The importance of our collective well-being

Pastors and Leaders Update Philippians 2:1-13 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition…

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A Dimmer Switch Approach to Reopening the Commonwealth of Virginia

Virginia Governor Northam has indicated that churches may reopen as of May 15, 2020, but with a restriction of 50% capacity of the meetinghouse’s certificate of occupancy. COVID-19 is spread from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This reality raises health concerns related to choirs, congregational…

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Updates: Conference Assembly, Conference Ministries, and more

Greetings from Virginia Mennonite Conference! We have been an experiencing a crisis of community through physical and social distancing. As a people of faith we value relationships, public worship, and engaging in ministry in the community. But in order to reduce the potential impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable in our congregations, community, and…

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Naomi Rowe Francisco: A legacy of faith and love

  Naomi Rowe Francisco wore many hats and went by many names: Sister Naomi, Neme, Aunt Neme, momma, sister, cousin, friend, grandma. She was known by hundreds of Calvary Christian Academy students and C3 members as Mother Francisco. I had the distinct privilege to call her Grams, and the privilege of being with my grandmother…

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Our journey on the Emmaus road

I have been reflecting on the Emmaus Road experience found in chapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel. Two followers of Jesus are going to Emmaus. Along the way, a stranger joins them. They travel together talking about the events that have occurred. Recounting the death and resurrection of Jesus, there is an aura of confusion, bewilderment,…

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Grieving alone: a new challenge for families, congregations, and our faith community

Pastors and Leaders Update On April 5, I had the privilege of providing a meditation for Asheville Mennonite Church via Zoom. Followers of Jesus were commemorating the hope they held as the processional headed for Jerusalem. It was a time of hopeful acknowledgement that the future will be different. As it turned out in biblical…

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This time of crisis requires adaptations, innovations, and perseverance by faith leaders

April 3, 2020 Pastors and Leaders within Virginia Mennonite Conference, As I anticipate celebrating Palm Sunday, I fondly remember children walking into the meetinghouse waving palm branches and smiling boldly; their enthusiasm was in the air. I remember the uplifting singing and the sense of a celebrative mood. I am celebrating today that our congregations…

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Leading through difficult choices

Jesus instructed the blind man to go to the pool of Siloam to receive his sight (John 9). Not knowing what to expect, he stumbled and made his way to the pool, and received his sight. Blindness is a relevant metaphor for the circumstances many leaders have experienced. They are moving forward into the unknown,…

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Conference responds to the coronavirus

This letter and list of resources was sent to Virginia Mennonite Conference leaders on March 19, 2020.   Dear Virginia Mennonite Conference Leaders, Hope springs forth! Rosy pink blossoms of the redbud are blooming, a dazzling yellow on the forsythia, and the soft pink of the apple blossoms display the hopeful magnificence of spring. But…

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VMC offices closed to public until further notice

In response to recommended guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Virginia Mennonite Conference offices are closed until further notice. Additionally, in-person meetings have been cancelled. VMC will continue to evaluate the situation. Thank you for your understanding. If you have Conference business or questions, you can contact Executive Conference Minister Clyde G. Kratz or…

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VMRC community engagement reflects heritage

  Core values create a foundation for an organization’s mission and purpose. Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community embraces its heritage, one of its core values: We are Christ-centered, rooted in our Anabaptist heritage of stewardship, service, justice and compassion. “As part of VMRC’s vision to be a destination for those who want to age well in…

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Engaging the community by embracing anti-bias education

Immanuel Mennonite Church founded the Roberta Webb Child Care Center (RWCCC), and it was established as its own entity on November 14, 1994. In celebration of our twenty-fifth anniversary, we are embracing and reflecting on the values, character and legacy of our namesake, Mrs. Roberta Anna Morgan Webb (1889-1990). She engaged the community with a…

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