Virginia Mennonite Conference

Connections Archives

Signs of Life creates space for worship in Deaf culture

December 27, 2013
by Kelli Yoder
Reporter and writer for Mennonite World Review

Signs of Life creates space for worship in Deaf culture

MaryBeth and Chris Moore expected God would call them to use their training as nurses to go to impoverished places. So they were surprised in 2000 when they felt convicted to adopt Mynor, an 8-year-old from Guatemala who is deaf. “It was one of those things where if we hadn’t adopted him, it would have been directly disobeying God,” MaryBeth said. Mynor was their first step into the Deaf community and the reason they began to learn American Sign Language. Since then, they’ve adopted Mario, another deaf son from Guatemala. …

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Powhatan Mennonite celebrates 50 years

December 18, 2013
by Pat Hertzler
Writer and member of Powhatan Mennonite Church

Powhatan Mennonite celebrates 50 years

November 2-3 was an exciting milestone for Powhatan Mennonite Church, as we celebrated 50 years as a congregation and also dedicated our new addition, the Community Life Center. Our theme was “Remembering God’s Faithfulness: Reflecting on the Past and Looking Forward to the Future.” The weekend was filled with friends who came from far and near, good food, a concert by New Horizons on Saturday evening and a special worship service on Sunday morning. A 50-year time capsule was buried a few weeks later. In June 1960, Bob and Marie …

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VMC Women’s Retreat focuses on ‘Familiar Blessings, Blowing Spirit’

December 9, 2013
by Deona Landes Houff
Mennonite Women of Virginia

VMC Women’s Retreat focuses on  ‘Familiar Blessings, Blowing Spirit’

Some 85 sisters considered the spirituality of our parents and grandparents and how we focus on Jesus today during the annual Virginia Mennonite Conference Women’s Retreat, Sept. 27-29 in Lynchburg, Va. Attendees came from some 20 VMC congregations. The retreat was held at the beautiful wooded Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center. Dawn Ruth Nelson, Mennonite pastor and spiritual director, presented “Familiar Blessings, Blowing Spirit.” Through telling the story of her grandmother’s life and her own life growing up in suburban America and spending 12 years doing peace work in Catholic …

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Durham Mennonites stand with immigrant neighbors

December 7, 2013
by Eric Olson-Getty
Durham Mennonite Church, Durham, N.C.

Durham Mennonites stand with immigrant neighbors

On a Saturday in June this year, members of Durham (N.C.) Mennonite Church were working together to paint, clean, and mow around the church property, when several police cruisers parked around the intersection in front of the church. Focused on our work at hand, we paid little attention to them until an SUV turned aside into the church driveway. A Hispanic family with two small children and an infant climbed out and approached us. None of them spoke English, and none among us spoke Spanish, but the urgency in their …

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Credentialed leaders meet for Confession consultation

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

Credentialed leaders meet for Confession consultation

One hundred and twelve credentialed leaders and invited guests of Virginia Mennonite Conference assembled at Waynesboro Mennonite Church on Friday, November 8, to discuss the role and function of the Confession of Faith in Mennonite Perspective. This event was planned by the Leadership Enrichment Committee of the Faith and Life Commission and included times of worship, two presentations and group conversations at tables. Following a time of worship led by Phil Lehman and Brad Kolb, George Brunk III highlighted the significance of writing or creating a confession was for the …

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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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