Virginia Mennonite Conference

October 2017

Finding the image of God in each incarcerated neighbor

October 11, 2017
by Jason Wagner
Licensed minister for jail chaplain ministry and mission worker of Virginia Mennonite Missions

Finding the image of God in each incarcerated neighbor

I will not forget my first time in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Regional Jail. I was leading music for a Sunday service with Minister Mark Lehman. We were let into the building through a system of locked doors, each controlled by some unseen force behind the surveillance cameras. Arriving in the room where the service would take place, we arranged the chairs and put song sheets out on the tables. What happened next, I was not prepared for. The door opened to the classroom and prisoners—in bright orange jumpsuits cuffed together in …

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Where does the Virginia Mennonite story begin?

October 10, 2017
by Steven Nolt
Young Center Senior Scholar, Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and recognized author of Mennonite history

Where does the Virginia Mennonite story begin?

Perhaps the Virginia Mennonite Conference story begins in early summer 1671, in a village in the German Palatinate, where deacon Valentine Heatwole offers bedding and clothing to Christina Weis, a thirty-six-year-old refugee who had fled her home in Switzerland, traveling more than two hundred miles with her three children, the youngest only twelve months of age. The sad fact was, Heatwole reported, Weis actually had five children, but was forced to leave two of her offspring behind. She also had no hope of seeing her husband again. He was among …

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