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MDiv candidate nominated as Mennonite Church USA moderator-elect

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Jon Carlson, a Master of Divinity candidate at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, was nominated March 12 as moderator-elect of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA). He also holds a Certificate in Ministry Studies from the seminary.

Carlson is a MC USA Executive Board member, assistant moderator of Atlantic Coast Conference, and the lead pastor of Forest Hills Mennonite Church in Leola, Pennsylvania.

His nomination was announced in a March 12 MC USA press release. 

Pending affirmation by delegates at the online MennoCon21 Delegate Assembly, Carlson will serve two years as moderator-elect and then two years as moderator and chair of the Executive Board, presiding over the 2025 MC USA Convention and Delegate Assembly.

Stan Shantz, chair of MC USA’s Leadership Discernment Committee, described Carlson in the release as having a firm focus on the vision, mission and goals of the denomination, as well as the gifts needed to lead in this role.

“There’s a graciousness about the way Jon leads,” said Shantz. “He does well at inviting others’ perspective into the discussion. Jon builds bridges between people.”

“It’s an honor to be considered for a role like this,” said Carlson. “I love the Mennonite Church dearly and believe that God is at work in our world through the Mennonite Church in unique and valuable ways.”

After working in creative services and media production for 10 years, Carlson was called to ministry in 2010 as a part-time, interim pastor at Oley Valley (Pennsylvania) Mennonite Church. In 2014, Carlson followed his wife’s career path to Lancaster and accepted the position as lead pastor of Forest Hills Mennonite Church. 

Carlson joined MC USA’s Executive Board in 2019 and is in his second term as assistant moderator for Atlantic Coast Conference, a position he will leave if affirmed as moderator-elect at the 2021 MC USA Delegate Assembly. He also serves as the MC USA Executive Board representative on the Mennonite Education Agency executive director search committee and on the board of directors of Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Mennonite Schools. He has previously served as a delegate, member at large and co-chair of the youth committee for the conference.

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In Memoriam: John R. Martin ‘54, emeritus professor of Eastern Mennonite Seminary

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Eastern Mennonite Seminary Emeritus Professor John Richard Martin, 92, died at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Va., on March 23, 2021.

A pastor and scholar, Martin returned to his alma mater to serve then-Eastern Mennonite College as a trustee from 1966-71. He then became a faculty member, teaching Bible courses, and in 1978, moved to Eastern Mennonite Seminary where he served in various positions, including registrar, director of field education and professor of church ministry, for 18 years. 

Nancy Heisey, now associate dean of the seminary, remembers “John’s wise and patient guidance” upon her arrival in 1992 to finish her Master of Divinity degree. “Like a true pastor, he affirmed my gifts and experiences as useful to the churches.”

Martin was a strong supporter of the university, with special attention to the seminary through prayerful support, his years of service and through the John R. and Marian S. Martin Seminary Scholarship, an endowed scholarship initiated by his former pastorate, Neffesville Mennonite Church in Neffesville, Pa. 

Martin was a Harrisonburg native who graduated with a degree in bible studies and theology in 1954. He went into the ministry, first in Indiana and then in Washington D.C., where he was ordained in 1957 at Woodridge Mennonite Church. He pastored there three years along with serving as associate executive secretary of National Service Board for Religious Objectors. He later pastored Neffsville Mennonite Church for ten years. 

Martin went on to earn degrees at Goshen Biblical Seminary, and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and then while on the faculty at EMS, earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

During his years of ministry and teaching, he served on a number of denominational boards and programs, including Director of 1-W Services, Moderator of Virginia Mennonite Conference, president of Mennonite Board of Congregational Ministries, and president of Mennonite Broadcasts. Among his conference work, he was overseer of the Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference from 1962-71 and moderator of the Virginia Mennonite Conference.

In a 2015 visit to campus, John R. Martin (right) shares a laugh with his classmate Amos Yoder (middle) and Laban Peachey, former Dean of Men. (Photo by Jon Styer)

Martin also authored four books as well as articles for various periodicals.

On March 31, 1956, he married Marian Stover Landis of Blooming Glen, Pa. Marian preceded him in death in 2016.  In 2018, he married Evelyn Jost Martin.

