by Jennifer Svetlik
On January 7, 2024, Neffsville Mennonite (Lancaster, PA) marked its transition from being a member of Atlantic Coast Conference to affiliating with Mosaic Conference.
Joanne Dietzel, Executive Minister of Atlantic Coast Conference, and Steve Kriss, Executive Minister of Mosaic, were both present for worship at Neffsville to mark and pray for this transition.
Neffsville has asked Mosaic to hold the credentials of Neffsville’s pastors, Lead Pastor Hunter Hess and Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries Eszter Bjorkman, in this relationship of affiliation. Neffsville will join other Partners in Mission of Mosaic, which includes Mosaic funded-church plants, congregations, and networks both domestically and globally. Partners in Ministry are organizations or congregations that are not members of Mosaic Conference but share our values and a vision for Anabaptist witness in their communities.
Kriss encouraged the Neffsville congregation, “I want to invite you to build relationships strongly, to step into these spaces and ask good questions.” He described Mosaic as, “A relational conference, and we also have strategy.”
“We look forward to this relationship together, and to deepening relationships,” Kriss continued. In fact, there are several prior relationships that already exist among the Neffsville pastors and Mosaic congregations, as well as Mosaic leaders and staff with the Neffsville congregation.
Pastor Hunter Hess welcomes the opportunity to build these relationships further. “We see Mosaic as recognizing the movement of the Holy Spirit in the global church and the Conference’s desire to learn from and lean into that movement. Evidence of that leaning is the focus on multicultural churches,” Hess said. “Neffsville may not be there yet, but we also desire to find the wind of the Spirit and hitch a ride.”
Neffsville has approximately 400 members, with a thriving group of members over the age of 90. Neffsville is the first congregation from Lancaster to partner with Mosaic.
“The alignment of Neffsville Mennonite into a relationship with Mosaic is an expression of hope that congregations within Mennonite Church USA can participate in strong and vigorous partnerships in fulfilling God’s mission,” shares Jeff Wright, Leadership Minister for Neffsville. “It is also an opportunity for Mosaic Conference to learn from our sisters and brothers in Lancaster County. I look forward to walking with Pastor Hunter, the staff, and the elders of Neffsville as we find fresh ways to engage in fruitful mission.”
Reflecting on the decision, Kriss added, “The leadership team of Neffsville has been diligent, careful, and open-handed in their discernment of affiliation with Mosaic. They have shown openness to receiving the gifts of what it means to be Mosaic, to engaging with Mosaic’s priorities, and asking good questions.”
Jennifer is Communication Associate/Editor for Mosaic. She was born near Houston, TX and spent a decade living in an intentional community in Washington DC, before moving to Lansdale, PA with her spouse, Sheldon Good. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and Washington Theological Seminary. She serves as Children’s Faith Formation Director at Salford Mennonite (Harleysville, PA). Jenn has two elementary-school-aged children and loves biking, camping, gardening, and vermicomposting with her family.