Virginia Mennonite Conference

November 2013

Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council meets

November 9, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council meets

On October 13, representatives from the twenty-one conferences of Mennonite Church USA gathered at Amigo Centre, in Sturgis, Michigan. Additionally, representatives from the Executive Board of MC USA, MC USA staff, key staff leaders from Mennonite Mission Network, Everence, and Mennonite Education Agency, as well as representatives from Constituency Groups were present. This gathering of church leaders assembles twice annually to engage in conversation about our common life. Members from Virginia Mennonite Conference present at this gathering were Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director, Mennonite Church USA, Nichole Francisco, African-American Mennonite Association, …

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Bible Quizzing season will focus on Exodus

November 8, 2013
by Matt Trost
Coordinator of the Bible Quizzing league in the Shenandoah Valley

Bible Quizzing season will focus on Exodus

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “Let my people go!” If you immediately thought of Charlton Heston, long hair and bearded, you are not alone. He played Moses in the Hollywood movie telling the story from the book of Exodus. Many powerful images come from this book of the Bible: the waters of the Red Sea rolling back as a strong wind steadily blew, the burning bush, and the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire leading the Israelites in the wilderness. This winter, youth from Virginia …

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Grace Mennonite engaged in ‘missional service adventure’

November 7, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Grace Mennonite engaged in ‘missional service adventure’

For the last five years, Grace Mennonite Fellowship, Lacey Spring, Virginia, has been developing relationships with people in Jonesville, Virginia. Jonesville is located in the most southern portion of Virginia near the Kentucky and Tennessee state lines. It has a population of about 1,030 with a median household income of $24,439. As part of the ministry of Grace, members and friends traveled to this small community with $10,000 worth of donated building materials to assist the community in various projects. A member of the Grace Mennonite team works on a …

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Nominee for Moderator of Virginia Mennonite Conference

November 6, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Nominee for Moderator of Virginia Mennonite Conference

Elroy Miller of Harrisonburg, Virginia, was enthusiastically approved as the nominee for moderator of Virginia Mennonite Conference by Conference Council on Friday, October 18. The Gifts Discernment Committee, which has the responsibility to select the nominee, will make the recommendation to delegates for their vote at the Winter Delegate Assembly held on February 1 at Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Va. Elroy is no stranger to the work of Virginia Mennonite Conference. He has served as chair of the Faith and Life Commission from 2000-2006. In this capacity, he also was …

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Conference embraces sustainable financial mission

November 5, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Conference embraces sustainable financial mission

Virginia Mennonite Conference engages in the mission of providing vision and leadership to a network of missional communities that are located in Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Our ministry is encouragement, evangelism, faith building, peace-building, and witness. Our call is to live in unity as disciples of Jesus as we give witness to God’s purposes for our communities and the world. One aspect of our mission is a financial mission that provides resources to under-gird our various endeavors. This past year the delegates of VMC …

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Dream big!

November 3, 2013
by Wendy Hostetter Davis
Serving with her husband Shaun as Western Regional Conference Youth Ministers.

Dream big!

Virginia Conference middle school students poured into the Smith Mountain Lake retreat center once again this fall – bringing their energy and enthusiasm with them! After several hours on the road, groups spread out across the campus for free time activities including boating, mini-golf, and a climbing wall. Youth sponsors joined in, playing games of frisbee or basketball with youth while others called out encouragement from the sidelines. Mixer games followed and groups were pushed out of comfort zones just a little as they got to know new faces while …

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Consultation on Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective

November 2, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz

Consultation on Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective

As a student at Eastern Mennonite Seminary (1986-1989), I was introduced to One Lord, One Church, One Hope and One God: Mennonite Confessions of Faith written by Howard John Loewen and published as a text-reader by the Institute of Mennonite Studies. It is compilation of numerous confessions produced by Anabaptist-Mennonite communities. Having participated in a Mennonite community in Pennsylvania, I was familiar with the Schleitheim Articles (1527), Dordrecht Confession, (1632), and the Mennonite Confession of Faith (1963). I had almost no knowledge or very limited awareness of the remaining 30 …

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Listening and learning

November 1, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Listening and learning

When Jesus was beginning his ministry, John was watching him with two disciples. After John said “Look, here is the Lamb of God,” the two disciples followed Jesus. When Jesus noticed them, he asked, “What are you looking for?” After a brief exchange of cordialities, Jesus says to them, “Come and see.” (John 1:35-39) As I begin my new role, I am seeking to be inquisitive, curious, looking, and learning about the various missional communities that comprise the larger religious community known as Virginia Mennonite Conference. At the graduation service …

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