Celebration of Church Life Seminars 2022

9:45-10:45 am

1. Small beginnings: Ordinary people planting a house church in an unlikely place [Mountainside Haven auditorium]

Description: Who… me? Daniel and Sammi White tell their story of responding to God’s call and stepping into mission. An encouragement for those seeking to follow Jesus’ adventure.

Daniel and Sammi White are apprentices of Jesus and co-pastors of a house church in Stroudsburg, PA. While we share the responsibilities of leading our congregation and being present in our city, Daniel works full time as a project engineer and Sammi is a full-time stay-at-home mom of two young kiddos. We are seeking to live as full-time missionaries in all of these roles. We have spent our five years of marriage following God’s call to plant this community. Our lives following Jesus look very ordinary: going to work, spending time with our children, having new friends and old eat at our table, practicing the spiritual disciplines, and getting to know our neighbors. We long for others around us to know Jesus deeply and meet with Him daily.

2. Accept and Adapt to One Another – Galatians 3: 26-28 [Breezewood upstairs]

Description: Participants are asked to bring a mobile phone or a tablet/computer in order to participate in one or more exercises as a group. Participants will engage in reflecting on being accepted by God and the implications this has for how we imitate God as individuals and as communities of faith, “accepting one another as God has accepted you in Christ Jesus”. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) will be introduced. Participants will be invited into ongoing engagement learning to practice these spiritual disciplines together.

Karl McKinney is the Intercultural Leadership Minister for LMC, helping followers of Jesus in the pursuit of justice. He has followed Christ in intercultural relationships within culturally diverse communities, since 1983. He has lived among and served people without homes and he has managed affordable houses and complexes, both for immigrants to the USA and a diverse clientele. He also has served on teams to form new congregations, pastor existing congregations with long histories, and serve leaders in urban, rural, and suburban contexts in the conferences of Mennonite Church USA and in LMC.

3. Behind the scenes: A closer look at stewarding LMC’s financial assets [Breezewood downstairs]

Description: Join us as we transparently allow you to look at LMC’s finances. This will include a look at our current budget approval process and our yearly spending plan. Additionally, we’ll address our investment philosophy and unpack some of the challenges that LMC faces as we prepare for the future. Lastly, we will take time to celebrate God’s faithfulness and financial provision through generous churches and individuals over the years!

Joel Harnly serves as the chair of LMC’s finance committee. He is a Certified Public Accountant and business advisor. Joel leads a new LMC church in Manheim, where he resides with his wife and three children. He enjoys spending time with his family, building community in their neighborhood, and most outdoor recreation.

4.  The Power of Unity [Hemlock meeting room]

Description: The focus will be on 1 Corinthians 12 and the theme will be – diversity and oneness in the church. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Al Motley is the senior pastor at the Way Thru Christ Ministry in Chester PA. He’s pastored this ministry for 33 years. He is also one of the bishops that serve on the LMC Bishop Board, and he oversees churches in the Philadelphia District. He’s been married for 42 years to the same woman Maxine L. Motley and through their union, they have two children and two nephews they raised as their own. They also have several grandchildren and another one on the way. To God be the glory for his many blessings.

5. Una Estrategia: El Poder de la Alabanza | “A Strategy: The Power of Praise” (in Spanish with Intepretation in English) [Hemlock Center Gymnasium]

Descripción: Dios nos da una estrategia a través de Josué; Alabanza, a derribar esos muros, a derribar esos imposibles. Pero, ¿qué entendemos por alabanza? ¿Qué es la alabanza? Esta es una expresión, es la voz de nuestra fe, la voz de lo que creemos, es la voz del corazón. La voz de un corazón que a su vez ha entendido que es adoración y que habla de gratitud en nuestro corazón hacia el Padre a través del Hijo.

Description: God gives us a strategy through Joshua; Praise, to tear down those walls, to tear down those impossible ones. But what do we mean by praise? What is Praise? This is an expression, it is the voice of our faith, the voice of what we believe, it is the voice of the heart. The voice of a heart that in turn has understood that it is adoration and that it speaks of gratitude in our hearts towards the Father through the Son.

