November 14, 2013

RAWtools Phila

Gun to garden tool

by Mimi Copp Johnson, Mennonite Central Committee East Coast

Gary Lebo was on his cell phone 117 miles away in Dillsburg, Pa. Item number 104, a cultivator mattock (hand tool used to break up the soil), was up next at the Philadelphia Festival & Auction, which benefits Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Read more….

From there to here: a story of community

by Jenny Duskey, Ambler congregation

I came back from Mennonite Church USA Convention in July feeling challenged and uncomfortable, the kind of feeling that means I need to do something.  In Phoenix, I’d prayed about how to respond to a drone center coming to our area.   I went to the next protest.  Still, I remained uncomfortable. Read more….



Introducing Towamencin Mennonite Church

Towamencin Mennonite Church is located on Sumneytown Pike in Kulpsville, adjacent to the Lansdale exit of the PA Turnpike. Towamencin can be described as a family-friendly, traditional, Anabaptist congregation that is evolving in its diversity and mission. Families from Ethiopia, Kenya, India, and Ghana now call Towamencin their home and we are struggling together to embrace our missional identity. Read more….

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

  • (FB) Spruce Lake Wilderness Camp: Check out the photo contest we’re running. Join in the fun by posting your "inspirational" pictures. The winner gets a free night stay!
  • (Tw) @SpringMountMC Pics from our leadership team retreat today at the Historic Meetinghouse in Germantown.
  • (photo) Christopher Dock Penny Power update: Things have tightened up quite a bit! All four classes are within 400 points of each other…looks like this one will go down to the wire! seniors-9376; juniors-9464;
    sophomores-9556; freshmen-9776. Two more days!
CD penny power

manicured lawn

Rooted: Missional in the Suburbs

by KrisAnne Swartley, guest post on The Antioch Session*

Nine days out of ten, I feel like I am walking upstream, fighting a current that is twice as strong as my legs. I am a “missional pastor” in one of the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania. Ours is the land of McMansions, SUVs, competitive kids’ sports leagues, malls and big box stores. My township does not have sidewalks.  Read more….

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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

Credentialed Leaders Appreciation Dinner

A Christmas "thank you" dinner for credentialed leaders and their guests will be held on December 3, 6:30-8:30pm, Souderton Mennonite Home. Enjoy holiday music, good food and conversation, and guest speaker Michael King, dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary.



Notes to Pastors

How can you support MCC and the Philippines with disaster relief?

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is responding to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, providing funding for relief, supporting an initial assessment team of an MCC partner organization and working with partners to determine needs for longer-term recovery.

MCC is providing an initial $50,000 to Church World Service (CWS), which is working with the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Network, to respond with urgent food and non-food items. Initially this assistance is focusing on Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island (both in Mindanao) and on Bohol and Samar (both in Visayas), areas where MCC’s partners have access to be able to help.

Learn more

Spruce Lake Marriage Retreat for Pastors

“Marriage in a Ministry Context: A View From 53 Years of Experience” is the theme coming straight from the personal experience of Gordon and Gail MacDonald at Spruce Lake’s Pastor-Spouse Retreat, February 17-19, 2014. This complimentary retreat (that’s right, there’s no charge) will be a time for gathering insight, courage and fresh enthusiasm for the work to which God has called you as a ministry couple. A team for 53 years, Gordon and Gail will share the speaking and break-out sessions. Please reserve in advance by calling 800-822-7505. For more information, go to

Eastern Mennonite Seminary School for Leadership Formation and Spring/Summer Classes

"Discerning Together, Shaping the Future" ( January 20-22, 2014)

Speakers: Ruth Haley Barton and Ervin Stutzman 

May wise discerners increase! The goal of SLT 2014 is to offer both theory and practice, examples and opportunities of the many lights we can shine in the fog and discern how to find our way in our time. Church leaders, lay persons….all are welcome. Learn more and register online at

Do you know someone who could benefit from an online course? We are offering: 

  • The Church and Contextual Witness
  • Missio Dei in Cultural Context
  • Pastoral Care
  • Cross-Cultural Discipleship 

Our online courses begin January 6, 2014. Learn more or register at Also, church planters and missionaries may be eligible for scholarships for online courses. Email to learn more.  

Join us June 16-27, 2014 for the Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation. This institute provides training for spiritual direction and individual and congregational spiritual formation. It also gives participants an opportunity to deepen their own faith and explore their own faith formation more fully.  
Pastors on sabbatical and spiritual directors looking for continuing education and support may explore the Oasis option. For more information

*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.