August 29, 2013


Intercultural ministry threatened by foreclosure

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church recently celebrated 23 years as an intercultural, multi-lingual congregation of 16 cultures of origin. The church’s witness in Norristown and beyond has grown. But the economic downturn of 2007–08 continues to threaten God’s vision and mission for the congregation. Read more….

Blurring the line between immigration and criminal laws

by Jacob Hanger, summer writing team

I’m currently an intern at Just Neighbors, an organization based in Northern Virginia that provides legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees. Read more….


Elizabeth Soto Albrecht

Gathering with Elizabeth Soto Albrecht

Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, the new moderator of Mennonite Church USA, recently completed a 3-week journey around the United States visiting MC USA congregations.  Elizabeth joined pastors and Conference Related Ministry leaders on August 23 to share her learnings and challenges from that journey and hopes for the future of the church and to listen to stories and answer questions from Franconia and Eastern District leaders. Listen to podcast.

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

Whitehall block party

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Mark Your Calendars

Mark your Calendar 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
Pastors & CRM Leaders’ Breakfasts

Held at Hennings Market in Harleysville from 8-10am, cost: $7 includes buffet breakfast. RSVP

  • Sept. 26: James Krabill from Mennonite Mission Network will present on “Worshipping our way into God’s future.” See description below.
  • October 17: Mark van Steenwyck, a Mennonite pastor from Minneapolis, MN

    will present on “The Economics of Jesus – The Church and Jubilee.” See description below.

Credentialed Leaders Appreciation Dinner

A Christmas “thank you” dinner for credentialed leaders and their guests will be held on December 3, 6:30-8:30pm, Souderton Mennonite Home. Enjoy holiday music, good food and conversation, and guest speaker Michael King, dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Notes to Pastors

Upcoming Pastors and Conference Related Ministry Leaders Breakfasts

Thursday, September 26, 2013 ~ 8-10 a.m. at Henning’s Market in Harleysville, Pa.

  • Presenter: James Krabill from Mennonite Mission Network
  • Title: “Worshipping our way into God’s future”
  • Description: Worship is the main thing many congregations do. It is also the primary time when worship leaders can shape members’ understanding of what God is doing in the world. James Krabill’s seminar will focus on four intercultural themes to include in every worship experience to increase awareness of God’s work in the world.
  • Cost: $7 (All you can eat hot and cold breakfast buffet)

Thursday, October 17, 2013 ~ 8-10 a.m. at Henning’s Market in Harleysville, Pa.

  • Presenter: Mark van Steenwyck, a Mennonite pastor from Minneapolis, MN
  • Title: “The Economics of Jesus – The Church and Jubilee”
  • Description: When Jesus emerged into the wilderness to begin his ministry, he began to challenge the major social divisions in his society. In Luke (and Acts), special emphasis is given to the division between the rich and the poor. Jesus fundamentally challenged the economic order of his day. What would it mean for us to embrace Jesus’ jubilee vision within our own context: a post “Occupy” United States of America? Join Mark Van Steenwyk as he reflects upon Jesus’ vision of jubilee, drawing from experiences of hospitality and economic experimentation at the Mennonite Worker, the intentional community he co-founded nearly a decade ago in Minneapolis.
  • Cost: $7 (All you can eat hot and cold breakfast buffet)

Conversation on Race and the Church with Drew Hart and Ben Walter

Saturday, September 21, 2013, 7-9pm

Historic Germantown Meetinghouse

(6133 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144)

Recent racial tension has unveiled that racism and racial division continue to plague society enormously.  More unsettling is research showing that Christians in general are even more racially divided than the rest of society and have deeper disagreements on racial issues. How can it be that the Church of Jesus, which has been called to reflect a profound unity in Christ across all dividing social boundaries, has failed so dramatically in being a visible alternative witness in America, given the obvious racial history that exists in this land?

As together we look to conform our lives to Christ, please join us for an evening of conversation on Race and the Church, led by Drew Hart (PhD student and associate pastor at Montco Bible Fellowship in Lansdale) with Ben Walter (co-pastor of Ripple congregation in Allentown), who will model reconciling dialogue and help us to initiate much needed conversations in our congregations. Pastor Hart will speak about understanding racism in the 21st century and will challenge the Church to move forward in solidarity and unity as we follow Jesus faithfully.

This event is sponsored by the Peace & Justice Committee. For some of Drew’s recent writing, visit his blog.  Questions? Contact Samantha Lioi, Peace and Justice Minister, 484-632-2651 or by email.

Equipping event for congregational ministry to veterans and their families

Pointman Soldiers Heart Ministry, with cooperation from Franconia Mennonite Conference, is sponsoring a symposium, “First Annual State of Veterans Affairs in Philadelphia” on September 28 from 11am to 2pm at Triumph Baptist Church in Philadelphia.  The goal of the event, which will be live broadcast on 900AM, is to assist the city of Philadelphia with the process of 1) Appointing a Director of Veterans Affairs, 2) Establishing a Veteran’s Gave Registration Record, and 3) Increasing the number of benefits claims filed and benefits received by war veterans living in Philadelphia.  For more information, contact Jim Abram (484-557-3243) or Ari Merretazon (215-850-1699).  RSVP by September 10 at 215-475-6035.

*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.