Tag Archives: Noah Kolb

May Your Kingdom Come: A Benediction

Noah Kolbby Noah Kolb, retired pastor of ministerial leadership, Plains congregation

It was the summer of 1968. I preached one of my first sermons at Doylestown congregation. In it I called publicans “Republicans,” not once, but twice. Vernon Bishop nearly rolled off his bench.

It wasn’t my last blunder or mistake over the next 45 years of ministry. I am thankful for the grace and trust extended to me in spite of my imperfections. I learned quickly I was not a perfect leader and those I was called to lead were not perfect either. The tension between being right, standing for truth, and being gracious and merciful shaped much of my journey as a pastor and leader. I was raised by a somewhat conservative and legalistic community. Many years and experiences were required for me to understand grace and mercy, God’s incredible love.

As an adolescent I remember the conflict and division of the Franconia congregation in the 50’s. Several congregations had just left the Conference when I was ordained in 1970. Ordained leaders in an Assembly voted out the conference discipline, the guide for living faithfully. Pastors and congregational leaders were left to discern their way through issues that were once decided at Conference. I believed with careful study of the Scriptures, listening to the Spirit and congregational discernment most any issue could be resolved. Truth could be known and we would agree on what is the will of God.  Conflict and disagreement could be overcome by truth. But experience in the church and community did not support that conclusion. It was distressing and forced me to further search.

I never lost my trust in the Scriptures as the primary source of God’s will and truth. God did not leave us without light and direction. But we often disagree and disown each other, leaving us wounded and judged. Over time I discovered and experienced God’s grace and mercy freeing me from perfectionism and the need to be always right.  I/we are all broken creatures living in a broken creation. Only by the grace and mercy that has come to us in Jesus can we begin to realize truth, restoration, and shalom. Our passion to know truth often works against the restorative and reconciling grace and mercy of Christ through the work of the Spirit.

I have a high view of marriage as blessed by God and intended for a life time. I know from experience that living together is hard work. We are each broken creatures. Confession, forgiveness, grace, and mercy make it possible to live together. Many marriages don’t make it for a life time. I still believe God intends us to live together in peace for a life time. I have walked with many who have not been able to stay together. That does not change the truth of God for marriage. I have also learned how to extend grace and mercy so broken persons can find hope and reconciliation and continue in God’s grace as broken persons, finding healing and hope.

By the grace and mercy of God we are invited into the fellowship of Christ. Because we share His Spirit we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are God’s Beloved. We are not one because we behave alike or all believe alike or all relate to God in the same way. We are one together only because we share the same spirit. That Spirit is a gift through the grace of God whose mercy is unending. It is out of this awareness and experience that we worship God. It is the new life we enjoy that drives us to share this Good News with others. It is this core understanding that enables us to talk honestly and safely with each other about our journey and life together. It is by the mercy of God and the grace of Christ that we can live in peace and bear witness to the transforming gift of the Spirit in and among us.

Our hope and future lies in our capacity to live in grace and mercy with God and each other. I pray with our Lord, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We live in the time in which the kingdom has not fully come.

May Your Kingdom come, Jesus, in grace and mercy to all.

Reflections on the Journey: celebrating the career of Noah Kolb

Noah Kolb's Open House
Noah and his wife Sara talk with their guests at the December 11 open house honoring Noah’s years of ministry. Photo by Emily Ralph

by Krista Showalter Ehst, Bally congregation

For Noah Kolb, the journey has moved in unexpected places, bringing challenges and blessings alike. Reflecting on a 45 year ministerial career—the most recent 14 of which he spent in Franconia Conference leadership—Noah says, “I could not have dreamed this path and in many ways it has felt like God has nudged and moved me along step by step.” As Noah anticipates his retirement years, he continues to experience those divine nudgings, offering words of wisdom from his ministerial work.

