Virginia Mennonite Conference

Connections Archives

Mennonite Hispanic Initiative: developing leaders with IBA

August 8, 2014
by Skip Tobin
USA Ministries Director for Virginia Mennonite Missions and Virginia Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Hispanic Initiative: developing leaders with IBA

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if immigrant church leaders had a place to gather and grow together in understanding how to live into the good news in their new Virginia contexts? This is what actually happens through Mennonite Hispanic Initiative’s Instituto Biblico Anabautista (IBA) study center. IBA’s purpose is to promote theological-biblical training of Spanish-speaking leaders who will serve Mennonite Church USA in various ministries. Liz Hernandez coordinates one of the two IBA study centers in Harrisonburg. Every Monday evening the IBA’s Christology II class meets at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. A …

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Conference Endorsed Ministries: MDS and CrossRoads Heritage Center

June 1, 2014
by Rich Rhodes (MDS) and Joan L. Daggett (CrossRoads)

Conference Endorsed Ministries: MDS and CrossRoads Heritage Center

MDS continues rebuilding homes and lives after Sandy On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey. The effects of this superstorm are still being felt by many persons along the East Coast and in the Appalachian mountains. Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) of Virginia has been extensively involved with rebuilding homes and the lives of persons who suffered from this disaster. The Eastern Virginia Unit gave initial leadership to the response in Crisfield, Maryland. MDS bi-national continued the rebuilding from last September to the present. Numerous individuals volunteered …

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Leaders explore theme of baptism and memberships at second Pastoral Leaders Consultation event in Powhatan

May 30, 2014
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Leaders explore theme of baptism and memberships at second Pastoral Leaders Consultation event in Powhatan

Powhatan Mennonite Church was the location of the second Pastoral Leaders Consultation held on Friday, May 2. Tim Kennel, pastor of the congregation, hosted the event along with the assistance of the hospitality committee that provided refreshments, abundance of food for the noon meal, and generous friendships. A worship team from the congregation provided a time of inspirational worship to begin the event. This is the second in a series of five pastoral leaders consultations planned for the purpose of building trust through conversation on key issues that impact their …

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Assembly will explore Making Disciples As We Go!

May 30, 2014
by Shirley Yoder Brubaker
Moderator of Virginia Mennonite Conference

Assembly will explore Making Disciples As We Go!

What will you enjoy most when attending VMC’s annual Assembly this July in Charlottesville? The robust singing in the evening worship service? Animated discussions around your delegate table? A new idea for your congregation garnered from a workshop? Sitting around the supper table with friends you rarely get to see? Or, perhaps, just basking in the presence of brothers and sisters who share your Anabaptist views of church and theology? This summer’s Assembly at Trinity Presbyterian in Charlottesville, July 24-26, will provide all of the possibilities listed above—and more. Trinity …

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Pastoral leaders invited to second Consultation event

April 24, 2014
by VMC staff

Pastoral leaders invited to second Consultation event

The second in a series of Pastoral Leadership Consultations is being planned by the Leadership Enrichment Committee of VMC’s Faith and Life Commission. The topic of discussion at this consultation will be on the meaning of baptism and membership in the church. Lead pastors, overseers, and credentialed leaders who are currently serving in pastoral roles in VMC congregations are invited to attend. Take this opportunity to give and receive counsel as ministers facing the challenges of our day. The Consultation will be Friday, May 2, at Powhatan Mennonite Church, from …

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Historians preserve and promote Valley Mennonite stories

March 26, 2014
by Jim Hershberger
Chair of SVMH and director of the Church World Service Refugee Resettlement program in Harrisonburg, Va.

Historians preserve and promote Valley Mennonite stories

The Shenandoah Valley Mennonite Historians (SVMH) is a group of persons interested in preserving and promoting the stories of the Mennonites of the Shenandoah Valley. This is our twenty-second year and we are looking forward to some great projects in the next years. We are working with the Historical Committee of Virginia Mennonite Conference to write a history of Mennonites in Virginia. Together we have formed a committee chaired by Elwood Yoder to carry this project forward. Stephen Nolt, history professor and author at Goshen College will begin the project …

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Northern Virginia Mennonite Church installs new pastor

March 25, 2014
by Earl Zimmerman
Newly installed pastor of Northern Virginia Mennonite Church, Fairfax, Va.

Northern Virginia Mennonite Church installs new pastor

Northern Virginia Mennonite Church in Fairfax, Va., pulled out all the stops as it installed Earl Zimmerman as pastor on November 10, 2013. Bishop Luke Schrock-Hurst, of the Potomac District, officiated in the installation. The three other congregations that worship in their church building participated in the service. The Iglesia Menonite Hispana Vida Nueva congregation offered several music selections and a liturgical dance. A choir from the Harvest Chinese Church sang. A pastor from the Korean Virginia Logos Church offered a prayer. Mel Schmidt, retired pastor of the Hyattsville Mennonite …

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Mission impulses and unity

March 24, 2014
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Mission impulses and unity

The Jerusalem Council described in Acts 15 is the second key leadership text for my work as Executive Conference Minister. This story highlights the activity of the leaders of the faith community discerning appropriate responses to the tension between “circumstances and conviction.” (1) The circumstance in the text is the awareness that Gentiles are coming to Christ, assured of their salvation by the missionaries, and are baptized into a covenant relationship with God and the community of faith. The conviction at stake is that these new converts are not being …

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Winter Delegate Session: listening, reflecting, praying

February 27, 2014
by Judith Trumbo
Chair of the Faith & Life Commission of VMC

Winter Delegate Session: listening, reflecting, praying

On a warm, sunny February day, 150 persons gathered at Lindale Mennonite Church for what was billed as the Virginia Mennonite Conference Winter Delegate Session but emerged as worshipful work. The strong turn-out (134 delegates, 17 non-delegates) on a beautiful Saturday was indicative of interest in the agenda topics as well as hearing from Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA, and Loren Swartzendruber, President of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). The morning began with worship and singing traditional hymns including, most appropriately, “Marvelous Grace of our loving Lord.” Duane …

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Make disciples of all nations!

January 22, 2014
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Make disciples of all nations!

Jesus’ final words to his disciples, recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, was granting them authority to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them, and teach them the ways of God. Traditionally, this text is understood as the Great Commission. It stands as a witness to the resurrected Christ. The purposes of God begun in Jesus’ ministry are carried on by the disciples. This text is one of the twelve scripture texts that I am selecting for my own leadership formation. On the farm house front porch of my great uncle …

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