National Pastors Orientation to be held in March

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NPO registration deadline two weeks away

By Connie Faber

Pastors new to the pastorate or new to USMB ministry will be familiarized with U.S. Mennonite Brethren history, agencies and personnel when they meet March 11-13 in San Diego, Calif. The registration deadline for the 2013 National Pastors Orientation (NPO) is Feb. 18.

The three-day event, hosted by the USMB Board of Faith and Life (BFL), provides new lead and staff pastors and their spouses with opportunities to learn about the Mennonite Brethren family and the many resources available to local churches, to meet leaders of district, national and North American Mennonite Brethren ministries and to connect with other pastors.

“In order for us to function effectively as one family on one mission, it is a huge boost if we have good personal connectedness and common knowledge of what we are committed to and how we do what we do,” says Ed Boschman, USMB executive director. “This event is extremely helpful in linking us together as a national team.”

Tim Geddert, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary professor of New Testament and a BFL member, and Valerie Rempel, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary associate dean and associate professor of history and theology, will be the resource speakers.

Geddert will speak to the group Monday afternoon on “The Church and God’s Mission.” Tuesday morning Rempel will review the birth of Anabaptism and Mennonites and outline the birth and 150-year history of Mennonite Brethren.

Boschman, BFL chair Larry Nikkel and Don Morris, director of Mission USA, the USMB church planting and renewal ministry, will provide input during the orientation. Steve Schroeder, chair of the USMB Leadership Board, and Lynn Jost, dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, will give the morning devotions.

Other individuals involved in the orientation sessions will be Jon Wiebe of MB Foundation, Randy Friesen of MB Mission and Amy Sterk of Kindred Productions, USMB staff members and district ministers.

Registration covers 3 nights of deluxe lodging at Island Palms Hotel and Marina, meals and all NPO events. In addition to times of worship and input sessions, the schedule includes a variety of group activities on Monday intended to build relationships among the pastors and ministry leaders and free time Tuesday afternoon.

New lead and staff pastors are expected to attend the event, subsidized heavily by USMB and strongly supported by district leaders. The event begins Monday morning and concludes Wednesday after lunch.

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