Tag Archives: Gay Brunt Miller

Preparing for transition

by Gay Brunt Miller

Gay Brunt Miller
Gay Brunt Miller

As I prepare to transition from my fifteen-year tenure with Franconia Conference, I find myself living in rather unusual space. These have been perhaps my 15 most productive years in life, at least thus far. I’ve been blessed to many times experience my call to ministry here as being “for such a time as this.”

It’s been a time of helping to discern and follow God’s vision for Franconia Mennonite Conference—trying to live into it, to live it out, and to encourage others to live it out, too. Franconia Conference’s own commitment to the Great Commission, before the term “missional” eventually blossomed into the mission statement of “Equipping leaders to empower others to embrace God’s mission” enhanced by incorporating strategic values of being missional, formational, and intercultural.

I’ve been part of more hours of meetings—locally, regionally, and nationally—than I ever could or would want to count. I’ve helped to plan and execute a myriad of gatherings, both large and small. I’ve been the keeper of the bylaws and the author of untold numbers of minutes. I’ve treasured many friendships formed across the conference and across the national church. I’ve learned so much. I’ve been at times both profoundly frustrated and profoundly blessed.

After full emersion and engagement in a vision and with a people, how does one begin to get things in order, to transition to the next leader and the next generation to steward into the future?

Times change. Values shift. New generations of leaders need to shape what God asks them to carry out, for the sake of God’s reign here on earth. Who is God preparing to grasp the baton from me? What will Franconia Conference and Mennonite Church USA look like in the future? What kind of leadership will be needed for the next leg of this race of life?

In this time of transition, I am seeking to be available as needed but to hold direction and outcomes even more lightly than in the past, knowing that I will not be here to carry out plans that are being laid. I’m seeking to stand in a place of “holy indifference”—a place where I trust that God’s purposes will be worked out through those whom God is calling. And I’m trusting that all things will work together for good…for me and for all those of you who love God and who are called according to God’s purposes (Romans 8:28). May it be so.

Gay Brunt Miller has served Franconia Mennonite Conference for 15 years, in various capacities. She will be leaving her position in April. 

Franconia Conference announces upcoming staff change

by Stephen Kriss, director of communication

Gay Brunt Miller
Gay Brunt Miller

With a stable team of LEADership Ministers in place, Franconia Conference will be adjusting administrative and communication staffing into the first half of 2015.   After 15 years of ministry leadership and administration, Gay Brunt Miller (Spring Mount congregation) announced her intent to leave the conference sometime in early 2015.  Brunt Miller has served alongside three different executive leaders and submitted her intent to resign early to allow the Conference to transition smoothly while she explores new vocational possibilities.

Emily Ralph, associate director of communication, relocated to Lancaster in 2013 where she began a pastoral position at Sunnyside Mennonite Church.  After serving Franconia for four years, she intends to resign her Conference role by March 1, 2015.   Emily will continue communication work with Mennonite World Conference through the global assembly in Harrisburg this summer.

Emily Ralph
Emily Ralph

“Gay and Emily have poured their hearts and souls into the ministry of Franconia Conference and we’ve been blessed by them and through them; I have been especially blessed in my role as executive minister.  Communication and administration have undergirded the strength of conference ministry over these last few years,” said Ertell M. Whigham, Franconia Conference Executive Minister.

The hiring process for administration and communication roles will begin immediately with an intention to have some overlap within both roles.   Staff changes in communication and administration open the possibility for the role to be shaped to serve the conference’s current needs.

Delegates to continue discernment around vision

delegates praying 2013
Franconia Conference delegates spent time conferring and praying together at Conference Assembly 2013. Photo by Bam Tribuwono.

by Emily Ralph, associate director of communication

Harleysville, PA — Franconia Conference delegates are invited to gather on Saturday, February 8, 2014 for a time of continued conversation and discernment around the vision and future direction of the conference and to recommit to healthy relational engagement with one another in the midst of difference.  The gathering, which is open to all delegates, will include a time of corporate worship, review of table feedback from November’s Conference Assembly, and discerning next steps as a conference that has and will continue to grow increasingly diverse.

