Mennonites gather to “live the c by pengtt


									                                                                                                                      Virginia Mennonite
                                                                                                                      Conference & Virginia
                                                                                                                      Mennonite Missions

                                                                                                                      August 2007
                                                                                                                      Vol. 17, No. 10

                                                                         Photo by Jon Trotter                         Photo by Brian Schlabach

Mennonites gather to “live the call” in San Jose
     As one of Virginia Mennonite Conference’s               In other actions the delegates approved MC
seven delegates, I enjoyed a glorious gathering of      USA’s joining Christian Churches Together a “fel-
worship and work as nearly 2,000 adults came            lowship of Christian churches…whose mission is
together for MC USA’s biennial convention in San        ‘to enable churches and national Christian organi-
Jose, Calif., July 2-6, 2007. VMC members were          zations to grow closer together in Christ in order
the fifth largest group present. About 10 VMC con-      to strengthen our Christian witness to the world.’”
gregations brought youth to the convention. They        They also affirmed Ed Diller, a lawyer from
joined with nearly 4,000 other young people, main-      Cincinnati, as moderator-elect. Former moderator
ly high schoolers, for a week of dynamic worship,       Roy William goes off the board while Sharon
service projects, workshops, fun and fellowship.        Waltner, a health educator from South Dakota, took
     The delegates’ session included lengthy discus-    the reigns as moderator. Bishop Leslie Francisco,
sions about health care which built on dialogue         from Calvary Community Church in Hampton, Va.,
begun at Charlotte 2005. Those deliberations cli-       completed his term on the executive board and
maxed in a 93% affirmative vote on a resolution         Glen Guyton, also from Calvary, was appointed to
which stated, “…as a denomination, we are com-          the board. Natalie Francisco was reappointed to a
mitted in principle to providing basic health insur-    second term on MMA’s board.
ance for all eligible pastors…we request the                 Two VMC members in particular had high pro-
Executive Board oversee the development and             files at Convention. Eastern Mennonite Seminary
implementation of a plan whereby all congregations      professor Mary Thiessen Nation brought the
of MC USA participate together in an arrangement        morning message at the adult worship session on
that covers all of our pastors with basic health        Tuesday. Drawing on her 18 years of experience
insurance.” The delegates were encouraged by the        working in inner-city Los Angeles, she encouraged
fact that the Executive Board, MMA and the mis-         telling our stories, and remembering the biblical
sion agencies have all expressed interest in partici-   stories, in our journey toward emotional and spiri-
pating in the new plan. It will draw from a larger      tual healing. Also Luke Hartman, who works with
pool and replace the existing denominational health     Harrisonburg City schools, spoke to the youth.
plan for congregational employees (COMB). Jim                If you have never been to a biennial Mennonite
Schrag, MC USA’s executive director, likened this       Convention, I encourage you to do so. Mark your
resolution to completing the first lap of a four-lap    calendars now, and plan to come to the next one in
race. The race won’t be won until the details of the    Columbus, Ohio, June 29-July 4, 2009.
plan are developed and individual congregations
affirm their participation in it.                                                                 • Steve Carpenter
                                                                          Virginia Mennonite Conference Coordinator
                                        Faith through time
                                             “Time is the water in                                                   faith that the unknown makes itself known to us. On
                                        which we live, and we                                                        the other hand, when we explore the “Jesus Christ”
                                        breathe it like fish…For what                                                record, we are going from what eyewitnesses
                                        is a man, what are we all, but                                               observed and projecting it through space-time to God
                                        bits of time caught for a                                                    —backward and forward from our point of view.
                                        moment in a tangle of blood,                                                      To affirm, then, that God “spoke” in times past
                                        bones, skin, and brain? We                                                   and that God “speaks in these last days” through
                                        are time’s containers. Time                                                  Jesus Christ is to affirm that God has a real interest in
                                        pours into us and then pours                                                 space-time. It matters what the Creator says. And, to
                                        out again. In between the two             Owen Burkholder                    affirm that the One who is beyond space-time entered
                                        pourings we live our destiny.”           Conference Minister                 into it through a birth, joined it in death, and trans-
                                        (Nanapush in Louise Erdrich’s                                                forms it through resurrection, is to affirm that the life
                                        Four Souls, p29, Harper Perennial, 2005)                                     of Jesus of Nazareth brings us to the purpose of God
                                            “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many                             for human beings.
                                        and various ways by the prophets, but in these last                               Space-time is God-blessed, God-entered, God-
                                        days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appoint-                          transformed. A life of faith is a life of partnership with
                                        ed heir of all things, through whom he also created                          God through Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit of Jesus who
                                        the worlds.” Hebrews 1:1-2 (NRS)                                             now enables us to live this life of faith—a life that
                                                                                                                     invites the ‘beyond space-time Presence’ into our
                                                                      ***                                            human space-time bound existence.
                                            My scientist friends say it is impossible for
                                        human beings to think outside of space-time dimen-
                                        sions. That leads to the great speculations on either
                                        side of our lifespan: where were we before we were
                                        born? Where do we go when we die? (Notice, those
                                        are space [where] and time [when] questions.)
                                            In my message to the VMC Assembly at Hickory
                                        on July 26, I offered the following statement as a
                                        beginning place for our faith: God creates space-
                                        time and engages it in Jesus Christ.
                                            Faith goes two ways—from the unknown to the
                                                                                                                                           Connections (USPS 007-205) is
                                        known, and from the known to the unknown. When                                                     published monthly by Virginia Mennonite
                                        we say that “God” created space-time, we are speak-                                                Missions and Virginia Mennonite
                                        ing of things that we simply cannot know with our                                                  Conference to connect congregations
                                        human space-time limitations. It is a statement of                                                 with each other and conference
                                                                                                General                                       Gloria Lehman
                    F o c u s