Ethan Samuel Miranda tiene 26 años. Nació en Santiago de Chile y creció en Buenos Aires, Argentina. A lo largo de los años ha recibido instrucción a través de estudios teológicos y prácticos, sirviendo a Dios en diferentes áreas como liderazgo, evangelismo y adoración en mi iglesia. Ha servido a Dios en el ministerio de alabanza desde los doce años, comenzando como asistente de sonido. A lo largo de los años se desarrolló y se formó como músico. Estudiando un año de música en un conservatorio y posteriormente con un profesor particular se desarrolló tocando el piano. Y por la gracia de Dios, hoy se presenta como vocalista, aun en desarrollo, todo esto para la gloria y honra de nuestro Señor Jesús. Es el líder del ministerio de alabanza y juventud de la Iglesia Centro Misionero Cristiano, una iglesia nueva.

Ethan Samuel Miranda is 26. He was born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over the years he has received instruction through theological and practical studies, serving God in different areas such as leadership, evangelism, and worship in my church. He has served God in the ministry of praise since he was twelve years old, starting as a sound assistant. Over the years he developed and trained as a musician. Studying a year of music at a conservatory and later with a private teacher he developed playing the piano. And by the grace of God, today he performs as a vocalist, even in development, all this for the glory and honor of our Lord Jesus. He is the leader of the praise and youth ministry of the Christian Missionary Center Church, a new church.

6. Welcoming all nations to the table [Mountainside Haven: Dogwood]

Description: Join as we hear stories from EMM workers who are serving around the world and locally.  We’ll learn together what it means to break bread in cultures different than our own and how Jesus shows up when we do so.

Lorri Bentch has been Mission Team Director at Eastern Mennonite Missions since 2019.  She previously served with her husband, Tim, as a long-term missionary with EMM in Hungary. She has also served in the leadership of a campus ministry in New Jersey.  Lorri and Tim have three young adult daughters and worship at Mountville Mennonite Church.

7. Dinner church experienced [Pine lodge pavilion]

Description: Eating together brings us together. Can church take place primarily around tables of food?  We think it can. Discover for yourself. Welcome to Dinner Church where learning about God happens while eating a delectable meal in the same way Jesus introduced his heavenly Father around tables of food.

Joe and Yvonne Garber initiated Dinner Church on November 8, 2017 in the home of Luke and Dot Hess near the Byerland Church. Prior to this, Joe had attended a seminar which was led by Verlon and Melodee Fosner who had already launched a Dinner Church initiative in Seattle, Washington. Since then, Dinner Church has been a life-giving and growing way to engage in conversations with others that intersect Jesus’ stories with current life experiences while sitting around a table of food. Those attending Dinner Church experience it as church and the food is a helpful catalyst. What began bi-weekly transitioned to meeting weekly in March 2020 at the onset of Covid restrictions. Joe has pastored at Byerland for twenty-five years. Leadership training is taking place to meet the needs of our current reality.

8. The Lord’s supper as an anticipation of the Messianic banquet [Hemlock Center Gymnasium]

Description: When we gather around the table of the Lord’s supper we are reminded to look forward to the day when Jesus returns and we celebrate together around Jesus’ table in the kingdom of God.

William Higgins is a teacher for LMC and EMM offering training and enrichment courses for disciples and leaders to LMC congregations and EMM partner churches overseas.



1. Historias de plantadores de iglesias en español [Mountainside Haven auditorium]

Invitados a la mesa (30 minutos)

Descripción: Todos los hombres y mujeres están invitados a la mesa del Reino. Llegarán al conocimiento de la Verdad en cómo Dios está movilizando más obreros para la plantación de nuevas iglesias en las que Dios me permite ser uno de ellos, para que muchos puedan recibir la invitación a la mesa.

Estanislao (Tanis) Guerra tiene treinta años y es originario de Guatemala. Es miembro de la Iglesia Evangélica Puerta de Zion, Trenton NJ, y plantador de iglesias en Alpha, NJ. Ha estudiado durante cinco años en el Instituto Bíblico (Mizpa) y actualmente se encuentra en la Universidad UTI.