“There were so many thoughtful comments and insights mentioned at Conference Assembly that deserve our attention, discernment, and renewed commitment,” said assistant moderator Marta Castillo (Nueva Vida Norristown New Life).  “The purpose of the February 8 meeting is to continue the animated, enthusiastic, and participatory conversation about our shared convictions and vision for moving forward together in 2014 and beyond.”

At Conference Assembly, held on November 2, 2013 at Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa., delegates were invited to give feedback on a statement written by the board, which addressed the growing diversity of the conference and encouraged discernment on the congregational level, while maintaining conference unity, saying, “We believe our witness is strengthened when energy is put into celebrating our shared convictions.”

In addition to table discussions around the statement, the delegate body also shared stories of where God is at work in congregations, communities, and the conference.  In a bonus workshop session, over a hundred delegates gathered to further discern God’s calling for 2014 and beyond.

See summaries of table feedback, God@Work stories, and 2014 visioning conversations.

Conference Assembly 2013
Part of the February 8 meeting will be spent responding to a summary of delegate table feedback from Conference Assembly 2013. Photo by Bam Tribuwono.

“It is our hope that the February 8th gathering will result in bringing additional clarity to how we value one another and, given our diversity, how we work together towards a community and ministry that honors God as His John 17 people,” said Ertell Whigham, executive minister. “We look forward to gathering with a spirit of cooperation as we commit to working together while honoring God in our diversity.”

The February 8 gathering will take the place of Spring Training, an annual continuing education event usually required for all credentialed leaders.  “We believe that participation in this and possibly additional meetings this year is crucial to finding a healthy shared future together,” said Gay Brunt Miller, School for Leadership Formation director. “So attendance at these meetings will fulfill the 2014 continuing education guidelines for credentialed leaders.”  There will also be fewer resourcing events for pastors and Conference Related Ministry leaders planned in 2014, Brunt Miller added, “to give space in leaders’ schedules to participate in what seems most important this year.”

The gathering will be held on February 8 from 9 to noon at Franconia Mennonite Church; delegates are requested to RSVP by January 31st on the conference website or by calling the conference office at 267-932-6050.  For more information, delegates can talk to their congregation’s LEADership minister.  Snow date is February 15.

Conference Board announces new appointment

Klaudia Smuckerby Gay Brunt Miller, Director of Administration

Franconia Conference Board members took action to appoint Klaudia Smucker as a new member of the Conference Board at the April 22 board meeting.

Smucker serves as pastor of Bally Mennonite Church, a role she assumed in 2010. She came to Franconia with extensive pastoral and conference leadership experience in Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.  “We are thankful that Klaudia has chosen to use her considerable experience and wisdom on behalf of Franconia Conference,” said Conference Moderator and Board Chair John Goshow.

Conference Board members began discussing the addition of a few board members after Mim Book, who served as Assistant Moderator 2010-2011, resigned from her role 2011 to take an interim pastoral assignment in Nebraska. Marta Castillo, already a board member, was affirmed by delegates to fill this role, leaving the Conference Board short one member and further widening the gap of gender balance. Following a period of discernment, Smucker’s name came forward as a strong candidate. She met with the Conference Board Executive Committee in February and board members acted on the recommendation of the Executive Committee to officially affirm her at their April meeting.

Smucker’s appointment is in alignment with the Conference’s bylaws, which stipulate, “the Conference Assembly shall appoint, by affirmation, a majority of the Conference Board membersThe Conference Board may appoint several additional members to the Conference Board for overall board balance and perspective.”

“I am honored to be asked, and looking forward to working on the Franconia Conference Board with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,” reflected Smucker.  “I know that church work at all levels is complex and can be messy.  I believe that united in prayer and through the love of Christ, God will continue to do amazing things within Franconia Conference and its churches!”

Smucker joins continuing board members Marta Castillo (Nueva Vida/Norristown New Life), John Goshow (Blooming Glen), Joe Hackman (Salford), Jim King (Plains), Beny Krisbianto (Nations Worship), Jim Laverty (Souderton), Jim Longacre (Bally), Mary Nitzsche (Blooming Glen), Randy Nyce (Salford), Rina Rampogu (Plains). With the exception of Rampogu, all other Conference Board members have been affirmed by Conference Assembly delegates.

Worshiping around the table

Table Church 4by Chris Nickels, Spring Mount

Last summer the members of our worship commission, led by Eileen Viau, were planning for the fall and doing some reflection together. It was less about the monthly details and more of a “big picture” conversation about our identity as a worshiping congregation.

