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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