Virginia Mennonite Conference

Editorial

Spirit instinct!

September 12, 2014
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Spirit instinct!

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. —Philippians 1:9-11 (NRSV)— A fifth scripture text that I have selected to guide my leadership practices is this prayer found in the opening chapter of Philippians. Acts 16 provides a historic account of the founding …

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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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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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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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