Worship is an expression, and the style of a congregation’s corporate worship can reflect the gifts and talents of the group. Among other things, we asked ourselves, “What are some of the gifts present within the Spring Mount congregation that God might want to use at this time?” And fairly quickly an experiment in doing church began to take shape.

In listening to church members, a sentiment that I heard voiced a number of times was “We should have more fellowship meals.” Those meals have always been a popular event–an atmosphere of comfort and fun. And our congregation is particularly good at facilitating ministry with meals. In the past we created worship and Bible study experiences that included a food element, such as an Anabaptist meal liturgy (with resources from our friend Stuart Murray Williams) and Saturday morning breakfast Bible studies. Every Sunday morning we enjoy an abundance of refreshments for fellowship time, coordinated by our dedicated hospitality team. Stacey Hallahan’s chocolate cake, Lorene Nyce’s monkey bread, and Ruth Reinford’s mango salsa are some of the best culinary treats you can find in the Perkiomen Valley (or anywhere else for that matter). If we were going to experiment with a new kind of ministry, it seemed natural to move in a direction involving food and hospitality.

Our conversation landed on the idea of creating a monthly Sunday morning meal liturgy. I believe Gay Brunt Miller first mentioned the name “Table Church,” which we liked and which certainly fit because this would be “church happening around tables.” Table Church is modeled after Jesus’ table practices and the gatherings of early Christians that we noticed in the New Testament (Acts 2:42). It is a potluck meal (everyone brings a brunch-type food) reminding us that we all participate in the church and each has something of value to share–no matter how big or small the contribution. We sit at round tables, facing one another, in an environment intended for conversation. A simple liturgy was created for this time to guide us as we eat, pray, share, laugh, and reflect on a Bible story together.

There is no sermon at Table Church. Instead, we listen as someone reads the Bible passage aloud and then each table group reflects on it by asking missional questions (adapted from Darrell Guder): What does the passage say about God? About us? What is the Good News in this passage? How does this passage send us out to help in God’s Mission? We may not have a typical sermon at Table Church, but the potential exists for a collective one to emerge as we respond to the Story, to each other, and to the voice of the Spirit. Various people of different ages participate in leading elements of the liturgy, through praying, reading the scripture, and offering a blessing to the group before we depart.

Table Church 5For each Table Church, we print a Spring Mount trivia question in the bulletin as a conversation starter (Example: Name the famous music act that wrote a song about the Perkiomen Creek.*). The questions are a fun way to delve into some of the history of our town. For some of us the answers are new information, while for others they recall memories from the past. It was great to observe one question–about a local park–inspire some reminiscing about the person the park was named for, a friend of a few church members.

It feels like God is doing something among us through Table Church. I think we are continuing to discover the vital ministry of hospitality. We are learning about the place where we meet, the place on whose behalf we are “seeking the peace” (Jer. 29:7). We are further experiencing the value of multi-voiced worship, and how God is present and shapes us as we listen to each other and to God’s Story. We are trying out new recipes and sharing new foods; one table group recently proposed the idea of creating a Table Church cookbook. So far, I think we are discovering that the table can be a fun, meaningful, and even holy place. No wonder Jesus spent so much time there.

*Trivia answer: Hall & Oates

Haitian pastor, family attacked

By Sheldon C. Good, Mennonite World Review

Pastor Lesly and Bernadette Bertrand
Pastor Lesly and Bernadette Bertrand in the “mother church” of Grace Assembly Network in 2004.

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.

They then tied up three people — Pastor Bertrand; his wife, Bernadette; and the yardboy — and beat them. The robbers raped the Bertrands’ 14-year-old daughter. They took a cellphone, a laptop and some money.

Bernadette Bertrand and the girl were both hospitalized overnight. They are now receiving medical attention at home.

Esaie Bertrand, a son of the family, said in an email March 20 that the orphan children “are doing well.”

In addition to the orphanage, Assemblée de la Grâce (Grace Assembly Network) consists of 25 congregations with about 2,387 members, and seven schools. There are more than 30 pastors.

Pastor Bertrand is bishop of Assemblée de la Grâce, which is a partner in mission of Franconia Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA. He has invited prayers for the situation.