He is survived by his wife Evelyn Jost Martin, three children and seven grandchildren:  Don R. Martin and his wife Barbara of Harrisonburg, Va. (Daniel, Timothy and Philip); Lee Martin and his wife Peg of Kimball, West Virginia (Maria and Curtis); Ann Martin and her husband Jim Stutzman of Lancaster, Pa. (Emma and Ben).  He was also preceded in death by his eight siblings:  Robert, J. Weldon, Mary (King), Virginia (Derstine), Ruth (Harnish), Margaret (Weaver), Perry Sanford and Ralph.

The memorial service will be live-streamed from Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va. on Saturday, April 17, at 2:00 pm.  The sanctuary will be closed to the public. For details on the live stream, go to pvmchurch.org/johnmartin. The burial will be held privately.

Memorial contributions may be made to the John R. and Marian S. Martin Seminary Scholarship, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va. 22802, or the Compassion Fund, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Va. 22802.

Those wishing to view and sign the register book may do so on Friday, March 26, 2021 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.mcmullenfh.com.

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ODAC/NCAA stats leader named Royals Athlete of the Week

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Once again, Brandy Troutman (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) has played a pivotal role in the defensive line for the EMU field hockey team. 

Not only did Brandy lead the ODAC (and the nation) with eight defensive saves, but she also tied for first with three game-winning goals this year.

In the final week of the regular season, the Royals crammed three games into four games, and Brandy came up big, notching two game-winning goals and five defensive saves in the stretch. In a comeback win over Bridgewater, the defender stepped up and scored on a corner in the 44th minute to put EMU in front, 3-2. the junior also had a defensive save in that key win. Brandy hit the cage on another corner to put EMU on the board just 3:19 into play in the win at Sweet Briar. Then she had four defensive saves in the finale against Lycnhburg.

Along with her team, Brandy was successful in creating a memorable season for the seniors and looks forward to next year. 

You are the first EMU field hockey player to receive the ODAC Player of the Week award since 2009. Please briefly describe what this recognition means for you.

Honestly, I was really surprised when I was notified of this recognition! Being able to represent EMU in the ODAC was a big honor. I worked really hard in the offseason to get to where I am and to receive the ODAC Player of the Week had been one of my goals for the season.

For the second season in a row, you led the ODAC (and the nation) with eight defensive saves. Talk about your role as a defender and the defensive unit as a whole. 

The only thing I think about when I have a defensive save is, “This ball is not getting into the cage.” First-year Cassidy Armstrong was also added into our defensive unit this season. She really stepped into the role and we all came together to create a strong defense. My favorite memory as a defender this season was keeping Lynchburg to their season-low scoring output. Even though we lost that game, I had four defensive saves and that game was our best game as an entire team.

What did you do in the summer and fall to prepare for your season?

During the summer, the gyms were closed so I did a lot of running and bodyweight exercises. I decided to prepare myself as best I could with the resources I had available. I was hesitant about having a season in the spring because it was something I was not used to. I was also worried about our schedule only being ODAC teams, but I knew it was a challenge that I was ready for.

Due to COVID-19, the field hockey season got moved from playing in the fall to the spring. What did it mean for you to be able to have a season?

Coach Stick really helped our team maintain a positive attitude during the season. COVID-19 affected multiple games for us but we remained flexible. Having a season this year meant a lot for me because a lot of schools were not given the same chance to play. The team wanted to give a season for our seniors and send them off on a high note. 

In the game against Bridgewater, you had one defensive save and one goal. What did this big ODAC win mean to you?

As I mentioned before, the team really wanted to give our seniors the best season. Beating Bridgewater was something that the seniors strived for and the motivation to win came from them. I gave it everything I could because I knew that if we tied the game, we just needed one more goal to win. Scoring the winning goal on a corner against Bridgewater is something that I will never forget.

What are your thoughts and goals going into your senior year?

It is kind of scary to think about how I have played field hockey my entire life and now I will be entering my final season. I am excited to get into next season and look forward to playing. We have some tough opponents but I know the team will continue to improve our overall record.

Coach Stick on Brandy Troutman’s season:

Brandy’s work ethic and commitment to the field hockey team have been instrumental in the turnaround of our program. After having a successful campaign during her sophomore season, she came back ready to compete against a really tough ODAC schedule. It was amazing to see her continue the drive to keep opponents from scoring against us. Not only has she been steady and strong on the defensive end, she has really stepped up to be a threat on offensive corners. In fact, most of our goals scored this year were off of offensive corners which was a great improvement from our offensive corner unit from years prior. Seeing a defensive player tied for the most game-winning goals in the conference is unusual, but Brandy is a special player. I am already excited to see EMU Field Hockey take the field in the fall!

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