Christopher Dock, Conferences Name Youth Minister

Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Franconia Conference and Eastern
District Conference celebrate their ministry partnership by naming John Stoltzfus
Conference Youth Minister.

“Youth are a key segment of God’s community. They are ambassadors of Christ
here and now, but also the future leaders of our congregations,” said Dr. Conrad
Swartzentruber, principal of Christopher Dock. “It’s exciting to see two
conferences join our school in this focus on youth ministry. John Stoltzfus has a
passion for helping youth become radical followers of Christ. We are pleased to
welcome him to our team.”

In his new position, Stoltzfus will become campus pastor for Christopher Dock’s
365 students, and will encourage, support and promote youth ministry in the
churches represented by the two conferences, which are part of Mennonite
Church USA. It is the first time that all three entities have collaborated on a youth
ministry position.

“I look forward to youth ministry connections growing between our member
churches, our two conferences and the school community,” said Warren Tyson,
conference minister for Eastern District Conference and a member of the
Christopher Dock Board of Trustees.

Stoltzfus comes to his new position after 10 years as associate pastor at
Lombard Mennonite Church, which is part of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. A
graduate of Eastern Mennonite University and Eastern Mennonite Seminary
(Harrisonburg, VA), Stoltzfus has also served with a Christian Peacemaker
Teams in Colombia, and participated in China Educational Exchange, a program
of Eastern Mennonite Missions, Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite
Central Committee that is now known as Mennonite Partners in China.

“I found John’s insight, understanding and commitment to engaging in the work
of intercultural transformation and relationships to be both relevant and sincere,”
said Ertell Whigham, executive minister for Franconia Conference. “This was
particularly evident as he shared experiences and learnings from his ministry in
China. I thank God that we are moving ahead and look forward to John’s arrival
and our work together.”

John with his wife Paula and children Justin, Lilianna, and Elaina. (They are expecting their fourth child in December).

The Youth Minister position is full-time, and involves partnering with youth
workers in congregations and at Christopher Dock to “actively invite every youth
to commit to a personal relationship and everlasting adventure with Jesus Christ,
mentoring them towards a supportive church community and empowering them
to bring healing and hope to the world.” In addition, Stoltzfus will be charged with
providing support, training and resources to those who minister to junior and
senior high youth, so that they are better able to carry out the youth ministry
mission and vision of Franconia and Eastern District Conferences. He will begin
his work in January.

“I am excited about this new venture of journeying together with the youth and
community at Christopher Dock and Franconia and Eastern District
Conferences,” Stoltzfus said. “I look forward to discovering how God is at work
among us and calling our young people to be faithful followers of Christ in our

John Stoltzfus will begin as Conference Youth Minister in January 2012.