Though the congregation’s history is long, we have a youthful energy and flexibility.
by Sheldon C. Good, for Franconia Conference As debate around human sexuality continues to leave many church leaders wondering what binds together people with diverse beliefs, at least four Franconia […]
I am grateful for Doylestown leadership’s blessing to travel March 24-29. My first stop was at Eastern Mennonite University for three days. I met with various campus leaders including President Loren Swartzentruber, athletic director Dave King and undergraduate campus pastor Lana Miller….
by Sandy Landes, Doylestown
Writing a call to ministry story is probably the last thing I ever expected to do if you would have asked me fifteen years ago. At that time in my life, I had doubts about the role of women in leadership and yet I was serving in different capacities in my home congregation, Doylestown Mennonite Church. As I look back on that time, I think the call to ministry had been brewing in my life for several years.
It was the summer of 1968. I preached one of my first sermons at Doylestown congregation. In it I called publicans “Republicans,” not once, but twice. Vernon Bishop nearly rolled off his bench. It wasn’t my last blunder or mistake over the next 45 years of ministry….
On Sunday evening November 10th, a group of people from the community and from Doylestown congregation gathered to reflect on the painful parts of life and to seek hope in God’s Presence.
Theological educators believe headfirst immersion into unfamiliar cultural terrain is a requirement for preparing church leaders in the context of the twenty-first century. For students at Biblical Theological Seminary (Hatfield, Pa.), a lifelong commitment to intercultural ministry begins at the second year mark of their LEAD Master of Divinity Program.
When Larry Moyer, pastor of Rockhill congregation, was seriously injured after falling off of the roof of his home in 2011, Randy Heacock, pastor of Doylestown congregation, filled in to preach. Moyer’s recovery was long and difficult, but throughout the following year he was supported by Heacock and the other pastors in his Learning Community—Bruce Eglinton-Woods, pastor of Salem congregation, and Walter Sawatzky, a member of Plains.
My fingers and toes are still somewhat numb as I sit down to write this account of the prayer walk in Hilltown Township (Pa.). I also feel somewhat numb on the inside. I wonder how I got here… the associate pastor who was just interviewed by a local news station for walking and praying on a neighborhood street. This is weird.
After Hurricane Sandy, our congregation held “storm kitchens,” where we gathered to cook for those without power. After the initial crisis passed, we asked ourselves as a missional mentoring group, “What’s next?” One of the young women suggested thanking our local fire fighters. For many in our group, cooking and serving food is our passion and gift, a way that we express love and care for others. So on November 27th and 29th, we served Thanksgiving dinner at two firehouses in Roslyn and Hilltown (Pa).
Three days after Hurricane Sandy swept through south-eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, members of Franconia Conference are still cleaning up from massive flooding, downed trees and power lines, and extensive power outages.
Communication has been challenging and reports are trickling in–entire communities are still without power, dealing with road closures, and running short on supplies as gas stations and grocery stores are also without electricity.
It’s a misty evening as I sit cuddled under a blanket with my laptop and a snoring dog, watching the presidential debate. Even as I type, President Obama and Governor Romney are debating the economy.
I feel my temperature rising, and it has nothing to do with the blanket. I grew up in a family in which “debate” sounds more like calm discussion and a slightly raised voice feels like yelling. Just watching the debate is feeding my anxiety.
And, if anyone else experiences conflict like I do, the election this coming November could be incredibly divisive for the church. And how much moreso, when you mix people like me with those who are very comfortable with debate, raised voices, and hearty conversation? How do we keep our eyes focused on our shared allegiance—to Jesus Christ—in the midst of such diversity and disagreement?
by KrisAnne Swartley, Doylestown
Pastors’ children tend to have two reputations: rebellion or following in the footsteps of their parents (never mind all the kids in between). From the time I was young, I fell into the latter category, strongly drawn to my father’s calling and work. My connection to God was real and tangible to me, very much alive in my interior world. I followed that inner leading readily, preaching my first sermon as a teenager and studying ministry in college.
As a fresh college graduate, with all the energy and optimism that implies, I began my first professional ministry position. And I made mistakes. I began to wonder if I had heard God’s call correctly. Were my weaknesses too obvious? Was I too passionate? Too opinionated? Too feminine or not feminine enough?