Pastors' Retreat

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Pastors’ Retreat

September 15-17, 2017

“Lessons from a Half Century of Urban Ministry”



7:00-9:00 PM  Arrival

9:30 PM           Campfire

                        (Cookies and coffee)


8:30 AM          Breakfast

9:15 AM          Personal Reflection Time

(Private time with God)

10 AM-12PM   Session 1

12:30 PM         Lunch (Dining Room)

1:15 PM           Group Activity

2:30 - 4:30       Session 2

(An offering will be taken)

5:30 PM           Dinner

7:30 PM           Campfire and informal conversation


8:30 AM          Breakfast

Speakers: John and Irene Smucker

John I. Smucker was raised on a small family farm in the fertile soil of Lancaster Country, PA.  He and Irene were married in 1954 and followed God’s call to New York City, the largest urban center in the nation.  With the optimism of youth and the confidence born of faith, they plunged wholeheartedly into their new environment, fully convinced that the God who called then would also sustain and lead them—and God did, for nearly a half century.

John and Irene will share their experiences in urban ministry, faithful discipleship, mediation, nonviolence, ecumenism, racial harmony, peacemaking, and social justice, charismatic renewal, and their influence on the Mennonite Church.

Personal note from Ken Bontrager:  I was a high school Junior in Iowa when John Smucker came to our small town to hold a series of meetings on spiritual renewal and missions.  Those meetings played a major role in my decision to follow God’s call to the Bronx in 1982.  Little did I know that John Smucker would become a teacher and mentor to me in NYC.