Editorial

Being a follower of Jesus has three dimensions

Virginia Mennonite Conference held our Assembly at C3 Hampton (Hampton, Va.) with the theme God’s Kingdom: The 3D Experience. This theme emerged as our Assembly Vision Team sought to bring a new lens to the multi-dimensional nature of being a disciple of Jesus in our time. Our encounter with God through Jesus Each person experienced…

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Hope in a time of change

Virginia Mennonite Conference is a network of congregations and organizations seeking to live out God’s mission in the world. Our congregations are located in rural and urban settings. Our membership holds diverse views on a range of theological issues and concerns about society. While we are historically a peace church, we have not always known…

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Engaging possibilities and walking together in love

Summer 2015 will be remembered for the gatherings of the body of Christ within our Anabaptist-Mennonite faith family. In mid-June Virginia Mennonite Conference held their annual Assembly on the theme “Built into a Spiritual House” (1 Peter 2) at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. The first week of July, Mennonite Church USA held their biennial Convention in…

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Renewing our Connections

For the past 25 years, Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) and Virginia Mennonite Missions (VMMissions) have shared the publication, Connections. In this editorial, Clyde Kratz, VMC Executive Conference Minister, and Aaron Kauffman, VMMissions President, discuss the challenges and the dreams that have emerged about this communication tool. Clyde: I value the joint effort by VMC and…

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In the beginning!

The biblical account of creation opens with the proclamation “In the beginning God….” (Genesis 1:1). The affirmation that God was present in the beginning, engaged in purposeful creation, bringing order out of chaos, is not lost on biblical commentators 1. When Jesus teaches his disciples and subsequently all disciples how to pray, “Your will be…

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A great cloud of witnesses

The writer of Hebrews states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who…

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Leaders needed!

As part of the Listen and Learn Initiative, whereby I sought to visit with each lead pastor in Virginia Mennonite Conference, I had a startling discovery: two-thirds of the 60 lead pastors whose birth date is on record in my office will turn 70 in the next 15 years. Broken down in five year increments,…

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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.…

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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…

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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’…

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