Noah was born and raised in a farming family in Spring City, Pa. He felt the call to ministry at a fairly young age, and this call was drawn out and affirmed by many people along the road. Noah names teachers, in-laws, mentors, and seminary professors at Goshen Biblical as central to discerning and following his call. Perhaps most significantly of all, Noah’s wife Sara has brought wisdom and counsel—as well as her own gifts of hospitality and relationship-building—that have helped Noah live into his calling. As he says, “I would not have wanted to do the journey without her.”

Noah and Sara Kolb
Noah and Sara were honored at the Credentialed Leaders Appreciation Dinner on December 2 with a fraktur by Roma Ruth. Photo by Emily Ralph.

That journey took Noah and his family to many different ministerial settings.  He spent 24 years in pastoral ministry: beginning part time at Pottstown (Pa.) Mennonite, moving to Swamp congregation (Quakertown, Pa.) for 11 years, and then serving the Bellwood Congregation in Nebraska for 5 years.  The leadership skills he exhibited during those years resulted in his call into conference ministry. After serving as the only Iowa-Nebraska conference minister for a number of years, he returned to the east coast. Jim Lapp, his brother-in-law and a former conference colleague, remembers that transition. “Noah’s strength as a leader arises from his lack of pretense and aspiration for recognition and a genuine humility and gentle spirit,” Jim shares.  “It was his strong churchmanship and character that led us to call him in 2000 to serve as part of the Conference Ministry Team [of Franconia Conference].”

Conference ministry brought its own set of challenges and learnings. For Noah, one significant area of growth was in conflict management. Noah grew up with very little understanding of conflict and became quite anxious when faced with it. As a pastor and conference minister, however, he was quick to realize that “wherever you have two or three gathered, there will be conflict.” Noah worked hard to wrestle with his aversion to conflict and to develop a non-anxious presence. He tried to create safe spaces where people could gather to talk and to share openly about their differences. As is so often the case, Noah remembers his times of helping congregations to move through conflict as some of the most difficult and rewarding moments of his career.

Noah and Bobby
Noah discusses life and ministry with Bobby Wibowo (Philadelphia Praise Center) at the 2013 Conference Assembly. Photo by Bam Tribuwono.

As he’s worked alongside congregations, Noah has realized the importance of building relationships. He believes leaders cannot be effective without building trust with their congregations. Undoubtedly shaped by the many mentors in his own life, Noah has worked to build this trust by prioritizing one-on-one relationships with pastors, taking the time to listen to their stories and to know them more deeply. One leader who has benefited from this relational approach is , currently leading Peace Proclamation Ministries International in India and a member of Plains congregation, where Noah and Sara also attend. “Noah has energized me with his natural ability as a servant leader,” says.  “I have seen and experienced in him the qualities of gentleness and love.”

As he moves into retirement, Noah continues to model gentleness, strength, relationality, and the willingness to listen in the midst of difference. “We live with a lot of judgment towards each other and we don’t know how to receive and accept each other graciously as brothers and sisters in Christ even with our diversity,” Noah reflects.  “One of my deep convictions is that we need to work at a greater understanding of God’s grace and mercy—that God has received and uses us amazingly in our brokenness and that we can extend that grace to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. My deep yearning is that we can somehow learn to do that much better—not a sense that anything goes, but an extending of mercy and grace and compassion to each other in the midst of our brokenness.”

Noah and Nancy
MC USA Conference Minister Nancy Kauffmann joins Franconia Executive Minister Ertell Whigham and Eastern District Conference Minister Warren Tyson to pray for Noah at Conference Assembly 2013. Photo by Bam Tribuwono.

While Noah has faced challenges in the last few years of ministry as he struggled with failing vision, his care and giftedness as a pastor to leaders has continued to shine through. “While it is indeed true that he is having a struggle with his physical eyesight, the spiritual eyesight of my brother continues to grow,” said Ertell Whigham, Franconia’s Executive Minister, at the 2013 Conference Assembly in November.  “[Noah is] able to see the needs and the care and the encouragement and the guidance and the wisdom that our brothers and sisters who serve in ministry need.  And so, while indeed there may be some struggles with [his] physical eyesight, I thank God for [his] spiritual eyesight….  I have truly been transformed through our intercultural interaction.”

