April 11, 2012

Conferences discuss history, consider future in spring forumsSpring Forum

Members of Eastern District and Franconia Conferences of Mennonite Church USA met on March 29 at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School in Lansdale, PA, to continue conversations about a shared future.

This gathering, the first of two forums planned for Spring 2012, focused on developing a deeper understanding of the 1847 split in Franconia Conference that led to the formation of Eastern District Conference.  Read more . . . .

Update: Penn View Students take science fair by storm… move on to regionals

Students from Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa, participated in the Montgomery County Science Research Competition in March, taking home twenty-five awards and sending fifteen projects on to the regional science fair.  And these students did not return home empty-handed!

See updated results from Delaware Valley Science Fair.

Social Stream (FranconiaMC,  #fmclife)

Why We Shouldn’t Fear People Leaving Church: Beauty.N.Mess*

Rachel Held Evans weighed in on why she left her church. And she tied it to the story of millions of others, as told in the newest book by the Barna Research Group, You Lost Me.  Unfortunately, many will read what is happening and react with fear, a belief that Christianity is becoming increasingly irrelevant in our culture and that the Church is failing.

But my understanding is that Christ makes himself relevant, that’s not my job. And it’s also my understanding that Christ grows his own church, that is also not my job.  So either Christ is failing or we should not fear that people are leaving churches.  Read more . . . .

Do you or someone from your congregation have a blog on faith and life or faith and leadership?
Add it to our blogroll by emailing eralph@franconiaconference.org.

Mark Your Calendar

Mark your CalendarFor 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 calendar@franconiaconference.org.

Pastors & Conference Related Ministry Leaders’ Breakfasts 8-10 a.m. at the Mennonite Conference Center (unless noted).  $6 donation requested.

  • June 14: Dale Nafziger, entrepreneurial missionary in Nepal.  Full description.
    Pastors–if you bring a business leader with you, you’ll get your breakfast for free!
  • July 18: Equipping to minister to inmates and ex-offenders in your congregation and community, led by Liberty Ministries.

Training for all Credentialed Leaders of Franconia Conference

  • WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • WHERE: Towamencin Mennonite Church
  • WHAT: This day will focus on increasing our understanding of what it means to be intercultural and our capacity to respond to differences in our congregations—generational, economic, gender, etc.  There will also be important information shared about Formation Expectations and Requirements for Credentialed Leaders.  Full description. 
  • REGISTER: No cost for credentialed leaders.
  Fresh Expressions Vision Day

  • WHEN: Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Plains Mennonite Church
  • WHAT: This will be an interactive time for congregations to learn about Fresh Expressions as well as dream and discover how to empower and equip God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity in their communities.  Full description. 
  • REGISTER: More info to come.

Franconia & Eastern District Forums

  • WHEN: May 24, 7-9  pm
  • WHERE: Christopher Dock High School
  • WHAT: Presentations from conference historians and conversations about the nature of each conference and possible next steps. Full description
  • REGISTER: Open to all delegates and interested individuals.

Notes to Pastors from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Volunteer position open: AMBS seeks an individual or couple to serve as Volunteer Coordinator(s). Housing, grocery allowance and small living stipend provided. Participation in chapel, forum, lectureships, and community life encouraged! Learn more at www.ambs.edu/volunteer or contact Jewel at jglongenecker@ambs.edu for details.

Webinar: The Story in the Sermon (Previously Embodying the Story)
Presenter: Allan Rudy-Froese April 19, 2012; 2-3:30 p.m. EDT

Preachers are tellers of short stories. Whether a sermon has a narrative, three-point, or verse-by-verse form, preachers often tell a short story or two somewhere, for some reason. This webinar explores the kinds of stories we tell, what motivates us to include them, how stories function, and best practices for writing and telling short stories within the larger arc of the sermon. Early registration deadline is April 15. Register at www.ambs.edu/webinars.

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* The views expressed in each week’s featured blog do not necessarily reflect those of Franconia Conference; these blogs are included to initiate conversation and network members of the conference community.  See our full Terms of Use.