January 9, 2014

Conference Assembly 2013

Delegates to continue discernment around vision

by Emily Ralph, associate director of communication

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. Read more….

A pocket full of epiphany moments

by Ertell Whigham, Executive Minister

What comes to mind when you think of the word “epiphany?” For many of us, it has a significant meaning at this time of year and in the gift that we have received from God in Jesus Christ. For others, it reminds us of a time that we were enlightened, informed, or experienced some thoughtful understanding at a particular place in our lives. Read more….

Ertell Whigham

Paul Lederach

Paul Lederach: A Spiritual Oak on our Horizon

by John Ruth, Salford congregation

The passing of  Paul Mensch Lederach on Monday morning brings to an earthly close one of the most admirable, valuable and lengthy life-stories in the three-century history of Franconia Conference.  Not only Paul’s wife Mary and their children and grandchildren, but the Dock retirement community, the conference, and the Mennonite Church USA are now saying farewell to a far-reaching presence and influence. Read more….

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

  • (FB) Spruce Lake We are so excited to see what the Lord has planned for all of us here at Spruce Lake! Please help us spread the word about the new Spruce Lodge and all of the glorious growth happening. We invite each and everyone one of you to be a part of SL in 2014! We hope to see you soon.
  • (photo) Steve Hackman (Salford) submitted this news report on Chosen 300 Ministry’s providing holiday meals. 
Chosen 300


Featured Blog: What It Feels Like to be an Oxymoron

by Drick Boyd, Drick Boyd’s Blog*

Recently, I came across an open letter written by Asian-American Activist Kil Ja Kim entitled “The White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron.” She begins with the observation that “whiteness is a structure of domination” which is “at the heart of the U.S. social, economic and political system.” 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

From 8-10am, cost: $7 includes breakfast.

  • January 16: Proactive Pastorship–On Becoming a Church Invested in Racial Justice. This presentation will outline steps pastors can take toward empowering themselves and their churches in the work of racial justice. (Mennonite Conference Center, Harleysville) RSVP
  • April 9: Healing Your Town. (Upper Perk Community Life Center, 104 Main St., East Greenville, PA)

Conference Assembly 2013 Followup

  • WHEN: February 8, 2014
  • WHERE: Franconia Mennonite Church
  • WHO: All delegates
  • WHAT: A gathering to share our findings from the SWOT analysis, the God @ Work session with Eastern District Conference, and the Franconia Conference afternoon conversation.
  • RSVP: Please RSVP by January 31st.

Notes to Pastors

Proactive Pastorship: On Becoming a Church Invested in Racial Justice

Pastors and CRM Leaders Breakfast on Thursday, January 16, 2014 – Mennonite Conference Center in Harleysville, from 8-10 a.m., cost: $7 includes breakfast.

  • This brief presentation will outline steps pastors can take toward empowering themselves and their churches in the work of racial justice.
  • Speaker: Ewuare Osayande, the Anti-Oppression Coordinator for MCC US.
  • This breakfast is co-sponsored by the Peace & Justice Committee of Franconia and Eastern District Conferences.

Ewuare Xola Osayande is a poet, political activist, cultural analyst and author of several books including Whose America? New and Selected Poems, Misogyny and the Emcee: Sex, Race and Hip Hop and Commemorating King: Speeches Honoring the Civil Rights Movement. Most recently, he is editor of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander. He is co-founder of POWER (People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism) and creator of the ONUS Rites-of-Passage. More information on his work is available at his website: Osayande.org.

Ewuare Osayande is a dynamic lecturer on issues ranging from race, class, gender, culture and religion to war, the environmental movement, social justice and globalization. He has spoken at over 500 different educational, religious and community centers from Harvard University to Howard University, from Riverside Church in New York to Al Aqsa Mosque in Philadelphia, from Alameda County Juvenile Hall in California to Graterford prison in Pennsylvania.

Ministerial Update from Steve Kriss

This Sunday, January 5, Sandy Landes will be licensed as associate pastor at Doylestown Mennonite Church.  Noel Santiago will officiate along with Doylestown lead pastor Randy Heacock.  Let us celebrate this moment for Sandy, for the congregation at Doylestown and in another move toward God’s dream of calling daughters from among us into serve and leadership by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

On December 1, Mike Ford was installed as youth pastor at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church.   Ertell Whigham officiated on behalf of Franconia Conference along with lead pastor Firman Gingerich.   This marked a moment of Mike’s move from Franconia congregation to Blooming Glen.  May it be a space of flourishing ministry and leadership for Mike and all of those who work with youth at BGMC.

Winter Peace Retreat

This year’s Winter Peace Retreat, sponsored by Eastern District and Franconia Mennonite Conferences, will take place at Spruce Lake Retreat Center on February 14-16, 2014. The adult program "Conflict: An Opportunity to Improve Relationships" will be led by Ron Hertzler, teacher at Christopher Dock High School, and Lorie Hershey, pastor of West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship. There will be peacemaking activities for children ages 6-12 while the adults are in sessions. Join us for a great time of fellowship, learning together, and enjoyment of a beautiful retreat setting in the Poconos! For more information see http://efpjc.ppjr.org/retreat/efp142.htm or contact Carolynn Boyd at 610-489-9084. Registration deadline is January 24th.

*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.