Ministerial Update (November 2013)

Joy Sawatzky
Joy Sawatzky, pictured here receiving prayers of blessing at Conference Assembly 2012, was approved for ordination at the November 3rd ministerial meeting.  Photo by Andrew Huth.

from Noah Kolb, outgoing Pastor of Ministerial Leadership

The ministerial committee met on November 3rd.  Chris Nickels was welcomed as a new member.  Marlene Derstine was thanked for her completed time of service.

  • Sandy Landes was approved for a license toward ordination at Doylestown congregation as Pastor of Prayer and Pastoral Care.
  • Joy Sawatzky was approved for ordination as Pastor/Chaplain at the Souderton Mennonite Homes.  Joy is a member of Plains.
  • John Bender’s ministerial credentials were received from Allegheny Conference for ministerial leadership at Ripple and Franconia congregations.
  • The ministerial credentials of Emily Ralph and Robert Nolt were approved to be transferred to Lancaster Conference.
  • The license toward ordination for Julie Prey, Joe Hackman, and Scott Franciscus were renewed for another two years.
  • Duane Hershberger’s ministerial status was changed from active to retired.
  • Donna Wilkins’ license for specific ministry was terminated with the end of her responsibilities at Blooming Glen.
  • Mike Ford, formerly youth pastor of Franconia congregation, has transferred to Blooming Glen, working in youth ministries.
  • Walt Morton is serving as an interim pastor at Lakeview.

Franconia Conference gathers to celebrate, pray, confer, listen

Garden Chapel Children's Choir
Garden Chapel’s children’s choir led a rousing rendition of “Our God” at Conference Assembly 2013. Photo by Bam Tribuwono.

Franconia Conference delegates and leaders gathered November 2 at Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa. to celebrate God still at work.   With a packed auditorium for a third united assembly with Eastern District Conference, representatives gathered to listen and pray, to celebrate newly credentialed and ordained pastoral leaders, and to work alongside one another after an over 150-year rift created two separate Mennonite entities.  The theme “God still @ work” was an extension of the 2012 theme, “God @ work.”

With singing in Indonesian, Spanish, and English led by Samantha Lioi (Peace and Justice Minister for both conferences) and Bobby Wibowo (Philadelphia Praise Center) and translation into Franconia Conference’s worshipping languages, delegates and representatives from nearly all of the Conference’s congregations from Georgia to Vermont gathered to confer around a board-crafted statement on the Conference’s increasing diversity in ethnicity, experiences, faith practice, and expression.   The gathering was punctuated with points of celebration including testimony from Peaceful Living led by Joe Landis and Louis Cowell from Salford congregation, a youth choir from the revitalizing Garden Chapel in Victory Gardens, NJ, and a moment to mark the upcoming November retirement of Franconia Conference Pastor of Ministerial Leadership Noah Kolb after 45 years of ministry, which was met with rousing applause and a standing ovation.

Noah blessing 2013
Noah Kolb was recognized and blessed for 45 years of ministry. He will retire in November. Photo by Bam Tribuwono.

In a shortened one-day event, delegates spent the morning together around tables with Eastern District Conference to continue to deepen relationships across conference lines.  Business sessions were separate, and Franconia’s included a significant amount of time in conversations among table groups, conferring over the board statement and then reporting on those conversations to the whole body.  Delegates and representatives were encouraged to mix across congregational lines to better hear and experience the diversity of conference relationships.

For many, including Tami Good, Souderton (Pa.) congregation’s Pastor of Music & Worship, who was attending Conference Assembly for the first time, the table conversations were holy spaces.  Each person at her table was from a different congregation.   “I saw God at work in the gracious listening, especially in the time when we talked about the conferring statement,” Good reflected. “There were disagreements, but everyone was graciously listening and hearing.  Everyone actually wanted to hear each other.  It was a beautiful time.”

