March 7, 2012

IntersectingsConference staff transitions and office hours adjusted

Connections: Interview with Ted Swartz

Relationships percolate at Top of the World

FranconiaMC Social Stream

Featured Blog: Listening to Others Brings Hope

Mark Your Calendar

Notes to Pastors


Conference staff transitions and office hours adjusted in lean budget year

Noah KolbAs Franconia Conference continues to face a season of declining contributions, the conference moved last month toward a reduction in staff time.   Beginning February 1, Noah Kolb reduced his role from full time to a three quarter time position.  Kolb, in a move toward retirement, is lightening his load of congregational relationships and moving toward an increasingly streamlined credentialing process for ministers.  Read more . . . .


Connections: Interview with Ted SwartzTed & Company

Ted Swartz, creator of Ted & Company, is bringing his Peace, Pies, & Prophets Tour to eastern Pennsylvania next week.  In this episode of Connections, Ted talks about his roots in Franconia Conference, the heart behind his show “I’d Like to Buy an Enemy,” and the cool factor–which he may or may not have.

Listen to the podcast.


Relationships percolate at Top of the World

Coffee Shop - front profile

Entering the front door of Top of the World Coffee in Nepal, the aroma of fresh roasted brew draws you toward the corner of the café.

Across the brick-colored floor and beyond the black metal chairs and tables, a smiling Dale Nafziger works behind the coffee roasting machine, the source of the aroma.

It’s not Starbucks but even better, particularly for the soul. This coffee shop is the vision of Dale and Bethsaba Nafziger, long-term Mennonite Mission Network workers.  Read more. . . .


Social Stream (@FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

  • (FB) KWhitehallrisAnne Swartley  First meeting of Sandy Ridge Community Garden was a great success tonight. The garden donated more than 1,000 lbs of fresh produce to local food banks in Bucks County in 2011. We’re hoping to up that by 50-100% this year!
  • (Tw) Bethany Birches Camp  Parents: why send your kids to camp? Anything we missed in the video?
  • (photo) Whitehall Mennonite “planted” their Ebenezer Stone this week.  Read about it here.


Listening to Others Brings Hope: The Garden Blog

the gardenListening to each other’s stories opens us up to the possibility of encountering God in our midst through “the other.”  The other may be the person in the room who does not know all of our rules or cultural norms, and so they make things uncomfortable for us. Our norms have been shaped by stories told over long periods of time, passed down through the art of sharing. When we are able to listen to another who lives outside of our norms, God can stretch us and teach us something new.  Read more . . . .


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


Pastors & Leaders’ Breakfast

WHEN: Thursday, March 8, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Mennonite Conference Center
WHAT: Features Joanna Shenk, editor of Widening the Circle: Anabaptist Experiments in Discipleship.  Full description.
REGISTER: Click here by March 5;  $6 donation requested.

Add to Your Calendar

Sister Care Seminar

WHEN: March 23-24, Friday from 7-9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m
WHERE: Souderton Mennonite Church
WHAT: Equips women to be helpful to someone who experiences a great loss or trauma, how to walk with them, and how we can encourage one another from day to day.  Full description.
REGISTER: Registration is $40 and also covers lunch and a workbook.

Add to Your Calendar



Training for all Credentialed Leaders of Franconia Conference

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Towamencin Mennonite Church
WHAT: This day will focus on increasing our capacity to respond to differences in our congregations—generational, economic, gender, ethnic, 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 Day

WHEN: 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

Pastors & Leaders’ Breakfast

WHEN: Thursday, June 14, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Mennonite Conference Center
WHAT: Featuring conversation with Dale Nafziger, entrepreneurial missionary in Nepal, who will share his learnings about doing ministry through business.  Full description.
REGISTER: $6 donation requested.  Pastors–if you bring a business leader with you, you’ll get your breakfast for free!

Add to Your Calendar

Notes to Pastors

Welcome to the first issue of Mennonite Church USA’s new online newsletter, On the Way.

We just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Mennonite Church USA on Feb. 1, and as we head into our next decade, we’re experimenting with different ways to connect with our members. 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 hope to reach all members of Mennonite Church USA and ask that you forward this newsletter to your congregation.  The first issue is attached to this email as a “msg” file—simply open and forward to your mailing list.  If you would like to subscribe directly, go to