Photo: Franklin Mennonite Conference meetings in 2015. Conference photo.
On Sept. 28, Franklin Mennonite Conference lay delegates and credentialed members voted to affirm the recommendation of the conference board to join Lancaster Mennonite Conference (LMC) as a bishop district. The resolution passed with 92 percent approval.
The recommendation came after a year of discernment regarding affiliation after Franklin Conference withdrew from Mennonite Church USA in April 2016. The conference has 14 congregations totaling roughly 1,000 members located in Pennsylvania and Maryland. LMC voted in November 2015 to leave MC USA. At the time, it was the largest area conference in the denomination.
As a bishop district of LMC, Franklin will continue to operate much as it has in the past. Current Conference Minister for Franklin, Allen Lehman, will continue to serve as pastor to the congregational pastors in the district and will represent Franklin District at the bi-monthly bishop board meetings of LMC. Associated organizations such as the Franklin Conference Mission Board and the conference’s publication, The Burning Bush, will also continue.
“To be connected to a larger entity is something our people feel good about,” said Lehman in an Aug. 22 phone interview.