Tag Archives: Notes to Pastors

Notes to Pastors

The Resurrection of the Dead

When Christians speak of the Resurrection, we rightly think first of the empty tomb and how God raised Jesus from the dead following the crucifixion. But that is not the Bible’s final word on the matter. Come discover the Bible’s rich promises about our ultimate destiny of resurrection life with Christ, and the incredibly good news that death is reversible, in a four week teaching series with Mennonite theologian Rob Arner. Scripture studies, followed by a time of prayer, will be held on Wednesdays in March (7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th) at Line Lexington Mennonite Church from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. There is no cost to attend.  

Next Pastors’ & Leaders’ Breakfast – Thursday, March 8, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Joanna Shenk (editor of Widening the Circle: Anabaptist Experiments in Discipleship) will talk about why emerging movements are attracted to the Anabaptist tradition, how established Mennonite churches can cultivate mutual relationships with non-traditional expressions of Anabaptism, what established churches and organizations have to give and gain through these relationships.  Click here to register for this breakfast.  Registration deadline:  Friday, March 2; $6 donation requested for breakfast.

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary Webinar: What’s Mennonite about the Missional Church?

The presenter is Lois Barrett.  Thursday, March 8, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. This webinar will compare missional theology with Anabaptist-Mennonite theology, and the sixteenth-century European context with twenty-first-century North American contexts. What in these contexts is drawing Christians from state-church traditions into a theology of the church as an alternative society? What is drawing Mennonites and other Christians to see Western culture as a mission field? How can Mennonites and other Christians learn from each other about what it means to be missional? Early registration deadline is March 4  Visit http://www.ambs.edu/programs-institutes/clc/webinars to register or contact AMBS at ChurchLeadership@ambs.edu;  574-296-6269. 

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary Webinar: A New Frontier: Doing Theology as Thriving Rural Communities

The presenter is David Boshart.  Wednesday, March 21, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Congregations that thrive see the tasks of church development and mission as a matter of applied theology. This webinar will explore how rural communities can become thriving centers for mission by reflecting on six major opportunities for developing a relevant witness that can bridge earth and heaven. Early registration deadline is March 17. Visit http://www.ambs.edu/programs-institutes/clc/webinars to register or contact AMBS at ChurchLeadership@ambs.edu;  574-296-6269. 

Sister Care Seminar – March 23 – 24:  This seminar will equip women to be helpful to someone who experiences a great loss or trauma and how we can encourage one another from day to day.  The event is sponsored by Eastern District and Franconia Mennonite Conferences and will be held at Souderton Mennonite Church (Friday from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).  Registration: $45.  (To register or for additional details, click here.)

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Required training for all Credentialed Leaders of Franconia Conference held at Towamencin Mennonite Church.  If you are unable to attend, please be in conversation with your LEADership Minister.
  • Saturday, May 19 – Fresh Expressions – Franconia Conference and Fresh Expressions US are holding a Fresh Expressions Vision Day from 9:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m. for Pastors and Congregational Leaders at Plains Mennonite Church.  Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach a changing world.  This will be an interactive time for congregations to learn about Fresh Expressions as well as dream and discover how to empower and equip God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity in their communities.  More information to come.
  • Thursday, June 14, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Pastors’ & Leaders’ Breakfast featuring conversation with Dale Nafziger, entrepreneurial missionary in Nepal, who will share his learnings about doing ministry through business. 

Video Recordings:  Reminder that we are developing a wonderful library of video recordings from recent Pastors’ & Leaders’ events.  It’s the next best thing to being there in person.  Check them out at:  http://mennoniteconferencex.org/media/video-gallery

Notes to Pastors

Next Pastors & Leaders’ Breakfast – Thursday, March 8, 8-10 a.m. features presentation by, and conversation with, Joanna Shenk, editor of Widening the Circle: Anabaptist Experiments in Discipleship.  She will share excerpts from her book and observations from her travels around the country. She’s interested to explore questions such as:  Why are these emerging movements attracted to the Anabaptist tradition? How do established Mennonite churches cultivate mutual relationships with non-traditional expressions of Anabaptism?  What do established churches and organizations have to give and gain through these relationships?  Shenk serves as Associate for Interchurch Relations and Communication of Mennonite Church USA.  Click here to register for this breakfast.  $6 donation requested.

