By Emily Ralph, firstname.lastname@example.org
Franconia Conference and Eastern District Conference of Mennonite Church USA will hold a joint conference assembly this November.
“We felt that this is an exciting opportunity resulting from a long standing conversation about what it means to work together for God’s purpose and ministry in our region from Georgia to Vermont,” says Ertell Whigham, Franconia Conference’s executive minister.
The annual gathering, which will be held November 11-12 at Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa., will be planned by a team consisting of members from both conferences. Although some details are still in process, the event is already scheduled to include a joint worship service on Friday evening and then separate delegate sessions on Saturday.
The purpose of this joint event, says Eastern District executive minister Warren Tyson, is to strengthen the unity of the two conferences and continue to move forward in common work in this region. Added benefits would include costs savings and increased value for Conference Related Ministries, who would only have to set up booths at one event instead of two.
This is not the first partnership between Franconia and Eastern District Conferences: they already share office space and staff and are in the process of hiring a joint conference-wide Youth Minister. The conferences also share resources and training events, so the joint conference assembly is a logical next step.
“It feels natural and timely,” says Whigham. “We are excited about the possibilities of what it will mean for our future together.”