The conferring time, along with an afternoon workshop led by the Franconia Conference board, focused on prayer and visioning for the Conference into the future.   Conference board members Jim Longacre (Bally congregation), Rina Rampogu (Plains congregation), Jim Laverty (Souderton congregation), and Klaudia Smucker (Bally congregation) served as a listening committee for the daylong event.  They reported seven themes of consistent and continued conversation: engagement, diversity, shared convictions, authority, polity, the role of conference, and the reality of changing relationships and engagement.  Board members noted that there is much response work to do to continue the conversation and discernment process.

Bruce Eglinton-Woods, pastor of Salem congregation (Quakertown, Pa.), said, “The challenge is speaking clearly on what we believe and where we are at, which is often a challenge for Mennonite leaders. My hope and prayer is that we can trust God and release the idea of keeping it all together. We need to let God do the holding together.”

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

According to Rampogu, one of the longest standing Conference board members, “the hardest part about this kind of meeting is that there isn’t enough time. We want to share and to talk together,” she said.  “That is a positive sign.  People want to connect.  My hope and prayer is that we keep our goal in mind, keeping our mission focused on equipping leaders to empower others to embrace God’s mission, with Christ in the center and churches focused on missional activity.”

In business sessions, delegates selected a number of positions by 97% affirmation including a 2nd term for conference moderator John Goshow (Blooming Glen congregation) along with board member Beny Krisbianto (Nations Worship Center), as well as ministerial and credentialing committee members Rose Bender (Whitehall congregation), Ken Burkholder (Deep Run East congregation), Mike Clemmer (Towamencin congregation) and Chris Nickels (Spring Mount congregation).   Randy Nyce (Salford congregation) who is completing a term as finance committee chair and board member reported on Conference finances, noting an 11% decrease in financial contributions from congregations.

“I was surprised and pleased that the attendance at Assembly 2013 was so strong; seeing the room filled to capacity was an affirmation of how much the delegates and guests in attendance care for our conference,” Goshow noted.  “Franconia Conference is all of us who are members of our 42 churches and our Conference Related Ministries.  It is my hope and prayer that together we chart a course that will advance God’s Kingdom in exciting and wonderful ways.”

Listen to the podcast.

Conference Assembly 2013 Highlight Video from Franconia Conference on Vimeo.

Entering into grace: The Cross

Noah Kolbby Noah Kolb, Plains

At a gathering of church leaders at camp Men-O-Lan in the early 70’s, I heard Gerald Studer (then pastor of Plains Mennonite) say something like: “If I were the only person living on earth, God so loved the world that he would have sent Jesus to die for me.”

As a teenager I was never sure I was good enough to take communion. I knew I did not live up to the expectations of the church community, nor of the Scriptures so I always took communion  with much anxiety and guilt. I lacked an understanding of the grace of God and of my own self-worth. All my being and doing good didn’t achieve the peace and confidence I was taught or hoped for.

After years of college and seminary training I came to discover in a much fuller way the meaning of Christ’s death. Intellectually, I understood God’s grace and mercy. I could preach with passion and conviction that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believed in him would not perish, but have eternal life.” I owned it, but did not enter into it fully in my inner being.

Holy week was a rich time for me. I enjoyed leading my congregation through what were often high times in our life together. Yet deep within me was this haunting uneasiness about how this incredible love of God reached my needs. Why would God love me to this degree? With all of my goodness on the surface which people could see, I was still a rebel inside, driven with selfishness and insecurities.