 

Sister Care Seminar – March 23-24:  Please encourage women in your congregation to attend this important seminar which will equip women to be helpful to someone who experiences a great loss or trauma, how to walk with them, and how we can encourage one another from day to day.  The event is sponsored by Eastern District and Franconia Mennonite Conferences and will be held at Souderton Mennonite Church (Friday from 7-9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).  Presenters are Carolyn Holderread Heggen and Rhoda Keener.  Heggen has worked all over the world as a trauma therapist, including helping those who survived the tsunami in Indonesia and those who have been through the horrors of war. She has much experience and many stories to share. Keener has a great heart and vision for women as ministers to each other, and her experiences as a mental health counselor and co-director of Mennonite Women USA rounds out the program well.  Registration prior to February 20 is $40—a bargain for the quality of training this will provide—and also covers lunch and a workbook.  Scholarships are available if the fee is a hardship.  (For additional details, click here.)

 

Training for all Credentialed Leaders of Franconia Conference:  Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be a required resourcing event for all leaders credentialed by Franconia Conference.  For the past number of years, we have talked about three strategic priorities for Franconia Conference—being missional, formational, and intercultural.  This day will focus on increasing our understanding of what it means to be intercultural and our capacity to respond to differences in our congregations—whether that means bridging racial/ethnic boundaries or transcending any cultural differences that can be found in all congregations… generational, economic, gender, etc.  This day will equip you to better name and navigate the various dynamics.  There will also be important information shared about Formation Expectations and Requirements for Credentialed Leaders approved by the Conference Board Ministerial Committee.  Please add this important event to your calendar.

 

 

Notes to Pastors

Last Chance to register for the Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast:  Friday, February 10, 2012, 8-10 a.m. – “Worship and Mission After Christendom” with Alan and Eleanor Kreider.  Been meaning to register but haven’t yet?  Click here.  A $6 donation is requested to cover the cost of the breakfast.  Registration deadline: February 3.  To purchase their book by the same name, click here.  (Another book by the Kreider’s that may be of interest to you is Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom.)

Coming up … Thursday, March 8, the School for Leadership Formation breakfast (8-10 a.m.) features presentation by, and conversation with, Joanna Shenk, author of Widening the Circle: Anabaptist Experiments in Discipleship.  Shenk serves as Associate for Interchurch Relations and Communication of Mennonite Church USA.  Click here to register for this breakfast.  $6 donation requested.

We’re expecting you …  Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be a required resourcing event for all leaders credentialed by Franconia Conference.  For the past number of years, we have talked about three strategic priorities for Franconia Conference—being missional, formational, and intercultural.  This day will focus on increasing our understanding of what it means to be intercultural and our capacity to respond to differences in our congregations—whether that means bridging racial/ethnic boundaries or transcending any cultural differences that can be found in all congregations… generational, economic, gender, etc.  This day will equip you to better name and navigate the various dynamics.  There will also be important information shared about Formation Expectations and Requirements for Credentialed Leaders approved by the Conference Board Ministerial Committee.  Please add this important event to your calendar.  More information to come….

In the next week, you will receive an email from MC USA requesting you to check your congregational information located on www.mennodata.org.  We would appreciate if you could make sure the information listed for your congregation is accurate and up-to-date.

You will not be able to make changes to the pastor records, so let the Franconia Conference office know if your pastor information is incorrect.  We appreciate your helping us keep the congregational and pastor records current.

A reminder:  Franconia Conference Wednesday morning prayers beginning Feb. 1, and continuing through April 11, will meet at the conference center, 569 Yoder Road, Harleysville, 9 am-10 am to pray. Our prayers will be focused on praying for the region which includes the Franconia conference congregations, partners in mission, and conference related ministries. Everyone is invited.

Pastors and ministry leaders, you are invited to send any prayer requests and praises for your congregation/ministry directly to Sandy Landes, prayer ministry coordinator, slandes@franconiaconference.org

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Notes to Pastors

 

Important!
Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
A Spring Resourcing event which all credentialed leaders are expected to attend.
Location to be determined.
More details will follow shortly.

