March 28, 2012


Gathering of “sisters” provides training and care

One hundred and thirty women gathered for training and fellowship at Souderton Mennonite Church on March 23-24.  The Sister Care seminar, developed by Mennonite Women USA, was sponsored by Eastern District and Franconia Conferences as part of their continuing work to equip and train congregational leaders.

“The depth of the sharing and the tears move, inspire, and teach us that the female characteristics are God-given and that we, as God’s women, have much honesty and healing to bring to the world,” said event planner Anne Yoder, West Philadelphia congregation.   Read more . . . .

Haitian pastor, family attackedPastor Lesly and Bernadette Bertrand

A group of robbers attacked an orphanage in Haiti early on March 19, killing one person and raping another. They injured at least three others, including Mennonite Pastor Lesly Bertrand.

At about 1 a.m., the robbers jumped over the wall surrounding Grace Children Home located in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, eight miles northeast of Port-au-Prince. They shot and killed the security guard and took his keys.  Read more. . . .

Penn View students take science competition by storm

Students from Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa, participated in the Montgomery County Science Research Competition last week, taking home twenty-five awards and sending fifteen projects on to the regional science fair.  Five-hundred and eighty-two junior and senior high school students from all over Montgomery County participated in this year’s event.  Read more. . . .

Social Stream (@FranconiaMC #fmclife)

  • (Tw) @BethanyBirches  Really enjoying listening to Ron Mackey right now (of Deerfoot Lodge). He’s talking about why camp is relevant. Preach it Ron!
  • (Tw) @sheldoncg  Great local story by @brianbingaman on #Mennonite Central Committee Meat Canner in Franconia, PA (@MCCorg)
  • (Tw)  @RockhillMC Sermon this morning: “God Has Written His Law on Our Hearts…Ouch!”
  • (photo) Mennonite Weekly Review is now Mennonite World Review—sneak peak at the new layout! 

We’re with Jesus: Abnormal Anabaptist

On March 14th, Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia issued a statement on a ban on “outdoor feedings of the homeless.”  Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Shane Claiborne’s organization, The Simple Way, giving their plan for a creative response to Philadelphia’s new policy.  Talk about a challenge.  For me, it was like God saying, “You talk a good talk.  You willing to walk it now?”  Wow.  Am I really willing to do that?  Am I willing to take such a step of faith and actually DO something? Read more . .

 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

Pastors & Conference Related Ministry Leaders’ Breakfasts

8-10 a.m. at the Mennonite Conference Center (unless noted).  $6 donation requested.

June 14: Dale Nafziger, entrepreneurial missionary in Nepal.  Full description.

Pastors–if you bring a business leader with you, you’ll get your breakfast for free!

July 18: Equipping to minister to inmates and ex-offenders in your congregation and community, led by Liberty Ministries.


  Franconia & Eastern District Forums

WHEN: March 29 & May 24, 7-9  pm

WHERE:Christopher Dock High School

WHAT: Presentations from conference historians and conversations about the nature of each conference and possible next steps. March 29 description & May 24 description

REGISTER: Open to all delegates and interested individuals.

March 29: Add to Your Calendar
May 24: Add to Your Calendar

Training for all Credentialed Leaders of Franconia ConferenceWHEN: Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE:Towamencin Mennonite Church

WHAT: This day will focus on increasing our understanding of what it means to be intercultural and our capacity to respond to differences in our congregations—generational, economic, gender, etc.  There will also be important information shared about Formation Expectations and Requirements for Credentialed Leaders.  Full description. 

REGISTER: No cost for credentialed leaders.

Add to Your Calendar


  Fresh Expressions Vision DayWHEN: Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:Plains Mennonite Church

WHAT: This will be an interactive time for congregations to learn about Fresh Expressions as well as dream and discover how to empower and equip God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity in their communities.  Full description. 

REGISTER: More info to come.

Add to Your Calendar


Notes to Pastors

On the Way Newsletter

Welcome to the second issue of Mennonite Church USA’s new online newsletter, On the Way! Through this newsletter, we hope to start conversations about how we are living out our vision and mission that will help us learn from each other.

We would like to ask for your help in distributing this newsletter to your congregation. On the Way is intended for all members/participants of Mennonite Church USA—not just leaders. It will be published every six weeks.

Could you please forward this e-mail to all of the people in your congregation who have internet access and encourage them to sign up to receive it directly at (Eventually we will stop distributing it through area conferences and will send it only to the subscriber list.)

 STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) Program

 The STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) program at Eastern Mennonite University is offering a 2 1/2 day workshop on April 22-24 for those who work with youth ages 12-18. The workshop builds on STAR’s Level 1 training and covers basic trauma awareness education, techniques for calming the mind and body, nonviolent communication skills, restorative justice practices, and building resilience in youth through self-expression and storytelling.  It will include time for designing applications relevant to participants’ own contexts. Continuing education credits are available. Online registration is at or for more information, please contact Jennifer Fawley at or 540-432-4651.

Call to Prayer

Pray for Nations Worship Center in South Philadelphia as they anticipate some transitions. Pastor Beny Krisbianto reports that their congregation is growing and they are in need of new space. They are in the process of purchasing a new building which will need renovations to make it suitable for a worship space. They ask for prayer for the following:

  1. Provision of a temporary worship space in South Philadelphia that will accommodate their growing congregation of 110+ beginning April 1 through June
  2. Provision of funds for the purchase and renovations of the new building as well as volunteers to help with the construction
  3. Strength and wisdom for every decision
  4. Unity among the leadership and congregation to move forward in the same direction


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Franconia Conference Snapshots: