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Conference Will Explore Amish Issues September 6, 2018

As far as Torah Bontrager can tell, she is the first Amish person to graduate from an Ivy League school. Bontrager's path to Columbia University was fraught with pain, however, and she shared her story in her memoir, "An Amish Girl in Manhattan: Escaping at Age 15, Breaking All the Rules, and Feeling Safe Again," which was published in 2017.

Bontrager's experiences led to the formation of the Amish Heritage Foundation (AHF), which is dedicated to advocating for people inside and outside the Amish Church - what is known in non-Amish societies as "Old Order" - and making the transition smoother for those who have left or wish to leave. "We're the only nonsectarian institution that advocates for Amish people and engages their issues and educates the general public," Bontrager commented. "The three overarching initiatives of the foundation are education, female-driven entrepreneurship/leadership, and health and well-being."

Along with AHF board member Elam Zook, who describes himself as noncompliant Amish, Bontrager will host what they hope will become an annual conference, "Disrupting History: Reclaiming Our Amish Story," on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 29, at Franklin & Marshall College, 415 Harrisburg Ave., Lancaster. The conference will be packed full of opportunities for attendees to explore issues related to Amish culture. Recordings of all 10 speakers and the panel discussion will be made accessible online for later reference.

The keynote address by law professor Marci Hamilton on Sept. 28 will focus on children's rights. In her book "God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty," which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Hamilton wrote extensively about the Supreme Court case of Wisconsin vs. Yoder.

Galen Guengerich, who grew up Mennonite, will give the keynote address on Sept. 29. In his book "God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age," Guengerich asserts that the first step toward being set free is discovering where one belongs.

The conference will also include speakers who have left other religions, a sexual assault survivor and plaintiff in a landmark Amish case, and a panel of minority entrepreneurs including those with Amish, Mennonite, Navajo, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds.

The Sept. 28 session will close with an uplifting live music performance by rhythm-and-blues singer-songwriter Tanisha Avent in the second-floor lounge of Tellus360, 24 E. King St., Lancaster. The performance will be open to the public. The conference will conclude on Sept. 29 with a closing reception hosted by Amish-Mennonite artist Freiman Stoltzfus at the Freiman Stoltzfus Gallery in downtown Lancaster.

Conference attendance is limited to 150 people. "We want this inaugural historic event to be truly memorable," Bontrager said. "The smaller group gives everyone in attendance the chance to connect meaningfully and develop lasting relationships."

Tickets are required and may be purchased at https://DisruptingHistory.eventbrite.com. A limited number of complimentary tickets for sexual assault survivors and ex-Amish are available, thanks to donor sponsorships. The foundation is looking for sponsors and volunteers to help make the event a success. To learn more, folks may visit www.AmishHeritage.org/events, find "Amish Heritage Foundation" on Facebook, or email info@AmishHeritage.org. Social media users may follow @AmishFoundation on Twitter and @AmishHeritageFound on Instagram.

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Social Justice Forum Posted July 25, 2018

The York Association of the United Church of Christ, consisting of 26 churches, will sponsor the third annual Social Justice Forum on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Mount Zion United Church of Christ, 1054 Ridgewood Road, York. From 8:30 to 9 a.m., registration will take place and coffee will be available. After a welcome at 9 a.m., sessions will begin at 9:15 a.m.

Workshop topics will include ageism, drug addictions and other addictions, teenagers in need of assistance, homelessness, veterans in need, and sex trafficking. The focus will be on the local community. Participants may choose three workshops to attend, and each workshop will last 40 minutes.

Parking is available. Child care will be provided by caregivers with clearances. To register children for child care, readers may call the church at 717-755-6117.

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Mission Conference June 20, 2018

Maple Grove Mennonite Church, 549 Swan Road, Atglen, will hold an informal mission conference on Sunday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m.

Attendees will hear what God is doing through many missions, including those in Albania, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. There will also be information about Cornerstone Pregnancy Center, Eastern Mennonite Missions, Maple Grove Preschool, Mennonite Disaster Service, Parkesburg Point, West Chester University, and Youth With a Mission.

For more information, readers may contact the church at info@maplegrove-atglen.org or 610-593-6658.