                                                                                                                                           Assistant Editor
                                                                                                                                              Jon Trotter
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2   Connections   August 2007                                                                                                              22801.
                    Stories of Peace                             Chinese believers find a
                                                                 home away from home
                  sponsored by the Peace Coordinators
                  of the Virginia Mennonite Conference

Lifting up ex-prisoners:                                             Hong Yan Zhou, 42, known by
                                                                 his American friends as “Jack,”
“the least of these”                                             became a Christian just over seven
                                                                 years ago. Married and with a
    “The body of Christ has a mandate from God to                young daughter, he was a post
care for the least of these,” says Bishop Paul                   graduate student at Chongqing
Gaskins of the Christian Conquest Ministries in                  University in southern China work-
Washington, DC. “I believe the body of Christ should             ing on a linguistics degree.
have the heart of the Lord in its vision and purpose.                Hong Yan says, “Early in 2000,
And this includes the planning for the coming home               I was praying for a revelation from
of brothers and sisters from prison.”                            a God I had never known, some
    This has provided the passion behind the mis-                true divine being. Immediately
sion of the Conquest Reintegration Ministries                    afterwards a Christian graduate
(CORM), a ministry begun by Christian Conquest                   student from Auburn University
Fellowship, a Virginia Mennonite Conference con-                 approached me and helped open
gregation in Washington, DC. As many as 3,000 for-               my eyes to Jesus.” The two
mer prisoners return to the District each year, many             became friends, and soon Hong Yan
with a limited education, no job skills, frayed family           and his wife Bo Hu were leading a
relations, and empty pockets. CORM’s Transitional                newly formed Christian house
                                                                                                                              Hong Yan Zhou, his wife,
Housing Center (THC) provides a place for ex-pris-               church. Theirs was one of countless numbers of               Bo Hu, and daughter, Emily.
oners to live as they reintegrate into the society               unregistered home church fellowships that are
around them. Structure and rules are in place at the             springing up all over China, resulting in the phenom-
THC to foster accountability and discipline. A com-              enal spread of Christianity in that country. But before
passionate Christian environment that respects the               long, the local State Security Council apprehended
dignity of the men residing there is created. Bible              Hong Yan three times, their apartment was
studies and support groups are held on a regular                 searched, and he was ordered not to take part in any
basis.                                                           more unregistered church activities.
    According to Rev. Louis Jones, Executive                         In 2004 he had the opportunity to spend a
Director of CORM, “one of the most trying aspects                semester at Eastern Mennonite University. While
of working with ex-prisoners is finding businesses               here, he was granted asylum status through the US
who will give them jobs.” Mark Ty Purvis was told                State Department. Then after two years of much
that he would never work in his field again due to his           prayer and testing, the dream of Bo Hu and ten-year
tax fraud conviction. After his release from prison,             old daughter Emily (Zhiyang) joining him was real-
he went to Conquest House, had a roof over his                   ized in August 2006.
head, a place to fax resumes and make phone calls,                   Currently the three are making their home with
vouchers for clothing, and some of his food. “I could            Rachel Stoltzfus, a member of the Harrisonburg-
focus on working toward employment and a career.”                based Family of Hope House Church. Through
After a job as a temporary substitute teacher, his               Rachel, the Zhous have found a church home away
excellent performance led to a full-time math                    from home in Family of Hope.
teacher position. He credits CORM with giving him                    Soon after their arrival in the US, Emily entered
the boost he needed to get his life back on track, and           a statewide “Drawing Your Dreams” poster contest
sees himself as the recipient of the Lord’s blessings            sponsored by the Virginia College Savings Plan. Her
in his life.                                                     painting of herself as a future veterinarian treating a
    Minister LaVerne Brewster of Christian                       family of pandas won a first-place prize for her grade
Conquest Fellowship also conducts Bible studies at a             level and netted a full, four-year scholarship to any
detention facility for women. “We try to get them to             Virginia public university for which she is later
see that while prison and drugs may have devoured                accepted.
them, it has not negated God’s purpose for their                     Members of Family of Hope feel blessed to have
lives,” she stated. “We are excited because as we                the Zhous in their fellowship, and hope many others
minister to these women, the Holy Spirit also pours              learn to know these wonderful neighbors and
out His Spirit upon us.”                                         friends.
                                       • Story by David Powell                                             • Harvey Yoder
              Virginia Mennonite Conference Peace Committee                                                Family of Hope
                                                                                                                            August 2007      Connections    3
                            Friendship in tragedy’s wake
                            Church offers comfort to Koreans after Virginia Tech shootings
                                When the Rev. James Rhee first heard about the
                            shootings at Virginia Tech, he was consumed by
