Visiting Pastor Kirk Hanger focuses on themes of diversity dynamics and the vocation of faith communities looking at the Tower of Babel, Pentecost and Revelation to show that God’s plan from the beginning has always been diversity, however, like those at Babel, we still tend to want to stay in our comfort zones with people like us. God nudges, pushes and sometimes kicks us out of our comfort zones for our own growth and for the fulfillment of God’s mission in the world.
Kirk Hanger is founding pastor of New Hope Fellowship, Alexandria, Va. Marilyn, Kirk’s wife, teaches at Claremont Immersion School in Arlington, VA. They have two grown sons. The Hangers served as church planters in Mexico City for eleven years and were involved in starting three churches in one of the largest cities in the world. Kirk continues as a mentor to leaders and churches in RIMI Network of Churches, a network that was started in Mexico and now includes churches in several other countries. Kirk grew up in Waynesboro, Virginia and graduated from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, Palmer Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA, and the Fuller Theological Seminary , Pasadena, CA. Kirk is an ordained minister in Franconia Mennonite Conference, an area conference of Mennonite Church, USA. Prior to going to Mexico, Kirk pastored Methacton Mennonite Church in Norristown, PA. Marilyn is from Souderton, Pennsylvania and also graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and has a Masters in Education from George Mason University.
Hear reflections from Elizabeth Witmer, Maddie List, and Caleb Schrock-Hurst, about exploring ministry this past summer with the Ministry Inquiry Program. What might exploring ministry look like for you?
Elizabeth Witmer, a junior social work major, was at Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis. In addition to leading worship, visiting a terminally ill church member, preaching, planning and attending actions and workshops with a local immigrant-led organization, attending protests, and various other activities, Witmer said that she enjoyed being within walking distance of “anything I want do” and being “well connected to causes and actions I’m passionate about.”
Maddie List, a senior Bible and religion major from Arlington, Virginia, was in a summer service program called Ocean City Beach Project run by the Coalition for Christian Outreach for students who want to develop further as campus leaders. List and 30 other participants lived together, attended classes, participated in Bible studies, led worship, and engaged in faith-based discussions in small groups. They each also had jobs in Ocean City, where they practiced discussing faith with coworkers.
Caleb Schrock-Hurst, a senior English major, was at New Hope Fellowship/Nueva Esperanza of Alexandria (Virginia). In addition to making pastoral visits, playing guitar in the church’s worship band, preaching, attending a young adult Bible study, “reading a lot more scripture and theology than I do on a regular basis,” and working on a variety of projects, Schrock-Hurst traveled with pastor and supervisor Kirk Hanger to visit member congregations from Mexico to Philadelphia.
Does the arc of history really bend towards justice as King and Obama liked to say? Think theologically about hope and history with Professor Peter Dula as part of the Common Read Chapel Series on Between the World and Me.
Peter Dula is Associate Professor of Religion and Culture. He received a Ph.D from Duke University in theology and ethics in 2004. He is the author of Cavell, Companionship, and Christian Theology (Oxford, 2011). Before coming to EMU in 2006 he was the Mennonite Central Committee Iraq Program Coordinator. He has taught at Lancaster Mennonite High School and at the Meserete Kristos College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he was a Fulbright scholar in 2001-2002. He has received several grants and fellowships including, most recently, the Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers.
The Apostle Paul’s “body” metaphor of the church is as daunting as it is inspiring. Did he really expect his readers to act as though it were “true”? This message will invite you to look at the challenges to living out this Scriptural aspiration for the church. How might EMU approach the call to Christian unity in the midst of diversity in today’s world as a Christian university “like no other”?
Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA, offers perspectives on the Church Being the Church in the context of our Many Parts, One Body theme, inspired by Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.
Join Todd Wynward to explore “Repairers of the Breach: Earth Justice, Everyday Heroes, and the Poor People’s Campaign” linking the ancient prophetic words of Isaiah with the Rev. William Barber’s “Poor People’s Campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival,” set to sweep the country in 2018. Fifty years after MLK was assassinated, Barber and countless others across America are carrying on King’s unfinished call for integrated justice, addressing the intersectional evils of racism, poverty, the war economy, and environmental degradation. This is the time to join in the movement!
Todd Wynward is a wilderness educator and author of Rewilding the Way: Break Free to Follow an Untamed God. Todd lives with his family in Taos, NM. When he is not re-imagining Christianity, Wynward is re-imagining public education and the American way of life, starting with his own. Locally he practices homesteading in the high desert, while nationally he works to galvanize movements in watershed discipleship, bioregional food covenants, and more-with-less living. He has been engaged in experiential education and social change movements for twenty years, and has spent more than a thousand nights outdoors. He is the founder of a wilderness-based public middle school, leads backpacking and river trips for adult seekers, and is an animating force behind TiLT, an intentional co-housing community. Patheos.com calls his novel “The Secrets of Leaven“ a delicious mystery… exploring deep questions.” His writings and doings can be found at leavenrising.com.
Iris de León-Hartshorn has worked within the Mennonite
Church in various roles since 1996, serving as a leader in
racial and gender justice in the church. She is currently
director of transformative peacemaking for Mennonite Church
USA. In this role, she coordinates initiatives and programs
related to the churchwide priority of “undoing racism and
advancing intercultural transformation.”
Just Stand: Gather to hear and explore pieces of selected speeches and sermons from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The MLK, Jr. Celebration theme is Just Stand based on a quote from King’s 1963 book of homilies: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”