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"Revive Initiative" To Focus On Church Development June 15, 2018

East Petersburg Mennonite Church (EPMC) lead pastor Jeff McClain and Keith Blank, who is bishop of the Landisville-Manor District of LMC: A Fellowship of Anabaptist Churches, have attended Exponential Conference in Orlando for the past two years. The conference is a gathering of people involved in multiplying and planting churches, as well as missional thinkers. In a conference that was largely non-Mennonite, it was unique to encounter another Mennonite.

"It was there, in a Forge America workshop, that we first encountered (Howard and Cathy) Wagler. Instantly, we found commonality in vision together for church revitalization, missional church transformation, and leadership development," McClain recalled. "We also learned Howard Wagler was a Mennonite pastor whom God had used to take a small, struggling, traditional church community and transform it into a growing multisite church community."

McClain and Blank discovered that in addition to serving at Journey Mennonite Church in Kansas, the Waglers had partnered with Forge America and other organizations to launch a leadership coaching and development cohort initiative. The Waglers created Revive, a ministry that provides a learning cohort and coaching for churches, pastors, and leaders who are pursuing revitalization through missional church transformation and leadership development. Thus, McClain and Blank began to dream together about what it would mean to hear the Waglers' story and experience their resourcing in Lancaster.

"Howard and Cathy have developed a tremendous opportunity for leaders to connect with other leaders, to develop their gifts, and to find the resources for both individual and communal transformation to build a sustainable and joy-filled ministry for the present and the future," McClain commented.

The result of the discussion and dreaming is Revive Initiative, a one-day event that will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, at EPMC, 6279 Main St., East Petersburg. The format of the day will include teaching, first-hand stories, and more. Throughout the day, attendees will be guided in discovering the Bible as God's story of mission, the Church as a community shaped by God's mission, and discipleship as a complete surrender to God and His mission in the world.

"Howard has a passion to see churches rediscover God's mission in their backyards, and he has experience," McClain remarked.

"We are really hoping to see church members, teams, and leaders take part in this conversation and conference. We believe the Holy Spirit longs to revitalize our local church communities," Blank added.

There is no cost to attend the July 7 event, and lunch will be provided. Registration is required by following the link at www.reviveinitiative.com, and reservations will be closed on Saturday, June 30.

For more information about Revive Initiative, readers may visit the event website or contact McClain by calling EPMC at 717-569-9931.

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Church Hosts Kingdompreneur Academy April 19, 2018

The Kingdompreneur Kids Academy began on April 8 at the Lancaster Evangelical Free Church. The six sessions are designed to help children walk away with a polished business plan and $50 of seed money. As part of Operation 50/50, they will have 50 days to create their product or offer their service.

The first session focused on the topic "How Do You See Money? How Do You See Work?" Subsequent sessions were to highlight "Turning Passion Into Profit" and "Turning Pain Into Profit"; "Finding Your Big Idea," a guided process of helping each child discover their business idea; "Creating a Business Plan and Conducting Market Research"; "Creating a Brand and Pricing"; and "First Things First - Whose Kingdom Will You Build?" - focusing on the difference between the Kingdom of God and earthly kingdoms.

Each step of the way, children are being guided by businesspeople and entrepreneurs. The learning is based on real experience fueled by actual examples with the goal of resulting in impact, with children making money and making a difference in their community.

During Operation 50/50, mentors will check in on the children to help them stay encouraged and on course. After the conclusion of the 50-day period, a special gathering will be held to exchange stories and celebrate the children's products and services. All collective profit will benefit the building project for the church, which is expected to start within the next year.

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Church Plans Special Events April 13, 2018

Victory Christian Fellowship, 695 E. Ridge Road, Palmyra, will hold special events on Friday through Sunday, April 20 to 22. For more information, readers may call the church at 717-838-2033 or visit www.vcfpa.org.

A women's conference themed "Awaken the Word in You" will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on April 20 and from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Special guest speakers will be pastor Fiona Pyszka, international speaker and author of five books, and Sadie Crills, a missionary and teacher of the Word of God.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. The price includes a light dinner on April 20, as well as a morning snack and lunch on April 21.

Additionally, Crills will share at 10 a.m. on April 22 at the church, and all are invited. A freewill offering will be received.

Crills served on staff at Worship Center in Lancaster for 25 years. She served as missions director, and she and her husband, Dave, have traveled the world teaching in Bible schools and helping to establish Bible training centers in Sierra Leone.

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Marriage Enrichment Seminar Planned April 12, 2018

House on the Rock Family Ministries will offer an upcoming marriage enrichment seminar, "Reclaiming Intimacy," on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, at Chiques Church of the Brethren, 4045 Sunnyside Road, Manheim.

The schedule on April 21 will include "Reclaiming Emotional Intimacy" from 10:30 a.m. to noon, a provided lunch from noon to 1 p.m., "Reclaiming Physical Intimacy" from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and "Reclaiming Spiritual Intimacy" from 2:45 to 4 p.m. On April 22, "That's How God Planned It" will take place from 9 to 10 a.m.

There is no cost to attend, but registration must be completed by Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m. Those who plan to attend are asked to call Mike Hess at 717-665-7295.

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Academy To Host Seminar March 27, 2018

Veritas Academy, a private, Classical Christian school, will host a seminar on Saturday, April 14, at the school, 26 Hillcrest Ave., Leola. Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the lectures starting at 9 a.m. The event will conclude at noon after a question-and-answer session.

Cooper Pinson of the Harvest USA Student Outreach Program will present "Encouraging a Biblical View of Sexuality in Our Children" as a two-part seminar. The first part will discuss how parents can talk with their children about the topic, and the second part will share how to navigate technology.

There is a per-person admission fee. Preregistration is required, as space is limited. To register, readers may visit www.VeritasAcademy.com/biblical-sexuality or call the school at 717-556-0690.

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Ministry Plans Conference March 8, 2018

The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry will sponsor a conference from Sunday to Wednesday, March 18 to 21, at Community Bible Church of Gordonville, 234 Old Leacock Road, Gordonville. The speaker will be Tom Simcox. Events will take place on March 18 at 9:30 a.m., 10:35 a.m., and 6 p.m. and daily from Monday, March 19, to March 21 at 7 p.m. A free lunch and a question-and-answer session will be available on March 21 at noon.

For more information, readers may call 717-823-2086.

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Banquet To Focus On Mennonite And African-American History March 1, 2018

Attendees at the annual banquet of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society will be invited to learn and to reflect on the intersection of Lancaster County Mennonite and African-American history. Guest speaker Leonard Dow will share on the topic "This Is My Story, This Is My Song," relating stories from his life. The banquet is slated for 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, at the DoubleTree Resort, 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster.

Dow was reared in Philadelphia and first encountered Mennonites when he enrolled at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, where he was one of 30 black students recruited to integrate the student body. He later went on to attend Eastern Mennonite University, where he still holds basketball records and where he met his wife, Rosalie Rolón.

Dow served as pastor at Oxford Circle Mennonite Church for 19 years and also served as bishop of the Philadelphia District of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. He currently works for Everence Financial in Philadelphia as a stewardship and development specialist. Dow believes his call is to use that role for the benefit of urban churches nationwide.

In addition to Dow's presentation, Melody Pannell, assistant professor of social work, will give a brief talk on her experience writing the history of Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church, Harlem, New York City.

Attendees will also be treated to a performance by Franconia Conference minister and bishop Ertell Whigham and his ensemble, which will perform a blend of gospel, rhythm and blues, hymns, and black American jazz.

A fee has been set for attendance at the banquet, and tickets may be purchased at www.lmhs.org or by calling 717-393-9745. The deadline for registration is Saturday, March 10.

The Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society's annual banquet is part of more than 40 Lancaster Roots 2018 events. Lancaster Roots combines the events of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and the 1719 Hans Herr House & Museum. Through public presentations, food, music, field trips, and classes, these events aim to reveal Lancaster and its people, including their stories, culture, and history.

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Girls Invited To Attend Conference February 9, 2018

The Confidence Conference, an event for girls in sixth through 12th grades, will take place on Saturday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hershey Evangelical Free Church, 330 Hilltop Road, Hummelstown. The purpose of the event is to equip teenage girls with lifelong confidence in Christ.