 

Franconia Conference Wednesday Morning Prayers: Beginning Wed., Feb. 1 and continuing through Wed., Apr. 11, a group will meet at the Conference Center, 569 Yoder Road, Harleysville, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. to pray. Our prayers will be focused on praying for the region which includes the Franconia conference congregations, partners in mission, and conference related ministries. Everyone is invited to join our hearts with the heart of God to seek first his kingdom.  Pastors and ministry leaders, you are invited to send any prayer requests and praises for your congregation/ministry directly to Sandy Landes, prayer ministry coordinator, slandes@franconiaconference.org
*    *    *    *    *
Next Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast:  Friday, February 10, 2012, 8-10 a.m. – “Worship and Mission After Christendom” with Alan and Eleanor Kreider.  Been meaning to register but haven’t yet? Click here.  A $6 donation is requested to cover the cost of the breakfast.  Registration deadline: February 3.  To purchase their book by the same name, click here.  (Another book by the Kreider’s that may be of interest to you is Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom.)
*    *    *    *    *
Plan ahead:  On Thursday, March 8, the School for Leadership Formation breakfast (8-10 a.m.) features presentation by, and conversation with, Joanna Shenk, Associate for Interchurch Relations and Communication of Mennonite Church USA.
For two years Shenk has been visiting discipleship communities resulting in the recent Herald Press book, Widening the Circle: Anabaptist Experiments in Discipleship.  This book tells the stories of 19 individuals and communities who have been shaped by and have offered much to the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. Some chapter authors are Mennonite, and others are not.  Together they help the Mennonite church, as well as other Christians, think about what it means to be in relationship with discipleship communities at the margins of church institutions. (If you would like to purchase or read more about this book, click here.)  Click here to register for this breakfast.

 

Notes to Pastors

Franconia Conference Wednesday Morning Prayers

Beginning Wednesday, February 1 and continuing through Wednesday, April 11, a group will meet at the Mennonite Conference Center, 9:00 -10:00 a.m. to pray. Our prayers will be focused on praying for the region which includes the Franconia Mennonite Conference congregations, Partners in Mission, and Conference Related Ministries. Everyone is invited to join our hearts with the heart of God to seek first his kingdom.  Pastors and ministry leaders, you are invited to send any prayer requests and praises for your congregation/ministry directly to Sandy Landes, prayer ministry coordinator, slandes@franconiaconference.org.


Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast

Friday, February 10, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. – “Worship and Mission After Christendom” with Alan and Eleanor Kreider, authors of the book by the same title.  Alan and Eleanor Kreider are American Mennonites who lived in England for thirty years and were at the heart of the emerging Anabaptist movement there. Their jointly authored book explores the relationship between worship and mission and how this relationship is crucial in post-Christendom. In worship the followers of Jesus are equipped to participate in the mission of God. This book explores the dynamics of the kind of worship that will equip and inspire us to be missional disciples.  (You can read an extract from this book by going to http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/node/523.)  Click here to register for this event.

MennoMedia Resources

MennoMedia sends the following message:  At MennoMedia, we desire to create resources that help people live and share their faith from an Anabaptist perspective. You may already be familiar with our print, video, radio, and web-based materials. We continue to be in conversation with people in our congregations to develop new resources, and are thankful for those who are willing to share their expertise in many areas in order to create additional resources.

 

One on-going resource that we print are weekly bulletins, which may be ordered with or without worship resources on the back cover. Those who order the bulletins with worship resources know that the resources follow the lectionary texts and are appropriate for corporate worship or other settings. If you are not familiar with this resource, you may find out more at http://www.faithandliferesources.org/Bulletins. Be sure to go to the Overview and Samples in the right-hand column to read recent worship resources that were included with the bulletins.

 

The worship resources are written by members of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. We need writers who are able to reflect theologically and who can help lead others into a worship experience. I’d appreciate if you take a few moments and think about who, from your conference or district, would be a good writer for our bulletin worship resource series.

 

Please send names and contact information of people who have the ability to write worship resources to Mary Ann Weber at MaryAnnW@MennoMedia.org.

 

 

Notes to Pastors

Notes to Pastors

 

Upcoming Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast:  Not far around the corner is the Friday, February 10, – “Worship and Mission After Christendom” with Alan and Eleanor Kreider, authors of the book by the same title.  Alan and Eleanor Kreider are American Mennonites who lived in England for thirty years and were at the heart of the emerging Anabaptist movement there. Their jointly authored book explores the relationship between worship and mission and how this relationship is crucial in post-Christendom. In worship the followers of Jesus are equipped to participate in the mission of God. This book explores the dynamics of the kind of worship that will equip and inspire us to be missional disciples.  (You can read an extract from this book by going to http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/node/523.)  Click here to register for this event.  This event will be held at the Mennonite Conference Center.  We hope you will be able to join us.