At one point in my early years of ministry I was wrestling with the question of how God could offer total forgiveness and hold nothing against me. How could I be fully his beloved son? I had no sudden epiphany, but the grace of God slowly overwhelmed me over several weeks and months. It had something to do with my self-worth and my being able to forgive and receive forgiveness. My view of God began to change from that of a judge who stood over me to a God who had high expectation but was gracious and understanding and forgiving. I began to hear the loving and welcoming voice of a God who was with me at all times. I was more gracious with myself. I found myself extending grace to others. If God could love and forgive the rascal and phony I was at times, I could do the same.

After 40 years of ministry, I enter another Holy Week eagerly anticipating the week’s events, Thursday evening at the last super and Friday evening at the cross. Yes, I am drawn into deep awareness of my own brokenness and the grace of God extended to me. Even more, though, I am now aware that Christ died for the whole world. Because of the grace of the Lord Jesus toward me, I am freed by His Spirit to extend grace and forgiveness to others; God’s mercy extended to me through the death of Jesus now flows on as I extend that mercy to others.

I am keenly aware of my brothers and sisters around me. I am aware of strained relationships and unresponsiveness to need. I know that I enter more fully into the grace of God as I am more fully in a gracious relationship with other believers.

When I stand by the cross this Holy Week, I will stand in and by the grace of God.  For I know that going deeper into the grace and love of God is related to extending more grace and mercy to others. As I weep because of my times of betrayal, may I also weep for the brokenness of others. As I enter into God’s mercy and forgiveness, may I also release others by grace to experience mercy and grace in God’s Kingdom of Love.

Conference announces realignment of staffing

by Emily Ralph, eralph@franconiaconference.org

Ertell Whigham
Ertell Whigham

Due to continued reductions in congregational giving, Franconia Conference has made a number of staffing adjustments, most effective February 1, according to Executive Minister Ertell Whigham.  These adjustments are in response to a call by the conference board in May of 2012 to reduce staff FTE (full-time equivalency), stewarding both financial and human resources while better aligning personnel with conference priorities. Over the course of 2013, Conference staff will be reduced from 8.5 to approximately 7.5, a total reduction of about 12%.

“We were blessed to enter this year debt-free, but paying off the mortgage on the Souderton Shopping Center did not change the economic realities we’re facing, including a pattern of decreased giving from conference churches,” Whigham said.  “While it will be challenging to provide ministry support with a more limited staff, we will continue to make every effort to meet the needs of our congregations and leaders.”

Both Noah Kolb, director of ministerial leadership, and Conrad Martin, director of finance, will reduce their percentage of time employed through the Conference. Martin will reduce to three-quarters time and Kolb, who began transitioning from a full-time role last year to move toward semi-retirement, will reduce further to half-time.  Some of Kolb’s responsibilities will shift to other LEADership ministers including Jenifer Eriksen Morales, who will increase her load to fulltime.

Franconia will partner with Eastern District Conference to increase Carla Ferrier, administrative assistant, from three days a week to fulltime.  In addition to the new administrative work for Eastern District, Ferrier will also take over some basic bookkeeping and move into an office manager role.

Sandy Landes
Sandy Landes

Sandy Landes, conference prayer coordinator, will step down on February 28 from her conference position to focus on ministry in the Doylestown congregation, where she has been on staff for eight years.  “Sandy has brought a contagious and enthusiastic spirit and perspective to prayer ministry that has helped raise prayer awareness and especially intercessory prayer ministry to another level of importance in Franconia Conference,” reflected Franconia’s minister for spiritual transformation Noel Santiago, who has worked closely with Landes since she came on staff in 2007.  “Sandy has been invaluable in keeping prayer at the center of Conference work and life. While she will be greatly missed on staff, we are grateful that she will continue in ministry through her local congregation.”

The prayer coordinator position, which was entirely grant-supported, will be discontinued and Santiago will oversee future conference prayer ministry.

Samantha Lioi, who was contracted last year by Franconia and Eastern District conferences as Minister of Peace and Justice, has extended her contract for another two years.  Her position is supported by grants—congregations or individuals interested in supporting her work can contact conference Executive Minister Ertell Whigham.

