August 23, 2012

Bethany 60th

Bethany celebrates 60 years with stories

On August 12, Bethany Mennonite Church in Bridgewater, Vermont, celebrated their 60th anniversary. As part of their celebration, people from the church, community, and the conference shared their memories from the last sixty years. The following article is adapted from those stories.

Sixty years ago, it became a congregation. Three of the four families that came from the Conference to start the mission church gathered for “The Picture.” We all looked so excited and full of energy. This is the look that people get when they don’t have a clue what the future will bring. Read more. . . .

2012 Peace Camps: Love on a Local Scale, part 1

What does Anabaptist witness and ministry look like up-close? When summer comes, for some folks it looks like teaching a second-grader to explore ways he can care for the earth, or giving a 10-year-old creative ways to deal with conflicts she’ll face at school. Congregations from Allentown to Philadelphia have created summer Peace Camps as practical places to live Christ’s transforming love among their neighbors. Read more . . . .

KrisAnne Swartley

The other side of loss

Pastors’ children tend to have two reputations: rebellion or following in the footsteps of their parents (never mind all the kids in between). From the time I was young, I fell into the latter category, strongly drawn to my father’s calling and work. My connection to God was real and tangible to me, very much alive in my interior world. I followed that inner leading readily, preaching my first sermon as a teenager and studying ministry in college.  Read more….

Perkiomenville retreat

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

Aldo Siahaan

On realizing what it means to be a Mennonite (To Mennonite Blog #12)

In the past week, Muslims around the world ended their 30 days of fasting for the month of Ramadan. It was around this time of celebration, five years ago, that I realized that I am a Mennonite.

The church I pastor, Philadelphia Praise Center in South Philly, officially became part of Franconia Mennonite Conference in the middle of 2007. The leaders and I were still learning to know more about Mennonites that year and what our membership in the Conference might mean. 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

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

Pastors & CRM Leaders’ Breakfasts

8-10 a.m. at Hennings Market, Harleysville (unless noted). Cost: $6.55 (includes breakfast).

  • October 18: “Acting Like Christians: Peacemaking Within and Beyond the Body of Christ” with Samantha Lioi. Please click here to register for this event by Oct. 12.
  • December 4: Appreciation breakfast for all credentialed leaders. (No cost) Location TBD.

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. Register

Conference Prayer Breakfast

  • WHEN: September 22, 8-10am
  • WHERE: Salem Mennonite church
  • WHAT: Guest speaker Marcella Ruch will be sharing on the topic of prayer ministry in the local church.
  • REGISTER: For more information, contact Sandy Landes, prayer coordinator. Register

United Conference Assembly

  • WHEN: November 10, 10am to 8pm
  • WHERE: Penn View Christian School, Souderton, Pa.
  • WHAT: Eastern District and Franconia Conferences will hold a united Conference Assembly this year around the theme of God@Work, based on Ephesians 3:20 -21. The one-day assembly will include workshops, delegates sessions, and multi-lingual worship. More info to come!

Notes to Pastors (2)

On the Way Newsletter from Mennonite Church USA

The latest issue of On the Way, Mennonite Church USA’s online newsletter, is available at On the Way is a free, short, bilingual online resource—published about every six weeks—for everyone in Mennonite Church USA. Each issue focuses on one of the seven churchwide priorities. You can subscribe to receive On the Way directly. NOTE: This is the last time this notification will be sent through Notes to Pastors. To receive On the Way in the future, you will need to subscribe.

The issue’s focus is on Stewardship. At the root of all stewardship is relationship. Whether it’s the stewardship of time, of God’s creation, of our bodies/health, or of our talents, how we understand our relationships will determine how we how we care for and use these gifts. How does Jesus challenge the way we think about these relationships? How are we transformed through them? We hope you’ll enjoy the content and consider sharing your responses and ideas via our website or Facebook page.

Pastors Day Apart and Prayer Breakfast

The Pastors Day Apart scheduled for pastors and credentialed leaders being held at Camp Menolan, Weds. Sept 12, 9-3 pm is fast approaching. The deadline for registration is Sept. 1. Plan now to spend a day apart listening to God and enjoying his presence. Register

Come and be inspired at the fall Franconia Mennonite Conference Prayer Breakfast, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, 8 am – 10 am at Salem Mennonite Church, Cherry Road, Quakertown. Our guest speaker will be Marcella Ruch, visiting Southeastern PA area from Colorado for the Worm Project. Marcella has worked as an educator since 1958 and is now retired, but continues to serve her community, church and the world through medical mission work. Most recently Marcella has been instrumental in helping to start a medical clinic for uninsured persons and including prayer ministry as part of the care. Marcella has received training in healing prayer ministry through Christian Healing Ministries, Jacksonville, Florida, and has been actively serving the Methodist Church in teaching personal prayer ministry. She will be sharing on the topic of prayer ministry in the local church. Pastors, prayer leaders, intercessors and anyone interested are invited to come and be inspired. For more information, contact Sandy Landes, prayer ministry coordinator, or 267-932-6050, x116. Register

* The views expressed in each week’s 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.