History: Lancaster chooses its own path

Feb 12, 2018 by

Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s divorce from Mennonite Church USA became official Jan. 1. The separation reflects the tensions that have plagued the denomination since its inception, but it says more about...

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Year of the tribe

Dec 18, 2017 by

Among the trends of 2017, tribalism stands out. All around us, people define themselves by separating one group from another. Republican or Democrat, black or white, Christian or Muslim. The distinctions...

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Identity redefinition

Nov 6, 2017 by

Anabaptist denominations are having an identity crisis. Or at least an identity redefinition. This is happening in several ways: making or considering name changes; ending old affiliations, beginning new ones...

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Lancaster Conference returning to independence

Nov 6, 2017 by and

Two years after deciding to end its membership in Mennonite Church USA, Lancaster Mennonite Conference is returning to the independence that has been the norm in its 300-year history. Leaders of the...

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Franklin Conference joining Lancaster

Oct 9, 2017 by

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...

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Two pairs of conferences eye closer relationships

Jul 24, 2017 by and

As current and former Mennonite Church USA conferences deal with shifting congregational alignment, two pairs of conferences are looking at closer relationships. Franklin Mennonite Conference is considering a...

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Year after withdrawal, Lancaster Conference gains, loses

Nov 15, 2016 by and

Since Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s decision in November 2015 to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA by the end of 2017, it has received several congregations formerly with MC USA conferences. Moderator...

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Generous orthodoxy

Aug 29, 2016 by

On his Aug. 11 podcast, journalist Malcolm Gladwell used the concept of “generous orthodoxy” to frame the story of Chester Wenger. It’s a positive approach to faith that is gaining ground among...

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Evana broadens confessional choices at first convention

Jul 13, 2016 by and

UPLAND, Ind. — The Evana Network is growing and taking steps to welcome members from other Anabaptist denominations besides Mennonite Church USA. Evana’s first convention, ReGen 2016, drew 257 people —...

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Opinion: Faith-inspired, culture-bound

Jul 4, 2016 by

We Mennonites often worry about compromises we make with secular culture. But just as often we are unaware of, or choose to ignore, the compromises we make by adhering to our religious cultures. Openness to...

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Congregations departing Lancaster Conference

Jun 14, 2016 by and

Lancaster Mennonite Conference congregations desiring to maintain connections with Mennonite Church USA are beginning to withdraw from the conference. Pilgrims Mennonite Church in Akron, Pa., decided by...

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Lancaster churches explore options

May 9, 2016 by and

More than a dozen Lancaster Mennonite Conference congregations are beginning to narrow down ways they might continue relating to Mennonite Church USA. Options include forming a new MC USA conference or...

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Many never joined

Mar 14, 2016 by

As members of a Lancaster Mennonite Conference congregation, we were discouraged by the decision to leave Mennonite Church USA. The issue of who could vote has been noted before. Support by 67 percent of the...

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Would women split?

Feb 1, 2016 by

A large majority of the credentialed leaders in the Lancaster Mennonite Conference voted in November to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA, ostensibly over sexuality issues. They publicly object to the...

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Lancaster’s distancing shrinks roll

Jan 26, 2016 by and

Mennonite Church USA membership has decreased about 17 percent over the past year, and a large part of the drop is due to updated reporting of Lancaster Mennonite Conference congregational involvement in the...

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What is Lancaster doing right?

Jan 8, 2016 by

We have a phrase around here: “Chicago over Everything.” It means we have mad love for the city when they do something right, and when the city messes up, we keep our pride and stay loyal. I’m starting...

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Old way still applies

Dec 21, 2015 by

Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s decision to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA by the end of 2017 is a major loss, and not just because Lancaster is the denomination’s largest conference. Lancaster...

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Lancaster Conference to leave Mennonite Church USA

Nov 20, 2015 by and

Story updated Nov. 24 Lancaster Mennonite Conference announced Nov. 19 it will withdraw from Mennonite Church USA by the end of 2017. A proposal from the conference’s Board of Bishops was ratified by 82.3...

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How Lancaster’s and Western District’s decisions affect the rest of us

Nov 5, 2015 by

It certainly appears that the church’s extremes got more extreme this weekend, as far as it goes with LGBTQ participation. I don’t think this is the case, though — no one has gotten more extreme,...

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Conference leaders tell of withdrawal processes

Nov 2, 2015 by and

ARCHBOLD, Ohio — Representatives of three Mennonite Church USA area conferences — Lancaster, Franklin and North Central — reported on their processes of deciding whether to leave the denomination Oct....

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Lancaster Conference bishops recommend withdrawal from MC USA

Oct 26, 2015 by and

The Lancaster Mennonite Conference Board of Bishops has affirmed a resolution recommending the conference withdraw from Mennonite Church USA. The proposal now goes to credentialed leaders for a vote. In an...

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Lancaster Conference nears decision on withdrawal

Oct 5, 2015 by and

Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s Bishop Board will meet Oct. 23 to consider an updated proposal to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA, effective on or before Dec. 31, 2017. The proposal, given as a draft to...

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Dear church: Be a place that embraces

Sep 2, 2015 by

I entered Elizabethtown (Pa.) Mennonite Church on Aug. 27 with trepidation, unsure of how the “Listening and Vision Casting” meeting process would unfold or how comfortable I would feel speaking...

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Lancaster’s proposal

Aug 17, 2015 by

As a member of Lancaster Mennonite Conference, I object to the Bishop Board’s proposal to remove LMC from Mennonite Church USA. LMC congregations already have the unprecedented ability to be part of LMC but...

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MC USA leaders respond to area conferences considering departure

Aug 12, 2015 by

ELKHART, Ind. — The executive committee of the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA sent letters Aug. 4 to North Central Conference and Lancaster Mennonite Conference, expressing a commitment to pray for...

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