Ray Yoder
Ray Yoder

In addition to its paid staff, Franconia Conference also benefits from the wisdom and guidance of volunteer LEADership Ministers.  Randy Heacock, lead pastor of Doylestown congregation, has joined the conference’s volunteer staff and is now serving as the LEADership Minister for Wellspring Church of Skippack.  Ray Yoder, who has served as one of Franconia’s volunteer LEADership Ministers for several years, will be retiring this spring.

“We’ve appreciated Ray and his work with congregations,” said Whigham, “but more importantly, he’s had a pastoral presence on our team and a level of wisdom and maturity that we all have benefitted from during his time on staff.”

Whigham also anticipates possible additional shifts in job responsibilities in the coming months to further align staff strengths and resources with conference priorities.

“As a board, we recognize the importance, reach, and depth of the work of Conference staff as we strive together to fulfill God’s vision of proclaiming Christ,” said Marta Castillo, assistant moderator, Nueva Vida Norristown New Life congregation.  “We thank our staff for their passion, flexibility, and commitment to lead in equipping leaders and congregations to be missional, formational, and intercultural Anabaptist communities of faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Fall Ministerial Update

Noah Kolb, for the Ministerial Committee

Ubaldo Rodriguez, left, is the newest member of the Ministerial Committee.

The Ministerial Committee met on September 5 and November 7. At our September meeting, we welcomed Ubaldo Rodriguez as a new member of the committee. We took action to approve Kristopher Wint, associate pastor of Finland congregation, for a two-year ministerial license toward ordination and accepted the ordination credentials of John Stoltzfus, conference youth minister and campus pastor at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, from Illinois Conference.

At our November meeting, we approved Franco Salvatori, pastor of Rocky Ridge congregation, for a license toward ordination. The committee took action to change the ordination status of Dennis Detweiler and Bill Brunk from “active’ to “retired.” The policy to assist credentialed leaders with counseling expenses was reviewed and updated.  We invited LEADership Ministers and the Credentials Committee to join us in reviewing the policies that guide who we credential.

Mennoniting my way (To Mennonite Blog #4)

Noah Kolbby Noah Kolb, Plains

I was born into a Mennonite family with lineages that go back many generations as Mennonites in Europe. I was raised in a Mennonite family and went to a Mennonite church all my life. I was taught in Mennonite schools by Mennonite teachers. I have been an ordained leader in the Mennonite Church for more than forty years. I am glad to be a Mennonite most of the time.

But I am more than Mennonite. ‘Mennoniting my way’ has been about discovering Jesus and the call to follow him each day with other followers of Jesus. Much of what shaped me also brought me to Jesus.

I have not held onto everything I received from my Mennonite heritage and culture, however. And some things I deeply appreciate are not of significant importance for following after Jesus. I recognize that every expression of faith takes on some cultural expression. Mennoniting is partly about discerning what is of Jesus and what is of culture.

In the last few years I have reflected on my identity at many levels. I love my family of origin—it reflects a rich variety of colors and faith expressions. I am very comfortable and at home as a Mennonite, but sometimes its fragrance  is so varied that I wonder if it comes from the same tree. Being Christians is even less cohesive and clear for me. The leaves and fruits of its trees are so confusing that at times I feel sad and ashamed to be associated with it.

Much of my journey has been shaped by right beliefs and prescribed practices. These have helped to bring me to Christ. In recent years following Jesus is not so much about having the right beliefs as about observing the way of Jesus, listening to his Spirit, and living in obedience. Living in a heritage so broken and splintered by differences of both belief and practice, I am compelled to seek unity and peace in the bond that is in Christ, who is our peace.

My deep longing is to be at peace and at home with God. This has been found in following Jesus who calls me to unity and peace in his body, the church, to love even my enemies and to care for the good earth where God has placed me.

