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Celebration 2012

Held September 14-16, 2012 - Celebration 2012 at Penn York Camp

Speaker: Terry Shue, Denominational Minister, Mennonite Church USA

Read more about Celebration 2012 in the October/November 2012 Newsletter

Article by Sarah Blaisdell

Having no idea how the annual fall gathering of the New York Mennonite Conference churches came to be called “Celebration,” I have come to the conclusion that this name was chosen because this gathering really is a time to celebrate the life of our conference and the work that God is doing in our individual churches.  Every year, we also look forward to this time of celebrating the friendships that have developed with folks that we see only once or twice a year, people we wish we could see more often, but cannot because we are spread around this large state. 

On Friday evening, we celebrated the work that the transition team of Lowville Mennonite Church and Jeff Mayer, congregational facilitator, did to bring about healing in their church.  The Missio Dei (mission of God) award was given to the whole team and to Jeff to honor their commitment to work together and to seek the will of God in their church and in their relationships to one another.  

Throughout the weekend we heard from our speaker, Terry Shue, who stated that God has called and equipped and brought the people of God into the Church because God has a purpose in the world.  He has called us to be a part of that and He’s given us the opportunity to infiltrate our world and our culture with the grace and mercy and love of our Lord Jesus.  Nothing in the world is going to answer the questions of the human condition other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  His message on Friday evening focused on understanding how Jesus was sent into the world by the Father (incarnationally, at great risk, with authority, and with a purpose) because Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  On Saturday evening, Terry shared a message on Christian formation, stating that God has a desire and a passion to develop us into what He created us to be, which is to be like Him.  God works within us and transforms us individually through discipleship and our connection with our faith community.  Sunday morning Terry shared a message on leadership development, citing the way that Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, recommended that Moses give responsibility to others, and allow them to do their jobs in ways that built them up and strengthened them.  Terry reminded us that God gives gifts to the whole church, not just the people up front, and we need to train up leaders even though we don’t know how God will use them.  All of Terry’s messages can be found on this web page.

At the general sessions, we also had the opportunity to celebrate what God is doing in and through Mennonite agencies as representatives from two agencies shared at each session.  Information tables were set up and representatives were present from MCUSA, MennoMedia, Eastern Mennonite Missions, Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Central Committee, and Eastern Mennonite University. 

Four workshops were offered on Saturday afternoon during two time periods.  A two-part workshop on immigration issues was offered to cover the topic at the national level and at the state level.  A number of women gathered for a follow up to the Sister Care seminar which was offered last March.  A new initiative of the Mennonite Conference, “The 12 Scriptures Project” was presented and those gathered had the opportunity to see how the project might work in their own congregations or small groups.

We are a blessed people and God has given us much to celebrate.  I encourage you all to keep the celebration going throughout the year by listening again (or for the first time) to the messages Terry shared with us; checking in on the work that God is doing in and through our conference-affiliated agencies; and keeping in touch with those friends whom you will not see again until next year, but for whom God has given you a special affection.


Audio recordings from Celebration 2012

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To play:   click on the play button for each session
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Catch the Vision

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NYMC Webmaster,
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Terry Shue Friday.mp3
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NYMC Webmaster,
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Terry Shue Saturday.mp3
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NYMC Webmaster,
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Terry Shue Sunday.mp3
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NYMC Webmaster,
Jul 18, 2013, 12:51 PM