                            grief for the victim’s families and overwhelmed with
                            guilt that a fellow Korean had killed 32 Americans.
                                It was as if the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior
                            at Tech, was his own son who had gone on a ram-
                            page and randomly opened fire on students and pro-
                            fessors before turning the gun on himself on the
                            morning of April 16.
                                Rhee had received a warm welcome from mem-
                            bers of Stephens City Mennonite Church a year and
                            a half ago, when they offered free use of their sanc-
                            tuary. But when Rhee heard the tragic news that
                            Monday morning, he wasn’t sure what their reaction
                            would be. Would they blame him and his 44-member
                            church, or all Korean people?
                                With a heavy heart, Rhee decided to attend a
                            prayer meeting at Stephens City Mennonite the next
                            morning to share his sorrow and grief over the
                            tragedy that had taken place on the college campus                 Comforters for the
                            in Blacksburg.
                                His wife, Sharon, decided to join him. But just as             wounded victims
                            the Rhees started walking over to the church, a
                                                                                                    A particular group of students will be facing the
                            short distance from their home, Sharon’s feelings of
                                                                                               stark reality of returning to the campus where they
                            guilt overwhelmed her. She panicked and ran back to
                                                                                               were the victims of a most horrific crime. This past
                            the house. “I wanted to attend and pray, but I
                                                                                               April 16, thirty-three students and faculty were
                            couldn’t,” she said.
                                                                                               killed at Virginia Tech. The outpouring of support
                                When James met with the group, he apologized
                                                                                               from around the world for their families was truly
                            for Cho’s actions and shared the emotions he and
                                                                                               amazing to witness. Often relegated to a side-bar in
                            other members of the Stephens City Korean
                                                                                               this whole story, though, were the twenty-five stu-
                            Community Church, also a Mennonite congregation,
                                                                                               dents at Virginia Tech who survived the shooting,
                            were experiencing. “I felt like I wanted to escape
                                                                                               but were wounded, and will be living with that vivid
                            from the Korean community because I was so
                                                                                               memory for the rest of their lives. Many of those
                            ashamed,” James said. “We have a very strong
                                                                                               students will be returning to campus this fall to com-
                            nationalism. We feel like we are one big family.”
                                                                                               plete their programs.
                                The next day, the Rhees and other members of
                                                                                                    We at Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship
                            the Korean church joined Stephens City Mennonite
                                                                                               invite our sisters and brothers of Virginia
                            for a family-night event. That was when members of
                                                                                               Conference to help recognize the particular suffering
                            the two congregations took their dialogue a little
                                                                                               of those wounded students. With your help, we
                            deeper. Sharon had finally summoned the courage to
                                                                                               would like to make a comforter for each of those stu-
                            share her feelings about the shootings. What she got
                                                                                               dents. We have been in contact with the Dean of
                            in return was empathy and words of comfort. “They
                                                                                               Students at Virginia Tech who heartily endorses this
                            encouraged me, and they understood my feelings of
                                                                                               effort. The University will take care of distributing
                            guilt,” she said. “You are part of our family. You are
                                                                                               the comforters to the affected students. We are not
                            God’s family.”
                                                                                               seeking face-to-face contact with the students; they
                                The two congregations developed a closer bond
                                                                                               will receive these comforters anonymously, or at the
                            as a result of that evening. “I feel the spirit of God
                                                                                               very most, with broad greetings from Virginia