‘Mennoniting my way’ has helped me find the way to Jesus, to unity in the Spirit, and peace in the fellowship of all who follow Jesus. It is bringing others with me to Jesus who enables us to be at peace with God, to live in peace with each other, and to peacefully love the earth on which we live together.

Next week, Ubaldo Rodriguez, pastor of New Hope Fellowship/Nueva Esperanza (Baltimore, Md.), will reflect on Mennoniting on the river and the pond.  How do you “Mennonite”?  Join the conversation on Facebook & Twitter (#fmclife) or by email.

Who am I?  (To Mennonite Blog #1)
Serving Christ with our heads and hands (To Mennonite Blog #2)
Quiet rebellion against the status quo (To Mennonite Blog #3)
Mennoniting my way (To Mennonite Blog #4)
Generations Mennoniting together (To Mennonite Blog #5)
Body, mind, heart … and feet (To Mennonite Blog #6)
We have much more to offer (To Mennonite Blog #7)
Mennonite community … and community that Mennonites (To Mennonite Blog #8)

Ministerial Update (June 2012)

An update from Noah Kolb, Pastor of Ministerial Leadership, on behalf of the Ministerial Committee

Rose Bender Ordination
Rose Bender was ordained at Whitehall on May 27.  Photo Gallery
  • Derek Cooper, assistant professor of Biblical studies and historical theology at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield (Pa.) was approved for a two-year license toward ordination. He and his family are members at Deep Run East (Perkasie, Pa.). The seminary, through his congregation, requested a ministerial license for his work in preparing pastors.
  • Joy Sawatzky was approved for a two-year license toward ordination for her ministry as chaplain with Living Branches. She presently has a license for specific ministry. She is a member of the Plains (Hatfield, Pa) congregation.
  • Don McDonough resigned from his associate pastoral role at Spring Mount (Pa.) to give leadership to a missional experiment called Arise in the Harleysville, Pa. area. He is accountable to Chris Nickels and the Spring Mount congregation.
  • Randy Good resigned as pastor at Taftsville (Vt.). He will complete his ministry there at the end of August.
  • Blaine & Connie Detwiler completed their pastoral leadership at Lakeview, (Susquehanna, Pa.) at the end of May. They have accepted pastoral leadership at the Marion Congregation in Franklin Conference.
  • Scott Landes has resigned as pastor at Frederick (Pa.) and completed his ministry there on June 15.
  • Rose Bender was ordained  on May 27 at Whitehall (Pa.). Steve Kriss and Noah Kolb officiated. A large crowd of church community and relatives were present.
  • Ubaldo Rodriguez was appointed to fill an opening on the ministerial committee. Ubaldo is the church planter at  New Hope Fellowship/Nueva Esperanza (Baltimore, Md.), a church plant of New Hope Fellowship Iglesia Nueva 
  • Dennis Edwards, pastor of Peace Fellowship (Washington DC) has resigned as pastor. He has accepted a pastoral position in Minneapolis, MN. Dennis has been credentialed with Franconia serving a Partner in Mission congregation.

Update from the Ministerial Committee (April 2012)

Update from Noah Kolb, Pastor of Ministerial Leadership, on behalf of the Ministerial Committee

Connie's ordination
Connie Detwiler was ordained at Lakeview Mennonite Church on May 6.

On April 4 the Ministerial Committee approved Connie Detwiler for ordination as co-pastor at Lakeview Mennonite Church. Her ordination was on May 6.

Rose Bender was approved for ordination on April 4 as the pastor of Whitehall Mennonite Church. Her ordination is being planned for May 27.

Franco Salvatori has been called by the Rocky Ridge Mennonite Church as their permanent pastor. He was installed on March 25.

Joyce Hunsberger was granted a license for Christian education and children’s ministries at Salford on April 29.

New Life Fellowship in Northern PA has closed. Phil Maenza who pastored the congregation for more than ten years works in the community. Since he is no longer the pastor of the congregation, his specific ministerial license will cease.