October 17, 2011, LANSDALE, Pa. — Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Franconia Conference, and Eastern District Conference celebrate their ministry partnership by naming John Stoltzfus Conference Youth Minister.
“Youth are a key segment of God’s community. They are ambassadors of Christ here and now, but also the future leaders of our congregations,” said Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber, principal of Christopher Dock. “It’s exciting to see two conferences join our school in this focus on youth ministry. John Stoltzfus has a passion for helping youth become radical followers of Christ. We are pleased to welcome him to our team.”
In his new position, Stoltzfus will become campus pastor for Christopher Dock’s 365 students, and will encourage, support and promote youth ministry in the churches represented by the two conferences, which are part of Mennonite Church USA. It is the first time that all three entities have collaborated on a youth ministry position
“I look forward to youth ministry connections growing between our member churches, our two conferences and the school community,” said Warren Tyson, conference minister for Eastern District Conference and a member of the Christopher Dock Board of Trustees
Stoltzfus comes to his new position after 10 years as associate pastor at Lombard Mennonite Church, which is part of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University and Eastern Mennonite Seminary (Harrisonburg, VA), Stoltzfus has also served with a Christian Peacemaker Teams in Colombia, and participated in China Educational Exchange, a program of Eastern Mennonite Missions, Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Central Committee that is now known as Mennonite Partners in China.
“I found John’s insight, understanding and commitment to engaging in the work of intercultural transformation and relationships to be both relevant and sincere,” said Ertell Whigham, executive minister for Franconia Conference. “This was particularly evident as he shared experiences and learnings from his ministry in China. I thank God that we are moving ahead and look forward to John’s arrival and our work together.”
The Youth Minister position is full-time, and involves partnering with youth workers in congregations and at Christopher Dock to “actively invite every youth to commit to a personal relationship and everlasting adventure with Jesus Christ, mentoring them towards a supportive church community and empowering them to bring healing and hope to the world.” In addition, Stoltzfus will be charged with providing support, training and resources to those who minister to junior and senior high youth, so that they are better able to carry out the youth ministry mission and vision of Franconia and Eastern District Conferences. He will begin his work in January.
“I am excited about this new venture of journeying together with the youth and community at Christopher Dock and Franconia and Eastern District Conferences,” Stoltzfus said. “I look forward to discovering how God is at work among us and calling our young people to be faithful followers of Christ in our world.”