The purpose of this meeting is to share a synthesis of the information gleaned from your input at Conference Assembly in November and develop a direction for how we will live into what Conference leaders heard you say during those sessions.
Harleysville, PA — Franconia Conference delegates are invited to gather on Saturday, February 8, 2014 for a time of continued conversation and discernment around the vision and future direction of the conference and to recommit to healthy relational engagement with one another in the midst of difference. The gathering, which is open to all delegates, will include a time of corporate worship, review of table feedback from November’s Conference Assembly, and discerning next steps as a conference that has and will continue to grow increasingly diverse.
Franconia Conference delegates and leaders gathered November 2 at Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa. to celebrate God still at work. With a packed auditorium for a third united assembly with Eastern District Conference, representatives gathered to listen and pray, to celebrate newly credentialed and ordained pastoral leaders, and to work alongside one another after an over 150-year rift created two separate Mennonite entities. The theme “God still @ work” was an extension of the 2012 theme, “God @ work.”
It’s the time of year when we gather to share what God is doing in our lives, our ministries and our communities at Franconia Conference Assembly 2013. It’s a time for us to celebrate what God has done, what God is doing, and what God is going to do.
Last summer my family spent some vacation time at our cabin in Central Pennsylvania’s Big Valley. I always love going there to visit my grandmother, which often means returning home with some sort of sinfully sugary gooey treat, most often a pecan pie that I’m certain would bring the highest bid at any of our church youth auctions.
The Constituency Leadership Council (CLC) of Mennonite Church USA met in Michigan this week. The CLC, which includes all 23 conferences of Mennonite Church USA, serves as a group of elders for the denomination. In my capacity as moderator of Franconia Conference I joined this meeting, along with Ertell Whigham, Executive Minister, and Jenifer Eriksen Morales, LEADership Minister.
“It used to be that we all showed up at Conference Assembly to see what we were going to argue about that year,” my friend told me. We laughed together, but I knew there was truth in her statement: our conference gatherings have not always been places for burying the hatchet or beating swords into plowshares.
Now to God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
The passion of Paul himself permeated the auditorium as Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA, stood from his kneeled position and—hands stretched towards the sky—proclaimed these words from Ephesians 3:20-21. It was a fitting end to his message and an equally fitting end to the United Conference Assembly, in which 175 delegates, credentialed leaders, and other participants gathered to reflect upon and imagine where God has and might be at work amidst Franconia and Eastern District Conferences.
Did you miss this year’s Conference Assembly? Do you want to share something that happened with a friend? Listen to both business sessions and the evening worship, check out the photo gallery, or share this highlight video with your congregation!