The keynote speaker will be Michelle Bush, and a worship team will be led by Emily Joy Rodriguez of LCBC. More than 20 breakout sessions will be offered, covering a variety of topics such as close friendships, family dynamics, a biblical view of depression, journaling, and identity in Christ. Other sessions will include making candy pizzas and slime.

A new feature this year will be a "Preparing Our Hearts" worship session on Friday, March 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening will include a lesson from the keynote speaker, worship songs, drama presentations, and testimonies.

Last year, more than 530 girls attended. Registration is available at www.ConfidenceConference.com. Groups of 10 or more students receive a discounted ticket price. Scholarships are available. For more information, readers may email confidenceconf@gmail.com.

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Grace Fellowship To Host Mental Health Summit February 7, 2018

Bob Tome has been a part of the staff at Grace Fellowship in York for 20 years, spending the past six years as counseling pastor. According to Tome, one of the things that makes the church's counseling program unique is the way that it partners with other organizations and resources in the community. "If a counseling case is out of my area of strength, I will refer them somewhere else in the community," Tome explained. "And (other professionals in the area) refer individuals to us."

The counseling facility at Grace Fellowship, located at 1405 Seven Valleys Road, York, offers counseling and mentoring for individuals, couples, and families, as well as discussion groups and classes. The ministry also offers addictions recovery treatment with various levels of support, including one-on-one counseling, assigned mentors, group educational sessions, service opportunities, and random drug testing. Family support is available too, and appointments can be scheduled by calling 717-792-6060. Addictions treatment services are not limited to substance abuse and prescription drug abuse, Tome noted, but are also offered for areas including gambling issues, gender identity, suicide prevention, sexual addiction, and eating disorders.

"What we do is vital, because we're meeting people where they are on the ground level," said Tome. He noted that counseling can often be a good starting point for individuals seeking help, and referrals for additional services or treatment - such as rehabilitation centers - can then be made as necessary.

"We're seeing more people come forward (for treatment) because they value the professional aspect, and they know that we are trained to help them," Tome noted. "Sometimes people that don't go to church anywhere come just for counseling. We always let people know that at the core of our counseling, we'll focus on God's perspective."

Tome is board certified as a pastoral counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). After attending an AACC conference in South Carolina on overcoming addictions, he learned that the organization had no location to hold a similar conference in the northeastern part of the country. He applied for Grace Fellowship to be a host location for an AACC conference and was approved for 2018.

On Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, the AACC's "The Struggle Is Real" Summit will be held at the church from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Workshops, panel discussions, and plenary sessions led by experts including Dr. Tim Clinton, AACC president, will focus on how to care for people.

The event is designed to help pastors, counselors, mental health advocates, coaches, crisis responders, chaplains, and others to learn about mental health and the mission of the church. To register, readers may visit https://york.cmhcsummit.com or call 800-526-8673. The deadline for super early bird registration is Wednesday, Feb. 28, but registration for a higher cost will also be available after that date and on-site at the event. Continuing Education (CE) credits are available for mental health professionals, with more details available at the aforementioned website.

"The struggle of dealing with the pain, pace, and pressure of everyday life is real. Everyone has something they need to deal with and find victory over," Clinton stated. "The church needs to be at the center of bringing hope and healing to those seeking help and direction with life's most difficult issues and challenges."

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Encouraging Generations Of Women January 26, 2018

Milton Grove UMC To Host Conference

On Saturday, Feb. 10, Milton Grove United Methodist Church (UMC), 2026 Cloverleaf Road, Mount Joy, will open its doors for "Daughters of the King: Generations," a conference for women of all ages.

The nondenominational conference is set up to be a time for women in different seasons of life to connect with each other, explained organizer Colleen List. Encouraging women has been a desire of List's for much of her life, and she said that her husband inspired her to plan an event like she has been dreaming and brainstorming for years.

List teamed up with several women from a variety of churches in the area who all have a passion for inspiring women and helping them to see and celebrate their worth as they have been created in the image of God. "We are hoping that all of the women are encouraged and reminded that they are priceless," remarked List.