Walter Sawatzky of Hatfield, Pa., a consultant with Wozo, an organization that runs a trauma-healing program in Haiti, said that Garly Michel, executive director of Wozo, planned to meet with Pastor Bertrand.

Wozo is an adaptation of Eastern Mennonite University’s Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience program. The Haitian program began in October 2010 with funds from six denominations and organizations, including Mennonite Central Committee and the Church of the Brethren.

Sawatzky said the Bertrands and the orphanage are victims of a broader trend of violence and insecurity in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.

“The pattern I’ve seen is that the robbers will observe when there’s been contact with international people,” he said. “After the visit is done, they assume [the foreigners] left some money or that the Haitians have access to money, so they kidnap people or try to rob them.”

This is not the first time Grace Assembly Network has been targeted. In 2006 several gunmen came into the “mother church” of Grace Assembly Network and shot and killed a church deacon, severely wounded the worship leader and injured several others.

The intruders “promised to come back and kill Pastor Lesly,” Sawatzky said.

At the time, Bertrand and his family lived near the church. They later moved across town.

“Foreigners are given a wide berth when it comes to street violence or even home invasions,” he said. “The sad thing is that the average Haitian is far more vulnerable to this kind of violence, because they lack the foreigners’ greater visibility, and therefore, protection by the global community represented through occupying U.N. security forces deployed in Haiti since 1994.”

Gay Brunt Miller, who relates to Assemblée de la Grâce for Franconia Conference, said at least three conference congregations are taking special offerings for costs associated with the situation, including for the security guard’s funeral. An offering was taken at a Sister Care seminar of Mennonite Women USA held March 23-24 in Souderton, Pa.

“This incident makes me heartsick,” she said. “Please pray for Pastor Lesly and all those impacted by this brutal violation. Pray that God will heal their minds, bodies and souls, and give them courage so that they may continue to shine God’s light in Haiti.”

Gifts can be sent through Franconia Mennonite Conference, 569 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA 19438.  Please mark your check “Haiti.”  Article reprinted by permission of Mennonite World Review.

Conference announces staff realignment

Noel Santiago has accepted a position as LEADership Minister for Spiritual Transformation. Executive Minister Ertell Whigham invited Noel into a continuing staff role following his transition from the executive minister responsibilities. According to board chair John Goshow, “We are pleased that Noel will be continuing to offer his significant ministry gifts within the congregations and ministries of Franconia Conference.”

Gay Brunt Miller will assume the role of Director of Administration. Her LEADership Minster responsibilities will be transferred to other Conference staff. Gay will work directly with Ertell Whigham who was named Executive minister earlier this month. This is a familiar role for Gay as she worked with similar responsibilities previously with Franconia Conference.

Both roles are effective immediately. Other staff positions remain unchanged at this time though some continued realignment is projected in the work of LEADership ministers as responsibilities and workloads are adjusted.

Embracing God’s mission: Being and becoming people of peace

101-copy.jpgGay Brunt Miller, Spring Mount

In February of 2008, urban minister Jim Kilpin gave Blaine Detwiler (conference Moderator and pastor of Lakeview Mennonite Church), Steve Kriss (conference Director of Communication and Leadership Cultivation) and myself a tour in of East London. He shared how his family had moved to this neighborhood a decade earlier to plant a church (connected with Urban Expression, part of the Anabaptist Network, U.K.). As they became familiar with the neighborhood, they began to look for where God was already at work, wanting to be part of what God was already doing. In other words, to be missional.

I asked Jim, “How do you recognize where God is already at work?” He thought about my question and then replied, “I think it is where you find people of peace.”

Henri J.M. Nouwen offers a similar observation in his book, Life of the Beloved, “There is no clearer way to discern the presence of God’s Spirit than to identify the moments of unification, healing, restoration, and reconciliation. Wherever the Spirit works, divisions vanish and inner as well as outer unity manifests itself.” Through God’s Spirit and collective discernment, we join hands with like-minded believers where we find and give encouragement, we equip leaders to empower others and we look for opportunities to join in what God is already doing – where there is unification, healing, restoration and reconciliation.

