The power of 100-word testimoniesBy Jim Bishop Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va.
The congregation held its annual “Covenant Renewal Sunday” Jan. 9. The entire worship service was devoted to people offering “100-word testimonies” prior to signing the register as members or associate members for another year.
January and February worship services focused on the Gospel of Matthew with a primary focus on Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. Services included interviews with members on “everyday ministry” pursuits and learning new songs from the Sing the Story hymnal supplement.
Steven L. Schumm, a candidate for associate pastor, brought the message, “Called to Some Heavy Lifting,” Jan. 16. A series of informal meetings and a “speakeasy” were held to help Schumm and church members learn to know each other. A congregational vote held Jan. 23 showed overwhelming support to elect Schumm associate pastor for a four-year term.
Schumm, a native of Ontario, is a 1995 EMU graduate and attended AMBS, where he met his wife, Joni Sancken. Together they went to Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary to complete master of divinity degrees. Schumm was an interim pastor for several congregations and was pastor of Hamilton (Ont.) Mennonite Church, 2005-09.
At CMC he joins lead pastor Jennifer Davis Sensenig, youth pastor Jason Gerlach and pastoral elders Lonnie Yoder, Tina Beachy and Anna Maria Johnson.
The Feb. 13 service included a litany, blessing and special music to recognize a couple who recently retired, Terry and Sandy Burkhalter, and another couple who will retire in June, Jim and Anna Bishop.
Jennifer Davis Sensenig was the teacher for Virginia Mennonite Conference’s winter Bible study, Feb. 13-March 13, leading weekly studies on “Daniel: Living Faithfully in the Midst of Empire.”
Birth: Nina Dula, Feb. 8, to Peter and Ilsa Ackerman Dula.
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