A time of praise and worship led by Becky Rupp and Meghan Brenneman will kick off and close the conference, bookending times of sharing by List, Rupp, Jess Book, and Pat Paules. A break with hot tea provided by a local coffeehouse is also planned. "We have (speakers) from different generations. We have 20-, 30-, 40-, and 70-something-year-olds," noted List, who is a teacher and resides in Mount Joy.

The central verse for the conference is Ephesians 2:10, which states, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

"As women, we tend to be hard on ourselves and critical of each other, but (the Bible says that) we are fearfully and wonderfully made," List said. "We want (the women who attend) to leave knowing they are priceless, that they are worth so much."

Admission is free, and the event will run from 9 a.m. to noon. On-site child care is available upon request for no charge. To register, interested individuals may visit www.eventbrite.com and search for "Daughters of the King: Generations." Preregistration is appreciated for planning purposes, but List emphasized that women are welcome to attend even if they do not sign up in advance.

To learn more, readers may visit www.facebook.com/DaughtersoftheKingGenerations/.

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Seminar Planned For Local Pastors January 16, 2018

Garden Spot Village, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland, will host a seminar for local pastors on Monday, Feb. 26, in the chapel. The half-day event is titled "Pastoring in the Best of Times and the Worst of Times." It will start with a complimentary breakfast at 8 a.m.

Dr. Leith Anderson, a pastor, speaker, author and leader, will be the speaker. He currently serves as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is also pastor emeritus of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn., where he served as senior pastor for 35 years.

In addition to breakfast, the seminar will feature two sessions, slated to start at 8:45 a.m. and conclude by noon.

During "Becoming the Leaders We Need to Be," Anderson will provide practical advice relating to the high expectations for pastors and ministry leaders and the frequent comparisons to other leaders.

During "Preaching and Teaching: The Practical Stuff," Anderson will provide ideas related to sermon approach, preparation and connections to the congregation.

The seminar, co-sponsored by Garden Spot Village and the Community Church at Garden Spot Village, is free to pastors and their spouses, but preregistration is required. To register, readers may call the Garden Spot Village resident services office at 717-355-6000 by Monday, Feb. 19.

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Retrouvaille Posts Services November 9, 2017

Retrouvaille invites local residents to consider signing up for its service. The Christian peer ministry, a lifeline for struggling marriages, is a three-phase program that begins with a weekend experience, followed by post-weekend presentations and monthly small group support meetings. Through the ministry, couples help couples with the support of clergy members. The primary focus is on improving communication and building a stronger marriage so couples may rediscover the love they have for each other.

Retrouvaille, pronounced "retro-vi," is a French word meaning "rediscovery." Though the program is Catholic in origin and has a Christian orientation, couples of all faiths or no faith background are welcome. The nonprofit program, which began in Quebec, Canada, in 1977, is available in communities worldwide.

The next weekend experience has been set for Friday through Sunday, Jan. 12 to 14, 2018. Space is limited, and there is a per-couple fee. For more information, readers may contact George and Mary Russo, community coordinators, at 717-817-1838. To register, individuals may email retrouvaillehbg@gmail.com.

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Women's Conference Slated November 1, 2017

All ladies are invited to attend the Flourish Women's Conference at Freedom Life Church, 447 Noble Road, Christiana. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10. The second day of the conference will conclude by 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The purpose of the event is to encourage and inspire women with teachings that will grow and strengthen their faith. The theme for this year's conference is "I Am Loved," and it is based on the Scripture from Zephaniah 3:17. Special guest Rachel Campbell from Wave Church Los Angeles will speak.

According to Flourish team leader Teri Rising, the goal of the conference is to create an atmosphere where all women will feel accepted and valued.

The admission fee includes snacks and refreshments. Registration is available at www.freedomlife.tv. Individuals may call 610-593-5959 for more information.

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Church Plans Conferences October 24, 2017

Providence Presbyterian Church, 1215 Church Road, York, will host two conferences titled "Voices: Helping Survivors of Abuse Find Their Voice" on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4.

On Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m., Carolyn Byers Ruch, founder of Rise and Shine Movement, will present a free seminar. Ruch will speak about how communities can protect their children from child abuse. Everyone is invited.

