cities located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Jeff currently resides in Riverside, California.

Music – It’s Not Really a Universal Language

This seminar will focus on the biblical vision for God’s people. It will include practical suggestions on how the church can begin “worshipping its way into God’s future” (Rev. 7) by reflecting on current congregational worship patterns and by developing a keener sense of the global faith family through worship that is transcultural, contextual, counter-cultural, and multi-cultural. Time will be given for group sharing of congregational worship experiences.

Presenter: James R. Krabill served for 14 years as a Bible and church history teacher in West Africa. He is author/editor of various articles and books, including his most recent, Worship and Mission for the Global Church (2012).  He currently serves as Senior Executive for Global Ministries at Mennonite Mission Network.

Believers Baptism:  Faith Formation of Children and Youth

What does faith formation of children and youth with a goal of genuine Believers Baptism look like?  Does faith formation look the same as it did 10 or 20 years ago?  This workshop will highlight several contemporary children and youth ministry models and integrate them into conversations and observations of youth and children within our churches.  This material originates from Angela’s Seminary Capstone Project and she is anticipating not only sharing pieces of her work but also hearing from other voices within the Conference community in regards to this topic. All are welcome to attend including Sunday School class teachers, youth sponsors, pastors, and anyone relating to youth and children.

Presenter: Angela Moyer works on the pastoral team at Ripple-Allentown and as a pediatric occupational therapist (OT) at Good Shepherd Rehab in Allentown, Pa.  She recently moved from Telford to the Zume House (intentional community) in Allentown after graduating from Eastern Mennonite Seminary-PA campus this summer.

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