November 1, 2012

Zume after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy leaves destruction and opportunity

Three days after Hurricane Sandy swept through south-eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, members of Franconia Conference are still cleaning up from massive flooding, downed trees and power lines, and extensive power outages. Communication has been challenging and reports are trickling in–entire communities are still without power, dealing with road closures, and running short on supplies as gas stations and grocery stores are also without electricity. Read more….

So, how does Ervin do that?

Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director for Mennonite Church USA, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Conference Assembly. Recently, Eric Bishop sat down with his friend Merrill Moyer, who has worked with Ervin for a number of years on the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board, to learn more about Ervin’s life and ministry.

Executive Board Member, Merrill Moyer, says, “Ervin has an energy level that I’ve rarely seen. There are seldom two consecutive minutes in a day when he isn’t doing something productive.” Read more….

Ervin Stutzman

Conference young adults serving with Mennonite Missions

Emma Nafziger, of Pottstown, PA, began a one year service term with the Service Adventure program in August 2012. Nafziger will be living in community with other young adults in a unit house in Raleigh, NC.

Joe Bates, of Red Hill, Pa., began a one year service term with the Radical Journey program in August 2012. Bates will be serving with a team in England. Read more….

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

  • (FB) Penn View Christian School will be closed again on Thursday, November 1st due to weather-related issues. Electricity has not yet been restored to the school or the homes in that area.
  • (FB) Christopher Dock: Hurricane Sandy has forced the cancellation of more than 240 American Red Cross blood drives in the Northeast, resulting in a shortfall of more than 8,000 donations thus far. Christopher Dock is hosting a blood drive on Monday, November 12 from 9 am to 2 pm. Schedule an appointment, or to find a blood drive close to where you live.
  • (FB) Spruce Lake: Sandy has come and gone and taken our power, phone service, Internet connection, and a few tree branches with her. Contacting us by email is currently not possible and only our 800 number is serviceable. Our Facebook page will be checked on occasion.
  • (FB) Spring Mount Mennonite Church: Prayers for all who are enduring Hurricane Sandy, and for all the emergency responders and power company staff working all day & night.

Featured blog: Army of lovers (Following in faith)*

As a Mennonite and Pacifist I get nervous about the term "Army." Yet Shane Claiborne uses it in a way I like. He’s talking about a group of people that present a strong force. While God doesn’t seem to use force, an Army of lovers is the best kind of army there could be. His sentiment below reminds me of what we talk about at camp–a community of love. 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

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

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.

See full schedule


Pastors & CRM Leaders’ Breakfasts

December 4: Appreciation breakfast for all credentialed leaders. (No cost) Location TBD.

Notes to Pastors (3 items)

May we pray for you?

Pastors and congregational leaders: You are invited to submit a prayer request for your congregation to be shared with those in attendance at Conference Assembly in November. These requests will be part of a prayer station where we can intercede for each other as we carry out the mission of God in the world. These requests can be centered around an immediate need or around the vision of your congregation. Please keep the requests simple, no more than two sentences and send them directly to Sandy Landes, prayer ministry coordinator at

Registration deadline for Conference Assembly extended

The registration deadline for workshops, meals, and childcare for this year’s Conference Assembly, November 10 at Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa., has been extended to Friday, November 2 at 5pm. We realize that many in our conference have been without power this week and may not have been able to register by Wednesday. Because we need to get in final numbers for meals Friday evening, we will not be able to accept registrations for meals past that date. Thanks for your cooperation!


Free child-safety training for your congregation

Dove’s Nest, an organization that empowers and equips faith communities to keep children and youth safe in their homes, churches, and communities is offering a free curriculum that helps to form and educate children and youth about the value of positive relationships with God and others.

Dove’s Nest’s website has resources that are available for pastors and congregations regarding the protection of children and youth. The curriculum, "Circle of Grace" is available at no charge to all Mennonite Church USA congregations through a generous donation. Once a request is submitted from a congregation through the website, the CD containing the "Circle of Grace" curriculum and training materials is sent to the congregation.

On the Dove’s Nest website you can view information about the Circle of Grace curriculum by clicking on Resources, then Curriculum, then Circle of Grace. You will see information about the curriculum, and near the bottom of the screen, click on "Mennonite Church USA Congregations" in order to view the questions for pastors or Christian Education leaders to complete and submit.

"Circle of Grace" was developed to help children identify and maintain appropriate physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual boundaries and demonstrates how to take action if any boundary is threatened or violated.  The curriculum also helps children to identify trusted adults in their lives and to come up with appropriate safety plans.  This is a supplemental curriculum, used in addition to the standard Sunday school curriculum.  Lessons are self-contained and grade-specific, with 1-4 age-appropriate lessons each year for children and youth grades K-12.

Individuals who are ministering to children need to be aware of ways to protect and empower children.  While many churches have child protection policies, there are many churches that have note yet adopted a policy.  The Dove’s Nest website has sample policies from various Mennonite Church USA congregations.  These policies are available for churches that are writing or revising their policies.

*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.