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Owen Burkholder

“It didn’t feel like a gathering of older people…”

Reflections on Conference Assembly, July 25-27, 2013 at Eastern Mennonite School, Harrisonburg, Va. That second-hand quote from a younger adult who attended VMC Assembly as a first-time delegate indicates that indeed, participation in God’s kingdom is timeless. The speakers, workshop leaders, and testifiers engaged us with the wonder that God has been, is, and will…

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Clyde and Eunice Kratz

VMC introduces Clyde G. Kratz as Executive Conference Minister

On June 26, VMC’s Conference Council announced its selection of Clyde G. Kratz as the new Executive Conference Minister. On September 1, Clyde will succeed Owen Burkholder, who has nurtured the conference faithfully for 18 years. This new role incorporates executive responsibilities that were previously part of the Conference Coordinator position, which Sarah Bixler vacates…

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VMC Assembly to explore Holistic Christian Witness

What is God doing within each of us, among our churches and around the world? This summer’s Conference Assembly will engage the third priority of Mennonite Church USA’s Purposeful Plan, “Holistic Christian Witness.” Together we will explore Look What God is Doing! Signs of Christ’s Kingdom Among Us. Has your congregation created its Assembly poster…

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Katie Misz

Learning to listen to the quiet and unexpected voices

Although I have sensed a call to ministry since a young age, I have never felt qualified. I saw myself as too quiet, too slow to respond to crisis, too unsure of myself, and not authoritative enough in decision-making. How could God possibly use someone like me? Last summer, I had the privilege of interning…

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Young adults say:

Why VMC young adults love the church Caring and supportive community Diverse relationships of friendship and unity A place of belonging A place to fit in (even if I’m broken or different) I’m genuinely wanted as a family member I find Jesus at work, changing the world through the Spirit and through loving people I…

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IDA group

MHI launches second church plant

On Nov. 17, 2012, Mennonite Hispanic Initative successfully launched a second Iglesia Discipular Anabaptista (IDA) church-plant. The new IDA is hosted by Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va. Community joins two other Mennonite Latino churches: Iglesia Discipular Anabaptista, at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, led by Pastor Byron Pellecer, and Iglesia Enciende Una Luz in Northern District…

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Reflections from 5+ years at Virginia Mennonite Conference

Reflecting on my work at Virginia Mennonite Conference over the past five years, I remember the annual retreats-how much joy middle school students experience in a game like Capture the Flag, and the significant impact that quality speakers and worship leaders have in the lives of youth. I’m gratified that VMC has offered the Senior…

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Christian Conquest Ministries founder dies

Paul L. Gaskins, 71, died on January 3, 2013. Bishop Paul was founding pastor of Christian Conquest Ministries in Washington, DC (Potomac District) with his wife Belinda. Paul nurtured relationships with other ministries from Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia and India, forming the Leadership Fellowship conference. Many from these groups gathered to say…

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Conference facing significant staff changes

Significant changes in leadership for Virginia Mennonite Conference will happen in 2013. Three administrators will terminate their positions: Jason Gerlach as Conference Youth Minister, Owen Burkholder as Conference Minister, and Sarah Bixler as Conference Coordinator. Conference Council has appointed a “Task Force for a Financially Sustainable VMC” which will bring recommendations to Conference Council in…

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Parenting Project engages Waynesboro Mennonite Church

Waynesboro Mennonite Church recently engaged in a presence ministry activity, blessing us as much as the people with whom we were serving. As part of the Parenting Project, several families who had poor relationships with their teen-aged children had been ordered to take a 10-week course, one night a week, both parents and teens, with…

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Owen Burkholder

Cultivating healthy sexuality in our conference

It was months in the planning. Representatives from the Congregational Life Commission and the Faith & Life Commission pondered how to model a way of talking about healthy sexuality in the congregational setting. One hundred people from 24 congregations gathered at Waynesboro Mennonite Church on Saturday, November 3, to worship, listen, share around tables, and…

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Ministry Inquiry participant at IDA mentored by El Pastor

I have stopped counting the number of young followers of Jesus in the Latino church who yearn for mentors. The largeness of the number is excessive to continuously bear. Yet, hope today continues to shed light on a corner of the faith I personally attempt to bodily, intellectually, and vocally profess. Hope today is alive…

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