July 5, 2012

In this week’s newsletter:

  • Conferences contract Peace & Justice Minister
  • Creative invitation brings new life to Bally
  • Generations Mennoniting together (To Mennonite #5)

Weekly features:

  • Social Stream
  • Featured Blog
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Notes to Pastors

Samantha LioiConferences contract Peace & Justice Minister

Eastern District and Franconia Conferences have contracted a new Peace and Justice Minister to resource congregations in a deeper witness of “shalom,” a holistic understanding of peace rooted in Christ. Samantha Lioi, Whitehall congregation, began work for the conferences in May.

Lioi, a graduate of AMBS with a concentration in peace studies, is passionate about God’s concern for both mercy and justice as expressed in the prophets and the life and teachings of Jesus. “My experiences in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Penn Foundation over the past year with people facing and working to heal from their addictions has highlighted the need for these complementary movements of mercy and justice,” said Lioi.  Read more. . . .

Bally-preschoolCreative invitation brings new life to Bally

Bally Mennonite Church has always been a place where creativity has blossomed, but like many small churches, we have been facing declining numbers of children.  Our community preschool, which meets daily in our building ten months out of the year, has continued to flourish, but this growth hasn’t been reflected in our Sunday school program.

We had what looked like two main problems:  first, our Sunday school preschool class, which sometimes had just a couple preschoolers, was, for a while, combined with an older class and this wide age range seemed to be daunting for the children as well as the teacher; and second, despite many opportunities, we seemed unable to get our preschool families to come to our church.  Read more. . . .

Ubaldo RodriguezGenerations Mennoniting Together
(To Mennonite Blog #5)

I grew up as a Catholic and I became a disciple of Jesus in a Mennonite Church in Colombia, South America.I define myself as a disciple of Jesus who is part of the Mennonite family and uses the Anabaptist theological glasses by which I read the Scriptures in a particular way: using the historical Jesus as the  paradigm for personal and social ethics for Christian living; participating with God and my community of faith in the formation and transformation of individuals and societies; discerning in community our mission or reason for existence here and now in our particular context; making disciples in order to keep expanding the kingdom of God.  Read more. . . .

Last week’s blog mistakenly linked to the wrong page—sorry about that!
Here is the correct link for Mennoniting My Way by Noah Kolb.

Social Stream (FranconiaMC,  #fmclife)

Ripple peace camp

  • (FB) Nueva Vida Norristown New Life: Celebrating our 22nd anniversary! To God be the glory!
  • (FB) Spruce Lake Wilderness Camp: First week of camp over: a great week! We got to see our wonderful staff in action. Thank you to the parents and kids who participated in – the first WC of 2012!
  • (Tw) @tristaanogre “Those MEN! Don’t they know it’s not about the programs, it’s about the relationships?” – My mother
  • (photo) Children gather in the park for Ripple’s peace camp.  Share your photos from your summer Bible schools, peace camps, and other activities by e-mail.

The Listening Project: Higher Ground Leaders Forum*

The Listening ProjectMy church recently completed the conversion of our old second floor sound booth overlooking the sanctuary into a brand new recording studio, a Listening Room, where people of different generations will be encouraged to share stories with one another. Lead pastor, Joe Hackman envisioned the project in response to our current congregational theme of “Learning to Listen Across the Generations.” Recordings from the sessions will be used during worship services, posted on our church website, and available as podcasts through iTunes.  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 CalendarFor 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 & Conference Related Ministry Leaders’ Breakfasts 8-10 a.m. at the Mennonite Conference Center (unless noted).  $6 donation requested.

  • July 18: Equipping to minister to inmates and ex-offenders in your congregation and community, led by Liberty Ministries. RSVP
  • December 4: Appreciation breakfast for all credentialed leaders.  Location TBD.

Pastors’ Day Apart

  • WHEN: September 12, 9am to 3pm
  • WHERE: Camp Menolan
  • WHAT: Pastors and credentialed leaders are invited for a day of guided prayer and listening to God, a time to receive rather than give, a time to refresh and renew.
  • REGISTER: For more information, contact Sandy Landes, prayer coordinator.  Register
United Conference Assembly

  • WHEN: November 10, 10am to 8pm
  • WHERE: Penn View Christian School, Souderton, Pa.
  • WHAT: Eastern District and Franconia Conferences will hold a united Conference Assembly this year around the theme of God@Work, based on Ephesians 3:20 -21.  The one-day assembly will include workshops, delegates sessions, and multi-lingual worship.  More info to come!

Notes to Pastors (3 items)

Upcoming Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast

“You visited me in prison … now I want to visit you!”

How do YOU welcome someone who was incarcerated into your congregation?  Can you minister to them indifferently and without prejudice?  Are there potential risks to your congregation or the local community that you should be aware of?

Ministry today brings us even closer to individuals who have been bruised, broken and incarcerated.  Our congregations need to serve as hospitals for returning citizens (i.e. the previously incarcerated, ex-offenders, etc.) and provide the care that is needed to help them continue on the path of discipleship.

How, then, shall we welcome, integrate and support returning citizens?  I’m glad you asked…

  • When:  Wednesday, July 18, 8-10 a.m.
  • Where:  Mennonite Conference Center, Harleysville, PA
  • Resource Persons: Staff and board members of Liberty Ministries
  • Who:  Pastors, Conference Related Ministry leaders, and others in your congregation or staff who have a heart for ministering to those who have been in prison and are seeking further equipping
  • Breakfast cost:  By donation
  • To RSVP your attendance:  Click here

Values-based Leadership Program

Learn how to lead from within and empower those around you at the Values-based Leadership Program (September 18-20, 2012 and February 26-28, 2013 at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center).  Rooted in an Anabaptist perspective on leadership, this two-session training spans six days and will provide you with excellent resources and interaction as well as opportunities to reflect on your own leadership journey.  To register, visit www.vblp.org or call 724-423-2056.

peace signs

Contents (download email)
¬  Editor’s Note   by Jason Boone
¬  Unshackled   by Berry Friesen
¬  Otterville   by Merrill R. Miller
¬  A vision for justice in Haiti   by Theo Sitther
¬  What do we feed?   by Max Ediger
¬  The craving   by Brother James Dowd
¬  Burning coals or rocky ground?   by Tom Beutel
¬  i-society   by Keith Lyndaker Schlabach

* The views expressed in each week’s featured 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.