On the morning of October 7, 2017, the Atlantic Northeast District hosted the 48th annual District Conference in Elizabethtown, PA. For many, the day started in the early hours and perhaps for some, it was still dark. If you were lucky enough to literally drive through the darkness and into the light, you would have seen the most beautiful sunrise. The peaceful metaphor projected a sense of inspiration for the day.
At 7am, the Leffler Chapel lobby was bustling with energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated Christians. Friendly and helpful volunteers from the host church, Hanoverdale, were busy welcoming each guest and making sure everyone was well organized for the day. Fellowship abounded in the breakfast room, the Bible study, and inside the Chapel. Outreach was in action, as hundreds of clean up buckets and supplies were collected to help Church World Service.
As 60, out of 76, congregations gathered for the day, delegates, non-delegates, presenters, guests, staff and volunteers, all came together to be “Transformed Into His Image.” Moderator Glenn Martin, welcomed everyone and began with prayer. As the gathering music started and the congregation began singing, the sun was shining brightly over Leffler Chapel. It was clear that God was in our midst!
Evaluations revealed that while the temperature inside the Chapel was cold, the atmosphere was warm. Perhaps the warmest feeling was when Brothers and Sisters from all over the ANE District gathered together in small groups for prayer, then renewed our Church of the Brethren covenantal sacred promise.
Business commenced and reports from Commissions and partner agencies were presented. The following are summarizing messages from each ANE Director and Moderator Glenn Martin:
Church Development & Evangelism Commission
“Last year, two of our ANE fellowships were down to a handful of members and worshippers, possibly facing closure: Lirio De Los Valles, in Lebanon and Renacer Leola, now Un Nuevo Renacer, worshiping in Mountville. Prayer, new leadership, vitality and faith has changed both churches and they are experiencing spiritual and numeric growth!”
Dear Past, thank you for your lessons.
Dear Future, they are ready.
Dear God, thank you for another chance.
Don Mitchell , Director of Church Development & Evangelism
Among its many responsibilities, the District Ministry Commission is responsible to manage all ministerial and credentialing matters for the District, among which include annual licensing renewals, credentialing interviews and services, and pastoral installation services. Our District currently has 54 licensed ministers, 242 ordained ministers and 6 candidates pursuing licensed ministry. It is our joy to celebrate with all the ministry happenings in our District this year: 6 newly licensed ministers, 4 newly ordained ministers, and 6 newly placed pastors.
District Ministry Commission
“The Nurture Commission is here for you and your congregation! From youth events, to Women’s Fellowship, to lay leadership events, scholarships, resources and more, we have numerous avenues through which we can help you and your church GROW! Let us know how we can be there for you, to facilitate, support and advocate for the spiritual, emotional, physical and relational health and vitality of your congregation!”
Jess Ross, Director of Nurture
Witness and Outreach Commission
“At District Conference, the Witness and Outreach Commission shared all the outreach opportunities that are available in our ANE District. This includes our ongoing ANE District Disaster Response efforts, which support the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries and our Church 2 Church “community building”. This is a ministry outreach opportunity that allows churches, with needs, to partner with churches who are interested in a service project. Our ANE District also offers financial partnerships and support among ANE congregations, with our ANE District Disaster Benevolence Fund. This fund supports ANE congregations dealing with situations involving significant loss. We also have our ANE District Barnabas Fund, which supports and encourages ministry in our urban congregations.”
Mary Etta Reinhart, Director of Witness and Outreach
“In 2016, 16 ANE Congregations (20% of our congregations) gave 67% of ANE’s congregational contributions received, and 17 Congregations (or 22%) did not contribute anything. We are family networking together to share the Gospel. ANE NEEDS YOU AND ALL ANE MEMBERS TO SUPPORT THESE MINISTRIES. REMEMBER THIS – All of these ministries and more, are only possible through the financial support of each ANE congregation!”
Kay Weaver, Director of Stewardship
After the Commission reports, a financial report was given by the ANE Treasurer Ray Flagg. A 2018 District Ministry Investment Plan was presented and the delegates voted to approve the proposed budget, for $632,287.
