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  • 12 Feb 2019 4:22 PM | Michelle R Oyer (Administrator)

    Read a story of one pastor's recent experience stepping out of his comfort zone in another country and what God is teaching him through his time there. Also, get an update on the current executive director's future plans after Evana. You won't want to miss it! View here.

  • 22 Jan 2019 11:22 AM | Michelle R Oyer (Administrator)

    Get to know our new executive director and board chair in this month's issue of PULSE! View or download it here.

  • 21 Jan 2019 7:42 AM | Evana Network (Administrator)

    Evana Network, an evangelical Anabaptist network of churches across the United States and Canada, has announced the appointment of Matt Hamsher as the new executive director. Hamsher had previously served as board chair for Evana and is finishing up his role as lead pastor at Longenecker Evangelical Anabaptist Fellowship in northeast Ohio.

    Board secretary Virginia Leichty said of the board’s decision, “It was clearly evident that Matt has a deep faith in God and a desire to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He demonstrates a calm, respectful demeanor with people, including those with whom he disagrees. He also has a deep understanding of Anabaptists. He has a broad range of connections among diverse Christian leaders and seeks to find what we have in common.”

    Evana Network began in 2015 and has grown to 45 churches in the eastern United States and Canada. It has also formed partnerships with eleven mission and educational institutions, developed resources and tools for church revitalization, and bridged relationships between evangelical Anabaptist denominations.  Hamsher will be sharing his vision for the future of Evana at Flourishing, an event for pastors and church leaders, in Fruitland Park, FL, February 15-19. Registration is still open for that event until the end of January.

    When asked why he accepted the role, Hamsher said, “I have felt a sense of God's call throughout this process.  Even though I had initially decided against applying, it kept coming up in my prayer time and then was confirmed by the encouragement and words of others at critical times in my discernment process.” Matt hopes to connect the past, present, and future as he moves Evana forward. He brings a listening ear and a leadership capacity to connect with Anabaptists from diverse backgrounds. He concluded, “I am excited to serve as Executive Director at this critical time in our history because of the opportunities that lie in front of us.” Hamsher is married to Kristina Hamsher and they have two children.

    The search process began in the summer of 2018 when John Troyer, the current executive director, announced his plans to step down in the first half of 2019. The board formed a search team consisting of Terry Diener, search team chair and board member; Gene Yoder, consultant; Larissa Moore-Willard, board vice-chair; Virginia Leichty, board secretary; Sonya Miller, board member; and Carl Wiebe, pastor at Kidron Mennonite. They looked at a number of applications from both inside and outside the network, and Hamsher was selected from three finalists. The full board unanimously accepted the recommendation and made the appointment.

    Larissa Moore-Willard had been serving as vice-chair of the board and will now give board and delegate leadership as the new chair.  “I’m going into this with God’s vision,” she says, “to lead the board and stay the course.” Moore-Willard is a church planter and pastor and is known across the network for her prophetic gifts, her commitment to prayer, and love for the church.

    Troyer will continue in his current role through April, and he and Hamsher will be working closely together. “I’m grateful for the way God brought all of this together with the transition,” Troyer said, “Evana has always been larger than any one person, and I see that in the ways lives have been changed, churches have been revitalized, and communities are being transformed. One of our greatest strengths has been the growth in cohesion and mission in our churches.” Wes Furlong, director of church development will be continuing his work with Evana’s City Flourish initiative and the Vital Impact Assessment.

    You can find more information about Evana Network at evananetwork.org, City Flourish at cityflourish.com and the Vital Impact Assessment at vitalimpact.church.


  • 12 Dec 2018 4:15 PM | Michelle R Oyer (Administrator)

    Merry Christmas! Pulse is here with a fantastic story featuring Capital Christian Fellowship in Washington D.C. Hear how this partner church is literally using dirt to bring healing and restoration to their urban community!

    Check it out the full color version here!

    Black and white download option here.

    Enjoy!

  • 12 Nov 2018 3:07 PM | Michelle R Oyer (Administrator)

    The second issue of our newsletter is here! Pulse November centers on a small body of believers in the city of South Bend, Indiana.

    Learn how God prompted Gil and Marketo Michel to reach out to their neighbors right around them. Discover how That Church Downtown came to be and how they found common vision with Evana.

    Read their story, plus get an update on the search for Evana's next Executive Director: 

    Click here to access PULSE

      

  • 08 Oct 2018 8:13 AM | Michelle R Oyer (Administrator)

    Evana is excited to introduce the first issue of Pulse, our monthly newsletter! Be encouraged with stories of what God is doing, and stay in the loop with the latest happenings in and around Evana. Download the October newsletter as a PDF here for personal use or church distribution.

    October Newsletter Color Version (PDF)

    October Newsletter Black and White Version (PDF)

  • 22 Aug 2018 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    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: 

    http://mennoworld.org/2018/08/20/news/six-evangelical-anabaptist-group-leaders-explore-affinity/

  • 22 Aug 2018 9:01 AM | Anonymous


    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.


    Read the full article from Mennonite World Review: 

    http://mennoworld.org/2018/07/09/news/evana-solidifies-collaborative-vision/



  • 05 Jul 2018 10:42 AM | John Troyer (Administrator)


    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 info@netgrace.org and let them know you're an Evana church to get started.

    1. We have already had a commitment of $10,000 in seed money to start with our loan program. If you would like to donate or participate in getting a loan as a church, email us at info@evananetwork.org. The loan terms are 2% interest with a maximum loan period of 5 years. You can borrow up to $4,000 for each church.
    2. You can get a $350 grant from Everence. Go to https://www.everence.com/safe-church-grant for more information and to apply. You need to have an Everence advocate or appoint one to receive this grant.
    3. The next nine Evana churches that do GRACE's Safe Church process will receive a $1,000 discount off the $5,000 overall cost.
    4. Ask if anyone from your congregation would like to donate directly to help you do this. You will likely find people who want to contribute.
    5. Talk to your liability insurance company and challenge them to reduce your premiums if you go through this process.

    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/


  • 30 Jun 2018 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    New Leadership Coming for Evana Network


    John Troyer, Executive Director of Evana Network, has announced plans to transition out of his leadership role for Evana Network. This transition is scheduled to take place over the next 6 to 12 months. The announcement was made in Upland, Indiana at Evana's recent summer gathering, ReGen 2018.


    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.


    Troyer states, "Evana has grown to become a true network, drawing strength and vitality from all involved. It has been a privilege to serve as Executive Director. Looking back, I am amazed at God's provision and guidance as He has led us. I am deeply grateful for this network of churches who will continue to be my church family."


    Evana's Growth

    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).


    “We are profoundly grateful for John’s leadership as Evana moved from concept to reality,” said Matt Hamsher, Chair of the Evana Network Board. “His entrepreneurial vision, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and passion to invite others to join as members and partners have been vital components in the Network’s establishment and growth.”


    Next Steps

    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.

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