Videos from Summer Conference Assembly 2022
(RE)ALITY CHECK invited delegates with their group at round tables to share with respect and vulnerability the things they carry and unpack. In this session, three persons serving in ministries shared stories of challenge and blessing: Sarah Piper, Lead pastor of Zion Mennonite Church (Broadway, Va.); Gerald Shenk, serving in refugee ministry at Springdale Mennonite Church (Waynesnboro, Va.); and Alfonso Alvarado, serving as church planter and pastor of Iglesia Menonita Monte Moriah (Lacey Spring, Va.)
The second session was about finding the common factors that unite and excite us to partner and fellowship together, entitled “(RE)CLAIMING THE SHARED VISION.” This looked at what items go back into the bag after it has been emptied, at what essential components should be carried in order to most effectively live and share the gospel and be the hands and feet of Christ. In this session, four VMC delegates to the Mennonite Church USA Special Delegate Session gave reflections from that experience: MaryBeth Heatwole Moore, Marian Buckwalter, Andrew Buckwalter Fairfield, and Andrew Cheung. Additionally, Moriah Hurst, Nurture & Faith Development Pastor at Park View Mennonite Church shared a vision for youth ministry in VMC as she has related to the VMC Youth Council, and Caleb Schrock-Hurst, VMC Racial Justice and Equity Leader, updated delegates on the activities of the Racial Justice Task Force.
The third session focused on the first goal of the Virginia Mennonite Conference Strategic Plan on (RE)NEWING RELATIONSHIPS with God, each other, and creation. It also acknowledged the deep pain and lack of trust that became apparent within the Conference through the leadership crisis. Looking forward, this session examined ways to move ahead together even amid the tensions and questions of this current time in the church. Sarah Bixler briefly reported on the VMC Strategic Plan and its goals, which a diverse collection of congregations and districts can embrace and executive together toward the stated shared goals and objectives.
A highlight of the third session, held on Saturday morning, was the introduction of the new VMC interim leadership team. Each of the six members of the team – four ministry persons and two staff members – shared their vision for the team and for Virginia Mennonite Conference in the next several years. The team members are: Craig Maven, Bishop Leslie Francisco III, Maren Hange, Duane Beck, Caleb Schrock-Hurst, and June Miller. (Learn more about these persons and the leadership team.)
Thursday: A Church of Many Cultures Celebration
On July 14, Virginia Mennonite Missions (VMMissions) held a meal of thanksgiving and a public evening service of celebration in nearing the end of their $3 million campaign called A Church of Many Cultures. The service at Zion Mennonite Church included worship and commissioning, with worship music by Seth Crissman and friends. Carlos Malvaez, Pastor of the Manantial de Vida congregation, shared a message called “Hope for the Nations,” from Micah 4:1-5. Several current VMMissions workers shared testimonies about the ways their ministries have been enhanced through funds granted by the campaign. Lavonne Lehman, the outgoing chair of the VMMissions Board, was honored for her service by President Aaron Kauffman and the new chair of the board, Paul Yoder. New and reappointed mission workers were commissioned with candles lit to share their light with the world. The workers, VMMissions staff, and the congregation joined in a litany of commissioning, declaring, “Yes! The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever!”
Friday: Trissels Mennonite Church Celebrates 200 Years
Outside under the majestic oaks that have shaded generations of God’s people at Trissels, the Friday evening service on July 15 was a look back at the contributions of those who called Trissels their church home since 1822. The service included historic hymns from the red Mennonite Hymnal led by Tim Mumbauer and Dave Yutzy. Pearl Hartman shared on behalf of the VMC Historical Committee by telling the story of an early Swiss Anabaptist Bible printed in German, which the Swiss authorities deemed illegal, and which was taken from Switzerland to Pennsylvania and finally to Page County, Virginia by a family who passed it down over five generations. The journey of this Bible mirrored the journeys of so many European Anabaptists. In Elwood Yoder’s message, “The Holy Spirit Gives Gifts,” he told the stories of many people committed and faithful to the call of God to minister to others in need of the gospel. Generations of people since the beginning of the Trissels congregation faithfully contributed to the Great Commission and to Virginia Conference over two hundred years.
