Tag Archives: Scott Franciscus

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.

Introducing Covenant Community Fellowship

Covenant Community FellowshipCovenant Community Fellowship was planted by the Franconia Mennonite Church in 1986.  Covenant is located on Sumneytown Pike just outside of Lansdale with an average attendance of 120.  Our lead pastor is Jay L. Moyer and our associate pastor is Scott Franciscus whose primary focus is on youth & young adult ministry.   We are an elder-led congregation, with our vision statement as follows:  “We envision the transformation of persons, families and neighborhoods by the power of the Holy Spirit through authentic caring community that serves the needs of others around us as we model the life of Jesus Christ.”

As a community of believers, Covenant continues to seek how to live faithfully to the teachings contained in the Bible, believing in the authority of Scripture as the inspired Word of God. One component of our Sunday morning worship is music, which is team-led, creating an atmosphere of healing, participation and celebration.

In keeping with our mission to reach the community by serving others and modeling the life of Jesus, we have shared with the Lansdale community a number of free spaghetti dinners to provide a non-threatening environment for the establishing of initial relationships that can be built upon in the future.  We are a congregation striving to live the command of Jesus: to love God first with all our being, and to secondly love one another as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).

Introducing Covenant Community (pdf)

God’s “acolyte” in youth ministry

by Scott Franciscus, Covenant Community

From an early age, church has played an important part in my life. Growing up in the Episcopal Church, which followed a consistent liturgy, and very rarely missing the early morning worship each Sunday, I sought to become as involved with the church service as possible. As soon as I was able after being confirmed, I became an acolyte (which means “helper” or “attendant” in Greek), also known as “altar-boy”. The role of the acolyte is to assist in the worship service by carrying a processional cross, lighting candles, helping to set up and clean up the altar for communion, holding the Gospel Book that the priest read from, swinging incense, and holding the collection plates after the offering was taken.

Throughout my years in middle school and high school, I continued to take on more responsibilities as an acolyte including reading the Old or New Testament liturgy or administering the shared communion cup during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Even though my family was proud of my involvement in the church and occasionally someone from the church would comment on my “future” in the church, I did not ever see myself “called” to formal ministry. While I stayed connected to the church during my high school and college years, it was done more out of obligation than desire.

When I started attending Messiah College—in part because it was close to home— ministry was not in my plans. I entered Messiah College as a declared accounting major. Since I enjoyed accounting and did well in my accounting classes in high school, it seemed like the perfect fit for me, especially since it seemed like the perfect profession so I could get the most out of life and accomplish my dreams. Little did I know at the time that it wasn’t about my dreams and what I wanted out of life.

While at Messiah, I became involved with a group called “I’m Worth Waiting For” which offered abstinence-presentations to health classes and church youth groups. During this time, God began instilling a passion in my heart to work with young people. At the time, the church I grew up in didn’t have a ministry to youth outside of Sunday School where I could go to talk with someone about faith or struggles, or even just to hang out.

The more opportunities I had connecting with youth, the more God called me to change who I was living my life for. Although I enjoyed working with youth and taking the Bible classes at Messiah, the last place I saw myself was in ministry. I made the decision that, regardless of how I felt God leading me, regardless of his gentle persistence, going into ministry was not an option.

It took almost failing out of college for me to realize that it wasn’t about what I wanted out of life. I can still see myself walking around the bases of a baseball field as the snow was gently falling, wrestling with God on why I was not the right person. I tried to convince him there were better people to be in ministry and explain why he didn’t need to call me.

God showed me that the call wasn’t about my goodness but his, that my decisions weren’t the best but his were, that it wasn’t about my goals but his call.  He showed me that no matter how far I tried to run, he would be there waiting for me.

It was then that I decided to follow his path and listen to Christ’s voice. It was then that I realized the abundant life Jesus Christ offers. What a joy it has been being God’s “acolyte” in youth ministry ever since!