Recently, delegates of Franconia Conference have shaped our work together through these actions:

  • Developing relationships with Partners in Mission as an expression of the missional character of Franconia Conference (2002)
  • Establishing the Conference’s mission: “Equipping Leaders to Empower Others to Embrace God’s Mission” (2004)
  • Affirming the Conference’s Vision/Core Processes: Identity Formation from a Biblical/Anabaptist perspective, Leadership Transformation from cradle to grave, and Healthy Relational Patterns—passionately living out our callings; and Strategic Values as to be missional, intercultural, and formational (2005)
  • And clarifying that Franconia Conference’s five-year Vision and Financial Plan should result in more healthy and growing leaders, congregations, new believers and connections to the world. (2007)

Together, we are cultivating a community of “people of peace” in this framework of action and discernment. Matthew 7:16 says, “You will know them by their fruits.” What fruits from these decisions are evidenced in this issue of Intersections?

Healthy and Growing Connections to the World

As you read you will discover stories about three of our Partners in Mission–the Anabaptist Network in the United Kingdom, Oxford Circle Mennonite Church and Peace Fellowship Church. Nearly half of our conference’s member congregations connect with one of these three partners.

Equipping Leaders and Identity Formation

Elaine Moyer’s reflections on her leadership at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School remind us of the important identity formation work and legacy of leaders who have been equipped and are equipping others through their ministry. Dock’s role in these areas precedes Franconia Conference’s mission statement and is an important piece of our collective work.

Bob Helverson’s ordination is another specific example of a young leader, called, equipped and empowered for ministry.

Strategic Values In Action

“Creating Ripples in the Lehigh Valley” tells the story of the Whitehall congregation’s missional experiment, led by Tom and Carolyn Albright. The growing ministry of Ripple is Anabaptist in character with an untraditional expression of worship, learning from other “emerging” groups, including the Anabaptist Network, U.K.

Healthy and Growing Congregations
The story of Philadelphia Praise Center’s expansion into Spanish worship is a beautiful expression of a healthy and growing congregation. The congregation meets an important need for South Philadelphia, living into the Revelation 7:9 vision of “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation” standing before the Lamb of God.

So what does Franconia Conference do? Together we are living into the vision and mission that we have set. We’re embracing God’s mission, continuing to be and become people where the fruit of God’s peace is manifested.

Shrinking an ocean: Learning from post-Christendom ministry

Gay Brunt Miller, Spring Mountstuart-copy.jpgThe Atlantic Ocean is getting smaller. No, I’m not referring to the impact of global warming but to Franconia Conference’s partnership with the Anabaptist Network in the United Kingdom. As this partnership grows deeper and wider, the Atlantic Ocean feels like it is shrinking.Ten Franconia Conference congregations are participating in the partnership which includes connecting with and supporting Franconia Conference’s intern, Krista Ehst (Perkasie), who is serving in East London until April of this year. But the goal of this partnership is more than supporting one intern—it is intended to develop relationships with Anabaptists in the U.K. that are meaningful, life giving and provide opportunities for mutual learning.Krista’s internship embeds her in a place that may represent the cultural future of the United States. Moving from a time when the church and state were inseparable (known as Christendom), it is increasingly common in the U.K. to find people who think that “Jesus Christ” is merely a curse word or who are surprised to find that churches are open on Sunday because churches are more commonly locations for other weekday activities. How do you “do ministry” in a context where you cannot take any biblical knowledge for granted? In many ways the Anabaptist Network in the U.K. is like a test laboratory, doing “missional experiments” from which we can benefit.Congregations included in this partnership cover a wide geographic swath of Franconia Conference, including Bally, Nueva Vida Norristown New Life, Perkasie, Plains, Ripple Effects, Spring Mount and Swamp in the conference “heartland” along with Bethany and Taftsville in Vermont and Lakeview in northern Pennsylvania.In addition to following Krista’s blog, folks from several of these congregations have experienced the opportunity to “hop across the Atlantic” through recent computer technology and converse in real time with Krista and other leaders of the Anabaptist Network to hear directly about their ministry in the Post-Christendom environment of the U.K.In March Dr. Stuart Murray Williams, chair of the Anabaptist Network and one of the foremost thinkers, practitioners and authors on the subjects of Post-Christendom and church planting, will visit Franconia Conference. He will be sharing his expertise at several forums for congregations who are directly involved in the partnership and in two public meetings open to all interested.Opportunities to Connect

  • March 19All are invited to attend the March Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast which will be led by Dr. Stuart Murray Wiliams.The breakfast, held at the Conference Center, begins at 8 am and ends at 10. If you’d like to register for this event please call Jessica Walter at 215-723-5513, xt. 114. Watch your bulletin announcements for more details.
  • March 29Dr. Murray Williams will preach at Spring Mount Mennonite Church. All are welcome to attend the 9:45 am service and to stay for an interactive adult Sunday School class.