                            was among us in seeking unity,” Aldine said. “We
                                                                                               Mennonite Conference churches. If your congrega-
                            learned about ways to respond that bring healing and
                                                                                               tion would like to participate by making a comforter,
                            hope, and that glorify God.”
                                                                                               please contact Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship
                                                                                               (540-382-8787) and we will send you further details.
                                 • Adapted from an article appearing in The Winchester Star,
                                             written by Lorraine Halsted, printed on May 29.
                                                                                                                                            • Les Horning
4   Connections   August 2007                                                                                          Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship
Good $ense course                                             Rally for religious freedom in Rome
published in Italian                                               “Most Holy Saints Square,” several blocks
                                                              from the notorious Coliseum of ancient Rome, was
                                       Several evan-          an appropriate setting for an unusual gathering.
                                   gelical publishers         Approximately 700 evangelical believers from all
                                   in Italy informed          over Italy con-
                                   us that we have no         vened there
                                   books on the stew-         on June 23 to
                                   ardship of money           express their
                                   in Italian. Friends        desire for
                                   who work in the            more religious
                                   secular financial          freedom.
                                   setting were not           Organized by
                                   aware of any Italian       the “Italian
                                   books designed to          Evangelical
                                   help families man-         Alliance,” this
                                   age finances. With         was only the
courtesy Willard & Eva Eberly                                 second such
                                   that in mind, we
began searching among the many English books on               event in the
the subject to find a practical, but simple study             history of Italy, the first one
guide that could easily be contextualized for Italy.          having taken place in 1998.
      Through MMA’s “Stewardship University” we                    Italy’s history is marred by
discovered Willow Creek’s Good $ense Budget                   800 years of religious oppres-
Course: Biblical Financial Principles for                     sion and persecution. The last
Transforming your Finances and Life (by Dick                  four decades of religious free-
Towner and John Tofilon.) They graciously granted             dom have been limited howev-
VMM a reasonable contract for translation rights.             er, by a 1929 fascist law and by
Using the first corrected draft of the translation,           a dominant religious system
Ken Horst taught a “trial run” course among the               that is strongly linked to the
Mennonite churches in Palermo, Sicily where it                political state.
was well received.                                                 The “believers’ church”
      Casa della Bibbia, widely known and respected           movement in Italy, that num-
Christian publisher in Italy, agreed to publish the           bers less than 1% of the popula-
book for us, if VMM would finance it. By faith we             tion, has been weak and divided
agreed. They subjected it to thorough correction,             with traditionally little influence
contextualization, and careful layout. Daniele                on the Italian society. This rally
Salini, a fine Christian financier and president of an        demonstrates a new commit-
association of Christian Italian professionals and            ment to unified witness and to seek a common                  (top) Italian evangelicals at
                                                              identity and platform. Some themes that emerged               the rally in Rome for more
businessmen, highly endorses its content. Here is                                                                           religious freedom in Italy.
a translated quote from the introduction he wrote             during the rally: we are already free in Christ; we
for the Italian version, “Money will have its right-          are not here to protest against something but                 (above) Lia Giuliana and
ful place when it becomes an instrument that we               rather to encourage the cause of religious free-              Eva Eberly in Rome. They
                                                              dom; we openly declare our prayer support of our              went to the rally represent-
learn to use in fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.”                                                                       ing the Mennonite church
      Our son, Jon Michael, added the final touch—            government’s leaders. A clear call was launched               in Bari.
an attractively designed cover appropriate for the            for the legal recognition of evangelical churches,
                                                                                                                            courtesy Willard & Eva Eberly
Italian culture that definitely influences its com-           qualifying them to receive tax-deducible gifts, to
mercial value. Most of all, let’s pray that all that’s        perform marriages, and other similar rights.
been invested in this book will yield dividends of                 Lia Giuliani and Eva Eberly represented the
transformed lives in the area of finances among the           Mennonite church and were part of a delegation of
Italian churches.                                             believers from Bari. A highlight of the rally for
                                                              them was the radiant testimony of a well-known
                                              • Eva Eberly    Italian soccer player who was recently converted
                           Mediterranean Regional Assistant   and now a leader of “Athletes for Christ” in Italy.