 

 

Notes to Pastors

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER for the January Pastors’ & Leaders’ Breakfast:

When:  Thursday, January 12, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

What:  Discussion about peace and justice learning and witness happening and being envisioned

Led by:  The joint Eastern District and Franconia Conference Peace & Justice Committee

Where: Mennonite Conference Center, 569 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA 19438

To register:  click here or call the Mennonite Conference Center (267-932-6050)

Registration deadline:  Friday, January 6  

Breakfast donation:  A $6.00 donation is suggested for the breakfast.

Upcoming P&L Breakfast:  Also, not far around the corner is the Friday, February 10 – “Worship and Mission After Christendom” with Alan and Eleanor Kreider, authors of the book by the same title.  Alan and Eleanor Kreider are American Mennonites who lived in England for thirty years and were at the heart of the emerging Anabaptist movement there. Their jointly authored book explores the relationship between worship and mission and how this relationship is crucial in post-Christendom. In worship the followers of Jesus are equipped to participate in the mission of God. This book explores the dynamics of the kind of worship that will equip and inspire us to be missional disciples.  (You can read an extract from this book by going to http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/node/523.)  Click here to register for this event.

Plains Mennonite Church has 20 copies of Stuart Murray’s book “Church After Christendom” that are available for another church if they would like to have them. If you are interested in these books, please email Plains Mennonite plainsmc@verizon.net .  First come, first served.

Pastors are invited to consider joining ministry colleague, Steve Kriss, as he teaches “Cultural Interpretation and Engagement” February 20 – 23 at Biblical Seminary, Hatfield.  This class is part of the Doctor of Ministry program at Biblical Seminary.  A special note: for pastors in Franconia Mennonite Conference, Biblical is offering a special audit fee of $399 to encourage you to be a part of this vital conversation. If you need further information, please contact Rev. Darryl Lang at 215-368-5000 x 147.

AMBS offers Two Spring Online Courses:

  • Turnaround Strategies for Churches, taught by Gerald Shenk, sessional instructor. This course examines dynamics of church renewal, with strategies for change that seek to be true to the Gospel and to the congregational context.
  • Biblical Foundations of Peace and Justice, taught by Mary Schertz, professor of New Testament. Study pertinent biblical passages and historic peace church understandings while reflecting on peace and justice praxis today.

Tuition discount: Tuition will be cut in half for first-time online students at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary who are not yet enrolled in any theological education program.  Register by January 10 to receive an early registration discount. For information:  www.ambs.edu/academics/courses/online

 

Notes to Pastors

Don’t forget your camera!
How is your congregation celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas this year?  Share your celebrations with the rest of the conference by sending descriptions, memorable quotes, and photographs to eralph@franconiaconference.org by January 2, 2012.

 

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center presents, “Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders” on March 19-23, 2012 at Grace Episcopal Church in Wilmington, DE.  All details regarding fees, times, etc. are included in a brochure available from the home page of their website: http://www.lmpeacecenter.org/.   This course is designed to equip judicatory leaders, pastors, and other leaders, with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  This institute also includes a component on congregational mediation and consultation, placed within the context of family systems theory.

 

Upcoming events from AMBS Church Leadership Center:
Lent Planner: Where Do I Sign?
Presenters: Marlene Kropf, Rosanna McFadden and Allan Rudy Froese
Saturday, January 14, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. EST
Register by December 30

 

Leadership Clinics:
Monday, January 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. EST
Register by January 5
  • Immigration and the Congregation (Iris de Leon-Hartshorn, Saulo Padilla and Andre Gingerich Stoner)
  • God’s Story, Worship and the Arts (Rebecca Slough)
  • Gathering for New Pastors (Nancy Kauffmann and Karen Martens Zimmerly)
  • Turning Disgust, Demoralization and Depression into Empowerment for Ministry (Gregory A. Hinkle)
Pastors Week 2012: Understanding Revelation for Today
Presenter: Loren L. Johns, with a special session by J. Nelson Kraybill
Monday, January 23, 7 p.m.-Thursday, January 26, 3:30 p.m. EST
Register by January 5

 

Healing the Spiritual Wounds of War
Presenter: Carolyn Holderread Heggen
Wednesday, February 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Register by February 15

 

Pastors and Business Leaders: Partners in Leadership and Ministry?
Presenter: David B. Miller
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Offered in Mt. Eaton, Ohio by AMBS, MEDA and Mennonite Church USA.
Registration opens January 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Pastors

January Pastors’ & Leaders’ Breakfast:  Join in the discussion January 12, 2012, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m., on peace and justice learnings and witness that is happening and being envisioned in our congregations.  The Pastors’ and Leaders’ Breakfast will be held at the Mennonite Conference Center.  Several pastors will report on current study and action in their congregations as well as dream of possible new initiatives.  There will be opportunity for all to share thoughts and ideas.  In this anxious age let us seize the opportunity to give witness to the Gospel of Peace in our congregations and communities.  Please click here to register, or call the Mennonite Conference Center (267-932-6050) by January 6, 2012.  A $6.00 donation is suggested for the breakfast.