Making Anabaptist Stone Soup

The story is told of hungry and weary travelers who were refused hospitality by townspeople who wanted to keep what little they had for themselves. The travelers eventually borrowed a large pot and began to make soup with what was available—stones and water. When it was done they promised to share it with the whole village!

footwashing-1.jpgAs the soup simmered, they “oohed” and “ahhed” over their creation. The curious townspeople looked on, and someone eventually offered to add a carrot or two, some potatoes, salt and pepper, and so on.

God is making stone soup and we’ve been invited to add our Anabaptist flavoring to the pot.

In January 2001 a then relatively unknown man named Brian McLaren challenged a gathering of Franconia Conference pastors and leaders to add our seasoning. In fact, according to my notes, he said that he thought Mennonites were 500 years ahead of time… that our Mennonite heritage has something important to offer the world in the dawning post modern era.

McLaren probably wasn’t the first person to say something like this, but recently I have heard the invitations growing in number and urgency.

In June Greg Boyd, pastor of the St. Paul, Minnesota, mega church, Woodland Hills, gave the key-note address at the gathering of Mennonite Church USA boards in Columbus, Ohio. Boyd is on a journey. In the 1990s he became increasingly uncomfortable with the direction of mainstream evangelicals. By 2004 he could no longer tolerate the pressure of the evangelicals to endorse political candidates based on narrowly defined issues. He preached a six part sermon on the cross and the sword and 700 people left his church. In case they didn’t quite “get it,” he preached further on this theme and another 300 left—a full 20% of his congregation!

The New York Times ran a front-page story about this which was picked up by a whole variety of papers, and eventually he was invited to participate with Mennonites in a conference at Hesston College in October 2007. Boyd came away from that encounter declaring, “It turns out I’m a Mennonite!”.

In his June 2008 presentation to the Mennonite Church USA boards, Boyd offered four specific words:

  1. Cherish the treasure that you have! The Anabaptist heritage is centered on the Kingdom of God, it is clear, Christ-looking and utterly unique. All over the globe people are opening up to the understanding that being a Christian is about imitating Christ. But here’s what they don’t have—postmodern people don’t like the modernist idea that history begins with them—they want a rooting in history. And just when the world is running toward an Anabaptist vision, many Anabaptists are running from it.
  2. Be utterly inflexible when it comes to the core principles of the Kingdom and become increasingly flexible to culture. In an attempt to modify our culture, don’t modify your understanding of the Kingdom. Hold fast to a theology of simplicity, non-violence, service, and self-sacrifice but be completely flexible on everything else.
  3. The time has come for the vision entrusted to the Anabaptists! We can offer a tribe, history, and a sense of belonging to those who are coming to our understanding of the Kingdom of God. “Get your house in order—the world is running to you … it’s not a pride thing, it’s a Kingdom thing!” Embrace the center; let go of the periphery.
  4. Whatever you do, attain Kingdom ends by Kingdom means! Do whatever we do not just “for the Kingdom” but “as the Kingdom.” Bring the Kingdom down into our midst through love and prayer. Keep God’s interests before your own interests.

And there are other voices around the globe echoing very similar things!

So how shall we respond? Will we continue to be the humble, quiet in the land? Or has God given us a treasure for the world whose time has come? And if the latter, how do we begin to open ourselves to offer a tribe and place to people who are discovering and embracing Anabaptist theology? How do we own it ourselves? How do we learn to be comfortable in our own skin rather than conforming to the culture around us?

steve.jpgPerhaps it’s more powerful to let others discover us and speak for us. Yet they wonder why we make it so hard for them to find us. They wonder if we really want them to find us, and they wonder why some of us are running away from our own theology just when they are finding it and looking to join a tribe of people who have tried to faithfully live it out for 500 plus years.

I have a large pot, some stones, and water. What’s in your garden? Together perhaps we can make something amazing and delicious … and we can invite others to join us for a feast!