August 9, 2014
by Beryl Jantzi
Director of Stewardship Education for Everence; served on the listening committee of the Anabaptist Renewal Circles gathering

Anabaptist Renewal Circles hosts national gathering in Pennsylvania

A national gathering of MC USA pastors, agency representatives and interested church members took place at the Weaverland Mennonite Church in Lancaster County, Pa. July 10-12. About 160 registered for the event with 15 in attendance from Virginia Mennonite Conference. Participants came from many states and other parts of the church.

“For me, in a few words, this gathering was about our own repentance or realignment to God’s attitude and purpose. Instead of finger pointing, I experienced renewal, as God’s kindness invited me to change. While there was some excellent preaching, the highlight for me was spending Thursday evening together in prayer,” said Skip Tobin, VMM USA Ministries Director and leader of a workshop session entitled, “Launching Out with Jesus on the Disciple Ship.”

There were plenary sessions and workshops throughout the event along with one evening dedicated to prayer for the broader church and another service focused on youth. Aaron Kauffman, President of VMM, led a session on Life Transformation Groups. Myron Augsburger and Ervin Stutzman were two of the featured speakers during the worship gatherings.

The vision of Anabaptist Renewal Circles is to mobilize the Mennonite and Anabaptist community to bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The movement began in June 2011 as a conversation between several pastors and church leaders who were concerned about the spiritual health of the Mennonite Church. They were seeking ways to encourage each other in their common faith, ministry, and mission.

The focus has been on developing activities that produce life and vitality beyond some of the current cultural debates. The dream is to see a church where unity is inspired and shaped by the authoritative Word of God and a shared commitment to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

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