On Nov. 4, keynote speaker Dr. Penny Freeman will present a seminar for women. Freeman will share about the topics "Good Grief: The Journey of Recovery From Abuse" and "Self-Care: Why It's Not Only Okay ... It's Necessary!"

For more information and to register for the Nov. 4 conference, readers may visit www.yorkpca.org/voices-conference. Scholarships and child care will be available for the Nov. 4 seminar.

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Self-Reliance Classes Posted October 18, 2017

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has developed a series of four free courses to aid individuals in their quest for greater financial independence.

The courses include Education, Better Employment, Starting and Growing a Business, and Personal Finance. Each course runs for a 12-week period and is guided by authorized, locally trained facilitators. Each group meets two hours per week at a time that the participants agree works best for them.

Ten self-reliance groups from York and Lancaster have recently concluded the first round of training. The regional leader of the Lancaster Pennsylvania Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ, Dr. Conrad Knudson of York, who serves as the Church's Stake President, invites people of any faith over age 12 in Lancaster and York counties to take part.

For additional information, readers may contact Richard Read at paldsselfreliance@gmail.com. The next round of classes will start the beginning of next year.

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Church Plans Women's Retreat September 6, 2017

Bethel Evangelical Congregational Church, 3716 Main St., Conestoga, will host a half-day women's retreat on Saturday, Sept. 16. The retreat will begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and end at noon. The theme will be "Reflections: The Woman God Sees."

For more information and to preregister, call 717-872-6755.

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Anabaptist Conference Will Focus On Global Missions August 31, 2017

While the Anabaptist form of Christianity may have had its origin in the midst of Europe, many Anabaptists today live in the Global South. Reflecting that shift, the International Missions Association (IMA) is an association of Anabaptist mission bodies from around the world that was established for prayer, mutual support, and partnering in carrying out the Great Commission. Formed in 1997 by Salunga-based Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM), PIPKA of Indonesia, Meserete Kristos Church of Ethiopia, and Amor Viviente of Honduras, the IMA now includes 23 organizations.

"The IMA is a vibrant network basically run by church leaders from the Global South - not run by North Americans," said Linda Moffett, an editor with EMM.

The IMA is truly committed to the "international" part of its name, as only five of the member organizations are from North America. The members take turns hosting the IMA's yearly gatherings, and this year, Lancaster County residents will have the opportunity to worship and study with ministry partners from around the world. EMM will host the 2017 gathering, which will be held in Mount Joy from Tuesday, Sept. 19, to Tuesday, Sept. 26.

"This is only the third time the conference has been held in the United States," Moffett said. The gathering should be of interest to area residents because it is a diverse community, she noted. "Many of our residents have lived and served overseas," she added.

Tan Kok Beng, a mission leader from Singapore who has trained and commissioned thousands of missionaries through Asia Pacific Mission, will speak during the opening session of the IMA's Holy Spirit in Mission Conference, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Mount Joy Mennonite Church, 320 Musser Road, Mount Joy. Lancaster Mennonite Conference moderator Keith Weaver will also address attendees.

"I have attended many international mission meetings, but I never quite felt I was accepted as a peer of the Western leaders until I came to the IMA. Here we all stand side by side and shoulder to shoulder," Beng remarked.

The theme of the Holy Spirit in Mission Conference is "When the Spirit Moves ..." and is based on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. The passage emphasizes that the Gospel is not shared through eloquent speeches or fine words but through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The public is invited to attend the IMA's 20th anniversary celebration on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at the church. IMA president and PIPKA chairman Yesaya Abdi, and IMA president emeritus Richard Showalter, as well as a number of global leaders, are slated to speak. An ice cream reception will be held after the service.

Guests are also invited to attend the conference's closing celebration, which will be held at the church on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. Abdi will be the featured speaker.

Ministry trips and the IMA's annual meeting will be held following the conference through Sept. 26.

Moffett noted that admission to the three public events will be free of charge, but freewill offerings may be accepted.

For more information about the events, readers may contact EMM events coordinator Jessica Fellenger at jessicaf@emm.org or 717-898-2251, ext. 235. Folks may also learn more about the IMA by visiting www.emm.org/ima.

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