April’s Allegheny Miscellany

By David Mishler, Conference Minister                                                  Volume 16 – April 2019

#1 – Rebecca Barrett-Fox Comes to Allegheny Some 20 leaders from Allegheny, Central District, Indiana-Michigan and Virginia Mennonite conferences converged at Laurelville April 8-11 to engage Rebecca Barrett-Fox in a compelling and timely study – “Unsustainable: Why Churches Must Counter Hate and How They Can Do It Now.”  Rebecca, author of God Hates:  Westboro Baptist Church, American Nationalism and the Religious Right, led seven conversational sessions reviewing the history of hate groups in the U.S. and how effective protests, in various forms, helped to turn the momentum at various places.  With the rapid growth of hate groups currently, Rebecca told the participants countering hate wherever it raises its head is the only way to overcome it.  Various scriptures (Old and New Testament) focused the conversation with biblical stories showing how hate was confronted throughout salvation history.  Rebecca spoke at Pittsburgh Mennonite and Penn State University on either end of the Spring Study.  See Ben Wideman’s account of her time in State College on our website.

#2 – Suraj Bhandari completes CNA training The pastor of the Bhutanese Nepali Church of Pittsburgh (BNCP) has completed his training to becomes a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and has retained a part-time job to supplement his income as he also ministers to a congregation of Bhutanese-Nepali immigrants.  Suraj plans to enter training to become a Registered Nurse in the Fall.  He says, “If everything goes as planned, I will be more active in ministry after I complete my RN.  Please pray for me and BNP.”  Congratulations Suraj!

#3 – 99 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?

Bring table games, puzzles, Rook and Dutch Blitz (not for the feint of heart) and other favorites for Friday and Saturday post meeting shenanigans.

Registrations are open, here is a link for the registration form:
http://www.alleghenymennoniteconference.org/wp-admin/upload.php?item=6021

#4 – Closing in on a sustainable giving planAs of this writing, we are closing in on achieving a better than anticipated season of giving for our 2018-19 fiscal year.  Congregations are on track to meet the 56% portion of total anticipated revenue.  Individuals/Other income is expected to top the $15,000 projection.  With a $4,000 contribution from Central District Conference and $4,250 from Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference to cover national delegate expenses, Allegheny will likely retain much of the current balance in reserves (instead of using the almost $14,000 budgeted).  To ensure a positive year-end report, we ask congregations to send in their quarterly/monthly contributions as soon as possible before June 30.  Individuals and businesses who want to enhance reserves for the future, now is the time!  Thank you to everyone who is making significant effort to sustain Allegheny Mennonite Conference!

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