Videos from Winter Delegate Assembly 2022
The first keynote presentation that Sara Wenger Shenk delivered at Winter Delegate Assembly, Powhatan, Va., on February 5, 2022.
The second keynote presentation that Sara Wenger Shenk delivered at Winter Delegate Assembly, Powhatan, Va., on February 5, 2022.
Videos from Summer Conference Assembly 2021
Andrew Cheung, senior pastor of Washington Community Fellowship, Washington DC, gave a meditation on Isaiah 61:1-3.
Pablo Hernandez, lead pastor of Iglesia Esperanza de Vida, Harrisonburg, Va., gave a meditation on Isaiah 61:4-9.
The Virginia Mennonite Conference-appointed Racial Justice Task Force reported to delegates and had breakout discussions on various questions the Task Force raised during Conference Assembly.
Caleb Schrock-Hurst, the new Racial Justice and Equity Leader for Virginia Mennonite Conference, recorded a video of introduction for delegates which was shown during Conference Assembly, June 12, 2021.
Mike and Risha Metzler, pastors and church planters with Mosaic of Grace in Harrisonburg, Va., share stories and activities of their congregation’s work. VMC delegates voted to affirm their full membership into the Conference during the virtual Conference Assembly on June 12, 2021.
Ron Byler’s MCC Presentations to VMC Assembly 2020
J. Ron Byler is the Executive Director for the Mennonite Central Committee US (MCC US). MCC US is a church-based relief and development agency working in approximately 55 countries worldwide assisting in areas of disaster relief, sustainable community development and justice and peacebuilding. Virginia Mennonite Conference Assembly was Saturday, July 18, 2020. The theme is “Living As Those Made Alive In Christ” based on Colossians 3:12-17. Assembly featured Byler as keynote speaker as MCC celebrates 100 years of relief in the name of Christ.
Mike and Risha Metzler share about Mosaic of Grace
Mike and Risha Metzler are church planters serving with VMMissions who are establishing a new Anabaptist congregation in Harrisonburg, Va., called Mosaic of Grace Church. This new church plant relates to Eastside Church as a sister church and is a congregation in formation in Virginia Mennonite Conference’s Harrisonburg District. In this video, they share about their vision, their ministry, and what God is doing in their midst.
Alfonso Alvarado shares about planting Monte Moriah Mennonite Church
Alfonso serves as a church planter with VMMissions, and has planted a new Spanish-speaking congregation called Iglesia Menonita Monte Moriah in Harrisonburg, Va., in partnership with Grace Mennonite Fellowship, Lacey Spring, Va., and the Northern District of Virginia Mennonite Conference.
Juan José Lagos is planting Iglesia Cristiana Renuevo, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Juan José and his wife Cecilia have planted Iglesia Cristiana Renuevo (Renewal Christian Church) in Winston Salem, N.C., in partnership with the Tennessee/Carolina/Kentucky District and congregations of Virginia Mennonite Conference. He serves with VMMissions.
Tom Yoder Neufeld presents The Unity of the Spirit at Winter Delegate Session, February 1, 2020
Presenter Tom Yoder Neufeld is from Waterloo, Ontario, where he and his wife are active members at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario. He is Professor Emeritus at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo, where he taught New Testament and Peace Studies for three decades. Among his writings are Ephesians (Believers Church Bible Commentary; Herald Press, 2002), Recovering Jesus: the Witness of the New Testament (Brazos, 2007), and Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2011).
2019 VMC Partnership Program
Virginia Mennonite Conference partnered to build a home for the Daniel and Darla Walker family of Clendenin, West Virginia, through Mennonite Disaster Service’s Partnership Home Project. The home was dedicated at Virginia Mennonite Conference Assembly, July 19, 2019.