At 10:15, the 2018 Slate was presented. Beginning each November, the Gifts Discernment Team works together to fill the slate, that delegates vote on at conference. Throughout the year, many prayerful thoughts are lifted up, and the team works diligently to find people that feel called to serve. The Atlantic Northeast District is blessed with many talented, dedicated and passionate Brothers and Sisters, always seeking to help and improve the Church of the Brethren. 174 slates were returned, and 163 of them were affirmed. The 2018 Slate was positively approved. The candidates that will serve you over the next 1-3 years include the following:
Moderator Elect: Brian Berkey (Jennersville/Wilmington)
Program & Arrangements Committee: Laura Meiser (Hempfield)
Gifts Discernment Team: Heather Landram (Lititz); Sandra Brubaker (Chiques); Bob Kettering (Lititz); Bethany Hoffer (Palmyra)
Standing Committee: Kim Ream (Ephrata)
Alternate Standing Committee: Belita Mitchell (Harrisburg First)
District Board Chair: Jeff Glisson (Lititz)
Church Development and Evangelism Commission: Scott Haldeman (New Beginnings); Andrew Hamilton (Stevens Hill Community)
Ministry Commission: Liz Bidgood Enders (Ridgeway); Randy Hosler (Chiques)
Nurture Commission: Joyce Schnupp (Middle Creek); Douglas Enck (East Cocalico)
Stewardship Commission: Michael Shupp (Mohler); John Miller (Mohrsville)
Witness and Outreach Commission: James Nolt (Chiques)
Camp Swatara: Barry Garman (Elizabethtown), Daryl Myer (Chiques), Michael Shearer (Annville)
COBYS Family Services: Suzanne Schaudel (Lancaster), Wilbur Rohrer (Middle Creek), Robert Wintsch (Mechanic Grove)
Please pray for these individuals as they share their talents and serve the ANE District with their time. The ANE Gifts Discernment Team will be inviting congregations to nominate individuals to the 2019 Slate in January. Prayerfully, and thoughtfully nominate individuals to your congregational leaders who would be fit to serve .
After lunch, Pete Kontra was introduced as the ANE’s new District Executive. The evaluations clearly showed that many people are excited for Pete’s enthusiasm and call for unity. A beautiful worship serviced concluded the day. As one whole Church, Brothers and Sisters gathered in song and prayer. Testimonials were shared, messages were inspiring, prayers were lifted up, and a generous offering was given to our Brothers and Sisters in Nigeria. Beautiful words of encouragement and wisdom were expressed by Moderator Glenn Martin, as he consecrated and transferred leadership to the newly appointed Moderator, Misty Wintsch.
What a beautiful day the Lord made! On behalf of the ANE District Staff, we would like to thank everyone that attended. Thank you for your contribution and participation. We look forward to seeing you next year!
Please mark your calendars now for next year’s 49th District Conference- October 6, 2018!
The Atlantic Northeast District Church of the Brethren would like to express gratitude and acknowledge the following:
Guest Speaker: Dr. Musa Mambula (International Scholar in Residence at Bethany Seminary)
Moderator: Minister Glenn Martin (New Beginnings)
Moderator Elect: Pastor Misty Wintsch (Mechanic Grove)
Interim District Executive: Randy Yoder (Stone)
Chorister: Joy Brubaker (Midway)
Pianist: Ryan Arndt (West Green Tree)
Choirs: Florin and West Green Tree
Choir Directors: Ryan Arndt (West Green Tree) and Chuck Nichols (Florin)
Choir Accompanists: Marcy Price (Florin) and Mary Jane Smith (West Green Tree)
Offertory Speaker: Pastor Pamela Reist (Elizabethtown); Host Church: Hanoverdale
On-Site Coordinator: Jim Dengler (Hanoverdale)
Translators: Angel Gonzalez (Nuevo Amanecer), Arelis Sable (Lancaster) and Dawn Sandoval
Elizabethtown College: Samantha Brant, Barry Fritz, Melissa Hagman, Joe Hudzick and Bonnie Martin
By the Numbers:
Buckets Collected: 440
Offering Total: $2,694.20
Morning Attendance: 273
Afternoon Attendance: 270
Worship Service Attendance: 230
Delegate Attendance: 181
Non-Delegate Attendance: 92
Congregations in Attendance: 60
To hear newly appointed District Executive, Pete Kontra address the delegate body, please visit our
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