September 12, 2013

Salford and Ripple youth

Youth groups move from charity to justice

by Angela Moyer, RIPPLE & Ben Wideman, Salford

As Salford prepared to experience Mennonite Church USA’s biannual gathering in Phoenix, AZ we understood that this was going to be a different kind of experience. We knew that there were a whole host of reasons that various churches were in favor of attending and not attending. Read more….

Advocating on Washington’s Capitol Hill

by Jacob Hanger, summer writing team

While Stanley Hauerwas warns the church to avoid all government involvement, his mentor John Howard Yoder* did not share his reservation. In For the Nations, Yoder encourages the church to be a witness to our government by advocating the gospel to our country’s leaders … Martin Shupack, director of advocacy at Church World Service, has built a career doing just this. Read more….

Marty sit-in

Plains mural

Introducing Plains Mennonite Church

Plains Mennonite is located on the corner of Orvilla Road and Route 63, Lansdale, where a group of God’s children have gathered to for Sunday morning worship and fellowship events for almost 250 years.  The original meetinghouse was built in 1765. Our current pastors, Mike Derstine and Dawn Ranck Hower, minister to all who enter our doors with a warm and creative spirit and a loving acceptance of sinners saved by grace through Jesus Christ. Read more….

Social Stream (FranconiaMC, #fmclife)

Food pantry car show

Amy in Hebron

Featured blog: I am no longer a pacifist

by Amy Yoder McGloughlin, Stories from the Red Tent*

I’ve been a Mennonite for twenty years and a Mennonite pastor for 3 years.  But after a trip to Israel and Palestine this summer, I can no longer call myself a pacifist.  I blame Christian Peacemaker Teams for this. In August I spent two weeks with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Israel and Palestine, and came out of the experience unable to use this pacifist label for myself any longer.  And this is why.  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

Pastors & CRM Leaders’ Breakfasts

Held at Hennings Market in Harleysville from 8-10am, cost: $7 includes buffet breakfast. RSVP

  • Sept. 26: James Krabill from Mennonite Mission Network will present on “Worshipping our way into God’s future."
  • October 17: Mark van Steenwyck, a Mennonite pastor from Minneapolis, MN
    will present on “The Economics of Jesus – The Church and Jubilee."

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

Introducing new Mennonite Mission Network representatives for our conference

Matthew Lehman

Matthew Lehman, Virginia, Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey
1.866.866.2872, ext. 34386 (toll-free), 316.281.4386 (direct)
Newton, Kansas office

It is with great joy and humbleness that I join Mennonite Mission Network.  I grew up on a 20-acre farm in northeastern Ohio, and after graduating from Central Christian High School in Kidron, Ohio, I went on to attend Hesston College and Goshen College.  I’ve also spent time traveling and working in India, Peru and Scotland.  More recently, I worked as the Teen Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury, Ind., until I relocated to Wichita, Kan.

As I look at the work that Mennonite Mission Network is doing, I see an organization that is not only devoted to spreading an Anabaptist understanding of Scripture, but, more importantly, is committed to holistic work in the model of Christ.  I look forward to being a part of that mission, and to developing and maintaining strong relationships along the way.

Matt Lehman


Jenna MartinJenna Liechty Martin, Georgia
1.866.866.2872, ext. 23038 (toll-free) 574.523.3038 (direct)
Elkhart, Indiana office

I first recall encountering Mennonite Mission Network as a participant in DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection) in Denver with my church youth group.  During this week of sorting food in a food bank, serving meals to those who were hungry, playing with children, and learning about a new city, I encountered God at work outside my familiar church context and life setting. 

More recently, I spent three years working with Mission Network in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
I worked alongside a reconciliation program, and with an organization that works within churches to raise awareness around issues of immigration and to promote a welcoming response to newcomers. In Belfast, I encountered people who challenged me and taught me something new about life; perhaps most significantly, they showed me the importance of stopping to drink tea with others as a way of building peace and understanding.

After 10 years away from northern Indiana, I’ve returned to Elkhart County to continue serving with Mission Network, this time as a member of the development team. I look forward to meeting you, to hearing your stories, and to sharing a cup of tea.

Jenna Liechty Martin

Next Photo ID Clinic in Norristown

The Photo ID Clinic is back in Norristown. Saturday, September 28, 10 a.m.–12 noon at the New Life Plaza, 25 E Marshall St, Norristown. Please help spread the word with these two flyers, and any announcements you can do via web pages, emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The following clinic will be held Saturday, November 16.

The focus of the clinics is changing as we follow the court hearings on the need for voter IDs. A temporary injunction has been given so that poll workers will not be allowed to ask for or even suggest the need for an ID in the future UNTIL the final decision is made. We will continue to reach out to those who need help obtaining IDs and other identity documents for other reasons. We can also prepare and submit applications for social/safety net services such as SNAP, LiHEAP, PACE and PACENET, FAFSA, and tax returns through The Benefit Bank.

Any questions? Please be in touch (Sharon Williams). We had a good response in June, and are hopeful to assist more people this fall.

*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.