Franklin Conference joining Lancaster

Oct 9, 2017 by

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Franklin Mennonite Conference is joining Lancaster Mennonite Conference a year and a half after departing Mennonite Church USA.

Franklin lay delegates and credentialed members voted Sept. 28 to affirm the recommendation of the conference board to join LMC as a bishop district. The resolution passed with 92 percent approval.

Franklin has 14 congregations with about 1,000 members in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Franklin delegates voted to depart MC USA at their annual spring meeting April 18, 2016, surpassing the required two-thirds needed with a vote that received 77 percent approval.

Conference leaders said concerns about issues surrounding same-sex relationships made congregations want to leave MC USA.

A Franklin release stated that Franklin District of LMC will continue to operate much as it has in the past.

Allen Lehman will continue to serve as pastor to the pastors and represent the district at LMC’s bimonthly bishop board meetings.

Associated organizations such as the Franklin Conference Mission Board and The Burning Bush newsletter will continue.

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  • Conrad Ermle

    This is wonderful news. The realignment is on. Biblical anabaptism shall triumph. God is leading, and it’s just the beginning. A mighty revival is sweeping this way. Pastor Conrad Ermle

    • Evan Knappenberger

      Once Lancaster has finally purged itself of the undesireables, yes! Celebrate Purity at last!

      Evan Knappenberger

      • John Gingrich

        Evan, do you know anyone in Lancaster conference personally? Have you talked to them about their walk with Jesus? Have you heard them speak against people with the terms “undesirable”? Is this another cliche repetition of prejudice that is regularly cast at people of conscience? No one I know in Lancaster conference celebrates or claims a personal purity. Name calling and prejudice is just as distasteful when it is used against conservative Christians as it is when used against LGBTQ persons or racial minorities, or Muslims, or women or any other oppressed people.

        • Evan Knappenberger

          Yes, read the comment i was responding to.

          Evan Knappenberger

          • John Gingrich

            I don’t know Pastor Conrad. Is he from Lancaster? Did he use the phrase “purge…of the undesireables”? Is revival and purity the same to you? You do not address the comment, you cast the slur against “Lancaster”.

          • Evan Knappenberger

            That’s been the project since the beginning, historically speaking, whereby certain localities drive the impulse towards purity in the name of revival. My first assumption when celebrating schisms is that of purity and purgation. I even feel it myself: when thinking about certain clerical provocateurs leaving VMC, for instance, I want to celebrate their departure. but I am then reminded of the great loss of dialogue and that such splits are purely tragic in the bigger picture.

            So yeah, I feel it in myself when I want to say good riddance to certain shallow liberals leaving VMC taking all their contrived problematic dogmas with them. I think we have to remind ourselves that neither purity nor revival are the point, and the only appropriate response to these failures of unity is repentance.

            Evan Knappenberger

          • Rainer Moeller

            “Repentance” would presuppose that unity is a value in itself and breach of unity is a sin. Imho this is a rather fanatical position.

          • Evan Knappenberger

            It’s Pauline and Johannine.

            Evan Knappenberger

          • John Gingrich

            Evan, I agree that unity is the call of Paul and John, especially in Ephesians. But the question that troubles me is whether there is/was any Eph 4:3 unity in MCUSA. “Unity of the Spirit” is not the same as keeping an institution like the MCUSA intact. But I must admit that reading the 4th chapter of Ephesians is very convicting.

          • Evan Knappenberger

            I tend to agree, MCUSA never really had a chance, and certain liberal provocateurs in the MCUSA clergy are still trying to use “unity” and other real theological constructs to manipulate polity and force others to accept their beliefs. I just find it sad that these professional provocateurs have driven away so many in bad faith.

            Equally I am troubled by Conservatives who are happy to watch the church split rather than stay and do the hard work of disagreeing.

            Evan Knappenberger

          • Brian Arbuckle

            Unity is not a value in itself and the identification of “undesirables” and “purging” them from a faithful church are thoroughly biblical actions. Any reader of the Bible knows this. Every anabaptist knows this. Every institution concerned with preserving its own existence knows this. Even so-called progressives practice this.

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