About 40 leaders representing six evangelical Anabaptist groups gathered Aug. 6-8 for prayer and worship at Rosedale Bible College in Irwin, Ohio.
The meeting was initiated by John Troyer of Goshen, Ind., executive director of the Evana Network.
“We basically spent time worshiping and taking time alone with God and coming back and sharing what we heard,” Troyer said
The organizations represented were Evana, Lancaster Mennonite Conference, U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, Conservative Mennonite Conference, Brethren in Christ U.S. and The Brethren Church (an evangelical Brethren denomination founded in 1883).
Read the full article from Mennonite World Review:
At 3 years old, the Evana Network is solidifying its identity as a collaborator with other Anabaptist denominations.
During a delegate session at Evana’s third ReGen convention, held June 29-July 3 at Taylor University, Evana board chair Matt Hamsher of Kidron, Ohio, said the evangelical Anabaptist group is “not competitive but collaborative.”
Citing a choice between being another Anabaptist denomination or a resource agency for local mission, he said the emerging vision is for Evana to partner with other denominations while also being a credentialing network for congregations who want Evana as their primary affiliation.
“We want to serve your congregations without taking them away from you,” Hamsher said.
We're excited to announce several options for churches who want to institute GRACE's (https://netgrace.org) Safe Church program. We are recommending GRACE's program because of how comprehensive it is and because of their reputation as the leader in doing this work in the church. We've been working hard to make it simple to get started and cost-effective to participate and would like to see every Evana church go through this. Email GRACE firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you're an Evana church to get started.
If you're already part of Evana, join our Workplace group to be in conversation with other churches that are working at this. https://evana.facebook.com/groups/1371933816177671/
A new direction
Despite his continued passion for growing the Anabaptist network of churches, three reasons factored into Troyer's decision. These reasons include his desire to spend more time at home with his family and less traveling, plus the knowledge that Evana would continue to strengthen with new leadership. First and foremost was simply a sense that this change was God's timing.
Evana Network began in 2015 as an Anabaptist ministry network with a strong commitment to the centrality of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission. The organization has helped churches engage deeply in their local communities through church planting, community engagement and leadership development.
In the three years since Evana's beginnings, the network has grown to include 40 congregational partners and nine strategic partners. Coming from two countries and thirteen states/provinces, these partners are part of six different denominations and conferences.
Evana has also hosted three summer conventions and three pastor/spouse retreats, led by women and men from many backgrounds and ethnic groups. Under the leadership of Wes Furlong, Director of Church Development, Evana recently started a research and training center for Christian community development called City Flourish (cityflourish.com).
Regarding his own next steps, Troyer shares that he does not have definitive plans in place, "There are several options for my future work, but none have developed to the point of sharing publicly. With a transition window of 6 to 12 months, my primary focus at first will be to help Evana move forward without losing momentum."
Evana's Leadership Board
Evana's six-person Executive Board will work with Troyer to keep Evana moving forward during the search and transition process. As part of a regular term rotation, Samuel Lopez and Tyler Hartford will be stepping off the board. Terry Diener of Goshen, IN, and Sonya Miller of Sarasota, FL have been nominated to join the board for a two-year term.
Those continuing to serve in addition to Hamsher include Larissa Moore, Vice-Chair; Virginia Liechty, Treasurer; and Moises Angustia, Member at Large.
Last but not least in our speaker lineup for this summer is John Troyer. He has led Evana for the past three years, and is passionate about evangelism and seeing church leaders flourish.
We’re excited for all of our regen.2018 speakers and we want to make sure you don’t miss out. Check out the event page here for more information and registration. We hope to see you there!
Dr. Joseph Jones is another speaker you’ll have the opportunity to hear at regen.2018. His professional journey has taken him from a Christian university in Pakistan to Fresno Pacific University in California. His journey has led him to become passionate about Christians making an impact on the world around them.
Don’t forget to register for our summer gathering!
Martin Thomas will be sharing his powerful testimony with us at regen.2018. From being a pastor to being in prison, he knows how Jesus can change lives, including his own.
Register for the opportunity to learn more about the miraculous way Jesus continues to lead Martin into new adventures.
Noemi Chavez, pastor of the growing multicultural 7th Street Church in Los Angeles, is another amazing speaker in our regen.2018 lineup. She's committed to loving others and raising up the next generation to serve the future of the church and their communities.
Take a break from your day and meet Bishop L.W. Francisco III, who will also be joining us at regen.2018! He is lead pastor at C3 church in Hampton, VA and believes that God calls us to be "legacy makers and curse breakers."
Want to hear more from Bishop Francisco? Register for the summer gathering by clicking the button below.
We're excited to have Kim Meeder in our lineup of speakers for regen.2018! Kim's life was torn apart at just 9 years old by her parents' murder-suicide. Join us to hear how she has risen above the pain and gained a new start in life by the grace of God!
You can get a glimpse of Kim sharing one of her moving stories in the video below.
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