                                                                                                          • Eva Eberly
                                                                                      CMediterranean Regional Assistant
                                                                                                                          August 2007          Connections   5
                                        FLRC comes home for its 20th anniversary
                                              On Sunday afternoon, July 1, the Family Life     and families: “I will walk with integrity of heart
                                        Resource Center invited friends from everywhere        within my house;” “I will set before my eyes no
                                        to celebrate its 20th birthday. What made this date-   vile thing;” “I will look with favor on the faithful of
                                        and the place, the Park                                                      the land so that they may live
    (right) Ralph Steger,
    executive director of               View Mennonite Church-                                                       in my house;” “No one who
    FLRC, Deb Layman,                   -significant was that it                                                     practices deceit shall remain in
    Gloria Snider, Radella              was exactly twenty years                                                     my house;” “No one who
    Vrolijk, Rowland Brunk,             earlier, July 1, 1987, that                                                  utters lies shall continue in my
    (all board members),
    Dorothy Hottle, office              FLRC first opened its                                                        presence.” (from Psalm 101)
    manager, and Carroll                doors at that very loca-                                                        Then there was the music.
    Hottle celebrated the               tion, using several office                                                   The rich, resonant sound of the
    20th anniversary of the             spaces in the south                                                          fifty-voice adult choir from the
    Family Life Resource
    Center at Park View                 annex of the church.                                                         First Russian Baptist Church
    Mennonite Church on                    At the celebration, Jim                                                   was unforgettable. We all
    July 1.                             Glanzer and Harvey                                                           wished for more.
                                        Yoder, clinicians at FLRC for most of those years,        The offering for the event totaled $1400, all of
                                        shared some of their memories, beginning with the      which will go toward making up some of the differ-
                                        coming of Randy and Rhonda Weber, the Center’s         ence between what it costs to run the Center (cur-
                                        first therapists and directors. From an agency oper-   rently with an office and clinical staff of eight FTE)
                                        ating on a shoestring and a prayer, FLRC has           and the reduced amounts often paid by insurance
                                        grown to one with an annual budget of $450,000.        companies and by individuals without health cover-
                                        The Center still relies on lots of prayer and other    age or other means.
                                        help to support this Christian-based counseling and       An earlier 20th Anniversary fundraiser, a
                                        resource agency.                                       Couples Night Out at Simple Pleasures held
                                           Among the early FLRC supporters present at          May 19, also helped provide some much needed
                                        the event were Gloria Lehman, the first chair of       funds for operating expenses, debt reduction and
                                        the board, and past board member John Drescher,        recent building repairs. FLRC now owns its offices
                                        who has become the most widely-read Mennonite          on 273 Newman Avenue, and looks forward to pay-
                                        writer ever. Drescher, now from Quakertown,            ing off its $90,000 mortgage for the building and its
                                        Pennsylvania, spoke on the theme “Changes I            new annex as soon as possible.
                                        Have Seen in Family Life and Parenting Over the           The FLRC board and staff appreciate all of the
                                        Last Fifty Years.”                                     congregations and individuals who have made
                                           At nearly 79, Drescher’s message was as strong      these twenty good years a reality, and especially
                                        and impactful as ever. For example, he spoke of        thank the local businesses and other generous
                                        five commitments each of us need to make if we         donors who helped sponsor our 20th anniversary
                                        are to avoid being seduced by the persuasive media     events.
                                        messages constantly being aimed at our children                                     • Harvey Yoder, counselor, FLRC