Obedientes a su voz. Jeremías 18:1-3 (30 minutos)

Descripción: Dios nos estaba preparando en el ministerio y llegó el momento en que teníamos que dar un paso de fe y obedecer el mandato de Dios. Dejándonos guiar por el Señor y dejándonos moldear en sus manos, tal como hace el alfarero con el barro, Dios sólo nos pide que seamos obedientes porque él es el encargado de hacer todo.

Erik Girón es de Guatemala. Tiene 44 años y está casado con Minerva Giron de Puerto Rico. Tienen dos hijas, Hannah de 15 y Erika de 14. Sirven como pastoras de la Iglesia Evangélica Altar De Dios en Lebanon, PA. Viven en Maytown PA.

2. Privilege exercise [Breezewood upstairs]

Description: Participants are asked to bring a mobile phone or a tablet/computer in order to participate in one or more exercises as a group. This workshop will help participants understand, that white privilege and white supremacy are constructs that shape the US and every physical, cultural and social system we have in the US. Participants will explore how we as individuals support and maintain this privilege system. Participants will be invited into ongoing engagement to learn and discern their involvement in advocacy as well as new ways Christ’s body can live on the land.

Karl McKinney is the Intercultural Leadership Minister for LMC, helping followers of Jesus in the pursuit of justice. He has followed Christ in intercultural relationships within culturally diverse communities, since 1983. He has lived among and served people without homes and he has managed affordable houses and complexes, both for immigrants to the USA and a diverse clientele. He also has served on teams to form new congregations, pastor existing congregations with long histories, and serve leaders in urban, rural, and suburban contexts in the conferences of Mennonite Church USA and in LMC.

3. The invitation [Pine lodge pavilion]

Description: God’s invitation to us into his Kingdom, through the gospel message, looks different for each person, especially since we all are coming with different life experiences. And now since accepting his invitation, we are called to invite others into the Kingdom where we all have a seat at the table. Question is, how do we go about that? Will I offend them or make them uncomfortable? Will I be seen differently by my coworkers and family? What do I say to share the gospel message? Aren’t my actions enough? Join me as we discuss these questions.

Nate Thorne. I currently live in Akron, PA with my wife and two kids. We currently connect at Lititz Mennonite Church. I grew up in Maryland and DC. A good portion of my ministry experience has happened outside of the church, but I’ve also done many ministries within the church walls including youth and young adult ministry and other lay leadership roles. Throughout these times of ministry, I have attended and graduated from EMU’s STEP (Studying and Training for Effective Pastoral Ministry) program as well as completed my Bachelor’s degree in Leadership & Organizational Management. Currently, I work as a Youth Career Navigator (case manager) for PA CareerLink.

4. Jesus prays for unity [Hemlock meeting room]

Description: Just before Jesus’ crucifixion Jesus prays for Himself, the disciples, and us. He does not pray that we would be in uniformity but that we would be in unity, true friends.

DaQuan Gibson was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. He was raised by his grandmother, who became a Muslim, although later converted to Christianity. After DaQuan and Bay were married they began the work of the ministry as youth leaders in Chester, PA at The Way Thru Christ Community Fellowship. While in Chester, DaQuan sensed God’s call to pastoral ministry, and he was first licensed and ordained as an elder there. DaQuan has recently served as the Head of the Red Lion Christian Academy Bible Department and as a Bible teacher, basketball coach, and physical education teacher at Delaware County Christian School. He currently serves as the school pastor and basketball coach at Wilmington Christian School. DaQuan holds a B.A. in Biblical studies from Chesapeake Bible College and Seminary.

5. Stories, conversations, meetings [Breezewood downstairs]

Description: EMM missionary Jonathan Bornman will tell stories of friendship and interaction with Muslim friends. He will also introduce resources for churches created by EMM’s Christian-Muslim Relations Team.

