More than a Sunday morning gathering

Early Church has never been defined primarily by our Sunday morning gathering. We have been known for the high value we have placed on being a glimmer of God’s presence when we worship and relate at Our Community Place (OCP), and for lots of non-Sunday face-to-face interactions. Before the coronavirus hit, we had already begun…

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Big Spring: still the arms and hands of Jesus

Big Spring Mennonite Church is alive and together, even if we have to be together by Zoom. We have said we are so grateful for Zoom and we are so tired of Zoom. But the Holy Spirit has been with us through all of our virtual gatherings and it has been good. By being a…

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The church ‘did not close’

Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home; …and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. – John 16:32 It all started with an elbow bump— not my type of hugging and a difficult thing for our older Waynesboro Mennonite…

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The exchange in the time of COVID-19

  In this time of church doors being closed, we have the opportunity to live into our professed Anabaptist theology that the church was never about the building. We are the church. Like the old song, “I am the church. You are the church. We are the church together.” At our church, the exchange, in…

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An important and timely Assembly theme in these uncertain days

Our summer Conference Assembly was held on July 18, 2020, with a focus theme of “Living As Those Made Alive In Christ.” Our theme was of utmost importance in the time we are living. Over the last number of months, we have lived into the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. This medical crisis places us…

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Three Simultaneous Crises in Our Local and Global Communities

Greetings to pastors and leaders of Virginia Mennonite Conference. As a community, we are navigating a pandemic which began as a medical crisis, which then impacted our local and global economic realities, and which has moved into a moral crisis. Any one of these crises creates a significant leadership challenge, but we are navigating these…

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VMC and VMMissions Announce Phase 2 Reopening Adjustments

To Visitors of Virginia Mennonite Conference and VMMissions Offices: We hope you and your families are well and that you are experiencing the peace of Christ in these tumultuous days. Thank you for your understanding in the closing of our offices due to COVID-19 these past several weeks. In view of the Governor’s recently announced…

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Raising Our Voices Against Racism in the Culture and in the Church

The tragic death of George Floyd and the subsequent events over the last week have caused me to engage in my own soul-searching about racism. I grieve the way it has not only permeated our history, our culture, and our faith community, but the way it has also been ignored, justified, or whitewashed, leaving people…

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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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