Earlier this month, nearly 250 persons from Franconia and Eastern District conference congregations came to ask questions and to listen to Dr. Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA. Franconia Conference leadership invited Stutzman to two town hall meetings…
Franconia Conference delegates gathered February 8 at Franconia Mennonite Church, Telford, Pa., to brainstorm ways of building relationships and collaboration in ministry and mission as part of a two-year direction toward growth and discernment as a community.
After a time of worship and reflection, delegates prayed for their congregations, the conference and denomination, and institutions of the church that are in difficult processes of discernment recognizing the tensions across the denomination related to human sexuality. Conversation then turned to identifying areas for mutual support and engagement; sharing ways that the conference community can strengthen relationships to open possibilities for healthy conversation and collaboration.
Ewuare Osayande, anti-oppression coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee, joined us Thursday for a pastors breakfast entitled “Proactive Pastorship: On Becoming a Church Invested in Racial Justice.”
Ewuare challenged congregational leaders to understand the concept of “race:” a social construct emerging out of colonialism and slavery. Once congregations understand race, they can begin to have a conversation about racism and the impact racism has had on all people.
Mark Van Steenwyk, founder of the Mennonite Worker, an intentional Christian community in Minneapolis, MN, and author of the book The Unkingdom of God, joined us to talk about the economics of Jesus, suggesting a new way of engaging money, stewardship, and community.
On September 21, Drew Hart and Ben Walter presented a conversation on race and the church at Germantown Historic Meetinghouse in Philadelphia, sponsored by the Franconia and Eastern District Conferences’ Peace & Justice Committee. This conversation connected Anabaptist and Black Theologies and identified areas in which churches participate in both institutionalized racism as well as acts of micro aggressions. Listen to the podcast.
James Krabill from Mennonite Mission Network stopped by our Pastors and CRM Leaders Breakfast on September 26 to guide our leaders in imagining an intercultural future, beginning with the way we worship. You can pick up a copy of his book at the Conference Center and listen to the podcast below–he used these handouts.
Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, the new moderator of Mennonite Church USA, recently completed a 3-week journey around the United States visiting Mennonite Church 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.
Noel Moules from the Anabaptist Network in the UK presented at this morning’s Pastors’ and CRM Leaders’ Breakfast on his book Fingerprints of Fire … Footprints of Peace. A number of years ago while Noel was meeting with leaders from Franconia Conference, he was encouraged to write this book, in which he describes some of the terms he coins for his particular brand of provocative Anabaptism and encourages Jesus-followers to live holistically in this exciting time of post-Christendom