Remember, remember not

December 6, 2011

One of the paradoxes of the Bible is God’s call to remember but not dwell on the past. “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there,” declares Deuteronomy 24:18 (NRSV). That memory forms the basis of Israel’s identity. When remembrance turns to nostalgia, however, God has […]


Will you join us as we join God?

December 6, 2011

Christmas reminds us that God is on a mission. Our future and the future of the church rest entirely on our embrace of that mission. We start by discerning God’s activity in the world. Then we enthusiastically align our priorities with God’s. At VMMissions, God’s work takes many different forms. • Church planting efforts in […]


The global family of faith

March 10, 2011

As I stepped off the platform at Winter Delegate Session a couple weeks ago, I whispered to Conference Minister Owen Burkholder, “This is good!” We had just received two more congregations into Virginia Mennonite Conference, Eastside Church and Iglesia Discipular Anabautista. This is becoming a regular and healthy occurrence in our conference. In the history […]


A tribute to Paul Kropf, long-time missionary

February 28, 2011

On behalf of VMM, I wish to recognize the significant service rendered by Paul and June Kropf, long-term pioneer missionaries to Albania with Eastern Mennonite Missions. Paul died unexpectedly on Christmas morning. With great sadness and sense of loss, we remember Paul and his contribution to the Albanian church. Upon their arrival in Lezhe, Albania, […]


Transformed, transforming.

February 10, 2011

God is on a mission to change the world. Everyone knows the world needs it. Humanity has a propensity of messing things up and we all have done our share. Sin, we call it, and it ripples out into all of our relationships, human institutions, and even affects creation. God’s mission to change the world […]


Praying with the Early Church

January 20, 2011

On December 12, the Early Church (in downtown Harrisonburg) gathered to ordain Ron Copeland to the ministry. It was my first visit to their worship service and remarkable in many ways. The youthful diversity of the gathering—students from EMU and JMU—meet with the group on a regular basis. Persons with various racial/ethnic characteristics came together […]


Our core values

December 23, 2010

Core values are those values we hold dear. They represent the orienting center of our lives, the priorities by which we live. They are usually expressed by how we live our lives and what occupies our attention in terms of time and money. Sometimes core values are also expressed by our words. When our core […]


Baptism as remembering

December 8, 2010

I attended a baptismal service again recently. Four members of the Daniel family went “under the water” as the pastor put it. Father, mother, and two sons all gave verbal witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and accepted the sacrament and sign of baptism in the presence of God and a company of people. […]


A half-serious lament

December 2, 2010

With a bit of sadness this summer, I witnessed the final decisions associated with dissolving Ohio District of Virginia Mennonite Conference. It made sense since the district had essentially become an “empty set” as Conference Minister Owen Burkholder put it. Chestnut Ridge, the last remaining congregation, had transferred amicably to Ohio Conference earlier. Still, since […]


On the death of two bishops

November 18, 2010

Lloyd S. Horst died October 7, 2010 at the age of 97. Truman H. Brunk, Jr. died October 8, 2010 at the age of 79. At both funerals, I heard the descriptor “Encourager.” And, “gentle.” Each of these men was ordained in Virginia Mennonite Conference. Lloyd served as pastor and ordained bishop in VMC and […]



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