    (at right) Destiny, Hailey,                                                                                 The fifth annual Back Yard Bible
    Michael, Essence and                                                                                     School in Graham, N.C., was held beside
    Keira work together to                                                                                   the playground in Parkridge Apartments
    build the temple in                                                                                      instead of in Keith and Tami Nice’s back
    response to our story                                                                                    yard. Many children live in the apart-
    about Josiah.                                                                                            ments there. Average attendance during
    courtesy Tami Nice                                                                                       the week was 45-50 children, ages 3-13.
                                                                                                             On Wednesday evening there was lots of
                                                                                                             thunder and lightning, and leaders need-
                                                                                                             ed to make a decision about holding an
                                                                                                             outdoor Bible school in these conditions.
                                                                                                             A dozen or so kids gathered around and
                                                                                                             begged, “Please don't cancel Bible
                                                                                                             school.” For safety, it had to be cancelled
                                                                                                             that evening. The students were eager
                                                                                                             to participate. It was a great opportunity
                                                                                                             to begin friendships with families there;
                                                                                                             future outreaches include a school
                                                                                                             supply distribution in August.

6        Connections          August 2007
                                                                        Connections Prayer Calendar August 2007
       Sunday                            Monday                          Tuesday                      Wednesday                        Thursday                          Friday                       Saturday
                                                                                                       Intercede for a youth         Kerry-Ann Tyrell and             At 7:00 p.m. today, the        Many of us take a year-
                                                                                                  1    camp to establish         2   Lisa Reid, youth from       3    2007 class of tranSend    4    ly summer vacation this
                         This month’s prayer calendar is sponsored by                                                            Jamaica, attended Youth
                                                                                                  friendships with un-evan-                                      will be commissioned for       month. Pray we may be
                                    Dick and Wanda Good                                           gelized youth through          Camp in Trinidad last week-     their terms of service.        open to God's leadings in
                                                                                                  music, sport activities, and   end and travel home tomor-      What a challenge ahead of      our lives during the coming
              in honor of their good friends at Riverside Mennonite Church                        English conversation cours-    row. Thank God for this         each one! With your            year and that we may learn
                                                                                                  es, being held in Niksic, a    opportunity for them, and       prayers and God's constant     to rest in Him and just "be."
           and others in the Harman, West Virginia, community who have made                                                      ask for His guidance as they    presence, they will do the
                                                                                                  university city in
                 their summer sojourns there memorable and rewarding.                             Montenegro July 30-Aug. 5.     continue to serve Him           work set before them.
                                                                                                                                 through their congregations.
    Thank God for another              The Italian Mennonite            Anita Rhodes, serving          A VMM team has                 Pray for Conference               The Annual General           Pray for Conference
5   Virginia Mennonite            6    Church still waits after   7     as an historical inter-   8    been working on           9    Minister Owen              10     Meeting of the          11   Minister Owen
Conference Assembly;              more than 20 years for offi-    preter at Nazareth Village      rebuilding a church in Haiti   Burkholder as he walks          Mennonite Church of            Burkholder’s ministry of
another time to connect           cial recognition by the         under VMM's tranSend pro-       since August 3. Thank God      with various districts and      Trinidad & Tobago begins       encouraging the churches of
with others, worship, and         Italian government. Ask         gram, leaves for Turkey, to     for the good connections       special ministry clusters in    today. Pray for the church     VMC. He preaches at Zion
work on the needs of the          the Lord to intervene on        visit her missionary sister,    there, and ask Him to bless    the transitions of              as they have their business    Mennonite Church, in
church. Pray for the plan-        their behalf to break           en route to Israel. Pray for    the church as it grows.        bishops/overseers.              session on Saturday, and the   Broadway, Va., tomorrow.
ning process for next year’s      through the obstacles.          traveling mercies.                                                                             celebration with worship on
Assembly in Harrisonburg.                                                                                                                                        Sunday.

