Tending Transformation

 

Central District Conference 

Annual Meeting

 

The annual meeting was held  June 23-25, 2022 at Goshen College, College Mennonite Church. 

 

 

 

Worship

David Cramer

 

Thursday, June 23, 7:30p in the College Mennonite Church Sanctuary

Sermon Focus: Tending Transformation

Texts: Romans 12:1-10, Galatians 6:14-18

Offering: Natural Helpers program

 

 

David’s aim in his role as teaching pastor is to equip the church to be a faithful witness to the transformative power of the gospel. He and his wife, Andrea, and first joined KPC in 2008 and returned again in 2017 after a five-year stint in Waco, Texas, where David completed a doctorate in theology at Baylor University. David enjoys cooking, reading, and writing. As a bivocational pastor, he also works as managing editor of the Institute of Mennonite Studies at nearby Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where he occasionally teaches courses as well. David’s remaining time is spent keeping up with their two young kids and dog, Stanley. You can find David’s  writing in the Christian CenturyThe MennonitePriscilla PapersSojourners, and the South Bend Tribune.

Swords to Plowshares: Sharing Story and Song

Friday, June 24, 4:00p in the College Mennonite Church Sanctuary

Offering: For Ukraine

Watch Livestream video

Story-to-Stage:
Directed by Eliza Stoltzfus

Ensemble members
❖Samantha Chupp
❖Ellie Hirschler
❖Rachel Hirshler
❖Lydia Hochstedler
❖Elias Magatti
❖Stefan Magatti
❖Eliza Miller
❖Levi Miller
❖Anna Schrock
❖Amelia Troyer

CDC Children’s program participants
❖Andre Dobkowski
❖Levi Dobkowski
❖Christian Lo
❖Michael Lo
❖Jorian Mast

Stage script and music written by: Eliza Stoltzfus

Based on the book Swords to Plowshares by: Lisa Weaver

Susannah Larry

 

Saturday, June 25, 8:30a in the College Mennonite Church Sanctuary

Sermon Focus: Tending Transformation

Texts:  Ezekiel 47:1, 7-12, Revelation 22:1-2 or 1-6

Communion 

Offering: Central District Conference

Watch Livestream Video

Susannah Larry, PhD, came to know Mennonites while volunteering at Jubilee Partners — a Christian service community in Georgia — where she gained appreciation for Anabaptist commitments to justice and reconciliation and where her interest in becoming a biblical scholar was sparked. She joined the AMBS faculty in 2020, having taught courses at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Sewanee School of Theology on the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Biblical Hebrew, Confronting Sexualized Violence in the Bible, and Feminist Theology and Biblical Interpretation. She brings to her role a contagious passion for the Hebrew Bible and a commitment to Christ’s church. At AMBS, she sees herself living into a ministry of teaching and scholarship that uplifts marginalized voices and empowers students with the knowledge and tools to reclaim the Bible as a life-giving Word in their diverse ministry contexts.

Delegate Sessions

Storytelling Sessions

Pilgrimage as Spiritual Practice with Jane Roeschley  video

The Great Adventure with Bluffton University  video

Journey/Amahoro Ministries with Charles Baraka and Lavon Welty  video

65 Years with CDC with Janeen Bertsche Johnson and Perry Bush  video

Seminars

Faith in Place:Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis with Brian Sauder  video

The War in Ukraine: History, Memory and Peace Church Responses with Perry Bush  video

Let the Children Come to Me with Lisa Weaver  video

Called to be Bad with Mariah Martin  video

Natural Helpers Program with Julia Schmidt  video

Meet our Artists

Allison Troyer

Allison Troyer

Grand Rapids Mennonite Fellowship

I began this project with the hope of finding inspiration in nature, seeking evidence of transformation tended by local creatures. Plenty of transformations take place unattended, so my observations were guided by wondering how transformations are different when nurtured—within the safety, support, and care of community. I learned, from the parables of these animals, that different transformations require different kinds of tending. In response to the teachings of Snake, Bee, Squirrel, and Beaver, I wove an ecosystem of four habitats, each revealing what may be made new through the hope-filled act of tending transformation.