 Jonathan Bornman served with his family in Senegal from 1999 to 2009 as a Bible teacher. Prior to that, he served in Burkina Faso (1991-94) developing water resources. Jonathan and his wife, Carol, enjoy sharing hospitality with their Muslim friends at home and abroad. His expertise includes nonviolence in Islam, Sufi Islam, missiology, and Christian-Muslim encounters. Jonathan works to build bridges that connect people and enable them to participate in Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation. He also has his PhD from Middlesex University (Social Anthropology).

6. Intro to WRAP [Hemlock Center Gymnasium]

Description: This seminar will be an overview of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). WRAP is a program to help people take their wellness into their own hands. It is designed for individuals who struggle with trauma, addiction, mental health, or any other challenges life brings.  It is based on the recovery concepts of hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support.

Joshua and Monica Jefferson became WRAP co-facilitators in the Fall of 2021 after Joshua experienced a season of debilitating depression.  Most recently Joshua served as a pastor of an LMC congregation.  Monica’s training is in counseling and is an Instructor for the STEP program. Joshua and Monica live in Lancaster, PA with their four children and two foster children.

7. Nourished by mission fruit: Connecting with LMC global church partners [Hemlock Center Gym]

Description: Over the past hundred years, LMC has been sending missionaries (through EMM) to places like Tanzania, Belize, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.  Years later, we stand amazed at the ways God’s Spirit has breathed life and vitality into these mission efforts.  Today, in places like Ethiopia and Peru, flourishing national churches inspire and encourage us with their vision for church multiplication and boldly sharing Jesus.  They have become our “adult children with so much to teach us.  In this seminar, we will share stories and testimonies from LMC’s global church connections.  

Tom Eshelman serves as pastor at Groffdale Mennonite Church in Leola and also as Global Delegate for LMC. He and his wife Jennifer have three children, Kayley (21), Tanner (18), and Janessa (16).  Recently Jennifer has begun teaching English to a family from Afghanistan. In December Tom traveled with a group from LMC, EMM, and Rosedale to Guinea Bissau and Senegal. Tom and Jennifer are thankful for the ways relationships with the global church have blessed their family and congregation. 

8. When Jesus is the life of your party [Mountainside Haven: Dogwood]

Description: How much do we know about our neighbors?  We want to get to know them and have a friendship with them, being intentional and extending the table of hospitality. From a Biblical perspective, we can share God’s love without fear. In this session, we will share personal stories and practical tools of what we have learned. 

Dean & Felixa Kunkle live in Lancaster PA.  Dean teaches German at Conestoga Valley Middle and High School and Felixa works at LMC.  Their son Ben (10) is a 4th grader in the Locust Grove Spanish Immersion program. They also have a springer spaniel, Rufus. They love to travel, host friends, drink coffee, and cook, but most of all; they love Christ and they try to share this with their neighbors all over the world!

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Prayer Stations/Estaciones de Oracion

Prayer Stations on a variety of themes are located in Breezewood and will be available at all hours throughout the weekend as an option for you to reflect, listen, and pray. Prayer stations are simply creative ways to pray that include visuals, prayer prompts/guides, and often hands-on activities.  Use the self-guided materials at each station as a starting place allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you into prayer and reflection. There are 10-15 different stations designed to be used one person at a time. You may choose to pray with just a few or as many as you have time for. Created and hosted by Kristina Denlinger of A Spacious Place.

Las estaciones de oración sobre una variedad de temas se encuentran en Breezewood y estarán disponibles a todas horas durante el fin de semana como una opción para que reflexione, escuche y ore. Las estaciones de oración son simplemente formas creativas de orar que incluyen imágenes, indicaciones/guías de oración y, a menudo, actividades prácticas. Use los materiales autoguiados en cada estación como punto de partida para permitir que el Espíritu Santo lo guíe a la oración y la reflexión. Hay 10-15 estaciones diferentes diseñadas para ser utilizadas por una persona a la vez. Puede optar por orar con unos pocos o tantos como tenga tiempo Creado y presentado por Kristina Denlinger de “A Espacioso Lugar”

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