        Pray for Victor                 Nancy Marshall has               Youth camp for                   Thank God for the             Phil, Marcia, Crystal           Praise God for                 Teachers, principals,
12      Espinoza, pastor of       13    returned to Orange        14     Jamaica Mennonite        15      ministry of Myron      16     and Christopher          17     answers to prayer for   18     parents and stu-
Iglesia de Jesus la Promesa       Walk Town, Belize, after        Church is held this week.       Augsburger as he retires       Lehman returned to their        the Chris Riddle family. A     dents are preparing for a
(Church of Promise of             being in the US for VA          Bible study, activities, and    this month as overseer for     home in Italy yesterday.        suitable, adequate apart-      new school year. Let's pray
Jesus), Wallace, N,C., one        Assembly and vacation with      good interaction make this a    the leadership/administra-     Their home leave was full       ment was found for them        that they will have good
of our recent church plants,      her family. Thank God for       highlight for those who         tion cluster of special min-   of church visits and family     near Centro Koinonia, a        attitudes and open minds
as he reaches out to his          her energy and creativity as    attend. Ask God to bless the    istries. Pray for discern-     times. Ask God to bless         developing area of Bari,       to learn a lot about God's
neighborhood.                     she reaches the Deaf com-       leaders and the youth as        ment in finding his succes-    their transition time with      Italy.                         world.
                                  munity around her.              they participate together.      sor.                           insight and energy.

