June 21, 2012

In this week’s newsletter:

  • The Garden brings renewal and hope to Doylestown
  • Ministerial Update
  • Beauty, Mosquitoes, & Service in Alaska

Weekly features:

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

The Garden brings renewal and hope to Doylestown

The congregation in Doylestown was about at the end of their rope, struggling to find ways to engage their community after years of declining attendance.

Pastor Randy Heacock knew the future didn’t look good: if the congregation continued to do things as they always had, within ten years they could easily die out. Read more. . . .

Ministerial Update (June 2012)

Rose Bender OrdinationAn update from Noah Kolb, Pastor of Ministerial Leadership, on behalf of the Ministerial Committee.

  • Derek Cooper, assistant professor of Biblical studies and historical theology at Hatfield (Pa.) Biblical Seminary’ was approved for a two-year license toward ordination. He and his family are members at Deep Run East (Perkasie, Pa.). The seminary, through his congregation, requested a ministerial license for his work in preparing pastors.
  • Joy Sawatzky was approved for a two-year license toward ordination for her ministry as chaplain with Living Branches. She presently has a license for specific ministry. She is a member of the Plains (Hatfield, Pa) congregation.  Read more. . .

Beauty, Mosquitoes & Service in Alaska

From June 2-9, a group of 22 people from Souderton Mennonite Church and 6 friends traveled to Alaska to serve at two summer camps: Victory Bible Camp and Camp Li-wa. Click here to see more photos from their trip.  Members of each group wrote reflections on their experiences.

The thirteen participants who arrived at Victory Bible Camp (a two-hour ride from Anchorage) were awed by the creative splendor of our Lord in this area. Though it was cool and often rainy, the group worked hard, many times outside in the weather.  Read more. . . .

Social Stream (FranconiaMC,  #fmclife)

  • (FB) Bethany Birches Camp: We have temporary occupancy for the cabin! This fall we’ll finish a few things and hopefully have a proper certificate of occupancy!
  • Franconia MYF: We are going on a trip to Honduras – if you are interested, follow us on our blog
  • (Tw) @gaybruntmiller “What if, rather than trying to out fight an enemy, we try to ‘out justice’ them?” Pastor Chris Nickels
  • (photo) Penn View Christian School teacher Lisa Reichley accepts a plaque as the Middle School Exemplary Science Teacher by the Montgomery County Science Teachers’ Association.

Donna MerowQuiet rebellion against the status quo
(To Mennonite Blog #3)*

In a sermon titled Transformed Nonconformist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority” (Strength to Love, 27).

To “Mennonite” is to be creatively maladjusted to a society that promotes materialism, nationalism, militarism, and violence.  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 (4 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

Note: This presentation will also be recorded for those who are unable to attend on July 18.  A podcast of Steve Hackman’s presentation at the June 14 breakfast on business as mission is now available here.

Call for stories and photos from Summer Programs & Service Trips

Share your stories and photos from Vacation Bible School, Peace Camp, or other special summer activities by emailing them or posting on Facebook or Twitter.  Is there a team from your congregation going on a summer service trip?  Share those stories and photos, too!  And don’t forget to Tweet using #fmclife to immediately share your memories with the rest of the conference!

Worship cohort meeting monthly

A group of worship leaders from Franconia and Eastern District Conferences meets on the third Friday of each month at the Mennonite Conference Center in Harleysville to resource one another, share stories and songs, and jam.  Do you think your worship leader would like to be a part of this community?  Have him or her send an email address to join the worship leaders mailing list and keep up to date on these gatherings as well as other resourcing opportunities in the region.

On the Way Newsletter

You are invited to subscribe to Mennonite Church USA’s online newsletter, On the Way! This is a free, short, bilingual online resource through which we hope to start conversations about how we are living out our vision and mission that will help us learn from each other. Each of the first seven issues, which are published every six weeks, focuses on one of the seven churchwide priorities. We hope you’ll enjoy the content and consider sharing your responses or ideas via our website or Facebook page. Check out the latest issue and subscribe.

* 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.