Sister Care is coming to southeastern Pennsylvania!  This seminar, sponsored by Mennonite Women USA, will be held at Souderton Mennonite Church on Friday, March 23 (7:00-9:00 p.m.) and Saturday, March 24 (9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).  We believe this will be an excellent resource for women in your congregations and hope that you will help us promote it.  You will be receiving a letter by email shortly with more information.  Cost is $40 and scholarships are available.  Lodging arrangements will be offered for those traveling from a distance.  Translation will be available in Creole, Indonesian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

 

New resources posted on the Franconia Conference website for pastors:

1.  Be sure to visit the School for Leadership Formation page of the Franconia Conference website for a complete listing of upcoming Pastors’ & Leaders’ events as well as a listing of previous presentations and links to the their respective video or podcasts (http://mennoniteconferencex.org/mission/school-for-leadership-formation).

2.  Kairos School for Spiritual Formation is offering the following free Saturdays for Pastors:

  • “Noticing God’s Nudges” with Nancy Bieber – Saturday, January 7 only (Register by December 23, 2011)
  • “How Do I Know It’s You Speaking, God?” with Barry Young – Saturday, February 4 only (Register by January 20, 2012)
  • Guided Silent Retreat – Saturday, March 3 only (Register by February 17, 2012)
  • “In the Image of God: Beauty & Creativity with Richard Weaver
    Saturday, March 31 only (Register by March 16, 2012)
  • “A Contemplative Heart Engages the World with Susan Classen – Saturday, May 5 only (Register by April 20, 2012)

For more information, please visit the Equipping Opportunities and Resources page under School for Leadership Formation or the Kairos website at http://on-the-journey.org.

3.  The video cast of the Pastors/Chaplains and Spouses breakfast is now on line and can be viewed from the Franconia Conference website under Media and Video gallery.  Hopes were to have it posted last Thursday, but we encountered some unexpected delays—but it is there now!

Notes to Pastors – 12/8/11

Pastor/Chaplain and Spouse Apprecation Breakfast Program:  Approximately eighty pastors, chaplains, and spouses from Franconia, Eastern District, and Kingdom Builders joined us for the Appreciation Breakfast held this past Tuesday, December 6.  It was a lovely time, hosted so wonderfully by folks from West Swamp Mennonite Church.  The program was video taped and is expected to be available on the Franconia Conference website later today, December 8 (www.franconiaconference.org).  Go to the “Media” tab and choose “Video Gallery” to enjoy the wonderful music from Duane Hershberger and encouraging message from Mark and Kathy Weaver Wenger.  We believe it will be inspiring and encouraging to you, even if you were not able to join us in person.

Worship Leaders Cohort:  We all need community—especially people who are in high-visibility congregational ministries.  Worship and music leaders are no different.  On Friday, January 27, at 7pm at the Mennonite Conference Center in Harleysville (upstairs meeting room), worship and music leaders from Franconia and Eastern District Conferences will gather to share inspiration and challenges, jam together (bring an instrument and song to share!), and discuss a future monthly gathering.  Worship leaders are also invited to join the worship mailing list by sending their email address to eralph@franconiaconference.org.  Please encourage your worship leaders to participate!  Questions or RSVP to eralph@franconiaconference.org.

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center presents, “Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders” on March 19-23, 2012 at Grace Episcopal Church in Wilmington, DE.  All details regarding fees, times, etc. are included in a brochure available from the home page of their website: http://www.lmpeacecenter.org/.   This course is designed to equip judicatory leaders, pastors, and other leaders, with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  This institute also includes a component on congregational mediation and consultation, placed within the context of family systems theory.

Upcoming Pastors’ & Leaders’ Breakfasts:

  • Friday, February 10, 2012 – “Worship and Mission After Christendom” with Alan and Eleanor Kreider, authors of the book by the same title.  Alan and Eleanor served at the London Mennonite Centre in London, England for many years as well as faculty at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.