        Willard Eberly is plan-           Pray blessings over a           Richard and Margaret           Pray for those who             Pray for Aaron and              Paul Kratz, Trinidad,          The Hickory Hmong
19      ning a vacation/          20      PIM team from           21      Keeler now live near-   22     are heading off to      23     Laura Kauffman,          24     meets monthly with      25     Mennonite Church
seminar for young adults and      Harrisonburg, Va., Stan         er to the Gospel Lighthouse     college for their freshman     VMM and MMN workers in          pastors and leadership teams   celebrates their third
families this week in             McMahons (Ireland), and         Menn. Church where they         year that they may remem-      Colombia, as they reach out     in the Mennonite Church of     anniversary today. Pray for
Calabria, Italy. The purpose is   Maurita Eberly as they help     give leadership to this con-    ber the things they have       to a variety of people as       Trinidad & Tobago. May         the pastor, Chaiya
to encourage commitment to        provide meaningful activities   gregation of 80 members.        learned at home and            they teach English, relate to   God's grace and insight be     Hadtasunsern, and his con-
love and serve God and His        for this vacation/seminar.      Ask God to bless them as        church and that they may       the church youth group, and     shared through him and         gregation, that they may
church, and to reach their                                        they have more contact with     be kept from all evil.         interact with community         good decisions be made for     grow in numbers and in
generation for Christ. Pray                                       this home community.                                           members.                        the wellbeing of the church.   the knowledge of Jesus
for this event.                                                                                                                                                                                 Christ.
        Crystal Lehman is                VMC's four elected             The VMC staff and a             Pray for the heads of           Both VMC and VMM                Thank God for Sarah
26      going to Black Forest     27     officers, plus the       28    representative of the     29    Conference-related       30     end their fiscal years   31     Bixler’s work as         If you would like to sponsor
Academy in Germany for            conference minister and         Listening Committee will        Ministries EMU, EMHS,          tomorrow. Both began the        interim youth minister on
her junior year of H.S. Pray      conference coordinator, will    meet tomorrow to evaluate       VMRC, VMM, VMC,                month in deficit positions in   this, her last day at work      the prayer calendar, please
she’d soon make friends and       meet in Richmond tomor-         the Hickory 2007                Mennonite Media and            their general operating         for the Conference. Pray          contact Gloria Lehman at
adjust to living away from        row to prepare for the          Assembly. Pray for discern-     Pleasant View Inc. as they     accounts. Pray that God's       for discernment for VMC
her family and church in          Conference Council meet-        ment as they seek to                                                                                                            (540) 434-9727 or email
                                                                                                  gather for breakfast and       people may respond gener-       leaders in the search for
Bari, Italy.                      ing on September 21. Pray       improve these gatherings.       fellowship tomorrow.           ously to the financial need.    her successor.       
                                  for wisdom and guidance.

                                                 The annual Ministry Retreat for pastors/
                                                 ministers will be held February 22-24,         2007
                                                 2008, at the Williamsburg Christian
                                                 Retreat Center. David Brubaker, assistant
                                                 professor at the Center for Justice and
                                                 Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite            Your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters

         Announcements                           University, will be the resource person.
                                                 His topic will be “Managing Conflict in the
                                                 Congregation.” Mark your calendars now!
                                                                                               and dollars make a difference!

                                                                                               We are hoping to raise $25,000 for this year’s
                                                                                               Penny Power projects. In 2006, congregations
                                       “Women of Worth—WOW!” is the topic for the              contributed $26,873.32! We hope to continue
                                       Mennonite Women of Virginia’s annual retreat            the effort and momentum from last year.
                                       November 9-11 at Holiday Inn Koger South Hotel in
                                       Richmond. Angie Williams is the speaker for this        • Highlight Penny Power during your Sunday morning
                                       dynamic event. Watch for registration information in       worship service. Involve the children in your church.
                                       church mailboxes this summer. Plan to join women        • Bring jugs from your church/org. to the Relief Sale,
                                       in your congregation and from all around Virginia          October 5-6, at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds.
                                                                                               • Take your empty jugs back to your church and start
                                       Mennonite Conference for worship and fellowship.           collecting for next year’s Penny Power projects!

                                       Promote Penny Power in your congregation with a new
                                       three-minute DVD, “The Three Littlest
                                       Missonaries” about the children of Chris
                                       and Melody Riddle, mission workers in
                                       Bari, Italy. Funds from Penny Power raised
                                       this year will assist the childrens’ valuable
                                       relational ministry. Contact Laura for a DVD
                                       at (800) 707-5535 or

Connections (USPS 007-205)                                                                                                                            Periodical
Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions
Virginia Mennonite Conference                                                                                                                      Harrisonburg, VA
901 Parkwood Drive                                                                                                                                      22801
Harrisonburg, VA 22802-2498

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