All who come to worship with us receive a welcome at our doors, an invitation to join small groups discussing Bible passages and issues of faith and practice, along with an extension of ongoing love and fellowship.
Women and changing roles in the church
by Helen Lapp, Plains Change can take a lot of time. And it is very unsettling for many—no surprise there! This past summer Plains congregation (Hatfield, Pa.) decided to explore together, […]
New IVEP participants join Conference communities
This fall, four young adults from around the globe will use their gifts and time to support various Franconia Conference-related ministries. All four are participants in Mennonite Central Committee’s International Volunteer […]
Conference pastors pursue higher education
by Lora Steiner, managing editor The Lord works in mysterious ways, and the Spirit leads in mysterious ways: sometimes to faraway lands, sometimes to stretching local ministries—or sometimes, back to […]
May Your Kingdom Come: A Benediction
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….
Reflections on the Journey: celebrating the career of Noah Kolb
For Noah Kolb, the journey has moved in unexpected places, bringing challenges and blessings alike. Reflecting on a 45 year ministerial career—the most recent 14 of which he spent in Franconia Conference leadership—Noah says, “I could not have dreamed this path and in many ways it has felt like God has nudged and moved me along step by step.” As Noah anticipates his retirement years, he continues to experience those divine nudgings, offering words of wisdom from his ministerial work.
Franconia Conference gathers to celebrate, pray, confer, listen
Franconia Conference delegates and leaders gathered November 2 at Penn View Christian School in Souderton, Pa. to celebrate God still at work. With a packed auditorium for a third united assembly with Eastern District Conference, representatives gathered to listen and pray, to celebrate newly credentialed and ordained pastoral leaders, and to work alongside one another after an over 150-year rift created two separate Mennonite entities. The theme “God still @ work” was an extension of the 2012 theme, “God @ work.”
Lois Gunden Clemens named Righteous Among the Nations
July 18, 2013: Press Release from Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem recently recognized Lois Gunden, an American Mennonite who helped save Jewish children while in France during the Holocaust, as Righteous Among the Nations.
Gunden will be posthumously honored in a ceremony that will take place in the United States, in which her niece, Mary Jean Gunden will accept the medal and certificate of honor on her behalf.
Eight set for first terms
On July 2 at the delegate session in Phoenix, seven people, including two from Franconia Conference, were elected to serve for a first term on the following boards: Executive Board, Everence, Mennonite Education Agency, Mennonite Mission Network and The Mennonite, Inc. The delegates also approve the selection of moderator-elect.
Entering into grace: The Cross
At a gathering of church leaders at camp Men-O-Lan in the early 70’s, I heard Gerald Studer (then pastor of Plains Mennonite) say something like: “If I were the only person living on earth, God so loved the world that he would have sent Jesus to die for me.”
As a teenager I was never sure I was good enough to take communion. I knew I did not live up to the expectations of the church community, nor of the Scriptures so I always took communion with much anxiety and guilt. I lacked an understanding of the grace of God and of my own self-worth. All my being and doing good didn’t achieve the peace and confidence I was taught or hoped for.
“God is profoundly at work” in Hatfield
The story of Jesus calming the storm had special significance for Stacie Dougherty, interim pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, as she shared her message on Sunday during a joint service with Plains Mennonite, Hatfield. “In our lives, too, storms will come along—forces out of our control,” she said. “Things like … a devastating fire.”
This past New Year’s Eve, Grace experienced just that—a fire that destroyed the church’s educational building and left their Stepping Stones Nursery School without a facility. When their proposed new facility fell through, they were left frantically looking for an alternative.
Why I skipped church on Mother's Day
by Dawn Ranck, Plains I don’t normally journal . . . or blog . . . I rarely write anything except sermons. So why am I sitting at Starbucks writing […]
Community children design mural for Plains Park
Some blank walls just call out to be painted.
That’s what a group of members from Plains Mennonite Church (Hatfield, Pa.) decided in October 2010 as they walked through Plains Park, located next to the church, discussing how to enhance spirituality in the park. The blank wall of the kitchenette in the park was the perfect place for a mural. Since the wall faces the playground, the group chose the phrase “Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me.’” to guide the design.