April 26, 2012

In this week’s newsletter:

  • Does Mennonite matter?
  • Spring Training photos
  • ‘Tis a gift to be complex

Weekly features:

  • Social Stream
  • Featured Blog
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Notes to Pastors

Does Mennonite matter?

Dale SchragDoes it matter being Mennonite? According to Dale Schrag, “It depends.”

Dale, who is campus pastor and director of church relations at Bethel College, spoke to this question at a seminar for youth and adults at Salford Mennonite Church on April 11.  He elaborated by saying that it depends on what we mean by being Mennonite. Schrag quoted Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches who said, “Mennonite is a beautiful adjective but an idolatrous noun.”  Read more . . . .

Spring Training photos posted

Franconia Conference credentialed leaders from up and down the east coast met on Saturday, April 21, at Towamencin Mennonite Church for the first annual Spring Training, a time of equipping planned by the conference as part of a commitment to continuing education.  The day focused on interculturalism and included times of worship, table conversation, resourcing, and, of course, food!

A photo album has now been posted on Facebook.  A podcast and video of the event will be available in the very near future.

‘Tis a gift to be complex

Yes, I’m a seminary student, but I am often frustrated with those who want to find answers for every single question in the Bible or to debate all the ins and outs of theology.  I’m comfortable with a simple faith that learns and accepts, that ponders and lets go, that embraces the ambiguity.  I only need to understand theology as far as it affects the way I live.

I assumed I thought this way because I’m postmodern, but Sunday evening John Rempel suggested that I may just be steeped in a historic Mennonite worldview.  Read more. . . .

Social Stream (FranconiaMC,  #fmclife)

  • (Tw) @chrisnickels  Listening to stories from Phila Praise Center. Doing church interculturally requires conversation, reflection, self-awareness. #fmclife
  • (Tw) @jwostlund  Bold invitation + humble expectation = Anabaptist evangelization
  • (FB) Christopher Dock: Mr. Derstine really had those boys singing in Chorale this morning, especially Logan Hunsberger and Simon Nam…what voices!
  • (photo) Dave works on framing in the stairwell at Bethany Birches’ cabin to bring it up to code.

Painful Faith: Abnormal Anabaptist*

Mother’s Day, 2007, my world was turned upside down when my mother fell ill. Three months later, it wasn’t just turned upside down, it was shaken, rattled, and destroyed to utter rubble when her diagnosis turned terminal.

As we as a family grieved, there is one phrase that I’m so glad no one decided they needed to tell us.

“It’s all in God’s plan.”

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.or

Mark Your Calendars

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.

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 Forum

  • WHEN: May 24,7-9  pm
  • WHERE: Christopher Dock High School
  • WHAT: This forum will focus on the current realities of our conferences. What are the present-day similarities and differences in the vision and mission of our conferences? Full description
  • REGISTER: Open to all delegates and interested individuals.

Pastors’ Day Apart

  • WHEN: September 12, 9am to 3pm
  • WHERE: Camp Menolan
  • WHAT: Pastors and credentialed leaders are invited for a day of guided prayer and listening to God, a time to receive rather than give, a time to refresh and renew.
  • REGISTER: For more information, contact Sandy Landes, prayer coordinator.

Notes to Pastors & Delegates: Save the Date

Franconia Mennonite Conference in conjunction with Eastern District Conference announces the date and location for Assembly 2012.  United Conference Assembly will be held on Saturday, November 10 at Penn View Christian School, Souderton, PA.  The theme for the one day event is God’s Power @ Work, based on Ephesians 3:20 – 21.  Save the date and plan now to participate in God’s Power @ Work.

* 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.