Snake tends the transformation of herself. To cast off her old skin which has become confining as she grows, Snake must rub against something hard to begin splitting her protective outer layer. Her eyes become opaque with scales and she is made soft in this restorative process. Tending transformation is an act of vulnerability, a cycle of expanding.

Bee tends the transformation of her community. She pollinates as she sips nectar, giving and receiving gifts with the plants around her. Knowing her own gifts and recognizing the gifts of others allows Bee’s whole neighborhood to flourish. Tending transformation is an act of gratitude, a cycle of reciprocity.

Squirrel tends the transformation of her community. She buries walnuts, acorns, and hickory nuts in excess. When the time comes, Squirrel unearths what she needs while the rest remains—an offering to the earth and a meal for her neighbors. Tending transformation is an act of trust, a cycle of abundance.

 Beaver tends the transformation of her environment. She holds the past, present, and future together in one space. Beaver fells particular trees to build a safe, warm lodge, making way for new growth and shaping her entire ecosystem. Tending transformation is an act of imagination, a cycle of re-creation.

Snake

Bee

Squirrel

Beaver

Joanne Murray

Joanne Murray

Oak Grove Mennonite Church

Joanne lives is Smithville, Ohio where she attends Oak Grove Mennonite Church. The title of her painting is

Doug’s Mug
“Sipping it slowly”
“Taking it all in”

The Holy Spirit will guide us to stay on course as we look to the future. The path may be long and narrow at times. Even so, as we follow the path of Jesus, sipping slowly, we will come closer to His vision of the plan for us to follow, as we get up out of our seats and begin to walk the path of Tending Transformation.

 

Ron Headings

Ron Headings

First Mennonite Bluffton

 

Ron Headings lives in Bluffton, Ohio. His work can be seen at Headings Arts – Wire Tree Gallery https://www.headingsarts.com/

He created this tree to represent the transformation that occurs from season to season.

 

 

Kathy Stiffney

Kathy Stiffney

Southside Fellowship

Kathy Stiffney
Artist’s Statement
a student
observing
integrating the inner journey
anticipating new experience
keeping a beginner’s mind
staying gentle & focused
finding the still point
I will “paint ’til it sings”
Kathy lives with her husband in Goshen, IN and enjoys life
With two children, three grandchildren and spouses.
This art piece reflects the integration of the various threads of life
we experience with joy or sadness
in our world, our church, our families, ourselves,
integrating what is good,
weaving in what is torn and tangled,
letting each thread inform what is needed
to create health and wholeness.

Susie Huser

Susie Huser

Susie Huser lives and works in Nelsonville, Ohio. You can see more of her work on her Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/birdsandbuckwheat

How much do we control and how much wilderness do we let in when we tend transformation? In my own life, tending transformation has required welcoming wilderness, and I
believe we cultivate resilience when we try to honor or at least be aware of any given thing’s inextricable situation within a vast ecosystem. I work at a non-profit that has community gardens, and am constantly amazed by the magical transformation of sun and soil into food. We tend that transformation, but can’t take credit for much of the magic that happens, and also have limited control over the whole system. The garden in my painting integrates intentionally cultivated plants and the wild creatures that make gardening — tending transformation — possible, in part due to their own practice of transformation.

 

Julian Harnish

Julian Harnish

First Mennonite Bluffton

Julian’s art features timelapsed drawings with an original piano composition would play in the background.

Tending Transformation Art Video

Ezekiel 17:22-24

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.”

I like how the tree in the passage first transforms itself, and over time transforms the habitat around it.

Rylee Weishaupt

Rylee Weishaupt

Silverwood Mennonite Church

Rylee lives in Goshen, Indiana. She graduated from high school this June.

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the theme Tending Transformation was change. It is inevitable and often times, if we allow it to, leads to transformation. However, it can be painful and leave us with a feeling of loss over what was. We can get so caught in this loss of what was that we don’t take the time to see what is and what is becoming. It is hard. It is so hard to see the new when we thought the old was good enough. That is why the “tending” part of this theme stood out to me so much. I wanted to focus on that in this painting and show how it can be difficult to let go of what was comfortable to us. But I also wanted to show how God has so much more planned. He has beautiful colors, new experiences, and a perfect plan for all of us. We just have to take the first step of tending the brokenness. Of stepping away from what was into what is becoming. Of shedding our skin to become something more beautiful that we could have ever imagined.

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