Heilsgeschichte timeline


Learning the Bible in Life-giving Ways:

History, Hooks, and Heilsgeschichte

This year’s retreat theme connects directly to Mennonite Church USA’s emphasis on 2013 as the year of the Bible. The heilsgeschichte, or salvation history, seeks to answer the question: “How has God worked in history to solve the sin problem and bring everything under the Lordship of Jesus Christ?”

This section, led by Marion Bontrager, will emphasize God’s saving acts throughout history as well as for today; it will provide numerous opportunities to view Jesus Christ as central in redemption. This will give us ways to re-ignite enthusiasm for studying the Bible in our congregations and youth groups.

As one of the hooks, we will experience the 12 Scriptures Project – a way to help us focus which passages in the Bible have been most formative for us. Terry Shue will lead this part of the retreat, giving us tools for leading our congregations and youth groups in this meaningful exercise.


Marion Bontrager has taught for many years in the Bible and Ministry department at Hesston College. Students have learned to appreciate his approach to teaching the Bible and helping them articulate the scope of salvation-history. Marion currently serves as an overseer in South Central Conference.


Terry Shue has been a pastor in the Ohio Conference for the past 23 years. He currently is the Director of Leadership Development for Mennonite Church USA. In this role Terry works with our colleges, seminaries, and conference leaders to call out, train, and sustain leaders for our congregations in all 21 conferences. The 12 Scriptures Project has been particularly energizing for Terry.



Friday, March 1

5–7:00 pm Registration in lower level
Oakwood meeting room
7:30 Opening worship in Magnolia Center
8:00 Introduction to salvation history
and the 12 Scriptures Project
Snacks (bring your favorites)

Saturday, March 2

8:00 Breakfast in Magnolia Center
9:30 Worship & first session
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 Free time until dinner
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Worship & second session
Snacks (more of your favorites)

Sunday, March 3

8:00 Breakfast
9:30 Worship & third session
12:00 pm Departure (lunch on your own)


Worship leaders

Ben Risser, Brad Kolb and friends will lead worship. Ben is pastor at Ridgeway Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va. Brad is youth pastor at Grace Mennonite Fellowship, Lacey Springs, Va.

Registration details

Register early, as space is limited. Register below or return a filled-out printed form to:

Virginia Mennonite Conference
Attn: Joint Ministry Retreat
901 Parkwood Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22802

Registration cost: $140 per person. Payment is due upon arrival at the retreat. Please make checks payable to Virginia Mennonite Conference. Payment includes lodging on Friday and Saturday, three meals on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday.

Registration deadline: February 11, 2013. Cancellations must be received by February 20. After that date, no changes can be made and payment in full will be required.

Location and Directions

Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center
9275 Barnes Road, Toano, VA 23168

Directions: From I-64 East or West, take exit 227. Go North on Route 30 for just under a mile. Turn left on Route 601, Barnes Road. Travel 1 mile, entrance is on the right.

General Information
    Linens and towels are provided in Retreat Center facilities.
    Please bring games and snacks to share.
    Emergency or call-back messages may be received at 757-810-5795.
    Registration is from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday in the lower level Oakwood meeting room


Online registration is now closed.