February 7, 2013

Urban Promise at Souderton

Reflections on building an intercultural relationship

by Gerry Clemmer and others, Souderton congregation

As a church seeking to connect with the mission of God in the world, it has been exciting to connect with the ministry of Urban Promise in Camden, NJ. Initially, several of our college students served as summer interns and Bruce Main and some of their interns came to a worship service on a Sunday morning. Read more….

Thank God for curiosity

by Kris Wint, Finland

I had never fasted before. I had heard about it and even read about it, but, truthfully, I rather enjoy eating and so fasting was not a high priority. My curiosity was triggered, however, when I downloaded a new album from Flame and song eleven, appropriately titled “Daniel 10” opened with a pastor talking about the need for men and women to fast. As I listened to the album more and more, my curiosity grew more and more and my desire to fast grew more and more. But I did nothing. Read more….

Kris Wint


Extravagant, reckless love

by Emily Ralph, eralph@franconiaconference.org

“When I was growing up, I was only allowed one scoop of ice cream for snack,” I told my congregation’s children during our Easter Sunday service. I wrinkled my nose as I looked at the piddly scoop of ice cream in my hands. “That’s not very extravagant, is it?” Such a big word deserved a big illustration, so I pulled out a giant mixing bowl and began scooping ice cream out of a bucket. Eventually, I gave up and just dumped in the whole gallon, much to the children’s delight. Read more….

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

  • (Tw) @chrisnickels My friend Steve Kriss writes about climate change & God’s interconnected creation.
  • (Tw) ‏@SpringMountMC Great time of conversation & prayer today at our Circle of Friends gathering. Photo
  • (FB) Spruce Lake Are you looking for a summer job that allows you to serve others and work with people?We are now taking applications for Wilderness, Retreat, and Day Camp Staff.
  • (photo) @BethanyBirches For those of you who helped stock the freezer at camp in Nov and Dec – thank you!!!!
Bethany Birches freezer

Cherry red summer apple isolated on white

Featured Blog: Resolved

by Cherie Leatherman, Ponderings of a Pursuer of God*

We all begin every year with new resolution. A new resolution to lose weight, to eat better, to exercise more, to be a better you.The list goes on and we will make every effort in the initial weeks of January to fulfill those resolutions, but as time marches on our resolve somehow goes with it. 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 eralph@franconiaconference.org.

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 calendar@franconiaconference.org.
Pastors & CRM Leaders’ Breakfasts

8-10 a.m. at the Mennonite Conference Center, Harleysville. Suggested donation: $6.

  • February 21: Illegal handguns and the law of sin and death” with J. Frederick Kauffman and Drick Boyd. Register

See with New Eyes Anti-racism Training

  • WHEN: February 22–24, 2013
  • WHERE: Philadelphia Mennonite High School
  • WHAT: A training that lays the groundwork for intercultural development of congregations, conferences, and organizations that is antiracist, transformational, and Anabaptist.
  • REGISTER: More info and to register


Spring Training 2013

  • WHEN: March 6 or 9, 9am-1pm
  • WHERE: March 6 at Zion & March 9 at Salford
  • WHAT: Equipping for all Franconia Conference credentialed leaders on the topic of discernment. This training will be offered twice this year, so please choose the date that works for your schedule and add it to your calender today!
  • REGISTER: franconiaconference.org/rsvp

Notes to Pastors (3 items)

Franconia Conference Prayer Ministry–2 items

A prayer breakfast  will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the conference center, 8-10 am. The purpose of the breakfast will be for encouragement, connection and fellowship as well as to discuss the possibilities for the future in prayer ministry at the local and regional levels. This invitation is for prayer leaders, pastors and those who would like to see prayer ministry further developed in their congregation. Please RSVP to Sandy Landes by Monday, Feb. 18 at http://www.doodle.com/ew94kbfpb9swrsym.

You may have seen in last week’s Intersectings that Sandy Landes, the conference Prayer Coordinator, has stepped down from her position as of February 28. The prayer ministry that Sandy was doing here at the Conference was in partnership with Doylestown Mennonite Church, where she will continue in her current role. As Sandy now moves to that platform she will give primary attention to prayer at Doylestown, but also can be available to other congregational prayer teams that may want to learn more how a prayer team can function within the congregation in relation to pastoral leadership. Contact Sandy at her new email address.

Correction to Spring Training book information

Credentialed leaders have been asked to read a book on discernment in preparation for the Spring Training events in March. In previous correspondance, we listed the title of the book as  “Practicing Spiritual Discernment Together.” The correct title is “Practicing Discernment Together:  Finding God’s Way Forward in Decision Making” by Lon Fendall, Jan Wood and Bruce Bishop. We are looking forward to our time together!

Mennonite Spirituality Class offered at the Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville

The course, “Mennonite Spirituality: Sustenance and Struggle” will be offered Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:30 pm, March 5 to April 16, 2013 at the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Rd, Harleysville  (no class on Tuesday, March 26) . Sponsored with Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Lancaster, PA, the class will explore the traditions of Anabaptist/Mennonite spiritual life to uncover and highlight both gifts and weaknesses. What has been sustaining?  What has been a struggle toward flourishing?   In this course we will see that Mennonite spiritual formation in North America is changing from a spiritual-formation-by-just-living-in-close-communities to a more intentional spiritual formation-by-contemplative-and-communal-disciplines. The course will respect Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition and yet seek ways to engage our contemporary realities alongside the global forces that are reshaping our communities.

The course instructor, Dawn Ruth Nelson, is a Mennonite pastor, writer and spiritual director. Her book A Mennonite Woman:   Exploring Spiritual Life and Identity was published in 2010. Born in Sellersville, PA she grew up in Philadelphia and Boston. She was part of the first Mennonite peace witness in Ireland from 1979-1991, and then worked as a chaplain with people with disabilities for 10 years. Currently she serves as pastor for Methacton Mennonite Church, Norristown, PA. She has an MDiv from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary (2004) and has recently been teaching at EMS Lancaster and at Palmer Seminary. She is married to Paul and has three young adult children.

Registration is required and the cost of the course is $60 ($55 member). Those wishing to receive one continuing credit unit from Eastern Mennonite University can register for $70. Participants are asked to read A Mennonite Woman: Exploring Spiritual Life and Identity by Dawn Ruth Nelson (Cascadia, 2010) and Praying with the Anabaptists by Marlene Kropf and Eddy Hall (Faith & Life Press, 1994). For information or to register, go to www.mhep.org, email info@mhep.org or call 215-256-3020.

*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.