by Stephen Kriss, director of leadership cultivation
In less than a decade, the Mennonite Conference Center has moved to its third location. With increasingly dispersed staff, the Center has downsized to serve as a hub and back office for activity out and about.
My first day in the offices at Dock High School this week included crowding around my MacBook Pro with Verle Brubaker (Swamp) Mary Nitzsche (Blooming Glen), and Aldo Siahaan (Philadelphia Praise Center) for our first transpacific ordination interview by Skype. We were interviewing Ubaldo Rodriguez, originally from Colombia, educated at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, who is now serving with SEND International in Manila, the Philippines. Ubaldo is there to support and train mission workers from the 2/3rds world, hoping to build connections between Latin America and Asia.
Ubaldo is connected with a one of our partner congregations, New Hope Fellowship in Alexandria, VA, begun by Kirk Hanger after returning from a long term assignment with Franconia Mennonite Missions in Mexico City over a decade ago. As a community, we keep being shaped and reshaped by our relationships and engagement in the world. And now some of those connections are more easily sustained through technology like Skype, which we thanked God for in our interview.
Franconia Conference keeps changing and moving. It’s not just our desks and cabinets, but it’s how we’re following the Spirit, paying attention to the pillar of fire that urges us to follow in the way of Jesus that moves us to be a part of God’s great redemption story in Souderton, Harleysville, Lansdale, Alexandria, Mexico City and Manila.