Franconia congregation (Telford, PA) has voted to disaffiliate with Mosaic Conference. The Mosaic Conference Board was recently informed, via a letter, of the results of Franconia’s congregational vote. In the letter, David Mellinger, Franconia’s Board Chair, acknowledged years of discernment around how the congregation would respond to the theological and organizational changes in Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) and Mosaic Conference.
On November 8, 2022, the Franconia Board put forth the following recommendation for a congregational vote: “After a period of discernment, the Franconia Mennonite Church Board recommends that the congregation disaffiliate with Mosaic Mennonite Conference effective immediately, and seek affiliation with other Mennonite congregations and/or conferences.”
The congregation voted on November 20 and, on November 27, the results of the vote were shared with the congregation. Of their 409 church members, 83% participated in the vote: 94% affirmed the recommendation to disaffiliate with Mosaic Conference, effective immediately.
“This decision was not a knee-jerk reaction to one specific event or decision that either the denomination or Conference has made. Rather, the Franconia Church Board has been in a discernment process for several years regarding their affiliation with MC USA and more recently with Mosaic,” said Mike Clemmer, who serves as Mosaic’s Leadership Minister for the Franconia congregation. “We have appreciated their clear communication and dialogue throughout this journey and we pray that their continued commitment to extending God’s kingdom and to pointing people towards Jesus would be blessed.”
For many years, Franconia congregation was the largest congregation in what used to be Franconia Conference (now Mosaic); from 1769 until the late 20th century Franconia hosted conference assemblies in its building. “Our hearts will hold a special bond to the conference which we hosted in our meetinghouse for the better part of the past three hundred years,” wrote Mellinger in the letter. The congregation is discerning next steps and intends to seek affiliation with other Mennonite congregations and/or conferences, rather than becoming unaffiliated or an “independent church.”
“We know we have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Mellinger. “We covet your prayers during this time. We acknowledge the sadness, but we are confident in the Hope that we have, King Jesus.”