Allegheny Miscellany

by David Mishler, Conference Minister

Volume 15 – March 2019

1 – Spring Faith & Life Gathering at Scottdale Mennonite Church

March 16, 2019 Allegheny delegates and friends met at Scottdale Mennonite Church for a significant meeting in the life of this emerging conference. Following a decision to go forward as a member conference of Mennonite Church USA, Allegheny is doing the hard work of establishing staffing and spending priorities within a sustainable financial framework for the long haul. The Leadership Council, in its annual January retreat, set new priorities and is looking to further develop vision and mission statements that reflect our understanding of how our conference will operate and affirm our values of being – Jesus-centered, Collaborative, and Committed to place-based ministry. 45 delegates approved a spending plan for 2019-20, affirmed Treasurer (Karin Miller), Conference Minister (David Mishler) and Conference Minister of Children and Youth (Joy Cotchen) for 3-year terms. Joyce Hall (University) will represent Allegheny (two years) at the national Constituency Leaders Council, our national ‘elders’ board, and incumbent Jane Rittenhouse was elected to a second three-year term on the Leadership Council. Julianna Tennefoss will join Karen Howard, Leah Lumeya, and Paul Lehman on the Nominating Committee. A new Ministry Resources Team is being formed to work at strategies to fund our conference ministries to levels we aspire towards. The offering for lunch was designated for Laurelville’s welcome center/pool project; after expenses, we forwarded $211.45 to Laurelville Mennonite Church Center – thank you Jane Rittenhouse and the hospitality team from Scottdale.

2 – Michelle Burkholder ordained for pastoral ministry at Hyattsville.

Hyattsville Mennonite Church celebrated the ordination of Michelle Burkholder on March 3, 2019 with some 200 persons attending. See the full article by Peter Goering on Allegheny’s website!

3 – Spring Study registration growing

Rebecca Barrett-Fox will be leading pastors and leaders from across the church in a compelling and timely study – “Unsustainable: Why Churches Must Counter Hate and How They Can Do It Now.” Registrations exceed last year’s numbers and are growing. Three MC USA conferences and some 11 different congregations are represented thus far. April 8-11 are the dates. In order to boost attendees, we are offering a part-time registration option for the first time, from $40 to $70 per day, depending on the day and overnights selected (call for more information). For a full description of the seven sessions, scripture focus, and Rebecca’s bio, check out our website – alleghenymennoniteconference.org/coming-events

4 – Tree of Gratitude provides windows into our culture of generosity

Delegates were asked to write the first 5 things that came to their minds for which they are grateful. Also, two things of which God has entrusted them to be faithful stewards. At this writing we are still collating all the answers.  Family and relationships are consistent answers in the grateful category.  Skills, resources, abilities and engaging/growing relationships top the stewardship list.  More details in future newsletters.


Delegates were asked to write the first 5 things that came to their minds for which they are grateful. Also, two things of which God has entrusted them to be faithful stewards. At this writing we are still collating all the answers. Family and relationships are consistent answers in the grateful category. Skills, resources, abilities and engaging/growing relationships top the stewardship list. More details in future newsletters.

5 – Less than 133 days to Summer Celebration at Laurelville!

Hope you are planning to attend our annual family-friendly gathering at Laurelville (August 2-4). Plans are underway to follow last year’s event – powerfully addressing lament and healing for our recent history – with a view to our future as a vibrant conference of vibrant congregations within the life of MC USA. You and your congregation are needed for fellowship, mutual counsel, challenge and collaboration. John 15:1-8 is our scripture focus. Dave Mishler (Scottdale), Kate Heinzel (University) and Wes Bergen (Morgantown CoB) will be preaching. Much fruit – do you see God’s kingdom from a scarcity or an abundance frame of reference?

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