Upper Milford Mennonite Church Elects New Minister
- Name: Rev. Roy Bender
- Occasion: new minister
Residents of Upper Milford Township recently welcomed a new neighbor into its fold. The Rev. Roy Bender, 58, was elected as the new minister of the Upper Milford Mennonite Church. He began his duties at the church Dec. 1 and was officially installed Dec. 9.
Bender graduated in 1987 with a Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Ministries from the Anabaptist Mennonite Seminary, which is located in Elkhart, IN. Upper Milford Mennonite Church will be his fourth pastorate in 33 years of ministry. He comes to the community following 17 years at a church in Lancaster.
Bender is “excited” to pastor a rural congregation, saying he and his wife, Connie, are suburban-rural people and that this will be a “comfortable move” for them. As he becomes acquainted with his new congregation and the Zionsville area, Bender plans to focus on their needs as they become apparent. But, overall, his primary goal is “to invite people to live the invitational love of Jesus Christ.”
As many know, some of the churches in the township have a unique relationship with each other. Five denominations—Lutheran, Mennonite, E.C., UCC, and Methodist—all work together and sometimes worship together. Bender thinks this relationship is great.
“Working together on common issues and causes serves to strengthen both church and community life,” he said. “It is a good way to show that though we each have denominational uniquenesses; we find unity as we gather around worshipping together.”
Bender and Connie enjoy being grandparents to their 3-year-old granddaughter, and are looking forward to becoming grandparents of twins early this year.
At the present time, he and his wife will commute to the church and surrounding area from Lancaster. They own an agriculture business, in which Connie is the CEO and needs to be close to the business.
In his spare time, Bender enjoys flying radio-controlled model airplanes, reading, playing guitar and running (something he has been doing for 32 years). He also volunteers his services in the model airplane hobby.
Bender said he enjoys meeting and getting to know people from all walks of life. He will have a lot of new people to meet here in Upper Milford—with a variety of occupations and interests.
Welcome to the community Roy and Connie Bender.